(Stafford Springs, CT)—When it comes to Bobby Santos, III and the NAPA Spring Sizzler® at Stafford Motor Speedway, not many drivers can claim a better record. In only 8 career starts in “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring,” Santos has recorded 3 wins, 4 top-5, and 5 top-10 finishes for an average finish of 10.9. Santos has also led in four of his eight career Sizzler starts with a total of 488 laps led in those 4 races. With the NAPA Spring Sizzler® taking the green flag this weekend, Santos is ready to try to add a fourth Sizzler win to his racing resume and tie Mike Stefanik for 2nd place on the All-Time Sizzler Winners List.
“Another Sizzler win would be pretty cool,” said Santos. “Winning at Stafford means a lot and the Sizzler is such a big race. To be in any category alongside Mike would be meaningful. He’s done a lot in a modified and it would be neat to be tied with him in anything. The Sizzler is such a tough race to win that just to be in contention will be nice. I always look forward to Stafford, it’s one of my favorite tracks. I definitely have some good history at Stafford and I like the 200-lap race. Our goal is to be able to put ourselves into position to win and it’s been far too long since we won at Stafford, I feel way overdue for a Stafford win.”
If Santos is going to add a fourth Sizzler win to his credit this year, he and the #44 Tinio Corporation team will have to figure out a different race strategy than in years past as teams will only be allowed to change one tire per pit stop. Santos is relishing the prospect of race strategy playing a large part in who is battling for the win in the closing laps of the NAPA Spring Sizzler® and he likes his chances of being one of the cars in the mix for the win.
“The one tire deal really does change things and puts some strategy into the race,” said Santos. “I feel like for the last 5 or 7 years the races have become pretty predictable with the fast guys all pitting together and there’s a race off pit road. I like the multiple pit stops and multiple opportunities to get on to different strategies during the race. Any time strategy gets involved, it certainly can give someone that maybe doesn’t have the fastest car an opportunity to win the race. Typically you look at the rules and think about what you want to do but at the end of the day you just have to take the race as it comes with the yellow flags. I’m confident we’ll be competitive and there’s a lot of good teams and drivers so anything can happen. If we do a good job, I think we’ll have just as good a shot at winning the race as anyone else. It’s all thanks to the Tinio Family, Olivas Market, my dad and my family, Danny my car chief, and really all the guys who volunteer their time to help us go racing.”
Santos and the Tinio team are not running the full NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule in 2018, which may come in handy during the race with pit strategy calls. Santos and his team have the freedom to make whatever calls they want from pit road without worrying about how a call might affect their finishing position.
“We’ve done a partial schedule last year and this year and in a weird way it seems like there’s less pressure,” said Santos. “We always come to the track trying to win no matter what but it seems like it’s more relaxed and less tension for us than the guys who are racing for points. I don’t think it really hurts us. With our team situation I think that maybe it helps us where we’re not spreading ourselves too thin and we’re better prepared for the races that we go to. I might not be racing a modified 16 or 17 times a year like some of the other drivers but I’m racing other divisions and I think that driving other cars only helps.”
The 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® takes the green flag this weekend, April 27-29. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. Tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Discount Tickets are now available at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores. For a full list of the 72 participating locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, please call the speedway office or point your web browser to www.staffordmotorspeedway.com/participating-napa-auto-parts-stores.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.