A STORY BY NASCAR.COM/Kyle Souza
In 34 years of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competition, no one had accomplished the task.
Justin Bonsignore won his sixth consecutive Whelen Modified Tour race at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park last week, eclipsing the record he set in April of five straight. The Holtsville, New York, driver seems to have mastered the Connecticut high-banks, and he’s the only one to do it this well. But a deeper look shows you that Bonsignore is the first driver in the history of the Whelen Modified Tour to win six races in a row at any track.
Reggie Ruggerio won five straight at New Hampshire Motor Speedway between 1992 and 1994, but he’s the only one to do that. The series has visited more than 30 tracks over the last three decades, and Bonsignore is the first one to make that mark in the record books.
Previously, multiple different former champions had won four straight at Thompson. Richie Evans, Jeff Fuller, Steve Park, Mike Stefanik, Ted Christopher and Doug Coby had accomplished the task of winning four in a row. But Bonsignore took that to the next level.
Bonsignore captured his fifth straight in April’s Icebreaker 150, dominating the final laps after Doug Coby’s pit penalty cost him a shot. Entering Wednesday, it was Bonsignore himself who said the place is starting to feel like home.
"A lot of people ask me that and I can’t really say what the answer is," Bonsignore said in a track release. "But I feel really comfortable there, it’s like going home to Riverhead — I have the same feeling when we unload. I know what I need on the first lap of practice and I know what I need for the race."
RACING-REFERENCE: Justin Bonsignore’s Career at Thompson
Bonsignore, who won his first championship last season in dominating fashion, has done something no other champion has done before. Seven-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Mike Stefanik never did it. Five-time champions Tony Hirschman and Doug Coby never did it.
But Bonsignore did.