Tag Archives: Jennerstown Speedway Complex

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.

Craig Lutz Closes The Deal In Jennerstown

JENNERSTOWN, Pa. — The speed of the Long Island contingent of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was on full display Saturday night at Jennerstown Speedway, but the winner at the end of the Laurel Highlands 150 was not the one fans might expect.

Craig Lutz marched his way to the front and held off a fierce challenge from Dave Sapienza in the closing laps to seal his second career win.

Race winner Craig Lutz #46 races with 3rd place finisher Anthony Nocella #82 Jennerstown Speedway Aug. 22nd 2020 Noah Watts/Myracenews

The 25-year-old from Miller Place, New York, started fifth and led the final 22 laps the No. 46 Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet.

Lutz secured his first career win in September of 2019, and finished second to fellow Long Islander Justin Bonsignore when the 2020 season finally started at Jennerstown in June.

RELATED: Laurel Highland 150 Results | Craig Lutz Career Stats

It was 55-year-old Sapienza, from Riverhead on Long Island, who was fastest in practice. But Bonsignore, who led every lap en route to winning the opener, nudged him out for the Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award in qualifying Saturday afternoon. Bonsignore then led the first 110 laps, with Sapienza in pursuit, and led by as much as seven seconds.

Runner up Dave Sapienza #36 is chased by Doug Coby #10 Jennerstown Speedway Aug. 22nd 2020 Noah Watts/Myracenews

Following pit stops, though, Bonsignore’s car was not as dominant and he was overtaken by Lutz on a Lap 111 restart.

Sapienza settled for the runner-up spot, while Anthony Nocella was fourth and Doug Coby fifth.

Bonsignore faded back to finish sixth. By virtue of leading the most laps, though, he was able to pick up a point on Coby and push his championship points lead to 10 after four events. Lutz is third in points, just 17 out of first and two ahead of Jon McKennedy.

McKennedy, Matt Swanson, Tyler Rypkema, Kyle Ebersole and Chris Pasteryak rounded out the top 10 at Jennerstown.

The Laurel Highlands 150 streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Gold, and will air on Monday, Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. on NBCSN.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to New England next week with the Advanced Gas Distributors Inc. 200 Wade Cole Memorial at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire.

STAMPED: Bonsignore Marks His Ground As Title Favorite in 2020

By: Kyle Souza / Photo: Nate Smallwood/NASCAR

Talk about making a statement.

Justin Bonsignore made his presence felt Sunday when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 2020 season took the green flag at Jennerstown Speedway, three months delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earning the pole award, and leading all 133 laps en route to the victory in the Morocco Welding/Wade Cole Memorial presented by Dunleavy Truck and Trailer Repair, Bonsignore made it clear he is going to be the favorite for the championship.

And that should come as no surprise. At the start of 2018, Bonsignore teamed with Ryan Stone (crew chief) for the first time, and since then, the combination has sparked success on a new level. Bonsignore has won 15 of 33 races teamed with Stone, including seven at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. He’s climbed from well outside the top-15 on the Whelen Modified Tour all-time wins list to eighth, just one away from tying Doug Coby and Mike Ewanitsko, who have 28. Bonsignore’s 27 career wins have all come since the start of 2011, and he’s just 32-years-old.

LOOK BACK: Bonsignore’s Championship Season in 2018

He won 12 races before teaming with Stone, but the combination has clearly become one of the most potent in the garage area, right at the top with Phil Moran and six-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby. Bonsignore dominated 2018, winning the title, and after a bit of slow start to 2019, finished just a few points from back-to-back titles.

“Ryan’s dedication to working on the cars,” Bonsignore said of how it’s happened so quickly. “He eats, sleeps and breathes racing. He’s at the shop everyday, even with the pandemic, he’s been there non-stop, working on the cars, the trailer, the pit equipment… he’s a difficult person to deal with during the winter when aren’t racing because he wants to go to the track everyday and race. He puts his mind to it, and he’s one of the smartest minds that modified racing has. When we come off the track, we just make small adjustments. When I give him a 1-10 scale on what the car is doing, he’s knows right away what adjustment he needs to make. I leave it up to him, and he knows the right balance, to keep me calm during the race, and keep our team going. He’s a great leader.”

While defending champion Coby opened his tenure as owner/driver with a seventh-place effort, Bonsignore took the early leap in the championship standings in what is going to be a shortened 2020 season due to COVID-19. There were 17 races on the original Whelen Modified Tour schedule, but that mark is a bit higher than teams expect to happen. Some events have been postponed, while others, including stops at Martinsville Speedway, Iowa Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July) have been outright cancelled.

Sunday’s Fathers Day stop at Jennerstown was the first time the tour visited the Pennsylvania track since 2006. The track was on the schedule for May 23, but the race was postponed to August 22, and this race was added to the calendar. Due to restrictions put in place by NASCAR, no fans were allowed through the grandstands and the pit area was limited with 8 people per team for the Masks were required when social distancing wasn’t possible. It was a totally different feel compared to just a few short months before, where Bonsignore earned the checkered flag in the 2019 finale at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut.

FOLLOW BONSIGNORE: Twitter | Team Facebook

“It was great to be back at the track, seeing all the crew and all of the other teams and the friends you make in the garage area,” Bonsignore said. “It was definitely different to wear the mask all day and stay social distanced while trying to do all the work. I think NASCAR did a good job. If you needed a break from a mask, they were more than willing to work with you. Anything we need to do to get back racing, we will do it.. that’s the type of people we are. We’re racers.”

The race aired live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold, but with no fans in the stands, Bonsignore said he could immediately sense a different feeling at the track, especially during his celebration. Bonsignore’s tradition after a victory is to spin around at the start/finish line after the race, take the checkered flag, and do a polish victory lap.

FULL JENNERSTOWN RESULTS

“It was weird,” Bonsignore said. “I grabbed the checkered flag and that was probably the first time that it really struck that there was no fans. I figured I would stick with my tradition, but the biggest thing was when I got out of the car without my crew guys there behind me in victory lane, I get out, stand on the door, and look at the stands and it’s completely empty. It was a weird situation.”

Bonsignore started the day off near the top of the charts in practice, won the pole after going out late in single-car qualifying, and dominated the race without challenge. He had not taken a lap on the track prior to a short practice session Sunday morning.

“Ryan brought an unbelievable race car, we unloaded really well,” Bonsignore said. “When he brings a car that is so good, even at a new race track for me, I’m able to get up to speed quickly. The second run of the day we went to the top of the board, and it just builds your confidence, I don’t have to do as much learning the track and the groove. With only 40 minutes of practice, it makes your nerve on edge… but all of those go away when you go to the top of the board.”

HIS CAREER: Deeper Look Into Bonsignore’s Year-By-Year Stats

Bonsignore’s eyes now turn towards the remainder of the 2020 championship chase — which is a bit unclear to this point. They know they will return to the track on Saturday, July 4, at White Mountain Motorsports Park in New Hampshire, a track not sanctioned by NASCAR — which will mark the inaugural tour visit to the banked-oval.

“I’ve looked into it a little bit, I watched some videos from a race they had there last year, but I’ve never been there,” Bonsignore said. “From what I see, it look cool. It kinda looks like a Monadnock Speedway, but both of the turns look like turns one and town at Monadnock. It looks like a fast-paced track. We always run well at the quarter-miles and doing well at Jennerstown takes the nerves off going to White Mountain. With everything going on in the pandemic, it’s unfortunate we lost a few marquee events but we’ve gained some tracks and I’m hopeful this will build a better schedule for us. I’m excited to go there.”