Tag Archives: Whelen Modified Tour

Justin Bonsignore Spins To Win Third Straight at Riverhead Raceway


RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — Saturday night short-track racing at the highest level of modified racing.

There was contact, and even spinning, but it was enough for Justin Bonsignore to score his third straight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday night.

Bonsignore restarted to the inside of track regular John Beatty Jr. in overtime, and coming to the checkered flag, contact between the two drivers sent Beatty up the track, and Bonsignore spinning nose-first towards the frontstretch wall. In the midst of his spin, he crossed the line first in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet Cadillac 200.

Buzz Chew Chevy Cadillac 200 winner at Riverhead Raceway Justin Bonsignore July 6th 2019 (Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews)

The victory was Bonsignore’s third of the season and his 23rd career in Whelen Modified Tour competition. He becomes just the third driver in series history to win three straight at Riverhead, joining Mike Ewanitsko and Ryan Preece as the only drivers to accomplish the feat.

“The restart before I was able to hang with him a few laps, but John had a better car, and I was really shocked he took the outside on the last restart,” Bonsignore said. “He gave me a good shot getting into three, but you are coming to the checkered. I hate racing like that. But these races are so hard to win, and we need to win all of the races we can to get back in this points race.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 Race Results

Beatty looked to have the car to beat in the final stages. He passed Timmy Solomito for the lead on lap 150 and was at the point for a near run to the finish, until a caution for a wreck down the backstretch with three laps to go closed the field up. Beatty selected the top lane, and when the field went down into turn one at the green, the contact started between the two leaders.

John Beatty #5 jumps to the inside of Timmy Solomito #16 and Justin Bonsignore #51 at Riverhead Raceway July 6th 2019 (Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews)

They leaned on each other the final two laps, until the contact in turn four, coming to the checkered, sent Bonsignore spinning. Beatty, a regular in Riverhead’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I Modified class, was disappointed in the result, but happy with his effort. He nearly became the first track regular in more than two decades to win a Whelen Modified Tour race at the oval.

“I was just keeping up with the pace and my car just kept getting better and better (before the last yellow),” Beatty said. “Everyone races their own way. I’m not the kind of guy to drive someone up a lane or two, but Justin did his job. He won the race.”

Timmy Solomito, who led 37 laps, crossed the line third. Solomito took the lead for the first time on lap 76, after contact between Coby and Solomito sent Coby spinning in turn one, while racing for the lead. Ron Silk and Craig Lutz rounded out the top-five.

RACING-REFERENCE: Justin Bonsignore Career Riverhead Stats

Coby rebounded to sixth, while Patrick Emerling, Eric Goodale, Tom Rogers Jr. and Tommy Catalano completed the top 10.

Coby leads the championship point standings by 31 over Silk, while Bonsignore is third, 32 points back.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as part of their annual Monster Energy Cup Series weekend on Saturday, July 20. Select drivers will also compete in the All-Star Shootout at New Hampshire on Friday, July 19.

Max Zachem to Honor the Late Cliff Nelson at the Rescheduled NAPA Spring Sizzler

By Michael Jaworecki

There are many people in racing that help teams get through a long expensive race season. One of the really great people that helped so many was Cliff Nelson. Cliff passed away early this month and with his passing left a huge hole in New England racing.

Cliff was big supporter of Max’s racing career, and with his passing the team and another good friend and supporter Bruce Bachta wanted to do something special to honor Cliff.

Max had limited plans to run the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2019, only a June race at Thompson and the July race at New Hampshire were on Max’s radar. His 2019 season was to be spent working around the NEMA schedule for his future brother-in-law and future wife Meg Cugini.

Then Max’s unofficial “step dad” Bruce approached Max and inquired about what cars he had in his garage. Max had an SK and an MRS Modified in his garage . Bruce responded “That’s great lets going Whelen racing” from there the rest is history and the 2019 NAPA Spring Sizzler to honor Cliff was added to the schedule.

Since Bruce came on board to get Max to the Sizzler Max and the team have been busy preparing the black #20 ready to enter in the weather delayed NAPA Spring Sizzler. On the back of that car will be the familiar Cliff Nelsons Motorsports decal that has graced many a race car.

Max spoke so highly of Bruce ” He has done so much for me I can’t thank him enough. What makes this weekend more special in a sad way is the passing of Cliff Nelson who was such a big supporter of mine”.

Max also wanted to thank all the sponsors that help to get his race cars to the track. Lu Macs, MPZ Trucking LLC, East End Sanctuary, New England Race Fuels, Billy the Kid Engines and Foxwoods Resort Casino. With out great sponsors the race cars in his garage would probably stay in the garage.

The NAPA Auto Parts 200 48th annual Spring Sizzler will finally get the green light this Saturday May 11th at the Stafford Motor Speedway. In the field will be the #20 Max Zachem Modified to honor his late friend Cliff Nelson.

Doug Coby Begins Quest For Sixth Title In Victory Lane

Wins NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Opener At Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Doug Coby’s quest for a sixth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship couldn’t have started off much better.

After two years of struggling at Myrtle Beach Speedway, Coby make those scuffles distant memories on Saturday, rolling to his 25th career Whelen Modified Tour win and first at the South Carolina oval.

He may have made the final laps of the Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety Kleen look easy, but the day wasn’t filled with only celebratory moments. He did win the first Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award in qualifying, but Coby was forced to start at the tail of the field after a screw in his left-front tire forced the team to make an unapproved tire change before the green.

From there, the charge was on from the rear of a 32 car field in hopes of reaching the front. In the end, he found the top spot — a familiar place for the five-time Whelen Modified Tour champion.

“This was an interesting one,” Coby said. “Ultimately, I had the best car I have ever had here. We had to go perform, and we did. The book is going to say we won the pole, started first and finished first, but the reality is, we started 32nd and finished first. We passed a lot of cars.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Performance Plus 150 Race Results

After Coby dropped to the tail, Jon McKennedy was the control car for the initial start and he did just that — took control for a majority of the first half of the event. McKennedy led a race high 64 laps, but pit strategy in the final stages didn’t quite fall his way.

After a caution on lap 110, Coby charged up inside the top three after pitting for fresh rubber, then rolled by Kyle Ebersole for the top spot on lap 122. From there, it was just about getting around some lapped traffic and minding a gap over Jon McKennedy and Jimmy Blewett.

When McKennedy and Blewett started racing for the runner-up spot, Coby opened his gap, and was never challenged. Even though the tire strategy didn’t quite work out in McKennedy’s favor, the second-place effort was a good way to follow-up a winning performance in the opener last year.

“We put two tires on and the No. 2 car put three in, but we still had a really good car,” McKennedy said. “We asked the right-front tire to go 150 laps, which is tough. They knew we were here. It was a great effort by everyone.”

In his first start with Gershow Motorsports, Blewett was third, followed by Patrick Emerling and Chris Pasteryak. The top-five run was Pasteryak’s first since 2009 in Whelen Modified Tour competition.

Anthony Nocella was sixth, followed by Burt Myers, Andy Seuss, Eric Goodale and Frank Fleming.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action in just two weeks, on Saturday, March 30, at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.

The Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety Kleen will air on NBCSN on Thursday, March 21 at 6 p.m.Contact:

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Performance Plus 150 pres by Safety Kleen Results

Saturday At Myrtle Beach Speedway Myrtle Beach, SC

Lap length: 0.53 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (1) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 64.883 mph.

2. (2) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.

3. (15) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.

4. (28) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 150.

5. (7) Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.

6. (17) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.

7. (22) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Chevrolet, 150.

8. (8) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 150.

9. (4) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.

10. (31) Frank Fleming, Mount Airy, N.C., Chevrolet, 149.

11. (6) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA, Chevrolet, 149.

12. (9) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 149.

13. (18) Blake Barney, Lakewood, N.J., Chevrolet, 149.

14. (19) Kyle Ebersole, Hummelstown, PA., Chevrolet, 149.

15. (10) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 149.

16. (16) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 149.

17. (21) Kyle Bonsignore, Bay Shore, N.Y., Toyota, 148.

18. (13) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Chevrolet, 148.

19. (24) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 148.

20. (23) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 148.

21. (14) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet, 147.

22. (5) Rob Summers, Manchester, CT, Chevrolet, 146.

23. (25) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Ford, 146.

24. (32) Timmy Catalano, Ontario, N.Y., Chevrolet, 145.

25. (12) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 145.

26. (3) Tommy Catalano, Ontario, N.Y., Chevrolet, 144.

27. (27) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 138.

28. (11) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 130.

29. (29) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Pontiac, 109, brakes.

30. (26) Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 108, accident.

31. (20) Sam Rameau, Westminster, Mass., Chevrolet, 62.

32. (30) Walter Sutcliffe Jr., East Haven, Conn., Chevrolet, 41, clutch.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 1 hour 13 minutes 31 seconds

Margin of Victory: 3.278 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: D.Coby (97.010 mph, 19.668 seconds)

Caution Flags: 6 for 33 laps.

Lead Changes: 14 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders: T. Catalano 1-2; J. McKennedy 3-58; T. Solomito 59-62; D. Coby 63-70; J. Bonsignore 71-75; R. Silk 76-78; J. Bonsignore 79-83; J. McKennedy 84-91; J. Bonsignore 92-101; M. Swanson 102-106; J. Bonsignore 107-108; K. Ebersole 109-115; J. Bonsignore 116; K. Ebersole 117-121; D. Coby 122-150.

Standings: 1. D. Coby, 47; 2. J. McKennedy, 44; 3. J. Blewett, 41; 4. P. Emerling, 40; 5. C. Pasteryak, 39; 6. A. Nocella, 38; 7. B. Myers, 37; 8. A. Seuss, 36; 9. E. Goodale, 35; 10. F. Fleming, 34.