WINCHESTER, N.H. — Story by Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza — NASCAR via Getty Images photo —
The high banked corners of Monadnock Speedway are next to play host to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, this coming Saturday evening in Wichester, New Hampshire.
The inaugural event in 1986 saw veteran Kenny Bouchard hold off a late-race charge from Ted Christopher to score the first ever victory on the 1/4 mile oval.
Others winners in the series first eight appearances included Jimmy Spencer, Mike Stefanik, Reggie Ruggiero, Jamie Tomaino, Ted Christopher, Todd Szegedy and Ryan Preece.
The tour rolls into New Hampshire on Saturday for the running of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200.
Over the past two seasons, Justin Bonsignore has showed up to Monadnock Speedway behind the wheel of his No. 51 M3 Technology ride and been the dominant car. Last season, in a race that went from the green to the checkered flag without a caution, Bonsignore collected both the pole and the win. He has won the last two tour events on the high-banks.
Jamie “The Jet” Tomaino leads all drivers with 977 laps lead at the high-banks coming into the 200 lap feature event. He is closely chased in second by Justin Bonsignore with 929 laps lead. Can Bonsignore close that or take over the lead in the category of history?
NASCAR has said that they will start a maximum of 28 cars on Saturday evening, with the first 23 cars having guaranteed starting positions based on their time trail lap.
With seven races down in the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season, Ryan Preece has his No. 6 TS Haulers ride at the top of the point standings. Preece escaped the Magic Mile in New Hampshire with a top-five run and now has a four point lead over 2015 Spring Sizzler winner Woody Pitkat.
The No. 6 team has two victories so far in 2015, coming back-to-back at New London-Waterford Speedbowl and Stafford Motor Speedway.
Sitting in behind Preece, Pitkat finds himself in a great position heading to the high-banks of Monadnock Speedway in the second spot with the Stafford victory to his credit this season along with two second place finishes.
Both Preece and Pitkat are the only drivers on the tour in 2015 to collect top ten finishes in all of the seven events.
Todd Szegedy comes off a win at New Hampshire riding a ton of momentum. The driver of the Mystic Missile has climbed to third in the overall driver’s standings, just 19 points from the top. Even though he only has one win, Szegedy’s six top ten finishes and consistency have him right in the thick of things.
The story coming into the weekend will be if Doug Coby can rebound from a tough weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Coby, driver of the Dunleavy Truck and Trailer Repair No. 2, finds himself fourth in the championship standings at this point. He crashed twice last weekend and the team had some hard work to do over the week to get his ride ready for Monadnock Speedway.
Other drivers expected to be front-runners on Saturday include Donny Lia, Bobby Santos III and young-gun Timmy Solomito. The driver of the No. 16 machine has been gaining experience and coming closer and closer to a big breakthrough victory.
Action will begin on Saturday for the Tour teams with practice from 2-3 p.m., followed by time trials at 4:30 p.m. The 200 lap feature event is scheduled to go green just after 8:30 p.m.
The event is scheduled to be aired on TV on a tape delay, on Thursday July 30th at 7 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network. The hashtag for the event via NASCAR Home Tracks is #OReilly200.
For more information, fans are encouraged to visit www.nascarhometracks.com.