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Bad Luck Hampers Bobby Santos III at Lime Rock Park
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 8, 2010) - Bobby Santos III and the No. 4 Mystic Missile hit their first major obstacle of the season, finishing 17th at Lime Rock Park on Saturday, July 3. Santos ran well for the majority of the day, but a late race incident and blown motor led to the driver's first finish outside of the top-five in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour this season.
Prior to the race, Santos had limited road course experience. He was, however, looking forward to competing at the Lakeville, Conn., track. The 24-year-old spent Friday's practice sessions getting comfortable in his car and at the track. Santos had the 15th fastest time in the first practice, with a time of 56.451 seconds (95.658 mph).
He improved in final practice with a time of 54.565 seconds (98.965 mph), setting the ninth fastest time and gaining almost two full seconds from his fast time in the first practice session. He also improved his time in qualifying and laid down a lap of 54.299 seconds (99.449 mph), which set him to start Saturday's race in 10th position.
By lap five, Santos had moved into the sixth position. He spent the early stages of the race bobbling between sixth and seventh position.
"We were actually running really well in the race," Santos said. "I was pretty happy when we were running sixth and seventh. I was just trying to stay out of trouble."
Santos was able to avoid trouble for most of the race but cut down a tire after being involved in an incident on lap 47. He lost a lap while pitting but received the lucky dog free pass after a lap 56 caution.
He began to work his way to the front until the No. 4 Mystic Missile's motor blew on lap 62. He settled for a 17th place finish, three laps down.
"It was a disappointing end to our weekend," Santos stated. "We lost a lap after our tire went flat, but we got back on the lead lap. We started going toward the front again, and we were going to be happy with a top-10 finish. Then, we ended up breaking the motor with three laps to go, so that ended our day."
Despite his bad luck at Lime Rock Park, Santos continues to the lead the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings. He now sits 74 points ahead of second place Todd Szegedy.
"It definitely could have been a lot worse," commented Santos. "We can't be feeling too bad. The road racing was a lot of fun. It was definitely an adjustment, and I am definitely still learning. But, I thought it was a lot of fun. I had a good time."
Santos has a rare weekend off from racing this weekend but will return to NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action on Saturday, July 17 in the Monadnock 200 at Monadnock Speedway.