For some many drivers, the offseason in racing can be a time of wonder. Wondering whether they’ll have a ride, wondering whether they’ll get replaced, wondering if their team still wants them.
That sort of offseason of wondering is now something Justin Bonsignore need not worry about.
Bonsignore announced Saturday that he will return to the Ken Massa owned No. 51 ride on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2014.
“You’ve always got to be a little concerned,” Bonsignore said. “I was 99 percent sure that we would be back next year. But as a driver, especially on the Modified Tour, you never know. There’s a lot of bouncing around from year to year. But I’ve got a really good thing going with [sponsor] M3 and the owners over there so I was fairly confident that we would be back for another season.”
Bonsignore completed his fourth season with the team in 2013, finishing eighth in the season standings.
“It definitely makes it much more comforting to not have to worry for weeks or months on end,” Bonsignore said. “I know my team is going to here, there’s no questions. I wanted to get it out of the way before the season ended but everybody was busy doing things. I waited a few days after [the season ending event on Oct. 20 at Thompson Speedway] and we went down to the shop to talk to my owner. We didn’t even really talking about if I’d be back, we just talked about what we could do to make the team better and then at the end of the conversation I was like ‘So I’ll be back right?’ And he said ‘Yeah, of course.’ So I’m really looking forward to next season.”
Bonsignore has three Whelen Modified Tour victories in 60 starts dating back to the 2007 season. He had five top-five’s and nine top-10’s in 14 events in 2013, with a victory at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. on July 27.
After finishing 13th in the standings in his first year with the Massa owned team, Bonsignore finished seventh in the standings in both 2011 and 2012. He also had one win each year in 2011 and 2012.
“We’ve shown that we can be with the best of them, we’re just a little too inconsistent at times with things,” Bonsignore said. “We have to contend more for wins instead of just solid top five’s. It’s been proven the last few years that the bonus points [for winning] are huge.
“We’re so close. We’ve got a really good team, a lot of good guys on the team. We hired a full-time employee last year and that took away a lot of our failures mechanically and just things that could have been prevented. We’re close. We’ve just got a couple more things to make that next step.”