HOLTSVILLE, N.Y. — With the offseason finally in the rear-view mirror, Justin Bonsignore begins the quest for his third NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship on April 8 at Martinsville Speedway. The Holtsville, New York, native leads a list of over 35 of his closest Modified competitors back to the Virginia oval for the first time since 2010 — as Bonsignore and the Kenneth Massa Motorsports team look to get the season started off on the right foot.
For the opener, Bonsignore will carry sponsorship from Coastal Fiber, LLC, a local Virginia company that is a full service fiber optic construction and splicing company. Already an established part of the team, Coastal Fiber founder Mark Langevin also is the owner of Phoenix Communications, Inc., Bonsignore’s primary sponsor on the Tour.
“I am very excited to partner with Coastal Fiber and return to the track with my entire KMM team at Martinsville,” Bonsignore said. “After a long winter, I can’t wait to begin chasing our third championship together.”
In one previous start at Martinsville, Bonsignore drove the Kenneth Massa Motorsports machine to a second-place finish in 2010. With some experience in his pocket, Bonsignore hopes to better that by one spot this time around. With 29 career Whelen Modified Tour wins, currently tied for sixth all-time with six-time series champion Doug Coby, Bonsignore has become the top contender on the tour. In the last three years of tour competition, the 33-year-old has 17 wins in 41 starts — ending up in Victory Lane an astounding 41% of the time. He looks to become just the fifth driver in the history of the series to win back-to-back titles.
To start the season at Martinsville, one of NASCAR’s most historic tracks, has Bonsignore more than excited.
“To open the season down at Martinsville just makes everything even more special and adds to the prestige of the Whelen Modified Tour and this event,” Bonsignore said. “To win at Martinsville would be huge for all of us. I’d love to take the grandfather clock home back to New York.”
The only practice sessions runs from 2:30-4 p.m., while single-car qualifying will take place at 6 p.m. The feature is scheduled to take the green flag at 8 p.m. The Whelen Modified Tour opener is just the start of a full weekend of NASCAR racing at Martinsville that will include both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series.
The Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200 will have a tape-delayed broadcast on NBCSN on Wednesday, April 14 at 5 p.m.
For more information on Justin Bonsignore, visit JustinBonsignore.com and follow him on Facebook. For more information on Souza Media, visit KyleSouza.com and follow on Facebook.
HOLTSVILLE, N.Y. — After scoring their second championship together on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2020, Ken Massa Motorsports and Justin Bonsignore have announced that Phoenix Communications Inc. will return to the team as title sponsor in 2021.
Based in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, Phoenix Communications started operations in 2000, and they consider themselves to be New England’s leading provider of fiber optic network construction and testing. They install the fiber optic cable that provides homes, businesses, universities, and the entire telecommunications industry with internet, phone, security and a number of other services that are critical to daily operations.
The partnership between the three has produced double-digit wins and multiple titles on the race track.
“We’re very excited for our sixth season with Mark Langevin, Marie Langevin and the entire Phoenix Communications, Inc., group as the primary sponsor of our team in 2021,” Justin Bonsignore said. “We can’t wait to chase our third Whelen Modified Tour championship together and look for continued success.”
Team owner Ken Massa pointed towards the teamwork in the group, which includes Phoenix, as to why the combination has been successful.
“Phoenix Communications ownership gives our team needed inspiration, which elevates our team to want to compete at a higher-level in all aspects,” Ken Massa, team owner, said. “Having them on our side only makes us stronger.”
Justin Bonsignore, Ken Massa Motorsports and the Phoenix Communications team will open their 2021 season in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Martinsville Speedway on Thursday, May 8, 2021.
“We had a couple of really long tenured clients of our company that attended the Whelen Modified Tour races, and when the opportunity came up for sponsorship, the rest is really history,” said Mark Lengevin, president of Phoenix Communications, said in 2018 of the partnership. “Being at a race is a great environment, and (before the sponsorship) I personally had never been to any of the Whelen Modified Tour races, but it’s always a good time. There is always a smile on someone’s face.”
For more information on Justin Bonsignore, fans should follow JustinBonsignore.com and Justin Bonsignore’s Athlete page on Facebook.
THOMPSON, Conn. — When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolls into Thompson for the 57th annual Sunoco World Series October 11-13, two drivers are going to be in contention to earn the series championship.
Doug Coby, a five-time champion looking to add to his historic resume, leads defending Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore by 19 points. For Coby, a solid day should help get the job done without even having to win the race. For Bonsignore, he is going to have to do everything he can to close the gap, and hope Coby has a bit of a stumble.
“We’ll have a good car, but I know they are going to have a good car,” Coby said. “You have to figure Justin is going to win and go lead the most laps like he usually does. We are going to have to be every bit as good.”
For Coby, this season has been filled with a return to the top. After a 2018 season that only included one victory, which wasn’t up to his standards, he watched Bonsignore dominate. A change in his shock package, combined with some improved setups, has given him four checkered flags in the 15 races this year. Coby went to Victory Lane in the Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150 at Thompson in August and finished inside the top five in the other two races at TSMP this year.
Bonsignore, who dominated en route to his first title last year with eight wins, has five victories this season, including two at Thompson. Entering the Bud 150, Bonsignore had won six straight Whelen Modified Tour races at TSMP, but he finished second that night, breaking the streak. Trailing Coby by 19 points might be a product of two DNF’s early in the season at South Boston Speedway and Wall Stadium Speedway.
“We’ve thought for a while now that we needed to win every race. In the last four races, we have two wins. We’re doing what we need to do, but we spotted those guys too many points in the beginning of the year,” Bonsignore said. “We’re doing a great job. I’m happy. We just need to go there (to the World Series) and win the race, and if other things happen and we need to change our strategy, we will go with that.”
For Coby, his 19-point lead might give him the chance to relax a bit in the early laps and settle in. But, as the Milford, Connecticut, driver knows, there is no safe spot in the field. In the 2017 Icebreaker, Coby started third, but didn’t complete a whole lap after a wreck on the backstretch ended his day. He knows anything can happen, but a strong finish will do the trick.
“Even if we have some challenges, I’d like to think we can finish there,” Coby said. “If you get caught up in someone else’s mess, and you blow the right-front off, we could be running up front and be caught up in something and finish 20th. It’s really going to come down to the last lap.”
Bonsignore has 11 wins in 36 Thompson starts, and he’s finished inside the top two in the last seven races at the Connecticut oval.
“Every time we unload at Thompson, first lap I know what I am looking for, and I know the feel we need. You have a lot of confidence there when you win races,” Bonsignore said. “I’m excited to go and hopefully end the season on a high note. It’s been an amazing year. Five years after what we did last year, we backed it up. We have a lot of confidence; we will just go down swinging. Until they hand him the trophy, we are not out of it.”
Coby knows putting a whole day together could earn him a sixth championship, which would put him past Tony Hirschman for the second most titles in the Whelen Modified Tour modern era. That would leave Coby trailing just the late Mike Stefanik, who had seven.
“We should qualify up front, and if you qualify good, you should be able to get through half of he race without too much aggression. Then, it’s just a matter of if everyone comes in together and takes tires, you have to have a good stop, and be in the right lanes on the restarts,” Coby said. “Hopefully we have a good car that keeps us out of trouble. It’s going to be a barnburner.”
The 57th annual Sunoco World Series will take the green flag on Friday, October 11, and roll through Sunday, October 13. The event begins on Friday, with practice sessions running throughout the afternoon, and qualifying heat racing set to begin at approximately 4:30 p.m. Feature racing on Friday includes the Granite State Pro Stock Series, Late Models, Open Vintage Modifieds and Senior Tour Auto Racers.
Saturday, action begins early with practice at 9 a.m., while qualifying racing begins at 2:30 p.m. There are 10 different feature races planned for Saturday night. Sunday, action begins at 1 p.m., with the season-finale for Thompson’s Sunoco Modified division. The NEMA Lites, ISMA Supermodifieds and TSMP Limited Sportsman will also join the headliner of Sunday — the Sunoco World Series 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Admission to the paddock area for the entire three days is $75, with grandstand general admission set at $55. Any seniors (65+), veterans and active military will have general admission tickets priced at $50, while kids 12 and under are free in general admission.
Thompson’s annual breakfast and dinner buffets will also take place during Sunoco World Series weekend. The breakfast buffet runs from 7-11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and is $14 per person. The dinner buffet runs from 5-11 p.m. on Saturday night only and is $24 per person. For any children 12 and under, the dinner buffet is $14.
For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, fans should visit the track on the web, www.thompsonspeedway.com, and follow the track via social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.