By Souza Media/Kyle Souza

PHOTO — Bryan Bennett/NASCAR

LANCASTER, N.Y. — Justin Bonsignore came up just a few feet short of his second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win of the season on Saturday, July 31, in the tour’s inaugural stop at New York International (Lancaster) Speedway in New York.

Bonsignore was fastest in qualifying driving the Kenneth Massa Motorsports No. 51, qualified in third, and led some laps in the middle of the Nu-Way Auto Parts 150. On a caution with just 27 laps to go, Bonsignore and the team went to work on pit road, with fresh Hoosier rubber, but lost a few spots in the pits. Bonsignore rallied back to second spot, chasing down leader and hometown favorite Patrick Emerling — hounding the back bumper of his closest championship contender right down to the final lap.

Heading into turn three on the final lap, Bonsignore pulled alongside Emerling and the two had a drag-race to the stripe — with Emerling edging out for the win. Bonsignore settled for second, his seventh top-five in the first eight races of the season.

“Congrats to Patrick, it sucks to lose, especially to the guy you’re battling for points,” Bonsignore said. “But the car was amazing on the long run. We picked a bad time to have our worst pit stop in five years. But the guys are always balanced out. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. We win and we lose as a team. Happy to get back to second. It was a really good night.”

With the runner-up finish, Bonsignore lost a few points to Emerling, but still leads the Whelen Modified Tour championship point standings heading to the final six races of the season.

Justin Bonsignore will return to the track on Friday, August 6, with the next NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Stafford Motor Speedway. For more information on Justin Bonsignore, visit JustinBonsignore.com and follow his athlete page on Facebook.

Corliss Nips Shaw with Hood Up to Cap Unforgettable Midsummer Classic 250

Daniel Holben Photo

N. Woodstock, NH — Barre, VT’s Jason Corliss got the upper hand for one of the most memorable finishes in recent American-Canadian Tour (ACT) history at the Midsummer Classic 250 on Saturday, July 31. Driving the final four laps with almost no frontal vision after the hood flew up on his #66VT Burnett Motorsports Ford, Corliss still beat Center Conway, NH’s D.J. Shaw and New Salem, MA’s Tom Carey III off the final corner to win the $10,000 top prize by just 0.065 seconds at North Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park.

It was the fifth ACT Late Model Tour win for Corliss in his career — but the first such win outside his home track of Thunder Road. Corliss became the seventh different winner in seven point-counting ACT Tour events this year after an unforgettable home stretch in the year’s longest, richest event.

The eventual winner spent the first half of the event hanging around the top-five as other top ACT runners took turns at the front. East Bridgewater, MA’s Ryan Kuhn and Barre, VT’s Nick Sweet swapped the lead back and forth early before Sweet asserted command. Sweet paced the field through several cautions, including one at lap 78 that became the race’s mandatory fuel stop.

The excitement hit overdrive on lap 123 when the sixth yellow flew after Wayne Helliwell Jr. came to a halt with a flat tire. Most of the contenders used this time to put at least two fresh tires on their cars, including Shaw, Corliss, Kuhn, Ben Rowe, Chris Pelkey, and polesitter Mark Jenison. Sweet, Jeff Marshall, Ryan Olsen, and Tom Carey III were the only drivers on the lead lap who stayed out.

Marshall got the lead from Sweet on a lap-127 restart while Shaw quickly proved the value of new rubber, slicing from mid-pack to take the lead himself nine laps later with Corliss not far behind. At the ninth caution on lap 139, Sweet, Carey, and Olsen finally headed to the pits. Marshall stubbornly remained out and actually got the lead back from Shaw on two separate restarts. The White Mountain regular could not hold on, though, as Shaw opened things up over a long green-flag run from laps 168 to 220.

The next twist came with 30 laps to go after Bryan Mason and Shawn Swallow tangled in turn one for caution number 13. Shaw, Corliss, and Sweet lined up nose-to-tail on the inside with lapped cars to their outside. Corliss surged on the restart, quickly clearing Christopher Pelkey and sticking his nose underneath Shaw. Sweet then joined the party, going inside both as they came to complete lap 222. The trio ran nearly an entire lap three-wide before Sweet ran out of real estate and spun coming off turn four.

Sweet was able to get his car going with no yellow as Corliss cleared Shaw for the lead. Corliss was starting to edge away as they came up on Sweet, but had trouble getting around his fellow Barre driver, allowing Shaw to take the top spot back with 18 laps to go.

The 14th and final caution on lap 236 for Ben Rowe’s flat tire set up the final act. Corliss got the break on the restart, and after Shaw held with him for several circuits, the Thunder Road champion opened a small gap. But with four laps to go, the hood pins broke on the Corliss car, sending the hood flying up and almost completely blocking the driver’s view of the track.

Corliss understandably hesitated slightly, which let Shaw jump to the outside and lead laps 248 and 249 by a nose. At the same time, Carey had raced into the picture, with the three taking the white flag under a blanket. Despite his lack of sight, Corliss kept digging. As they came into turn three for the final time, Corliss and Shaw made slight contact, sending both sliding up the track. Carey tried to get to the inside but was unable to, and Corliss got on the gas soon enough to beat Shaw by about two feet.

Shaw’s runner-up result was still enough to unofficially give him the points lead by a single marker over Carey, who finished third after starting 30th. Kuhn was strong the whole night and ended up fourth. Marshall finally changed right-side tires at the lap-220 caution but was only able to get to fifth, the final car on the lead lap. Pelkey, Derek Gluchacki, Rowe, Swallow, and Jenison rounded out the top-10.

After knocking on the door for the entire season, Littleton, NH’s Ryan Ware finally broke through to get his first career Wells River Chevrolet Flying Tiger victory. Marshfield, VT’s Matthew Potter drove out to an early lead in the 35-lap feature while Ware and Tanner Woodard tried to get around Matthew’s uncle Michael. Ware made it work first, going to Mike Potter’s outside to take the second spot on lap eight.

Ware then ran down the younger Potter and went to his inside at the halfway point. As the duo entered turn one with 18 laps complete, they touched a little, and both got sideways. Ware recovered first and made his way to the lead. Point leader Jason Woodard followed Ware around Potter and chased him the rest of the way, but Ware could not be swayed and earned the win in a caution-free race.

Waterbury Center, VT’s Woodard finished second, keeping his perfect streak of podium finishes this season alive. East Thetford, VT’s Brandon Gray beat out Grand Isle, VT’s Mike Billado for third after a late battle. Shane Sicard, Stephen Martin, Michael Martin, Michael Clark, Colin Cornell, and Tanner Woodard completed the top-10.

North Woodstock, NH’s Jillian Baumgardner was also a first-time winner in the Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Strictly Stock Mini’s. Baumgardner was in her own zip code when Tyler Thompson cut a right-rear tire to bring out the caution with six circuits left in the 25-lap feature. That allowed Todd Derrington, point leader Luke Shannon, and Nick Pilotte — all of them feature winners this year — to close right up to the teenage leader.

Shannon and Pilotte disposed of of Derrington on the restart. Shannon then looked to Baumgardner’s outside, but Pilotte filled the hole inside, and eventually cleared Shannon for second with a lap to go. Pilotte then made a last-ditch effort on the outside groove but ran out of time as Baumgardner scored the crowd-pleasing victory.

Jefferson, NH’s Pilotte was second with Groveton, NH’s Shannon third. Derrington, Erin Aiken, Scott Senecal, Donnie Baumgardner, Chris Moulton, Adam Sicard, and Gavin McGinnis also earned top-10 finishes.

Gilmanton, NH’s Thomas Smithers VI went back-to-back in the Dads 4 By Tool and Supply Kids Trucks. Smithers came from the back of the pack to roll around the outside of Owen Rogers for the lead just before halfway in the 15-lap feature. The youngster set sail from there to pick up his division-leading fifth win of the season.

Waterford, VT’s McKenna Merchant beat Rogers by a paint job for second place. Kyle Goodbout and Logan Farnsworth followed them across the finish line.

The ACT Late Model Tour goes to Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, August 28. The 125-lap event is part of the “Night Before the Oxford 250” program. The event schedule and pricing are to be announced.

White Mountain Motorsports Park continues its weekly racing program next Saturday, August 7 at 6:00pm. The Arnolds Wayside Diner Dwarf Cars take center stage for their annual 50-lap special. They’re joined by a full card of championship action for the Foley Oil & Propane Late Models, Wells River Chevrolet Flying Tigers, and Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Strictly Stock Mini’s. Admission is $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids).

For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com or www.whitemountainmotorsports.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour or by following White Mountain Motorsports Park on Facebook.






Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps

1. ( 4 ) Jason Corliss ( 66VT ) , Barre, VT , 250 Laps

2. ( 11 ) D.J. Shaw ( 04VT ) , Center Conway, NH , 250 Laps

3. ( 30 ) Tom Carey III ( 5MA ) , New Salem, MA , 250 Laps

4. ( 3 ) Ryan Kuhn ( 72MA ) , E. Bridgewater, MA , 250 Laps

5. ( 27 ) Jeff Marshall ( 32NH ) , Gilman, VT , 250 Laps

6. ( 7 ) Christopher Pelkey ( 64VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 249 Laps

7. ( 21 ) Derek Gluchacki ( 03MA ) , North Dartmouth, MA , 249 Laps

8. ( 9 ) Ben Rowe ( 4ME ) , Turner, ME , 249 Laps

9. ( 20 ) #Shawn Swallow ( 04NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 249 Laps

10. ( 1 ) Mark Jenison ( 22RI ) , Warwick, RI , 249 Laps

11. ( 8 ) #Erick Sands ( 36NH ) , Derry, NH , 248 Laps

12. ( 13 ) Jimmy Renfrew Jr. ( 00NH ) , Candia, NH , 248 Laps

13. ( 2 ) Nick Sweet ( 88VT ) , Barre, VT , 248 Laps

14. ( 15 ) Scott Dragon ( 0VT ) , Milton, VT , 247 Laps

15. ( 6 ) Bryan Mason ( 10NH ) , Milan, NH , 247 Laps

16. ( 24 ) Matt Anderson ( 49NH ) , Franklin, NH , 246 Laps

17. ( 16 ) Jason Kenison ( 03NH ) , Groveton, NH , 246 Laps

18. ( 19 ) Stephen Donahue ( 2VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 212 Laps

19. ( 5 ) Wayne Helliwell Jr. ( 27NH ) , Dover, NH , 197 Laps

20. ( 23 ) Ryan Olsen ( 61NH ) , Bath, NH , 194 Laps

21. ( 31 ) Peyton Lanphear ( 22VT ) , Waterbury, VT , 157 Laps

22. ( 14 ) Brockton Davis ( 47NH ) , Whitefield, NH , 156 Laps

23. ( 17 ) Mike Hopkins ( 15ME ) , Hermon, ME , 155 Laps

24. ( 22 ) Reilly Lanphear ( 21VT ) , Waterbury, VT , 133 Laps

25. ( 18 ) Quinten Welch ( 78NH ) , Groveton, NH , 122 Laps

26. ( 29 ) Justin Eldridge ( 74ME ) , Tuftonboro, NH , 78 Laps

27. ( 26 ) Mike Foster ( 39VT ) , Williston, VT , 65 Laps

28. ( 25 ) Robby Gordon Douglas ( 27NC ) , Charlotte, NC , 49 Laps

29. ( 28 ) Jamie Swallow Jr. ( 4NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 39 Laps

30. ( 10 ) Jimmy Hebert ( 58VT ) , Williamstown, VT , 18 Laps

31. ( 12 ) Dillon Moltz ( 5ME ) , New Sharon, ME , 16 Laps

Lap Leaders: Mark Jenison, 1; Ryan Kuhn, 2-8; Nick Sweet, 9-16; Ryan Kuhn, 17-23; Sweet, 24-127; Jeff Marshall, 128-135; D.J. Shaw, 136-139; Marshall, 140-141; Shaw, 142-158; Marshall, 159-167; Shaw, 168-223; Jason Corliss, 224-231; Shaw, 232-236; Corliss, 237-247; Shaw, 248-249; Corliss, 250. (15 lead changes among 6 drivers)

Time of Race: 2 hours, 14 minutes, 16 seconds   Margin of Victory: 0.065 seconds

Cautions: 14 (laps 15, 38, 49, 78, 80, 123, 123, 127, 139, 157, 158, 167, 220, 236)

Heat Winners: Ben Rowe, D.J. Shaw, Ryan Kuhn

Consi Winners: Bryan Mason, Jason Corliss


Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown

1. Ryan Ware ( 32VT ) East Burke, VT

2. Jason Woodard ( 68VT ) Waterbury Ctr., VT

3. Brandon Gray ( 00VT ) Thetford, VT

4. Mike Billado ( 8VT ) Grand Isle, VT

5. Shane Sicard ( 4NH ) Barton, VT

6. Stephen Martin ( 9VT ) Craftsbury Common, VT

7. Michael Martin ( 01VT ) Craftsbury Common, VT

8. Michael Clark ( 2VT ) Littleton, NH

9. Colin Cornell ( 54VT ) E. Burke, VT

10. #Tanner Woodard ( 68NH ) Waterbury Ctr., VT

11. Matthew Potter ( 23VT ) Marshfield, VT

12. Michael Potter ( 23NH ) Plainfield, VT

13. Logan Powers ( 31VT ) Middlesex, VT

14. Keegan Lamson ( 55NH ) Berlin, VT

15. David Ofsuryk ( 73CT ) Holland, VT


Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown

1. Jillian Baumgardner ( 14 ) N. Woodstock, NH

2. Nick Pillotte ( 52 ) Jefferson, NH

3. #Luke Shannon ( 13 ) Groveton, NH

4. Todd Derrington ( 57 ) Bethlehem, NH

5. Erin Aiken ( 33 )

6. Scott Senecal ( 1 ) Lisbon, NH

7. #Donnie Baumgardner ( 4 ) N. Woodstock, NH

8. #Chris Moulton ( 15 ) Pepperell, MA

9. Adam Sicard ( 16 ) Barton, VT

10. Gavin McGinnis ( 10 ) St. Johnsbury, VT

11. Tyler Thompson ( 51 ) Littleton, NH

12. #James Knights ( 02 ) Littleton, NH

13. Jack Hayes ( 09 ) Littleton, NH

14. Jacob Ailes ( 72 ) St. Johnsbury, VT

15. Michael M. Smith Jr. ( 22X ) West Burke, VT

16. #Riley Taylor ( 43 ) St. Johnsbury, VT

17. Jacob Ailes ( 91 ) Gilmanton, NH

18. Dave Driscoll ( 19 ) N. Woodstock, NH


Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown

1. Thomas Smithers, VI ( 24 ) Gilmanton, NH

2. McKenna Merchant ( 99 ) Waterford, VT

3. Owen Rogers ( 4 ) Glover, VT

4. Kyle Goodbout ( 90 ) Lincoln, NH

5. Logan Farnsworth ( 22 ) St. Johnsbury, VT

6. Hayley Corum ( 10 ) Gilmanton, NH

7. Austin Sicard ( 01 ) Gilmanton, NH


Written by Chris Moore

VERNON, NY – He did it the hard way.

On Friday night, the all-time winningest Modified driver at Utica-Rome Speedway claimed his 57th career victory. Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen rebounded from an early mistake to claim his third ‘Home of Heroes’ win in 2021. He earned $4,000.

Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston and Gene Cole’s Turn One LLC. presented the fourth round of the Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston Thunder on the Thruway Series between Utica-Rome and Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway.

Friesen not only added to his Utica-Rome Speedway win total, but he also remained a perfect four-for-four in Thunder on the Thruway events.

A season-high 30 Sunoco Modifieds signed in for competition.

The 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature began with Arlington, Vt.’s Ricky Davis and Altamont, N.Y.’s Brian Gleason occupying the front row.

Davis and Gleason would occupy the top two spots for much of the early going, while some of the heavy hitters had troubles early.

On the second circuit, the current point leader, Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard, drove over the banking in turns one and two, bringing out the first yellow of the race.

When the field went back to racing, it was Stewart Friesen who slipped off the banking in turns one and two. Friesen was able to recover and return to the racetrack just outside the top-10.

While the field struggled through yellow fever in the early going, Friesen and Sheppard took advantage of the restarts, climbing through the field with each return to racing.

By lap 11, both Sheppard and Friesen had risen into the top-10, with Friesen racing inside the top-five and chasing down Gleason and Davis who were trading the lead back and forth.

Another yellow came out on lap 14 for Randy Shantel going off the racetrack in turn one. When the field went back to racing, Davis and Gleason still on the front row, and Friesen had risen back to the second row.

On the restart, Friesen used the bottom to dart underneath Gleason to take second. One lap later, Friesen switched to the top lane to drive around Davis and set sail.

While Friesen ran away to hide, a five-car battle took shape for the runner-up spot as Sheffield, Mass. Andy Bachetti, Sprakers, N.Y.’s Jessica Friesen and Sheppard joined Gleason and Davis’ fight.

Stewart Friesen would work through lapped traffic, never facing a challenge and driving to his second consecutive triumph at the Route-5 oval.

Andy Bachetti would ultimately win the battle for second in his Garrity Asphalt Reclamation No. 4 and Sheppard rallied for a podium finish in the Hurlock Auto & Speed No. 9s.

Gleason held on for fourth in his BBL Companies No. 3G and Jessica Friesen brought her One Zee Tees No. 1Z home with a top five.

Ricky Davis faded to sixth in his family-owned No. 59 and Johnstown, N.Y.’s Rocky Warner chased in the seventh position. Middlesex, N.Y.’s Alan Johnson brought the Friendly Ford No. 14J home eighth with Dave Marcuccilli claiming ninth in the MP Delivery No. M1. Darren Smith rounded out the top ten in his Jeremy Smith racing No. 12.

Oneida, N.Y.’s Matt Janczuk grabbed his fifth Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman of the season, driving from his sixth place starting position to claim the win.

Janczuk worked into the runner-up position quickly, before going to work on Mexico, N.Y.’s Addison Bowman. By the halfway point, Janczuk had worked the middle groove to slide around Bowman and set sail.

Despite a pair of late-race restarts, Janczuk never blinked on his way to another win on the 2021 season. Johnstown, N.Y.’s Brian Calabrese raced from his 11th starting spot to second in the late stages of the race.

Janczuk earned $1,500 for the win.

Tanner Warner, another Johnstown native, grabbed third in what was his best Utica-Rome Speedway finish. Gloversville, N.Y.’s Mark Mortensen grabbed fourth in his second Utica-Rome appearance of 2021 and Fultonville, N.Y., native A.J. Miller rounded out the top five.

Fonda Speedway’s all-time winningest Pro Stock division driver, Kenny Gates, claimed his first career Utica-Rome Speedway win. Gates started from the sixth position and ran down pole sitter Beau Ballard using the inside lane for the breakthrough win worth $1,000.

Ballard, of Grand Gorge, N.Y., continued his stout season with a second-place finish, reclaiming the Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks point lead.

Josh Coonradt grabbed a podium finish in his first Utica-Rome Speedway appearance of the season. Jay Corbin claimed fourth and Travis Welch rounded out the top five in his first Utica-Rome Speedway run in two years.

West Winfield, N.Y.’s Jeremy Slosek got over the hump, grabbing his first Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman of the season. David Hacket Jr. came up one spot short of his second win of the season and point leader Clayton DuMond continued his consistency with a podium finish.

Billy Hillman (DOHC) and Dale Van Allen (SOHC) became first time winners in the Cool Stuff Antiques Four Cylinders division.

Brett Putnam and Corky Warner each grabbed their second win of the season at Utica-Rome with the Speedway Entertainment Empire State Slingshot Series in town.

Racing resumes Friday, August 6 as Utica-Rome Speedway hosts the ‘Dog Days of Summer.’ The Sunoco Modifieds headline the night with a $3,500-to-win main event.  Joining the modifieds will be the Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman, Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks, Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman, and the Cool Stuff Antiques Four Cylinders and the RUSH Late Models make their second appearance of the season.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. and racing is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Utica-Rome Speedway is located at 5591 NY-5 (Seneca Turnpike) Vernon, NY 13476. The official website is www.uticaromespeedway.com.  Like Utica-Rome Speedway on Facebook or @UR_Speedway.


Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston Thunder on the Thruway Series Sunoco Modified Event No. 4 Feature Finish (30 laps):
 STEWART FRIESEN, Andy Bachetti, Matt Sheppard, Brian Gleason, Jessica Friesen, Ricky Davis, Rocky Warner, Alan Johnson, Dave Marcuccilli, Darren Smith, Bob Henry Jr., Rusty Smith, JaMike Sowle, Claude Hutchings Jr., Marshall Hurd, Adam Roberts, Zack Payne, Sean Beardsley, Josh Hohenforst, Brian Murphy, Justin Wright, David Schilling, Shaun Walker, Dave Constantino, Rusty Smith, Aaron Jacobs, Randy Shantel, Tim Mayne, Jim Walsh, Willy Decker.

Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston Thunder on the Thruway Series Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman Event No. 4 Feature Finish (25 laps): MATT JANCZUK, Brian Calabrese, Tanner Warner, Mark Mortensen, AJ Miller, Addison Bowman, Payton Talbot, Willy Decker Jr., Chad Edwards, Ed Lukas, David Manchester, Kyle Demetro, Will Shields, Brad Alger, Chip Constantino, Cody Clark, Steve Kotary, David Dickey, Scott Mallette, Shawn Frost, Nick Stone, Anthony Cardamone, Mike Grover, Dana Camenga, Jason Reome, Pat Nolan, Richie Riggs, Ed Downing, Alan Hodge, Tim Falter, Tucker O’Connor, Dave Richer, Rocco Leone.

Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston Thunder on the Thruway Series Next Generation Grafix Pro Stock Event No. 4 Feature Finish (20 laps): KENNY GATES, Beau Ballard, Josh Coonradt, Jay Corbin, Travis Welch, Jason Morrison, Devon Camenga, Bill Knapp, Mike Kazlauskas, Ivan Joslin, Jim Normoyle, Kyle Hoard, John Roese, Jerry Streeter, Chuck McSpirit, Ed Kotary, Frank Hyatt, AJ Walters, Nick Stone.

Did Not Start: Brian Wesseldine

Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman Feature Finish (15 laps): JEREMY SLOSEK, David Hackett Jr., Clayton DuMond, Matthew Backus, Eric Jensen, Ernie Staelens, Jason Lopes, Mike Haman, Amber Jacobs.

Cool Stuff Antiques Four Cylinder Feature Finish (15 laps): BILLY HILLMAN (DOHC), Dale Van Allen (SOHC), Matt Buckovan, Jean Foster, Wayne Russell Jr., Rudy King Jr., TJ Marlitt, Donald Kimball.

Senior Services Inc. Empire State Series All-Star Slingshots Finish (20 laps): BRETT PUTNAM, Gordon Smith, Dan Slosek, Tyler Vadney, Tavien Blowers, Josh Persse, Tucker Jones, Scott Sprague, Nick Millard, Robert Morey, Eymarah Bowman, Andrew Turpin.

D&S Landscaping Empire State Series Junior Slingshots Finish (15 laps): CORKY WARNER, Dustin Sehn, Savannah Simmons, Jaden Pierce, Trevor Houghton, Lucas Duncan, Brody Janczuk, Sloan Cherko, Colt Kimball. 

Covering the Entire Northeast