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.