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Sully Tinio (right) owned the No. 44 modifieds that Bobby Santos III (left) raced on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for many years. (Michael Ivins/NASCAR photo)

NASCAR Modified Team Owner Sully Tinio, 72

BELLINGHAM, Mass. – Longtime NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team owner Salvatore “Sully” Tinio has passed away.

Tinio was 72 years old and spent much of his life at the race track.

From 2011 to 2018, Tinio was the owner of the No. 44 Tinio Racing team on the Whelen Modified Tour. Despite only fielding a full-time team twice, Tinio Racing always fielded a competitive team whenever showing up to the track.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Sully Tinio during this difficult time,” Tour Director Jimmy Wilson said Sunday. “Sully’s competitive spirit and determination embodied the best attributes of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He built a rich legacy as a winning car owner and dear friend to many, and his presence will be missed.”

In eight seasons on the Whelen Modified Tour, Tinio Racing scored 11 poles and 11 race victories, including a streak of three in a row at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with 2010 Tour champion Bobby Santos behind the wheel.

The last win for the team came in July of 2018 at Loudon, when Santos nipped Chase Dowling by .007 seconds.

According to RaceDayCT, Tinio Motorsports was planning a return to competition for the 2021 season in select Modified races with Santos behind the wheel, set to begin in April.