Tag Archives: Justin Bonsignore

Doug Coby Bests Justin Bonsignore To Claim Bud 150 Crown

Tom Morris/Myracenews photos

THOMPSON, Conn. — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour took center stage at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, August 14 for the third time in 2019 with the 30th running of the Budweiser King of Beers 150. Coming into the race three drivers were considered the ones to watch. Points leader Doug Coby looked to extend his perfect streak of top ten finishes on the season, second place Ron Silk sought his third consecutive series victory, and third place defending champion Justin Bonsignore was looking for his seventh consecutive win at Thompson. 

Coby earned the early edge by grabbing the pole in group qualifying earlier in the evening, but Bonsignore made sure to keep the five-time champion in his sights, staying within striking distance of Coby through the first half of the race. A caution on lap 83 brought the field to pit road where Jon McKennedy exited first and Justin Bonsignore beat Doug Coby back to the track giving him his best shot at the lead all night. 

A poor restart for McKennedy allowed Bonsignore to storm to the lead with 90-laps to go, but an impressive power move by Craig Lutz saw Bonsignore fall back to second where Doug Coby was waiting to pounce. While Bonsignore and Coby battled it out for the runner-up spot with 50-laps to go, Lutz opened a .422 second lead seeking his first Whelen Modified Tour victory. A pair of cautions forced Lutz to fend off both Bonsignore and Coby, but a hard charging Bobby Santos III proved too much for Lutz, who was forced to relinquish the lead on lap 128 leaving Lutz, Bonsignore and Coby hoping for one more shot at the win. 

They got their wish with just over ten laps to go as the fifth caution of the night led to chaos when Lutz spun his tires while Santos broke a shifter ending his day. The ensuing caution set up a clash between Doug Coby and Justin Bonsignore, but it was Coby who claimed another Thompson win and his fourth win of 2019. The victory was extra special as it came just days shy of Coby’s 40th birthday. 

“This is a special place for me and my family,” Coby said on Thompson Speedway in Victory Lane. “What a great race. My last Modified Tour race in my 30s and I won it. What a great decade it was for me and I hope my 40s are even better.” 

Justin Bonsignore settled for a runner up finish and saw his winning streak at Thompson come to an end. “It’s tough when you’re that close. It just didn’t work out tonight,” Bonsignore said after the race. “You’re not going to win every race. We were prepared for it to happen. I’ve probably been more prepared (to lose) as it’s gone more and more – we lost to the best car this year.” 

The NEMA Midgets followed up the Whelen Modified Tour with a 25-lap feature that saw Todd Bertrand lead the early laps of the event seeking a repeat victory after winning the same race in 2018. However, a mechanical failure 14 laps into the race sidelined Bertrand handing the advantage to points leader Avery Stoehr. Stoehr went on to earn the win defeating Randy Cabral by a margin of just over a second. The win was Stoehr’s first at Thompson in the NEMA Midgets and his best finish at the Big-T since a fourth-place result in 2015. 

In addition to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NEMA Midgets, Thompson’s five NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions also took to the track with only a handful of races remaining before the season finale in October. First up were the Sunoco Modifieds where Keith Rocco looked to continue to solidify his position as the frontrunner for what would be his eighth Thompson title. Rocco carried a 38-point lead into the race over Todd Owen and it was those two drivers who battled it out for the first ten laps. While Rocco would manage to fight off his rival, it wouldn’t be the last challenge for the reigning champion in the 30-lap feature. Rocco also defended his position against a hard-charging Woody Pitkat, but it was Ronnie Williams, who defeated Rocco in May, who offered the biggest challenge making several dives for the lead right up to the final corner. It wasn’t enough to dethrone the champion however as Rocco claimed his third win of the season and extended his points lead to 44. 

“(Williams) was really good. I do have to say tonight he showed me a lot of respect and that goes a long way,” Rocco said of his rival after the race. “He ran me like a gentleman tonight and that goes a long way – If we could race like that every night the two of us could put on one heck of a show.” 

Next up was the SK Light Modifieds® where points leader Bryan Narducci sought his sixth win of the year, with Albert Ouellette not far behind. However, neither driver would last long in the race, as the two points leaders were caught up in a multi-car incident only six laps into the 20-lap feature opening the door for a new winner to shine in the division. That driver was Teddy Hodgdon, who outraced former Thompson Mini Stock champion Wayne Burroughs, Jr. for his first Thompson victory. 

“I’ve always wanted to win here since I started last year. We’ve been very close many times, but we were able to do it tonight. The car was on rails,” the 18-year-old Hodgdon said in Victory Lane. “The car went away a little bit towards the end. (Burroughs) was coming. I knew he was better on the long run than I was, so I just had to defend, and we ended up getting a victory.”  

Sporting the closest points battle of Thompson’s five divisions, the Limited Sportsman series saw Shawn Monahan step up to the plate to take full control of the points race scoring his third victory of the season in dominating fashion. Monahan made it look easy cruising to a 1.4 second lead and walking away with a trophy and an eight-point lead over Kyle Gero putting Monahan in prime position to earn his third consecutive division title. 

“I’m going to take any win I can get – we can’t let go now. We’ve got a goal and there’s not even time out there to run in second place because somebody can get you when you least expect it,” Monahan said after the win. 

In the Mini Stocks, the points race was shuffled after both Scott and Steve Michalski, who sat first and second in points respectively with only six points separating them, each had problems in their heat races. This opened the door for Doug Curry, who was third in points facing a 35-point deficit, to cut into their lead. He took full advantage of his opportunity leading nearly the entire race and scoring his second win of 2019 making him the first multi-race victor in the Mini Stocks this season. Despite their troubles the Michalski’s still maintained a tight grip on the top two spots with finishes inside the top ten. Scott Michalski goes into the Labor Day race with an eight-point lead over Steve Michalski. 

Finally, the Late Models took to the track for a 25-lap feature with William Wall holding a 17-point advantage over Woody Pitkat for the championship. The points battle took a backseat to some division veterans however as Brian Tagg, Rick Gentes and Ryan Morgan, all virtually eliminated from the title hunt, looked to score a late-season win. Brian Tagg came away with the win while Woody Pitkat picked up minimal points over William Wall as the title contenders finished fourth and fifth respectively. 

Racing action returns to Thompson on Labor Day weekend for a makeup day of on-track action on Sunday, September 1. NASCAR’s Whelen All American Series divisions will take center stage as drivers seek valuable points with only two more races before the Sunoco World Series of Racing season finale in October.  

WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR 30TH ANNUAL BUD 150 FINISH TOP-10: 1. Doug Coby; 2. Justin Bonsignore; 3. Craig Lutz; 4. Jon McKennedy; 5. Timmy Solomito; 6. Jimmy Blewett; 7. Andrew Krause; 8. Patrick Emerling; 9. Matt Swanson; 10. Woody Pitkat 

NEMA FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Avery Stoehr; 2. Randy Cabral; 3. Paul Scally; 4. Mike Horn; 5. Bethany Stoher; 6. Jake Trainor; 7. Sammy Swindell; 8. Andy Lunt; 9. Jeff Champagne; 10. Todd Bertrand 

SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 2. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 3. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 4. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 5. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 6. Noah Korner; 7. Corey Barry (Brooklyn, CT); 8. Kyle James (Westerly, RI); 9. Adam Gada; 10. Danny Cates 

SK LIGHT MODIFIEDS© FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Teddy Hodgdon (Danbury, CT); 2. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT); 3. Nathan Pytko (Oxford, MA); 4. Wesley Prucker; 5. Anthony Marvin (Colchester, CT); 6. John O’Sullivan (Salem, CT); 7. Todd Taylor (Stonington, CT); 8. Matt MacDougall (Derby, CT); 9. Albert Ouellette (Ellington, CT); 10. Mikey Flynn (Hampden, MA) 

LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Shawn Monahan (Waterford, CT); 2. Jason Chicolas (Sutton, MA); 3. Moose Douton (Niantic, CT); 4. Kyle Gero (Baltic, CT); 5. Brent Gleason (Griswold, CT); 6. Corey Fanning (Mapleville, RI); 7. Meghan Fuller (Auburn, MA); 8. Al Stone (Durham, CT); 9. Ryan Morgan (Franklin, CT); 10. Tommy Shea (New London, CT) 

MINI STOCK FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Doug Curry (Norwich, CT); 2. Jared Roy (Sterling, CT); 3. Glen Thomas, Jr.; 4. Ian Brew (Woodriver Junction, RI); 5. Joe Bavolacco (Stratford, CT); 6. JT Suprenant (Central Village, CT); 7. Scott Michalski (Danielson, CT); 8. Steve Michalski (Brooklyn, CT); 9. Evan Bourgeois (East Haddam, CT); 10. John Ekdahl (Chepachet, RI) 

LATE MODEL FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Brian Tagg (Oxford, MA); 2. Ryan Morgan (Franklin, CT); 3. Rick Gentes (Harrisville, RI); 4. William Wall (Millbury, MA); 5. Derek Gluchacki (Dartmouth, MA); 6. Matt Lowinski-Loh (Milford, MA); 7. Nick Johnson (Rehoboth, MA); 8. Mark Jenison (Warwick, RI); 9. Buddy Charette (Woodstock, CT); 10. Mike Benevides (Westerly, RI) 

Justin Bonsignore Aiming For Seven Straight NWMT Wins at Thompson

Justin Bonsignore Aiming For Seven Straight NWMT Wins at Thompson 

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (Tom Morris/Myracenews photo)

THOMPSON, Conn. — When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park next week, Justin Bonsignore will be aiming to add to his historic streak. 

Bonsignore, a Holtsville, New York, native, has won six consecutive Whelen Modified Tour races at the Connecticut oval. He swept all four series events at Thompson last year en route to his first career title and won both the Icebreaker and the Thompson 125 so far this season. He’s the only driver to accomplish the feat in the 144-race Whelen Modified Tour history of the track and has done it all driving for Ken Massa.

All eyes have now turned towards the Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150 next Wednesday, August 14.  

“We anticipate every time that we go to the track we will have a shot at it, but we also know that the streak isn’t going to last forever,” Bonsignore said. “I’m confident enough in my team to say that we can win the race when we get there, no matter how many in a row we have.” 

Prior to Bonsignore, multiple former Whelen Modified Tour champions had won four races in a row at Thompson, including Doug Coby, who swept all four races in 2015 en route to his title. Bonsignore has won the last six races from starting positions of fourth or better and has led 280 laps over the stretch. He might not have led all the laps or been the dominant car in all races, but he’s found his way to Victory Lane one way or another, which is a credit to him and his team. The average car count over the span is over 28 cars per event. 

“Every time we go there, it’s in the back of your head how unbelievable it is and you wonder how much longer it will go,” Bonsignore said. “On one hand, I am prepared for it to end, but at the same time, I think we will be bummed when it does happen. Especially if we lose it and finish second in the race. When you sit back and look at it 10 years from now, you’ll be able to appreciate what you did.” 

Entering Thompson, although he’s won two races at the high-banked oval this season, he also was able to hold the checkered flag at Riverhead Raceway, his home track, in July. But with two DNF’s early in the season, the defending series champion has a 42-point hole in the title chase. Coby, a five-time series champion and Thompson winner himself, leads by 24 over Ron Silk, another former champion and Thompson winner. The three veterans look to be the favorites to contend for the title down the stretch. 

“Those are two guys that are two of the best right now and we right there with them,” Bonsignore said. “I’m still confident in what we are going to bring to the track, especially because we brought something totally different the last time, even though we had won five in a row. I go into Thompson with my head held high and a lot of confidence.” 

With Ryan Stone on the pit box, Bonsignore knows he will have a strong car to drive to give himself a chance to keep the streak going. The Bud 150 provides fans a chance to watch pit strategy play out, as drivers can take four tires during the event whenever they wish.  

“Ryan is always tinkering with setups, trying to evolve to the next setup,” Bonsignore said. “We’re trying to make our own gains. But the strategy is tough to even sit back and talk about, because one caution at a weird time can throw everything for a loop. We might go in with a game plan, but if you don’t get the cautions when you planned, you just adjust. This is a big event. It’s right up there as a marquee event and has been around for many years. We’ve been fortunate enough to win it a few times.” 

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park returns to action on Wednesday, August 14, when the Whelen Modified Tour invades for the Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150. All five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will also be in competition, along with the NEMA Midgets, where veteran sprint car star Sammy Swindell will compete. 

If needed, the inclement weather date for this event is Thursday, August 15.  

For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, visit the track on the web at www.thompsonspeedway.com, and follow the track on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: New Hampshire

Top Three in Championship Standings Peaking During Stretch Run

 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 20, 2016)  Separated by just 36 points at the top, the top three drivers in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings are putting on a show as the season roars through its stretch run into the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire, this weekend.

0u0a0596-2In each of the last two races on the schedule, Doug Coby, Justin Bonsignore and Timmy Solomito have occupied all three of the podium spots at the checkered flag. Coby and Solomito have four wins apiece this season — including Coby’s win at Oswego Speedway and Solomito’s win at Seekonk Speedway in the two most recent races — with Bonsignore sandwiched between the two of them. 0u0a0949-2Coby, of Milford, Connecticut, leads Bonsignore by 20 points and Solomito by 37.

Coby, Bonsignore and Solomito finished 1-2-3 at Oswego, and then the trio finished 3-2-1, respectively, at Seekonk. In the race at Riverhead, prior to the stop at Oswego, Bonsignore and Solomito finished first and second.

Nobody is giving an inch, and they now take the championship battle to Loudon, one of the few tracks on the schedule where wild point swings are common. Last season, for instance, Coby — who has four career Loudon wins — qualified on the pole but was caugh0u0a0950-2t up in a mid-race accident and finished 30th.

Even though Bonsignore and Solomito are searching for their first wins on the largest oval on the schedule, everyone knows that Loudon is once again key to any serious championship aspirations.

Race Details
PLACE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire
WHEN:
Saturday, September 24
TIME:  
3:30 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT:
1.058-mile asphalt oval
2015 WINNER:
Doug Coby
2015 POLE SITTER:
Doug Coby
EVENT SCHEDULE:
Friday, September 23 – Garage opens: 6 a.m.; Practice: 10-11:20 a.m.; Qualifying: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, September 24 — Garage opens: 10:30 a.m.; Driver Autograph Session: 11-11:45 a.m.; F.W. Webb 100: 3:30 p.m.
TWITTER: @NHMS
EVENT HASHTAG:
#FWWebb100
TRACK CONTACT:
Kristen Lestock, (603) 513-5708, klestock@nhms.com

FAST FACTS:
The Race: The F.W. Webb 100 is the 15th of 17 championship points events in the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season. It is the second and final race of the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

 The Procedure: The starting field is 36 cars, including provisionals. The first 32 cars will qualify through the two-lap time trial qualifying process while the remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 100 laps, spanning 105.8 miles, and there will be a 5-minute break at or near Lap 51.

 The Track: This is the 65th race for the Whelen Modified Tour at the 1.058-mile slightly banked oval, dating back to September 1990. The Tour has held two races annually at the the track every year since 2001, with the lone exception coming in 2011 when three races were contested at the track.

Race Winners: There have been 20 different winners in the 64 previous Whelen Modified Tour races at Loudon. Mike Stefanik leads all drivers with eight career NHMS wins.

 Pole Winners: There have been 26 different pole winners at NHMS, led by Jan Leaty with six career poles. Doug Coby has four career starts from the top spot.

F.W. Webb 100 Notes:

Coby Is ‘Magic’: Three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and current point leader Doug Coby of Milford, Connecticut, has won the last two Tour races at ‘The Magic Mile,’ including the most recent race at the track in July. In this race last year, Coby started on the pole and led 88 laps en route to the victory. He has won four of the last eight races held at New Hampshire dating back to this race in 2012.

 Not Much History: While New Hampshire Motor Speedway held it’s first Whelen Modified Tour race in 1990, Timmy Solomito doesn’t have a lot of experience with the track. Solomito, of Islip, New York, has made five career starts at Loudon and has yet to post a top-10 finish. He has three consecutive finishes of 12th at NHMS dating back to the start of last season. But, Solomito’s breakout season this year hasn’t slowed — he earned his first career Tour win at Thompson in the season opener in April, and he’s currently tied with Coby for the series lead with four wins this season, including the most recent race at Seekonk.

Kryptonite: New Hampshire Motor Speedway hasn’t been kind to Justin Bonsignore’s championship hopes over the years. The Holtsville, New York, driver has made 14 career starts at NHMS with only three top fives and five top 10s. The good news for Bonsignore is that recent history suggests he’s turning a corner — he finished fifth in this race a year ago and was eighth in the July event this summer. In 2014, Bonsignore finished third in the final Tour standings, his best career championship finish, but he finished 25th in this race that year to derail his title hopes.

 He’s An All-Star: Bobby Santos III only has one official win this season, at Thompson in the second race of the season there, but he also has a win at Loudon. Santos won the annual Whelen All-Star Shootout at NHMS in July, the day before the New England 100 points-paying event.  Santos might be on an upswing heading into Loudon, where he has one win and 10 top 10s in 20 career starts, after finishing fifth in the most recent race at Seekonk. That finish was the first top five for the Franklin, Massachusetts, driver since finishing third at Thompson in August.

 Winning: Doug Coby, Timmy Solomito and Justin Bonsignore are the only Whelen Modified Tour drivers with multiple wins this season, with Coby and Solomito having Tour-leading four wins through the first 14 races. Bonsignore has two wins, both in the second half of the season. Ron Silk, Bobby Santos III, Jimmy Blewett and Eric Goodale won the other events on the schedule.

 NASCAR Home Tracks: New Hampshire plays host to K&N Pro Series East annually

While this weekend’s F.W. Webb 100 is a companion event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, New Hampshire Motor Speedway also plays host to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East once each summer. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races there twice a season.