LOUDON, N.H. – Bobby Santos was perfectly content to settle for a fourth-place finish Friday afternoon, but that isn’t what happened.
The race leaders got together during Friday’s Whelen All-Star Challenge at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and suddenly the door opened for Santos to drive to victory.
It was Santos’ second win at the “Magic Mile” and his first in the three years of the non-points, 35-lap, 20-car shootout event.
Woody Pitkat led Todd Szegedy to the white flag. But the two got together in the final turns as Szegedy made a bid under Pitkat for the lead. The contact knocked the two out of contention, and opened the door for Santos.
Santos’ No. 44 Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records Chevrolet finished .127 seconds ahead of Eric Goodale. Ron Silk finished third.
Pitkat led 17 laps and Szegedy 16, but they finished 19th and 14th, respectively, after the final lap incident. There were 10 lead changes among four drivers. Santos only led the final lap.
Ryan Preece and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points leader Doug Coby rounded out the top five.
Rowan Pennink, Justin Bonsignore, Timmy Solomito, Patrick Emerling and NASCR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman rounded out the top 10.
Newman won the inaugural event in 2014 and Pitkat took home the trophy last year.
Bobby Santos, Eric Goodale, Ronnie Silk, Ryan Preece, Doug Coby, Rowan Pennink, Justin Bonsignore, Timmy Solomito, Patrick Emerling, Ryan Newman, Andy Seuss, Donny Lia, Chase Dowling, Todd Szegedy, Jimmy Blewett, Bryan Dauzat, J.R. Bertuccio, Gary Putnam, Woody Pitkat, Jamie Tomaino.