Bell makes late pass to claim Truck Series win
–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
LOUDON, N.H. — It was déjà vu for Bobby Santos on Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The Franklin, Mass. driver used similar tactics as he did in July to claim the win in the F.W. Webb 100 and sweep the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at the one-mile oval in 2017.
“I just love this place,” Santos said in victory lane. “We did a shortened schedule this year and it worked out for us.”
Santos used the bottom lane to work past race leader Ron Silk on lap 90 and then held on through a four-lap shootout to claim the win. He credited knowledged learned in a special non-point counting All-Star race in July that assisted him to his two race wins this season at New Hampshire.
“We learned a lot in that All-Star race that I think helped us win this race and the July race,” Santos said. “This is the race track when it comes to Modifieds. This is where you want to win. This is what everybody shoots for. This is our Super Bowl.
“It means everything to win here.”
Santos dedicated his race win to the late Ted Christopher in victory lane.
“This is for Teddy,” Santos said. “I grew up coming here and Stafford and Thompson and watching him. I think I was his biggest fan and I think he helped me with this one.”
Santos started in the 11th position and led just ten laps — all of which came within the final 11 laps — en route to his win.
Rowan Pennink came home in the second position after the mad four-lap scramble to the finish while Patrick Emerling — who briefly took the lead from Santos on the restart — finished third. Donny Lia and Justin Bonsignore completed the top-five finishers.
Eric Goodale, Silk, Woody Pitkat, Ryan Newman, and Anthony Nocella finished sixth through tenth.
Santos would then watch his brother-in-law Pitkat claim the win in the ACT Invitational later in the evening.
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Christopher Bell made a late race pass on Ryan Truex to claim the win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 on Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The Norman, Okla. driver dominated the first two stages and 110 laps of the 175-lap event, but Truex would power into the lead past Ben Rhodes following a lap 132 restart.
Bell would pull close to Truex and trail him over the next 30 laps until he dove to Truex’s inside into turn three and took the lead.
“(Truex) was doing a really good job at watching his mirror,” Bell said in victory lane. “I knew it was tough to pass all day, but our truck had been so good we had been able to do it until we got to him.
“I kept trying to work down and he kept blocking my air. Finally, I got one run when I got up in (turns) one and two and then got a big run into (turn) three.”
Truex, of Mayetta, N.J., settled for second.
“When you’ve got the best truck in the field behind you, it makes it tougher,” Truex said. “I did everything I could to hold him off. I was trying to take his lane and block and everything.
“I just didn’t have quite the grip he had.”
Todd Gilliland finished third with Grant Enfinger fourth. Super DIRTcar Series regular Stewart Friesen ran home in the fifth position for his career best asphalt Truck Series finish.
Matt Crafton, Rhodes, Austin Cindric, Johnny Sauter, and Kaz Grala completed the top-ten finishers.
1 – Bobby Santos celebrates his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 win on Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Guy Laroche photo)
2 – Christopher Bell celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images photo)