By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
RICHMOND, Va. -- Justin Bonsignore’s day started off perfectly at Richmond Raceway. The driver of the No. 51 Kenneth Massa Motorsports entry was fastest in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice ahead of the Virginia is For Racing Lovers 150, then won his 19th career pole award in Mayhew Tools qualifying. He was strong early in the race, and looked to be a contender to win the Whelen Modified Tour’s return to Richmond for the first time since 2002 after leading laps.
Then, a mechanical failure sent him to the garage area. Bonsignore’s night ended early, as the two-time series champion finished 24th. Luckily for Bonsignore, Patrick Emerling, his closest challenger in the series championship standings, also fell out of the race early with a mechanical failure. With just two races remaining on the championship points schedule, Bonsignore holds a 22-point edge over Emerling in search of his third championship.
“What are the odds Patrick and I both had the failures,” Bonsignore said. “That’s the first mechanical part failure we have had in a long time. It’s a shame, because we had a really good car. I was just biding my time. I thought we were in good shape, but it just wasn’t meant to be tonight. I just want to thank Coastal Fiber and the rest of my sponsors for sticking behind me.”
Justin Bonsignore will return to the track on Saturday, September 18 at Riverhead Raceway, his home track, in New York. For more information on Justin Bonsignore, visit JustinBonsignore.com and follow his athlete page on Facebook for the latest updates.