RPW Column: John Santolin’s Satisfied With How Friday Went At Albany-Saratoga; Excited For ’23
Column By: BILLY HODGES / RPW – MALTA, NY – John Santolin’s 2023 got a massive jumpstart on Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
After mechanical issues on opening night didn’t allow him to even start the main event, the driver out of Pittsfield, MA was able to put his #6 Teo Pro Car on the pole of the Limited Sportsman feature for night two.
He seemed to be in a prime position to capture his first win of the season at Malta, maintaining the lead for the first 14 laps of the feature.
The race ended up proving to be a chaotic one, featuring multiple caution flags and two red flag stoppages.
Santolin spent the entirety of the feature battling with Dylan Grogan for the top spot but ultimately ended up sacrificing the lead to Dylan on Lap 25. Grogan used the bottom lane to get by Santolin, who was riding the high side.
“He was on the bottom and I was on the top,” Santolin said. “I couldn’t keep up with him due to my tires going away.”
Although disappointed to be passed, John respected the way he was raced by Grogan.
“Dylan was very clean the whole race,” he said. “If I had to get beat by somebody fair and square, it’s Grogan.”
Even though he didn’t visit victory lane, at the end of the night, Santolin was still satisfied with the runner-up finish.
“Leading 14 laps was amazing but my tires ended up going away,” he said. “The eight restarts we had really killed me. Dylan started to get better as the feature went on.”
It seemed like Santolin’s Teo Pro Car was nearly perfect on this night.
“The car was working well, and I felt like I had this race won,” he said. “All those cautions really hurt me so finishing second kind of stings.”
John looks to build off the strong run, and hopes to achieve certain goals for the 2023 season.
“I hope to be competitive at Malta this year,” he said. “I want to finish in the Top 10 in points. I’d like to get a win here this season. My win last year at Lebanon Valley was my first in 15 years.”
Santolin plans on spending the entire season at Albany-Saratoga while also hitting some races at Lebanon Valley and Fonda. He is also going to be the car owner for driver Jeff Haskins, who will be piloting a JSR machine for several events at Devils Bowl Speedway in Vermont this season.
John would like to thank all of his sponsors that make racing a possibility:
Bill Lake Modular Homes, Benson’s Pet Center, Berkshire Hydroponics, Mycom Federal Credit Union of Pittsfield, North East Custom Flatbeds, Flynn Dagnoli Funeral Homes of Pittsfield and North Adams, MA, CarQuest Of Pittsfield, Hico Fabrication, and Zitco Companies.