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Justin Bonsignore Completes Thompson Sweep & Celebrates Championship

Caps 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Title Run With Eighth Victory

THOMPSON, Conn. — Justin Bonsignore couldn’t have dreamt of a better way to end his championship season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Bonsignore captured his eighth win of the season in the Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, ending his title run by celebrating both a race win and a dominating championship.

The win allowed the Holtsville, New York, driver to become the fourth driver in the modern era of the Whelen Modified Tour to sweep all of the events at Thompson in the same season. Steve Park (1996), Mike Stefanik (1998) and Doug Coby (2015) are the other three to accomplish the feat.

“It’s been unreal, ever since we unloaded at Myrtle Beach, we have had a great race car at every single race track,” Bonsignore said. “To come here and to sweep the season, there are only a few select people who have done that, and it means a lot to me. It’s important.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Sunoco World Series 150 Results

Bonsignore started third, but ran just outside the top five for the first half of the race. During a caution on lap 81, he rolled the No. 51 Phoenix Communications Chevrolet to pit road and changed tires. Quick work by his team allowed him to exit the leader of the race, and he never relinquished the top spot.

“We didn’t have the best car, but the pit crew did a great job and got us out there in the end. The car was really good on the second set of tires,” Bonsignore said. “It was the same thing we did all year at Thompson. We were going to race hard because we didn’t have anything to lose today.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Justin Bonsignore’s 2018 Season

He defeated Chase Dowling by 97 points in the final championship standings, with an average finish of 3.4 and top-10 finishes in all but one event.

Jon McKennedy used a late stop for tires, and passed Ron Silk in the final turn, capping his season with a second. Silk was third, followed by Ryan Preece, who led a race-high 83 laps. Burt Myers rounded out the top five.

Doug Coby was sixth, followed by Matt Swanson, Bobby Santos III, Chris Pasteryak and Eric Goodale.

The Sunoco World Series 150 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, October 18, 7 p.m.

Bonsignore and his Kenneth Massa Motorsports team will be honored with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour top finishers arnd special award winners at the NASCAR Awards Charlotte on Friday, Dec. 7.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Sunoco World Series 150 Results

Sunday

At Thompson International Speedway

Thompson, Conn.

Lap length: 0.625 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

  1. (3) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 85.638 mph.
  2. (5) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
  3. (9) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 150.
  4. (2) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  5. (7) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Chevrolet, 150.
  6. (4) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  7. (15) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
  8. (10) Bobby Santos, III, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
  9. (19) Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  10. (18) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
  11. (17) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
  12. (8) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
  13. (13) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  14. (1) Ronnie Williams, Ellington, Conn., Chevrolet, 149.
  15. (14) Kyle Bonsignore, Bay Shore, N.Y., Chevrolet, 149.
  16. (23) Blake Barney, Lakewood, N.J., Chevrolet, 149.
  17. (25) Sam Rameau, Westminster, Mass., Chevrolet, 149.
  18. (12) Rob Summers, Manchester, CT, Chevrolet, 149.
  19. (22) Tommy Catalano, Ontario, N.Y., Chevrolet, 148.
  20. (21) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 148.
  21. (26) Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 148.
  22. (24) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 148.
  23. (16) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet, 147.
  24. (29) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 147.
  25. (27) Walter Sutcliffe Jr., East Haven, Conn., Chevrolet, 143.
  26. (11) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 132, accident.
  27. (20) Andrew Krause, Holmdel, N.J., Toyota, 131, ignition.
  28. (31) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 93, suspension.
  29. (33) Cory Osland, East Hampton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 88, mechanical.
  30. (6) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 82, ignition.
  31. (32) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 72, handling.
  32. (30) Dave Salzarulo, Monson, Mass., Chevrolet, 33, engine.
  33. (28) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 0, accident.

 

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 1 hour 5 minutes 41 seconds

Margin of Victory: 0.448 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: R.Williams (120.553 mph, 18.664 seconds)

Caution Flags: 6 for 28 laps.

Lead Changes: 1 among 2 drivers.

Lap Leaders: R. Preece 1-83; J. Bonsignore 84-150.

Standings: 1. J. Bonsignore, 693; 2. C. Dowling, 596; 3. D. Coby, 575; 4. T. Solomito, 545; 5. C. Lutz, 541; 6. R. Summers, 515; 7. E. Goodale, 495; 8. D. Sapienza, 477; 9. R. Williams, 461; 10. C. Pasteryak, 431.

TIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLES ENTERING SUNOCO WORLD SERIES

BY KYLE SOUZA, FOR THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK

THOMPSON, Conn. –As the 56thannual Sunoco World Series gets ready to take the green flag this Friday, multiple of the 17 divisions planning to race have a tight championship battle entering the weekend.

Off a rain-shortened race at Lee USA Speedway last weekend, the Granite State Pro Stock Series will make a stop at Thompson with just two races left in their championship points schedule. And as he looks for his first series championship, Devin O’Connell leads the standings by 20 points over Joey Doiron entering the 60-lap feature on Friday night.

With two wins this season, O’Connell has been among the cars to beat at every track, while Doiron, who has consistently been a threat all season, will look to close the gap. Cory Casagrande, who doesn’t plan on attending Friday’s race, is third, 68 points back, meaning the top two are going to decide the title going forward. Friday’s 60-lap feature will include some of the top Super Late Model talent in New England as the championship battles heats up.

In the Valenti Modified Racing Series, one of Thompson’s own is going for the title. Woody Pitkat, who runs as a regular in Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All American Series, leads the points by 15 over Mike Willis Jr. Pitkat, who has already competed in two different cars this season, will run another one on Saturday night. As Speed51.com reported on Wednesday afternoon, Pitkat will drive for veteran Todd Patnode in the 50-lap World Series feature, which is the final race of the season for the Valenti crowd.

Willis, who has been consistent all season, scored a win in the Tri Track Open Modified Series event at Claremont Speedway earlier, which helped propel him to success in the VMRS division. With Anthony Nocella third, 47 points out, it will be a two-horse race to decide the champion.

Set for a 75-lap feature Saturday night, the American Canadian Tour comes to Connecticut with their own battle. Scott Payea leads by 26 on Eddie MacDonald, while Jimmy Hebert is third, 40 points back.

In the International Supermodified Association (ISMA), Tony Bowes enters the weekend just 16 points up on Doug Edwards. With Sunday’s 50-lap ISMA feature set to decide the champion, the fight will go right down to the final laps for one of the most coveted titles in Supermodified racing.

With just one race left on their schedule, the North East Mini Stock Tour also has a close battle at the top of their championship race as well.

The NEMA Midgets, NEMA Lites, Pro 4 Modifieds, EXIT Realty Pro Truck Challenge and Street Stock Showdown Series also come into the weekend in the midst of title battles.

In Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions, the battle at the top has all but been decided. Keith Rocco leads Troy Talman by 48 in the Sunoco Modifieds, while Eric Bourgeois leads by 37 in the Mini Stocks. Nick Johnson, in search of his first Late Model championship, leads by four over Tom Carey III, with William Wall 15 back and Mark Jenison 19 out. In his quest for a second straight title in the Limited Sportsman, Shawn Monahan leads by 43 entering the finale.

The 56thannual Sunoco World Series gets underway on Friday, when cars take to the track for the first time with practice beginning at 11 a.m. with the Granite State Pro Stock Series. Friday’s events include the finale for the Whelen All American Series Late Models, along with the 50-lap GSPSS feature. The Lite Modifieds, Open Vintage Modifieds and STAR will also compete Friday.

Saturday morning gets underway early and will end with eight different races before the day is out. After the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour completes practice and qualifying, the NEMA Midgets, American Canadian Tour and Valenti Modified Racing Series drivers will be among the first to compete in Saturday feature racing, along with the Mini Stocks. The Pro 4 Modifieds, EXIT Realty Pro Truck Challenge, North East Mini Stock Tour and Street Stock Showdown add to the list.

Sunday, in the finale of the weekend, the Sunoco Modifieds, Limited Sportsman, NEMA Lites, ISMA Supermodifieds and the Whelen Modified Tour will run their feature events.

Over the course of three days, the annual breakfast buffet and prime rib dinner will be available in the clubhouse, another part of the weekend fans won’t want to miss. Thompson’s concession stands will also be open for the entire weekend.

After all that, if fans aren’t quite ready to leave, campers are allowed to stay on property until 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon.

Fans can enter the paddock area for $75, which is one price for all three days. Any fans that wish to enter the grandstands can do so with a general admission ticket at $55, while seniors (65+), veterans and active duty military members can enter at a price of $50. As always, any children under the age of 12 are free.

Camping is also available for the weekend. Fans can catch-up with the latest World Series information by visiting www.thompsonspeedway.com, where you can find the full schedule. Follow the track on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.

Thompson Brings Down the Curtain on the 2018 NASCAR WMT Season

Tom Morris Myracenews photo

By Michael Jaworecki Myracenews

Westbury NY,-  Before the season started there were many questions , would Doug Coby garner another champion, would Ryan Preece in a shortened schedule still help Ed Partridge win another owners championship, who would take the next step and challenge Doug  Coby for a championship, who would have breakout season?

The last 6 month have answered many of those questions. Doug Coby was unseated as champion by a scorching hot Justin Bonsignore.  Ryan Preece had his highs and lows and during the season  but only won twice. Chase Dowling had a breakout year showcasing his talent race after race even garnering his first win in the Musket 250 at New Hampshire.

The season started in March at the Myrtle Beach Speedway,  Jon McKennedy in the Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 started off 2018  strong with a win at Myrtle Beach then at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park was in the running for a second win then everything would change.  Jon ran out of gas late in the race under caution,  Justin Bonsignore  took the race lead then went on to win his first of 7 races and his first NASCAR WMT championship.

While the 2018 championship will be anti climatic the World Series weekend will not.  36 cars have entered and with most points positions settled and several top teams hungry for wins it will be an all out battle for the first place prize.

Sunoco 150 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park who to watch:

Justin Bonsignore: Just because he has won the championship doesn’t mean he will not be shooting for win number 8. I asked Justin if this week would be any different than others. ” It will be a little different, we can race as hard and be aggressive with our strategy without worries of it backfiring or costing us a lot of points.”

Ryan Preece: This season Ryan has seen the highs in a part time schedule  in the Ed Partridge TS Hauler #6 with wins at Stafford and Langley  and the lows, a big crash on the last lap in the Musket 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But this year was about showcasing  his talent in the NASCAR Xfinity series  and getting to the top of our sport. Ryan signed  on to race the #47 Monster Energy NASCAR Series in 2019.  With a full time commitment in the #47 car this could be one of the last times he comes back to run the NASCAR WMT, Ryan is always a threat at Thompson and with a rebuilt car after Oswego will be a favorite this weekend.

Chase Dowling: Take away a couple of bad finishes Chase would be entering the final weekend with a chance for a championship. With the announcement that his team will only run part time next year a win at Thompson would show other team owners that Chase belongs on the tour full time.

Timmy Solomito- Timmy although in 4th in points has had a frustrating year with a zero in the win column. He has shown improvement in the second half of the season but taking the gas can with him after a pit stop in the Musket 250 and a disappointing  9th place at Stafford have slowed that momentum. The Starrett Tools #16 Ford will be loaded for bear.  Timmy’s only comment about the race “1 race to go nothing to lose! Go out and win!!”

Doug Coby:  Doug was in the running for the win late in the going at both New Hampshire and Stafford and came away empty. This is the first year since 2013 that Doug will not take the Champions trophy home from Thompson. Doug  and the team will be ready.

Bobby Santos III: While running a part time schedule he won the July New Hampshire race but other than a 5th place finish and 9th place at Thompson his best finish was an 11th at Stafford. After a 22nd place finish at NH and a 23rd at the Fall final Bobby will be hungry for a good finish.

Craig Lutz: Since finishing 8th at Thompson in  August Craig has finished out of the top 10 in every race  until a chassis change to LFR prior to Stafford garnered a 2nd place finish. Craig would defiantly like to finish 1 position higher this weekend.

Matthew Swanson: Matt is one of the up and coming young drivers  on the tour. Matt moved into the historic Ole Blue #3 when Rowan Pennink retired prior to the King of Beers 150 at Thompson garnering a second place finish their first time on the track.  Matthew’s last 2 races ended up in the wall and disappointing finishes.  To put the Starrett / Mosquito Free / USNE #3 in victory lane would offset those late season troubles.

Burt Myers: His northern swing opened some eyes this year in the Ed Harvey owned Doug Dunleavy sponsored car.  Burt is a multi time Bowman Gray Stadium champion  and normally stays close to his North Carolina home to race.  This year Burt showed he can race with the best at New Hampshire and Stafford. Can he get his first Thompson win?

Dave Sapienza: A strong run at the Fall final in his new LFR chassis bodes well for a good race at Thompson.

Other notables:

Kyle Bonsignore: 2 in a row?

Eric Goodale: He is due.

Ronnie Williams: He won the pole at the Icebreaker so he can run fast at Thompson. He won the pole and was gunning for the win when he go together with race winner Justin Bonsignore on the last lap;

Ron Silk: Ron and the team have found late season speed and should be a threat.

Woody Pitkat: This has been a disappointing season but Woody might also be due.

Notes: This will be the last race for GM Josh Vanada.  Josh has overseen the Speedway through many changes but what remains the same is the fall World Series weekend still sends the season into the winter with a bang.

Sam Rameau has announced he has purchased the Dave Sapienza Troyer modified and will compete in the Sunoco 150.

Missing from the race:

Max Zachem unfortunately has withdrawn from the event.

Matt Hirschman who won at Oswego but has elected to stay close to home and not race at Thompson this weekend

150 Schedule.

Saturday: Garage Opens: 10 a.m., Practice: 11:15-12 p.m., Final Practice: 12:30-1:15 p.m., Group Qualifying: 4 p.m.

Sunday: Garage Opens: 10 a.m., Driver Autograph Session: 2:15 p.m., Sunoco World Series 150: 3:30 p.m.

Sunoco 150 Entry List

Nbr Driver Owner Car Crew Chief Sponsor
1 01   Melissa Fifield   Kenneth Fifield Chevrolet   Kenneth Fifield   Truck Stop Northeast
2 1   Burt Myers   Eddie Harvey Chevrolet   TBA   Dunleavy Truck and Trailer
3 2   Doug Coby   Mike Smeriglio III Chevrolet   Phil Moran   Mayhew Tools
4 3   Matt Swanson   Jan Boehler Chevrolet   Greg Fournier   Starrett / Cape Cod Copper
5 04   Cory Osland   Brian Midgett Sr. Ford   TBA   Keith Grimes Excavating
6 6   Ryan Preece   Ed Partridge Chevrolet   Jeff Preece   TS Haulers
7 7   Jon McKennedy   Tommy Baldwin Chevrolet   Tommy Baldwin   Accell Construction
8 07   Patrick Emerling   Jennifer Emerling Chevrolet   Jan Leaty   Buffalo Auto Auction
9 14   Blake Barney   Richard Barney Chevrolet   Robert Barney   Atlantic Sprinkler
10 15   Chase Dowling   Rob Fuller Chevrolet   Steven Kopcik   15-40 Connection / S&S Paving
11 16   Timmy Solomito   Eric Sanderson Ford   Stanley Szaban   Starrett
12 18   Ken Heagy   Robert Pollifrone Ford   Desmond Gorman   Buoy One Seafood
13 20   Max Zachem   Ken Zachem Chevrolet   Timothy Armbruster   Lu-Mac?s / Spafco
14 21   Ronnie Williams   Joseph Bertuccio Chevrolet   Michael Bologna   Empower Financial
15 22   Kyle Bonsignore   Kyle Bonsignore Chevrolet   Bobby Foley   Chalew Performance
16 23   Joe DeGracia   Paul DeGracia Chevrolet   Paul DeGracia   PJ DeGracia Contracting
17 24   Andrew Krause   Diane Krause Toyota   John Cooke   Supreme Mfg
18 25   Calvin Carroll   Joe Carroll Chevrolet   Joe Carroll   Power With Prestige / Cruising With Betty
19 26   Gary McDonald   Sean McDonald Chevrolet   Gary McDonald   Lakeland Landscaping Supply / TRC Electric
20 33   Wade Cole   Wade Cole Chevrolet   Richard Rodenbaugh   Performance Engines / Kendal Oil
21 36   Dave Sapienza   Judy Thilberg Chevrolet   Tommy Grasso   DSR Racing
22 38   Dave Salzarulo   Richard Rodenbaugh Chevrolet   Robert Bourne   Performance Engines / Kendal Oil
23 44   Bobby Santos III   Sully Tinio Chevrolet   Bob Santos   Tinio Corp
24 46   Craig Lutz   Russell Goodale Chevrolet   Douglas Ogiejko   Riverhead Building Supply
25 51   Justin Bonsignore   Kenneth Massa Chevrolet   Ryan Stone   Phoenix Communications Inc.
26 54   Tommy Catalano   Amy Catalano Chevrolet   Dave Catalano   Catalano Motorsports
27 58   Eric Goodale   Edgar Goodale Chevrolet   Jason Shephard   GAF Roofing
28 64   Rob Summers   Mike Murphy Chevrolet   Steve Lemay   Hoosier Tire East / FastTrack Electrical
29 66   Shawn Solomito   Jerry Solomito Chevrolet   TBA   Elders Service / Finish Grade Excavating
30 75   Chris Pasteryak   Charles Pasteryak Chevrolet   Nick Walsh   Dawley’s Collision & Custom
31 76   Jimmy Blewett   John Blewett Sr. Chevrolet   Rob Ormsbee   Starrett
32 77   Gary Putnam   Mike Curb Chevrolet   Teddy Musgrave Jr.   Curb Records
33 78   Walter Sutcliffe, Jr.   Steven Sutcliffe Chevrolet   Steven Sutcliffe   Last Minute Racing
34 82   Woody Pitkat   Pamela Hulse Chevrolet   Jarod Zeltmann   Horton Ave. Materials
35 85   Ron Silk   Kevin Stuart Chevrolet   Kenny Stuart   Stuart Automotive
36 92   Anthony Nocella   Anthony Nocella Chevrolet   Jesse Vasconcellos   Nocella Paving