BRISTOL — Tommy Barrett Jr. didn’t let a little thing like a lack of experience slow him down in the Bush’s Beans 150 for the NASCAR Modified Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Making his first start at the high-banked oval and just his 12th start overall, the 19-year-old Barrett passed leader Bobby Santos with 11 laps to go and then easily pulled away from the pack on a restart with seven laps to go.
“I’m pumped,” said Barrett, a Massachusetts driver. “To win here, this is just crazy. We wanted to win before this, but to win at this venue, it’s amazing.”
While Barrett was new to Bristol’s .533-mile oval, his winning Chevrolet wasn’t. It was the same car which Mike Stefanik won the Modified Series race with the previous year.
Barrett started back in 18th, the same position which Stefanik started the previous year. He quickly worked his way up the lead pack and stayed there until the late charge to the front.
“We started 18th, but we knew we had a good car,” Barrett said. “We hung from third to sixth, and then made the move when it came time. We just drove away and drove to victory lane.”
Santos, the 2010 Modified Series champion, finished second and Ronnie Silk, the 2011 series champion, was third in a pair of Chevrolets.
“The first half of the race, we were really good,” Santos said. “Those last 15 laps, we got really tight. I felt it getting tighter and we were just hanging on at the end.”
Silk made up the most positions of anyone after a 24th place starting spot. He was still beating himself up for a poor qualifying effort.
“We had a pretty good car, but we didn’t qualify well,” he said.
“We qualified 24th and I was disappointed in that. We got in some good lanes on restarts the first half of the race. But, we seemed to always get caught on the inside. I would fall back to sixth on the bottom and then get up to third on the next restart.”
Modified Series point leader Doug Coby broke up the Chevrolet parade with a fourth-place finish in a Ford. Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman finished fifth. He started the race eighth and ran as high as second, before bouncing back and forth throughout the top 10.
The race was slowed by 13 caution periods. It was red-flagged for seven-plus minutes after a lap 110 crash which Louisiana driver Bryan Dauzat’s car slammed into a barrier of sand-filled trash cans covering the turn two pit wall.
He was unhurt in the accident.comments powered by Disqus