By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
JENNERSTOWN, Pa. -- Justin Bonsignore and Doug Coby are no strangers to running at the front of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour field. The two of them have combined to win eight of the last nine championships on NASCAR’s oldest touring series -- and on Saturday night -- they fought hard in the final two laps to decide the winner of the Jennerstown Salutes 150 presented by DGV on Memorial Day weekend.
In a chaotic, close finish, Bonsignore held off Coby by a mere car length to win the fourth race of the Whelen Modified Tour season and the only stop at Pennsylvania's Jennerstown Speedway for this year. Coby chased the back bumper of Bonsignore’s No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc. machine around the .522-mile oval over the final 50 laps, and closed to the bumper when they took the white flag.
Through turns one and two on the final lap, Coby got a run, while Bonsignore slid sideways down the beginning of the backstretch. By the time they entered turn three, Coby was looking outside Bonsignore -- but couldn't quite draw even. Bonsignore edged Coby to the line for the win. It was the 30th career win for Bonsignore -- his second at Jennerstown -- and first of the season. With the victory, Bonsignore tied Coby for sixth all-time on the wins list, as the two now sit just one win behind Jeff Fuller for fifth.
Bonsignore was carrying the name of Air Force Staff Sergeant David A. Wieger, who passed away in war in 2007, on his No. 51 Kenneth Massa Motorsports machine. In Victory Lane, the Holtsville, New York, native donated the race winning trophy to the Wieger family, who were in attendance. All Whelen Modified Tour cars carried a roof decal with the name of a fallen hero as part of Saturday’s race event at Jennerstown, and multiple of the families attended what was a bit of a wet and brisk night. The race was a partnership between JDV Production -- led by Josh Vanada -- NASCAR -- and Operation Vet NOW Inc. (OVN).
“My guys nailed the pit stop during the race but the driver almost gave it away at the end,” Bonsignore said. “It’s great to get back to Victory Lane. We were bummed here at Jennerstown last year, we won the first race, but felt like we gave the second race away. Big thanks to the fans for coming out and sticking today out with us. The best part of today was honoring David Wieger, and getting this car to Victory Lane.”
Bonsignore won the Mayhew Tools pole award in qualifying, his 16th of his career, second consecutive this season and third consecutive at Jennerstown. He led the field to the green with Coby to his outside, and dominated the first half of the race. However, it was another Bonsignore -- his cousin Kyle -- who rolled to the top spot before a caution slowed the action.
Justin Bonsignore’s pit crew got the job done -- getting him out ahead of Kyle -- as Justin drove around Patrick Emerling to the lead and never looked back en route to the win.
Next up for Justin Bonsignore will be another NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Oswego Speedway for the Steel Palace 150 on Saturday, June 12. For more information on Justin Bonsignore, visit JustinBonsignore.com and follow his athlete page on Facebook.