All posts by Myracenews

Justin Bonsignore Finally Finds Victory Lane at Bristol

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championship Points Leader Conquers Thunder Valley

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Justin Bonsignore’s dream season just keeps on rolling.

The Holtsville, New York, driver led the final 60 laps of the Bush’s Beans 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway, held off Chase Dowling over the run to the checkered flag and rolled into Bristol’s Victory Lane for the first time in his career on Thursday night.

The win was his sixth of the 2018 season, his 18th career in Whelen Modified Tour competition and his first at the 0.533-mile Tennessee oval. He was finally able to knock ‘Thunder Valley’ off his bucket list.

RACING-REFERENCE: Bush’s Beans 150 Race Results

“We’ve always had a lot of speed and a lot of success here, but the last couple of years has been feast or famine for us,” Bonsignore said. “We wanted to win Bristol. It’s a huge win to check off the list as a modified driver. I’m really glad we were able to drive up the ramp (Victory Lane). It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”

Bonsignore started from the pole after posting the fastest time in qualifying, but lost the lead on lap one to Patrick Emerling. From there, Bonsignore’s difficult climb back to the front of the field came to a close just after the mandatory halfway, break where teams changed their Hoosier tires.

He took the lead on lap 90, and never relinquished the top spot, cutting through lapped traffic while Chase Dowling tried everything to make a move to the lead in search of his first tour win.

Dowling chased Bonsignore across the line and finished second. It was the sixth top-five finish of the season for the Roxbury, Connecticut, driver, and the fourth time that he crossed the line in the runner-up spot.

“Justin did what he had to do,” Dowling said following his second-place effort. “We are bringing fast race cars to the track every week. We are top five.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Career Stats For Justin Bonsignore

Rob Summers finished third, while Patrick Emerling, who led 52 laps, finished fourth. Five-time and defending series champion Doug Coby faded in the final circuits and rounded out the top five.

Ronnie Williams was sixth, followed by Dave Sapienza, Rowan Pennink, Burt Myers and Eric Goodale.

Bonsignore extended his points lead to 64 points over Dowling with five races remaining, while Timmy Solomito is third, 96 points back.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at Oswego Speedway in New York on Saturday, September 1.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Bush’s Beans “150” Results


At Bristol Motor Speedway

Bristol, Tenn.

Lap length: 0.533 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

  1. (1) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 150 laps, 91.985 mph.
  2. (4) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  3. (7) Rob Summers, Manchester, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  4. (2) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
  5. (5) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  6. (8) Ronnie Williams, Ellington, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  7. (11) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
  8. (10) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 150.
  9. (9) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Chevrolet, 150.
  10. (6) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 149.
  11. (12) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 149.
  12. (14) Tommy Catalano, Ontario, N.Y., Chevrolet, 148.
  13. (15) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 148.
  14. (17) Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 148.
  15. (3) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 148.
  16. (19) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 145.
  17. (20) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 144.
  18. (18) Austin Pickens, Windermere, Fla., Chevrolet, 65, engine.
  19. (13) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 33, electrical.
  20. (16) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 30, engine.
  21. (21) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 15, power steering.
  22. (22) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet, 0, withdrew.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 52 minutes 9 seconds

Margin of Victory: 0.519 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: J.Bonsignore (128.986 mph, 14.876 seconds)

Caution Flags: 4 for 15 laps.

Lead Changes: 3 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders: P. Emerling 1-52; J. Bonsignore 53-60; T. Solomito 61-89; J. Bonsignore 90-150.

Standings: 1. J. Bonsignore, 484; 2. C. Dowling, 420; 3. T. Solomito, 388; 4. D. Coby, 376; 5. C. Lutz, 376; 6. R. Summers, 358; 7. R. Pennink, 341; 8. E. Goodale, 338; 9. D. Sapienza, 329; 10. R. Williams, 319.

(Russell LaBounty/NKP).

Monster Trucks ready to rock the ‘Bowl

WATERFORD — Mike Vaters Sr., a 37-year veteran of Monster Truck activity, said he’s looking forward to Sunday’s visit to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
“We are going to rock the house,” he said.
The two Monster Trucks that will be in attendance, Higher Education and Overkill Evolution, probably will be rocking more than just the house — expect the ground also to start shaking.
“Higher Education is the only Monster school bus that competes in racing,” Vaters Sr. said. “It will be driven by Preston Perez.
“Overkill Evolution, driven by Michael Vaters II, is the 2015 world champion. He also won the Young Guns event in Las Vegas in 2014, so he has back-to-back world titles.”
Vaters II said the trucks will be involved in two segments.
“The first time we’re out, we’ll be doing wheel competition,” Vaters Sr. said, “Wheelies, traveling on two wheels, things like that.
“Then when we come out for the second time, it will be freestyle. It will be huge. Pretty much anything goes.
“There will be big air, long jumps, Wheelies. And you could possibly see a tuck roll over, but not on purpose.”
There will also be Quad Wars — New York vs, Massachusetts.
“That interstate rivalry is always great,” Vaters Sr. said. “We are expecting quite a night.”
In addition to the Monster Trucks, three Enduros will be held — a Pro Enduro, a Full-Size Enduro and a Compact/Mid-Size Enduro. A popular Ski Race will open the festivities and there also will be Power Wheels and Big Wheel races for the kids.
The grandstands open Sunday at 3 p.m. and the action takes place at 5 p.m. Admission is $25 for adults, $10 for youths 13-16 and $5 for children 12 and under. Senior admission is $22 and military members will be admitted for $20.
The Monster Trucks, however, will be the crown jewel of the day’s activity.
Vaters Sr. is the head of Vaters Motorsports that promotes Monster Truck events all over the country.
“We ‘re at the Essex County Fair Thursday and then we’re in Greenfield, Mass. on Saturday,” Vaters Sr. said. “And then we’re headed for Waterford. We’ve been there before, so we are getting pumped up.”
The Speedbowl house is waiting to be rocked.


MALTA, NY – Relief and joy!

Marc Johnson showed pure emotion on Wednesday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway after a victory in the Recovery Sports Grill ‘Stampede at ‘toga’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco big-block/small-block Modified headliner.

The 50-lap STSS Modified event – postponed by 24 hours due to rain on the original Tuesday date – was an instant classic on the ‘Great Race Place’ four-tenths-mile track.

Guilderland, N.Y.’s Johnson emerged from an intense three-car battle in the final 10 circuits of the event to take home a $6,000 top prize: $5,000 from the posted purse plus an additional $1,000 courtesy of last-minute sponsor Amsterdam Trailer Repair.

“What a race!” Johnson said after receiving an ovation from the crowd at his home track. “I could see the top was going away and the bottom was getting better. I committed to the inside and knew I had to hit my marks.”

Johnson became the fourth consecutive first-time STSS winner in the series’ Halmar International North Region this season.

Veteran Frank Cozze made the long haul from Wind Gap, Pa., to compete in the ‘Stampede’ event and started from the pole via a redraw of top heat-race qualifiers.

A past ‘CVRA vs. the World’ winner at Albany-Saratoga, Cozze took the David Renaldo-owned No. 401 small-block to the lead at the outset and thwarted a slew of challenges. As the race progressed, track regular Ronnie Johnson fought his way to second after rolling off the grid eighth.

Johnson relentlessly pressured Cozze, working both high and low.

It was Cozze, however, who remained in front to collect the Superior Remodeling $200 Halfway Leader bonus.

Marc Johnson, after rolling off the grid in ninth, was quietly working forward utilizing the inside lane as the track continued to slick off. He was fifth at lap 26 and moved to third on the 30th circuit.

With 10 laps to go, Cozze, the Johnsons, 27th-starter Matt Sheppard and Anthony Perrego formed up a five-car tussle for the top spot.

At lap 44, the race for the lead fanned out three-wide. Ronnie Johnson went to the top, while Marc Johnson went to the bottom, both sweeping by Cozze to take the top-two positions.

An epic side-by-side battle raged as Sheppard – like Johnson, running the bottom – broke into third. At lap 48, Sheppard attempted to split the middle of inside-running Marc Johnson and rim-riding Ronnie Johnson.

The move didn’t stick and Marc Johnson surged off the bottom to take the lead and the victory.

Duanesburg, N.Y.’s Ronnie Johnson narrowly edged Sheppard at the line for a runner-up finish worth $3,000.

Sheppard, aboard the Sweeteners Plus No. 92s, ended his stirring drive from 27th to complete the podium and receiving the Hard Charger Award worth $200 cash from Land Hoe Maintenance and product certificates from Beyea Custom Headers and QA1. Sheppard had won the evening’s first heat race but was light on the scales and disqualified. He earned his feature starting position through the B-Main.

Montgomery, N.Y.’s Perrego, driving the Brian Smith-owned Superior Remodeling No. 44, ended his 50 laps in fourth-place. Cozze’s outstanding effort ended with a top-five finish.

Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Mat Williamson of St. Catharine’s, Ont., after running as high as third in the Behrent’s Performance Warehouse No. 3; Mike Mahaney of King Ferry, N.Y., aboard the Olum’s No. 33 after battling inside the top-10 for the entire distance; series point leader Billy Decker of Sidney, N.Y., aboard the Jeremy Smith Racing No. 91 from 19th; Kenny Tremont Jr. of West Sand Lake, N.Y.; and Mike Gular of Boyertown, Pa., who started 25th in his Albany-Saratoga debut.

Despite the postponement, a robust field of 47 STSS Modifieds signed into the pit area.

Heat winners, receiving $100 from Bart Contracting and $50 certificates from Beyea Custom Headers, were Brandon Grosso, Rick Laubach, Williamson, Cozze and Perrego. Matt Stangle, Ryan Godown and Danny Varin annexed the consolations.

A fully paid B-Main was presented by New Country Toyota of Clifton Park, Elmo’s Speed & Supply, Garrity Asphalt and DIG Race Products. Matt Sheppard won and chose to start the main event.

The accompanying Albany-Saratoga Sportsman main event was won Tim Hartman Jr. in a down-to-the-wire finish over Robert Bublak Jr.

MALTA MEMORIES: What appeared to be a beautiful evening turned when rain began tracking toward the speedway at the scheduled starting time. Albany-Saratoga and STSS officials pressed through the program rapidly, with the Modified checkered flag falling at 8:50 p.m. Only the Sportsman main was to follow….

A very strong southeastern PA-NJ contingent was in attendance including Ryan Godown, Jimmy Horton, Matt Stangle, Brandon Grosso, Mike Gular, Duane Howard, Frank Cozze and Rick Laubach. Particularly impressive was Gular after breaking in the heat race and driving from the 13th row in the feature to finish 10th….

Tough night for series regular J.R. Hurlburt. His Jamie and Denise Page team broke down en route to the track, lost a driveshaft in qualifying and broke down with their back-up tow vehicle while driving home….

Danny Varin debuted a brand-new, unlettered car out of the Ed Monger stables, finishing 13th….

Next up for the Short Track Super Series is the ‘Blast at the Beach’ presented by VAHLCO Wheels on Tuesday, Aug. 28 (rain date: Aug. 29) at Del.’s Georgetown Speedway. This event will be recorded for broadcast on MAV-TV. STSS Velocita-USA South Region Modifieds race 35 laps for $5,000 to win, $1,000 for 10th and $400 to take the green flag. Also on the card: STSS Crate 602 Sportsman ($1,000 to win), Delaware Super Trucks and Delmarva Chargers.

To learn more about the 2018 Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit, e-mail, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Land Hoe Maintenance, K&N, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, QA1, Race Pro Weekly, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, Vahlco, Velocita, Weld & Wilwood.



Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Halmar International North Region Event No. 6 Feature Finish (50 laps): MARC JOHNSON, Ronnie Johnson, Matt Sheppard, Anthony Perrego, Frank Cozze, Mat Williamson, Mike Mahaney, Billy Decker, Kenny Tremont Jr., Mike Gular, Ryan Godown, Brett Hearn, Danny Varin, Jerry Higbie, Andy Bachetti, Nick Nye, Brett Tonkin, Danny Creeden, Rick Laubach, Jeremy Smith, Duane Howard, Matt DeLorenzo, Jimmy Horton, Jack Lehner, Rusty Smith, Tyler Boniface, Matt Stangle, Brandon Grosso.

New Country Toyota of Clifton Park/Elmo’s Speed & Supply/Garrity Asphalt/DIG Race Products Modified B-Main Feature Finish (15 laps): MATT SHEPPARD, Bobby Hackel, Brian Gleason, Elmo Reckner, Neil Stratton, Mike Ricci, Mark Pullen, Matt DePew, Matt Pupello, Jimmy Wells, Steve Cummings, Joseph Judge, Lou Torres, Jessey Mueller, Don Ronca.

Did Not Start: Craig Hanson, Tim Hartman Jr., J.R. Hurlburt, Bodie Bellinger, Keith Flach.

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire): Mike Gular (10th) & Jerry Higbie (14th)
ATL Fuel Cell Bonus ($200): 
Frank Cozze (fifth)
Bart Contracting Heat Winners ($100): 
Brandon Grosso, Rick Laubach, Mat Williamson, Frank Cozze & Anthony Perrego
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards
): Anthony Perrego (fourth) & Kenny Tremont Jr. (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Heat Winners ($50 Certificates): Brandon Grosso, Rick Laubach, Mat Williamson, Frank Cozze & Anthony Perrego
Beyea Custom Headers Hard Charger ($200 Certificate): 
Matt Sheppard (27th to third)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate):
 Ryan Godown (11th)
Land Hoe Maintenance Hard Charger ($200 Cash): Matt Sheppard (27th to third)
QA1 Hard Charger ($50 Certificate): 
Matt Sheppard (27th to third)
Racing Optics Bonus (Sleeve of Tear-Offs): 
Matt Sheppard (third)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Credit
): Ronnie Johnson (second), Brett Hearn (12th) & Matt DeLorenzo (22nd)
Superior Remodeling Halfway Leader ($200): Frank Cozze
WELD Wheels Hard Luck Award (FREE Wheel): 
Matt DeLorenzo (22nd)
Wilwood ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($50 Certificate): 
Mike Mahaney (seventh)