Category Archives: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

McKennedy Seeks Whelen Mod Tour Title To Complete His Bucket List

By: Kyle Souza / Photo: Tom Morris/My Race News

Jon McKennedy hopes a new year will bring another first in his racing career.

The Chelmsford, Massachusetts, native, who is no stranger to success in asphalt racing, has one glaring bucket list item left in his mind at just 33-years-old: win a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

He plans to return to tour competition for another shot at the crown this year, with car owner and crew chief Tommy Baldwin, and Ultra Wheel as a returning sponsor. Baldwin, a former Daytona 500 winning crew chief, has returned to his Modified roots, and tabbed McKennedy to compete since the beginning of the 2018 season.

“I want to win the Whelen Modified Tour championship,” McKennedy said. “A few years ago, Tommy called me out of the blue to come run his car at New Smyrna Speedway’s Speedweeks — he gave me an opportunity and knew I couldn’t really bring anything but my helmet bag. I’m very thankful for the opportunity he has given me. I’ve met a lot of people through him, and I’ve been fortunate to drive his cars. He has faith in me and my ability.”

Over 62 starts on the tour, last year was McKennedy’s breakout year. In the midst of a shortened season due to COVID-19, McKennedy managed to finish inside the top-10 in all nine races. He scored four top-five finishes — with a best of second at Thompson Speedway in September — and a second-place points finish placed him ahead of six-time tour champion Doug Coby.

“If you look at last year, we proved pretty much every race that we were a top three, top-five car… we won some poles, led a bunch of laps and finishing second in points, it was really the first season I’ve had the opportunity to run all of the races. Now that we’ve been working together, we’ve learned a lot… I think last year and the previous year we proved that with a little bit of luck, we are a serious contender.”

McKennedy is especially looking forward to the 2021 Whelen Modified Tour schedule — one that has 14 races. But, it includes dates at tracks where McKennedy has previous success, and others where he feels like his team might have an advantage over others due to his ability to catch-on quickly. As a four-time Modified Racing Series champion, Tri Track Open Modified Series champion and ISMA Supermodified champion, McKennedy has proven to be a master of multiple cars and tracks.

“We’re going to a few race tracks that some of these guys are not familiar with, and with all of the cars and tracks I have driven, I think we will adapt to some of these tracks quicker than most,” McKennedy said. “We all went to Myrtle Beach Speedway with no notes a few years ago, I had a win, a second… tracks like Richmond, Martinsville, Beech Ridge this year… I think we will have a good chance at those.”

Outside of the Whelen Modified Tour, McKennedy is also planning a full Tri Track Open Modified Series schedule and a select amount of Open Modified races as part of a new team. McKennedy’s ISMA Supermodified owners, Tim and Cheryl Lepine, who are the owners of Middlesex Interiors Inc., have assisted to purchase a brand new LFR chassis. McKennedy is also planning on running select ISMA events again in 2021.

READ MORE: McKennedy To Make Tri Track Title Bid in 2021

“Certainly the last few years I’ve had some good people behind me,” McKennedy said. “You have to surround yourself with good people and sponsors to have some success.”

JDV PRODUCTIONS TO PROMOTE THREE WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR EVENTS IN 2021

BY SOUZA MEDIA/KYLE SOUZA

ATTLEBORO, Mass. —  JDV Productions, led by Josh Vanada and his team of experienced professionals in motorsports, will return to grassroots short-track racing to promote three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events in 2021.

As part of the tour’s 37th annual season of competition, which includes a 14-race schedule in six different states, JDV Productions will promote races in three states — Pennsylvania, New York and Maine. Races at Jennerstown Speedway Complex (May 29), Oswego Speedway (June 12) and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (August 21) will be led by the JDV team.

All three events will be $10,000+ to win for drivers, including the Whelen Winner of the Race bonus award, and each will have a full purse structure throughout the field. JDV is committed to assisting the Whelen Modified Tour group to continue the deep history of NASCAR’s oldest touring series.

“I’m glad to be back involved with motorsports and promoting the incredibly talented drivers, car owners and race teams of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour,” Vanada said. “We’ve selected three venues steeped in Modified history, with raceable surfaces and eager fans. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at Jennerstown, Oswego and Beech Ridge this summer.”

Vanada is no stranger to motorsports promotions. As the former General Manager of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Vanada assisted in coordinating some of New England’s most historic events — including the Icebreaker weekend and Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing. Both of those events included the Whelen Modified Tour — along with the annual June and August stops at Thompson during Vanada’s tenure at the Connecticut oval.

To be announced at a later date, there will be a challenge for competitors who elect to compete in all three tour races promoted by JDV.

“I’m really excited to have both Oswego and Jennerstown back on the schedule — we ran really well at both tracks and I just really enjoyed both facilities,” two-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore said. “I always enjoy seeing new tracks added to the schedule, and look forward to going to Beech Ridge and seeing how we stack up against the competition.”

The tour returns to Jennerstown, a .522-mile asphalt track in Pennsylvania, for a Memorial Day weekend special. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Jennerstown hosted the season-opener for the series without fans, won by eventual two-time champion Bonsignore. The track also hosted a second date in August, won by rising star Craig Lutz. It will be the 17th tour race in the history of the oval.

In June, NASCAR’s Modifieds will return to the “Steel Palace” of Oswego for their first of two dates during the 2021 season. JDV’s part in the June event marks the earliest the Whelen Modified Tour will visit Oswego during a season in the 12-race history. Last year, there was no tour event at Oswego, with the doors shuttered due to COVID-19. Doug Coby, Ryan Preece, Matt Hirschman and Bonsignore were the four drivers in Victory Lane between 2016-2019. 

Beech Ridge Motor Speedway returns to the tour schedule for the first time since 2005 on August 21, bringing rolling thunder back to the NASCAR-sanctioned oval in Maine. Beech Ridge has seen Modifieds through the years, but when the tour rolls into town, fans can expect a tight-quarters racing battle at one of New England’s oldest venues.

“Josh has a proven track record of producing high-quality, entertaining events for our race fans. He has a passion for promoting events that bring an emphasis on both the racer and fan experience,” Jimmy Wilson, Director of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour said. “We are looking forward to working together with him and his team to bring the excitement and adrenaline that is the hallmark of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. After a year of challenges with the current pandemic, we are proud of the diverse schedule and the opportunity to bring the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to the variety of legacy and historic tracks on tap this year.”

More information regarding all three events will be released closer to the day of race events. For more information on JDV Promotions, visit https://www.facebook.com/JDVProd.

JUSTIN BONSIGNORE TO RUN FULL TRI TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES SLATE WITH JIMMY PAIGE IN 2021

BY SOUZA MEDIA

PHOTO:NOATWATTS/MYRACENEWS

HOLTSVILLE, N.Y. — Justin Bonsignore continues to add to his 2021 calendar.

The Holtsville, New York, driver, and two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, announced on Friday he will compete for Jimmy Paige in the six Tri Track Open Modified Series events. Bonsignore will drive the same No. 00 he drove for Paige in the 2020 Tri Track finale at Stafford Motor Speedway, where the combination finished fourth in the Modified Classic 81.

“I am really excited for an opportunity to run the Tri Track Open Modified Series in 2021 and drive for Jimmy Paige and his entire team,” Bonsignore said. “I enjoyed racing with them at Stafford, and loved the family atmosphere.”

The combination will begin their tenure together at Monadnock Speedway in the Tri Track opener on Saturday, May 1. Bonsignore is no stranger to Monadnock — having won the Whelen Modified Tour event at the track in 2020. Paige and the No. 00 team have also shown plenty of speed at Monadnock in previous events.

Bonsignore will also compete with the team at Star Speedway (May 22), Seekonk Speedway’s annual $10,000 to win Open Wheel Wednesday (June 30), Star Speedway’s annual SBM (July 24), Monadnock (August 14) and Seekonk’s annual Haunted Hundred (October 23). 

Bonsignore will also compete for Ken Massa Motorsports, chasing his third NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title in 2021. The team also has intentions of competing in the historic Thompson 300 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park as part of Thompson’s Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing in October, and the annual Islip 300, set for November 13.

For more information on Justin Bonsignore, follow his new athlete page on Facebook and visit justinbonsignore.com — where Bonsignore currently is running a deal on apparel. T-shirts are just $12 plus shipping, while every purchase of a Hoodie will come with a free t-shirt of the same size. 

For more information on Souza Media, visit Souza Media on Facebook, or visit kylesouza.com.