The last occasion we spoke with K&N sponsored Bobby Santos III he was winning his first ever NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championship, this time we talked about winning the Neibel Classic at Anderson Speedway in Mooresville, North Carolina.
Bobby Santos dominating win at the Neibel Classic saw him lead every lap and win with a 1.13 second lead.
The 2010 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion says he thoroughly enjoys the power and the throttle control aspect of the racing Sprint Cars.
Santos told K&N Race News, "I love racing Sprint Cars, the power and the throttle control aspect of the racing to me is a lot of fun. I think we had such a great race because the car was working really well. We had a good handle on the chassis, and we've been so close at Anderson, so we were due for a win there."
The Heinke-Baldwin Racing (HBR) development, Franklin, Massachusetts, native competed in the Gary Neibel Classic at Anderson Speedway in his family-owned sprint car. Santos started on the pole in the No. 98 K&N Santos Motorsports Beast Chevrolet, and led every lap of the 50-lap feature. Santos, who plans to run the entire USAC National Pavement Sprint Car Series schedule in 2011, currently sits second in the point standings.
"Our 2011 schedule is very busy, but I love that," Santos said. "It keeps me thinking about racing all the time. It feels really good to start the season off with a win and that can carry you a long way. But we expect to win more and hopefully it rolls into more wins for us."
Santos posted the sixth fastest qualifying time in the Neibel Classic. "Anderson is a tough track to pass, so I think qualifying is the most important part," explained Santos. "We qualified sixth, which made our weekend much easier." Saving his tires for the feature event, Santos finished sixth in his heat race. Then, with the inversion, the 25-year-old racer started the 50-lap feature from the pole.
During the first 30 laps, Santos was pushed hard for the lead, but the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion held them off. A restart on lap 30 allowed Santos to get a good jump on the field, and he got an even bigger lead in another restart with only ten laps to go. Santos, who finished third in his last two events, took the checkers with a 1.13 second lead this time.
"We started on the pole and lead every lap," said Santos. "It was pretty uneventful, except there was a lot of lapped traffic, which made it exciting. I got through lapped traffic well. By the end of the race, we kind of got away from the other cars, so that made it better than just starting on the pole and hanging on. We've always been really fast at Anderson, but I always end up crashing," he continued. "It felt good to actually get the win."
Santos has two major goals for 2011, to win the Whelen Modified Tour Championship again, and the USAC Pavement Sprint Car Championship. He adds, "But it's the same as every year, as we will try to win as many races as possible."
Santos says he's also looking ahead to racing some winged Sprint Car races for Don Wilshe this year. "I've never driven a winged Sprint before, so I'm looking forward to the experience, and to working with Don," he says.
Santos will return to racing with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut April 29 - May 1, for the 40th Annual Spring Sizzler. He will then jump back into the No. 98 K&N Santos Motorsports Beast Chevrolet for the second USAC National Pavement Sprint Car Series event of the season at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis on Thursday, May 12th.
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