STORY BY RACEDAYCT.COM
When the Gary Casella owned No. 25 Tour Type Modified had a catastrophic engine failure Saturday at Thompson Speedway it meant a ripping effect going forward for the team’s plans.
Casella had planned to run two cars at the Tri-Track Open Modified Series CBYD Modified Classic 81 on Oct. 24 at Stafford Speedway with NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champions Doug Coby and Justin Bonsignore filling his stable.
The loss of a motor for Casella on Saturday meant it could be a struggle for the operation to have two rides ready for Oct. 24. Coincidentally, following Saturday’s Tour Type Open Modified event at Thompson, car owner Jimmy Paige found out he had open seat for Stafford with Chase Dowling opting for another ride. Ultimately, it all led to Bonsignore connecting with Paige to fill the seat of his well known No. 00 Modified for Oct. 24 at Stafford.
“We all saw what happened Saturday with Gary’s car with the motor letting go,” said Bonsignore, who clinched his second Whelen Modified Tour champion Sunday at Thompson Speedway. “I spoke a couple times with back and forth this week. We were still on board to do it. … He wasn’t 100 percent sure we’d be able to do it. Then I got a phone call from Jimmy Paige’s team telling me if I wanted to, and Gary couldn’t do something, they would like to run for them. I spoke to Gary and he gave me his blessing and was cool with. So we’re going to go do it with Jimmy and [crew chief] Steve LeMay and all his guys.”
Bonsignore is excited to go from one quality ride to another.
“We’ve watched Jimmy being around for a long time. … He’s got great equipment and a good team around him. Obviously I’ve watched them run these open shows the last few years with a lot of success so I’m excited to have a shot at it. I’m going from one good ride to another one. I think we’ll have a shot to contend and that’s all you can ask for.”
Bonsignore closed out his Whelen Modified Tour season Sunday with a fourth place finish in the Sunoco World Series 150. Bonsignore had three victories and nine top-five’s in nine Whelen Modified Tour events in 2020. He also won the series title in 2018.
Story by: Kyle Souza/My Race News
Two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore.
Ask the Holtsville, New York, driver 12 years ago and he would have said that phrase was a dream. Ask him now and the dream is reality.
Bonsignore and his Kenneth Massa Motorsports team clinched their second Whelen Modified Tour title at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, marking their second crown in the last three years. He did it with a fourth-place finish in the season-finale — scoring his ninth top-five finish in the nine races run in 2020. Due to COVID-19, the original schedule was cut down to just nine, with a few new tracks on the schedule. But it was a return to one of Bonsignore’s favorite tracks, Thompson, that helped him seal the crown.
The Long Island kid celebrates again.
Story by NASCAR.com
THOMPSON, Conn. — Twice in the previous four years, Justin Bonsignore won the season finale at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, and had his Victory Lane celebration cut short when he had to move out of the way for the crowning of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion.
Sunday, they made way for Bonsignore. The 32-year-old from Holtsville, New York, waited for Sunoco World Series 150 winner Craig Lutz to wrap up before celebrating his second tour championship in three years. Bonsignore finished fourth behind Lutz, Jon McKennedy and Ron Silk.
RELATED: Complete Race Results | Final 2020 Championship Points
It was his ninth top-five finish in nine races in the abbreviated season that included three victories. It also marked Bonsignore’s 15th straight top five. He entered the final weekend needing to finish 2rd to clinch the title. But after winning three of the last four races at Thompson, but watching Doug Coby crowned the champion at the end of the night — including last year’s bittersweet race win — Bonsignore looked to take both the race AND the championship.
He led 14 laps and stayed in the top five nearly the entire race, even after it was mathematically wrapped up. Bonsignore won the title in 2018 and finished eight points behind Coby last year. He’s finished in the top three in points in six of the last seven seasons.
RELATED: Justin Bonsignore Career Stats
Coby won the Mayhew Tools Pole Award Saturday but had his race cut short by a Lap 97 accident and finished 22nd. Justin’s cousin, Kyle Bonsignore, finished fifth. Sam Rameau was sixth, followed by Woody Pitkat, Calvin Carroll, Patrick Emerling and Tyler Rypkema. Rypkema collected his fifth top 10 of the season and the 23-year-old from Oswego, New York, earned the Sunoco Rookie the Year Award.
McKennedy led a race-high 51 laps and edged Coby by five for second place — 40 back of Bonsignore.
STORY BY: NASCAR.COM
It’s not as easy as just having to show up, but the math favors Justin Bonsignore wrapping up his second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship on Sunday.
The 32-year-old from Holtsville, New York, enters the Sunoco World Series 150 with a 27-point lead over six-time champion Doug Coby. Bonsignore has to finish 23rd or better to clinch the championship regardless of what Coby does.
There are tickets available to see this race in person, and the race will also be streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Gold.
Sunoco World Series 150
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Bonsignore will be looking for his fourth World Series win in the last five seasons, and has finished no worse than fifth in eight races this season — a performance that has pushed him to the brink of the Whelen Modified Tour crown.
In his 2016 title season, Bonsignore won eight of 16 races and tallied 12 top fives. He won six more times last year, including the finale at Thompson, but came up eight points short of Coby. This year, he won the first two races and has held the points lead the entire shortened-season.
RELATED: Justin Bonsignore Career Stats | Clinch Chart
Coby needs to finish at least eighth to have a shot (or sixth and lead the most laps).
Bonsignore, though, may not be the driver carrying the most momentum into Thompson. That would be Ron Silk, who has won two of the last three races — including the Sept. 3 race at Thompson. It was Silk’s fifth win at the .625-mile oval, second only to Bonsignore and Coby in wins among active drivers.
Jon McKennedy, who was third at Thompson in September, leads Craig Lutz by 16 points for third place in the standings, while Silk has moved into the top five despite missing a race.
RACE: SUNOCO WORLD SERIES 150
PLACE: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Thompson, Conn.
DATE: Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020
TIME: 4 p.m. ET
LIVE TV: Trackpass on NBC Gold (live), 4 p.m. ET;
TAPE DELAY: NBCSN — Thursday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: .625-mile paved oval
Saturday, Oct. 10 — Garage opens: 9:30 a.m. ET; Practice: 1-2:15 p.m.; Qualifying: 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11 — Garage opens: 10 a.m.; Sunoco World Series 150: 4 p.m.
TWITTER: @ThompsonSpdwy, @NASCARRoots
RACE CENTER | ENTRY LIST | RACE SCHEDULE
CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Thompson 150 is limited to 36, including provisional positions. The field will be set by qualifying (1-30) and provisional process per the entry blank (31-36) for the Thompson 150. In the event that qualifying as stated on this entry blank does not take place for any unforeseen circumstance, the field will be set in accordance with the 2020 NASCAR Touring Series Rule Book.
QUALIFYING: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying. Vehicle must qualify on race set up.
The Thompson 150 will be 150 laps (93.75 miles) and is to be run in one (1) segments. The tire change rule is three (3) tires, any position. To utilize the third change tire, teams will designate a practice tire purchased at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to be the third change tire.
The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) for qualifying and to start the race, plus an additional four (4) for a total of eight (8) tires.