By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
LOUDON, N.H. — If it wasn’t for the final few feet, Justin Bonsignore may have been in Victory Lane on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The driver of the Kenneth Massa Motorsports prepared No. 51 led the most laps in the Whelen 100, dominating the early stages of the race with NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece, and was in position on the last lap to score the win.
When the field exited turn two on the final circuit, Bonsignore dove to the inside of leader Ron Silk — and Silk went to block him, and the two made typical New Hampshire contact. Into turn three, Silk drove up the track, trying to hold off Preece, who was charging on the outside, and Bonsignore slid to the bottom.
The Holtsville, New York, native worked the inside of Silk into the final corner, and Bonsignore came off turn four in the lead. However, the car stumbled, running low on fuel, and Preece was able to slide by in the final few feet to take the win. Bonsignore finished second, scoring his ninth career top-five run at the ‘Magic Mile’, and posting a strong points day in the Whelen Modified Tour championship effort.
“We play these races back on video and try to study and figure out what we can do on the last lap,” Bonsignore said. “We were just waiting for the end. I pushed Ron out front on the restart, and I knew Ron was going to throw the block. Preece was going to have a good run, but the car stumbled off turn four. But, we had an amazing car -- I can’t remember how many times someone had a lead like we had today. It was a really good day, with a really good car.”
Leaving New Hampshire, Bonsignore took over the points lead for the Whelen Modified Tour in chase of his second consecutive, and third overall, championship. The next tour race on the schedule is set for Saturday, July 31, at New York International (Lancaster) Speedway.
Justin Bonsignore will return to the track on Saturday, July 24, with the Tri Track Open Modified Series at Star Speedway. For more information on Justin Bonsignore, visit JustinBonsignore.com and follow his athlete page on Facebook.