Lancaster, NY (July 30, 2021): NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour veterans Doug Coby, Justin Bonsignore and Ron Silk combined have a grand total of zero laps at New York International Raceway Park’s Lancaster Speedway. But, what they do have is years of Modified Tour experience and YouTube. That’s enough to make them odds on favorites to bring home the victory in Saturday night’s Nu-Way Auto Parts 150.
“We’ve all done this enough times, so we’ll adapt quickly,” said Coby. “I think that people will be surprised at how quickly we will come up to speed.”
“It’s a touring series,” said Bonsignore, “you have to be able to adjust to a new track and do it quickly.”
The trio of former title-holders -including Bonsignore, who is the reigning Series champ- all cited YouTube videos as their main means of preparation; albeit, in slightly different ways.
“When I go to a track that I have never been to before I watch YouTube videos,” said Bonsignore. “This week I watched tour-type Modified and weekly series events. I did some other research to find out as much as I could about the track.”
While watching, the Holtsville, NY, driver sought to find out the preferred line around the speedway for veterans like multi-time winners Matt Hirschman and Chuck Hossfeld. With an attention to detail, Bonsignore looks at the pit area and how to get on and off the race track.
“I watched videos from the most recent shows to see if I could determine where guys were able to make good runs and set up to make passes,” said Coby, of Milford, CT. “I pay attention to where the top finishers ran at mid-race to see when tires wear off.”
Coby plans to continue those learnings even before he straps into the car upon his arrival.
“When I get there I will walk the whole place to get a good look at the track to see the transitions, learn where the bumps are and whatever else I can see that will help me when I finally start making laps,” said Coby.
Silk of Norwalk, CT, also watched old YouTube videos with a keen eye peeled on the transition from the oval to the drag strip. And, while he admittedly doesn’t know what to expect, he’s brimming with confidence.
“Going to new tracks has worked out well for me throughout my career,” said Silk. “I’ve always been able to adjust well. Probably because I’ve run a bunch of different race tracks. Almost everyone is seeing the track for the first time, other than the local guys, I think that gives me an advantage going in.”
Where locals have an advantage is knowing what setup to put in the car to start.
“We won’t know what kind of setup we need in the car,” added Coby, who thankfully has his championship crew chief, Phil Moran in his corner. “It’s a bit of a crap shoot.”
Those locals will include the likes of Patrick Emerling, Chuck Hossfeld, Tommy Catalano, Tyler Rypkema, Andy Jankowiak, Mike Leaty and Scott Wylie. Combined this group has nearly 100 wins at Lancaster.
Of the ‘outsiders’, Bonsignore might just have the most to lose. The defending Series champion heads into the event with a slim 10-point advantage over Emerling, who has seven Modified victories at the track. Combined with seven wins by his crew chief Jan Leaty, and Emerling might have the leg up.
“I’m going to have to learn on the fly,” said Bonsignore. “Whereas Emerling already knows where he needs to be to make the right moves on the track and when. That might be his only advantage. I’m confident in my ability to adjust quickly and I’m confident that Ryan Stone and the team will give me a great car.”
All the action will unfold on Saturday night. Grandstands will open at 1 p.m. with practice beginning at 2 p.m. Racing begins at 5 p.m. General admission tickets are on sale for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at New York International Raceway Park (NYIRP) in Lancaster, NY. Grandstand tickets for the Nu-Way Auto Parts 150, scheduled for Saturday, July 31, are available at SeetheEvents.com for $35 for adults and $15 for children ages 12 and under.
In addition to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the race card also includes Sportsman, 4-Cylinders and Street Stocks. There will be a jumbotron presented by JJ Supply of NC for fan’s further enjoyment of the racing action and a fireworks display by Skylighters of NY to conclude the night of racing excitement.
In addition to a strong contingent of local competitors and fans, community support has also been strong for the inaugural Nu-Way Auto Parts 150. Associate sponsors for the event include West Herr Auto Group, Franco’s Pizza, Russell’s Steak and Chops, Army National Guard, Speed Enterprises Entertainment, Elma Press and Get Air FX.
T-shirts for the inaugural Nu-Way Auto Parts 150 are on sale by visiting SeetheEvents.com. The event website is hosted by event promoter and Lancaster Speedway/NYIRP partner, Speed Enterprises Entertainment.
Located just 30 miles from Niagara Falls in Lancaster, New York International Raceway Park is home to the half-mile Lancaster Speedway asphalt oval as well as a 1/8-mile drag strip featuring IHRA sanctioned drag racing.