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Justin Bonsignore Finds Way To The Front Again at Thompson

Collects Third NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Win of 2018

THOMPSON, Conn. —  Justin Bonsignore didn’t look to have the fastest car for much of the Thompson 125, but when it was time to crown the winner, he found his way to the front.

The Holtsville, New York, driver scored his third victory of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, using a late caution to get out front of the field on pit road.

The win was his 15th career, his seventh on the Thompson high-banks, and it helped to continue an early-season roll that has him at the top of the championship standings with five of 16 races into the record books.

“The (pit crew) guys won us that race, they got us out in front of Doug (Coby),” Bonsignore said. “Track position is so important, if we didn’t get it, I don’t think we would have won as easily as we did. If you can roll the top here, and have good drive-off, you can just roll away from the guys on the bottom.”

A pit stop during the first of two cautions on lap 92 for fresh Hoosier rubber saw Bonsignore enter the pits running fourth, but when he left, he was looking at clear track in front of him. On the restart, Bonsignore drove away from Coby, who led a race-high 82 laps, but that wasn’t the only challenge he faced in the final circuits.

After another quick yellow flag, Bonsignore had to fight-off a charge by Rowan Pennink, who was all over the back bumper of the No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc., Chevrolet looking to spoil Bonsignore’s success. In the end, Pennink was forced to settle for second.

RACING-REFERENCE: Justin Bonsignore

Coby was third, followed by defending race winner Ryan Preece, who finished fourth. Preece chased the back bumper of Coby’s car through lapped traffic for much of the middle portion of the race battling for the lead, but lost crucial track position on pit road, and wasn’t able to rebound. Dave Sapienza rounded out the top five.

Timmy Solomito was sixth, followed by Craig Lutz, Rob Summers, Chase Dowling and Matt Swanson.

Bonsignore led 43 laps, and holds a 19-point advantage in the championship standings over Chase Dowling, while Craig Lutz is third, 29 points back.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, on June 23.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Thompson 125 Results

Thursday

At Thompson  International Speedway

Thompson, Conn.

Lap length: 0.625 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

  1. (4) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 125 laps, 97.251 mph.
  2. (5) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 125.
  3. (1) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
  4. (10) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
  5. (9) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125.
  6. (8) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 125.
  7. (15) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125.
  8. (7) Rob Summers, Manchester, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
  9. (11) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
  10. (21) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Ford, 125.
  11. (19) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 124.
  12. (18) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 124.
  13. (17) Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 124.
  14. (14) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 124.
  15. (16) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 124.
  16. (23) Ray Parent, Tiverton, R.I., Chevrolet, 124.
  17. (20) Blake Barney, Lakewood, N.J., Chevrolet, 124.
  18. (13) Andrew Krause, Holmdel, N.J., Toyota, 124.
  19. (6) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Chevrolet, 124.
  20. (2) Ronnie Williams, Ellington, Conn., Chevrolet, 123.
  21. (12) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet, 123.
  22. (22) Tommy Catalano, Ontario, N.Y., Chevrolet, 122.
  23. (24) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 121.
  24. (28) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 120.
  25. (26) Walter Sutcliffe Jr., East Haven, Conn., Chevrolet, 118.
  26. (25) Joe Degracia, Nutley, N.J., Chevrolet, 118.
  27. (29) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 117.
  28. (27) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 90.
  29. (3) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass., Chevrolet, 51, steering.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 48 minutes 12 seconds

Margin of Victory: 0.780 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: D.Coby (120.019 mph, 18.747 seconds)

Caution Flags: 2 for 10 laps.

Lead Changes: 3 among 2 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D. Coby 1-8; J. Bonsignore 9-23; D. Coby 24-97; J. Bonsignore 98-125.

Standings: 1. J. Bonsignore, 218; 2. C. Dowling, 199; 3. C. Lutz, 189; 4. T. Solomito, 177; 5. R. Summers, 173; 6. D. Coby, 168; 7. R. Pennink, 165; 8. D. Sapienza, 151; 9. R. Preece, 145; 10. C. Pasteryak, 145.

Photo: Tom Morris Myracenews

DADS TO BE HONORED AT WALL STADIUM AUTO RACES

THIS SATURDAY (JUNE 16)
WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. ~ The Pete and Elda’s Bar/Carmen’s Pizzeria Modified stock cars in a 40-lap feature take center stage at Wall Stadium Speedway this Saturday night (June 16) as the shore speedway presents six divisions of stock car racing and honors fathers. Grandstands will open for this All American Auto Group Racing Series card at 5:00 p.m., qualifying is set for 5:45 p.m. with main events for all divisions starting at approximately 7:00 p.m.
On the speedway the Modified stock cars will compete in a 40-lap main event. Early season standouts Jimmy Blewett of Howell, Andrew Krause of Holmdel, Steven Reed of Jackson and Eric Mauriello will lead the way. Chas Okerson of Freehold, brothers Trevor and Zack Alspach, both of Willingboro, and Derek Hopkinson of Toms River are also expected to be in the field seeking their first win of the year.
Also in the spotlight will be the Center State Engineering Sportsman cars, the Mike’s Performance Center Limited Late Models, the Green Flag Driving Experience Legend Cars, the Surfside Collision 4 Cylinder Stocks and the O’Shea’s Auto Repair Factory Stocks. All five divisions are slated for 25-lap feature races.
Pit gates will open at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday; with practice starting at 3:00 p.m. Grandstands will open at 5:00 p.m. and qualifying is then set for 5:45 p.m. Main events for all divisions to follow at approximately 7:00 p.m.
Wall Stadium presents professional motorsports events on Saturdays and Sundays through early-October with special post-season races in October and November. The speedway is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400, while CKMotorsports@aol.com is the track’s email address. More information is also available at www.wallspeedwayracing.com.

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST at NEW JERSEY

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Road-course racing is always the wild card in the championship picture for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. And the 2.250-mile course in Millville, New Jersey, offers the first test.

Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton finished second and third, respectively, at NJMP last year. In the series’ inaugural visit, eventual champion Justin Haley showed off his road-racing chops.

Championship points leader Tyler Ankrum will be making his road-course debut in the series, while Tyler Dippel was seventh there in 2016. Ruben Garcia Jr., who is coming off his breakthrough win at Memphis and followed up with a third-place run in the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series at Guadalajara, has finished sixth (2016) and 10th (2017) at the track.

The field includes its regular collection of road-course experts, led by Will Rodgers and Ernie Francis Jr. Rodgers swept the K&N Pro East races on road courses last year, including New Jersey, and finished runner-up to Kevin Harvick in the K&N Pro West race at California’s Sonoma Raceway. Francis is making his series’ debut. The 20-year-old NASCAR Drive for Development driver is a four-time Trans-Am champion.

RACING-REFERENCE: Previous K&N Pro Series East races at New Jersey | K&N Pro Series East drivers’ career stats at New Jersey

RACE FACTS

RACE JUSTDRIVE.COM 125
PLACE New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, N.J.
DATE Saturday, June 16
TIME 6 p.m. CT
TELEVISION NBCSN, Monday, June 18 — Extended highlights will air on NASCAR America
TRACK LAYOUT 2.250-mile road course
2017 WINNER Will Rodgers
2017 POLE Collin Cabre
EVENT SCHEDULE Saturday — Garage opens: 9 a.m. ET; Final practice: noon-1:30 p.m.; Group Qualifying 2:30 p.m.; Driver autograph session: 4:30 p.m.; JUSTDRIVE.com 125, 6 p.m.
TWITTER @NJMP
HASHTAG #JUSTDrive125 #KNEast

RACE CENTRAL LIVE | ENTRY LIST | TICKETS

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The maximum starting field is 26 cars, for each race, including provisionals.

Qualifying groups will be determined by each vehicle’s overall fastest single lap from the official practice sessions.

The first 22 cars will secure starting positions based on the group qualifying session for the JUSTDRIVE.com 125. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process.

Each group qualifying session will be five (5) minutes in duration and the fastest single lap speed of each vehicle will determine starting positions 1st through 22nd. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on a vehicle after the vehicle enters the track to begin the qualifying session. Vehicles may not
return to the track or make any further qualifying laps unless directed to do so by a NASCAR Official or in the event of a caution. If a vehicle returns to pit road, the vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete.

The JUSTDRIVE.com 125 will be 55 laps (126.5 miles) to be run in two (2) segments. The five (5) minute break will occur at or near the conclusion of Laps 28. At the conclusion of the break, lead lap vehicles that elected to pit will line up – in the order they were running at the beginning of the break — behind the lead lap vehicles that elected not to pit in order of running.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) tires for practice, four (4) tires for qualifying and to begin the race and an additional four (4) tires for use during the race for a total of twelve (12) tires.

In the event of rain or wet track conditions, and at the discretion of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Director, practice, qualifying and/or the race may start or continue under those conditions. In wet conditions, and at the discretion of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Director, competitors may be required to equip their cars with wet condition tires as specified by Goodyear. All cars must be equipped at all times with a functional defogger and a rear window flashing light and should be equipped with a functional windshield wiper motor.

All teams will be required to have one (1) set of four (4) mounted wet condition tires as specified by Goodyear in their assigned pit stall.