THOMPSON, Conn. — Bobby Santos III came home sixth to put the finishing touches on his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship Sunday, while Ted Christopher continued his mastery of Thompson Int’l Speedway.
Christopher became the first driver in Whelen Modified Tour history to earn three straight victories in the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, the traditional season-ending event.
For Santos, the Whelen Modified Tour title came in his first full-time season competing in the division. He gave car owner Bob Garbarino his third championship in four years. Garbarino, an owner in the division since 1961, did not win a championship until driver Donny Lia won it in 2007 and 2009.
When Lia left the No. 4 “Mystic Missile” Dodge in February to run the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, it opened the door for the 25-year-old from Franklin, Mass. Santos proceeded to recorded four wins and four poles during his title campaign and Thompson’s finale was his 11th top-10 finish during the 14-race season.
Santos entered the event with a 37-point lead over Stefanik, and kept the nine-time NASCAR champion in his sights throughout the race. Stefanik finished fourth behind Christopher, Ryan Preece, Doug Coby and Ronnie Silk.
The World Series was Christopher’s second win in three Tour races at the track this year, his fifth in the last seven events there and his 11th overall at the .625-mile speedway.