Tag Archives: Whelen Modified Tour


Photo: Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

(Belle Harbour, NY June 8th). Just hours after a very successful test session at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Thursday June 4th MSM Elite Motorsports team owner Mark S. Mina announced that his team with veteran driver John Beatty Jr. of Merrick at the wheel would enter the delayed 2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour opener Sunday June 21st at Jennerstown Speedway. The Long Island based MSM Elite Motorsports team will venture out to western Pennsylvania to compete in the Wade Cole Memorial 133 presented by Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair.

“After we got on the track at Stafford with both of our new cars Thursday we turned some phenomenal laps right off the trailer” team owner Mark S. Mina boasted, “we got plenty of good notes for Jennerstown and off that data we made the decision to enter so John Beatty Jr. can do what he does best, drive” Heading into the 2020 NASCAR Modified season Mina and the MSM Elite Motorsports team had mapped out a very different approach to their racing plans hoping to start with both the Icebreaker at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway however the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic put the 2020 NASCAR WMT schedule and racing around the world on hold.

“Going into 2020 our game plan was to run Thompson & Stafford to start off with” Mina offered. “From there we were going to race at Riverhead Raceway on opening night. Riverhead has been and will always be our home track but our plans were to hit the road for several NASCAR Whelen Modified tour races also. What races those might be moving forward really depend on how and where the rest of the WMT schedule shakes out and we’ll have our eyes on what Riverhead does later in the summer too.” Mina revealed.

Entering his third season as driver of the MSM Elite Motorsports operation John Beatty Jr. has been itching to get back behind the wheel of his all new cars to which he noted, “Mark invested heavily in our team over the off season and it showed at Stafford on Thursday plus honestly we just wanted to turn some laps for the pure fun of it” The 44-year old soft spoken Beatty is now more than ready to go racing for keeps after the successful test. “We are all eager to head to Jennerstown for the WMT opener to see how we stack up against the best of the best in asphalt Modified racing plus we get to race in an event that remembers a true WMT legend in Wade Cole, it’s a win-win for us” Beatty concluded.

The Wade Cole Memorial 133 presented by Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair will be the 14th career start on the WMT for John Beatty Jr. who along the way has posted two top fives and four top tens in 13 previous starts. Beatty also has a NASCAR WMT pole to his credit on June 28th, 2014 prior to the 200-lap WMT event at Riverhead Raceway. John led 108-laps total in the race eventually won by Eric Goodale of Riverhead, Beatty would finish 12th in his family owned machine. 
While the June 21st NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour opener will not permit fans in the grandstands folks can watch every lap of the event on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold free of charge. Race time is 2:30 pm.

MSM Elite Motorsports are seeking marketing partners for the 2020 as well the 2021 race seasons and for further information and to obtain a power point presentation on the team send an e-mail request to MSMMark@aol.com.

Craig Lutz Breaks Into Victory Lane in NAPA Fall Final at Stafford


Photos Tom Morris/Myracenews

STAFFORD, Conn. — For the second straight year, the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway produced a first-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour winner.

Craig Lutz in Victory Lane after winning the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway October 29th 2019 Tom Morris/Myracenews

Craig Lutz took the lead from Doug Coby on a restart with 33 laps to go, and drove away from Coby, and defending series champion Justin Bonsignore, to earn his first career checkered flag in his 66th series start.

Prior to Sunday, Lutz had finished inside the top five in four of his 12 Stafford starts, including the last three. He had also finished inside the top five in eight of the 14 races in 2019.

For the first time, the Miller Place, New York, driver was able to celebrate a trophy.

RACING-REFERENCE: NAPA Fall Final 150 Race Results

“The first win is always special,” Lutz said. “Everyone kept on asking me when it was coming. To finally knock one off, it’s an amazing feeling.”

Lutz started ninth and rode inside the top 10 for the duration of the race, but shined when it mattered most. Chris Pasteryak earned his first career Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole award in qualifying, and led the first six laps, before Coby took control.

Bonsignore took the lead from Coby just before halfway, and paced the field until a caution just after lap 100, when leaders pitted multiple times for tires. It would be the only caution of the day that Coby, Bonsignore and Lutz entered pit road.

Pasteryak would lead eight more laps after cycling back to the lead, but couldn’t hold the top spot, as Coby slid by, then a restart gave Lutz his opportunity. Lutz passed Coby and never looked back, minding a gap back to Bonsignore for the final 10 laps.

“I just didn’t look in my mirror,” Lutz said. “I have an awesome spotter, who has a lot of experience, and he kept telling me to stay smooth and hit my marks. That’s what I kept doing.”

Bonsignore would finish second, while Coby settled for third. Chuck Hossfeld, who missed practice and qualifying on Saturday, charged from the rear of the field to finish fourth. Matt Swanson was fifth.

Ron Silk finished sixth, followed by Bobby Santos III, Woody Pitkat, Chase Dowling and Patrick Emerling.

Coby leads Bonsignore by 19 points with one championship points race remaining in search of his sixth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

The NAPA Fall Final 150 will air on NBCSN on Friday, October 4, at 7 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track for the annual Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, the final race of the season, on Sunday, October 13.

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.