Spoiler Alert: Justin Bonsignore Grabs NASCAR Mod Tour Icebreaker 150 Win At Thompson Speedway

Justin Bonsignore celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Justin Bonsignore celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images for NASCAR)

THOMPSON – Lap after lap the pieces of the fairy tale were revving toward a seemingly perfect crescendo.

Then Justin Bonsignore took Cinderella’s glass slipper at Thompson Speedway and unabashedly smashed it in a million pieces.

After a heated battle for the top spot, Bonsignore passed Woody Pitkat for the lead on lap 142 and stayed there the rest of the way to win the NASCAR Modified Tour season opening Icebreaker 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway.

“That was wild,” Bonsignore said. “I hope everybody enjoyed that one. If they didn’t enjoy that I don’t know.”

It was the fourth career Modified Tour victory for Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y.

Pitkat, of Stafford, was second and Doug Coby of Milford third.

Pitkat, who has never won in 79 starts on the Modified Tour, was racing in his first event for his new team, Buzz Chew Racing. He was fastest in practice and then set fast time in qualifying on Saturday to win his first career pole position.

“He’s going to win his first for sure,” Bonsignore said. “But hopefully we go back and forth this year. He had a great car. I knew he was going to be the guy I had to beat. …. They showed it all weekend that they were real quick. … The competition is so close, you can see it. I just drove my butt off and was able to get it done.”

Pitkat ended up leading 55 laps for his second career runner-up finish on the Tour.

“We led a bunch of laps, that was awesome,” Pitkat said. “Got to run up front like I wanted to prove I could. Now we just keep working on it to get it better and better and we’ll get our win.

“… I might be down right now but I shouldn’t be because it was an awesome day. It was a great start to the season, a great finish and I can’t thank the guys enough. … [I gained] confidence the whole weekend. My whole attitude is different coming to the racetrack now. It’s awesome to know you can go out there and the car is going to do the same thing every lap and you’re having fun.”

Bonsignore set up Pitkat coming off turn two on lap 142, went under him into turn three and came off of turn four with the lead.

“Great car, I was just hoping I wasn’t going to be the guy to mess it up the last 25 laps,” Bonsignore said. “I knew I had a little bit better car. I kind of had to be aggressive, but everybody knows how it goes here at Thompson, the bottom shot is the only way you’re going to get by.

“… My mind was going a million miles an hour. I knew I was going to be aggressive. I had tried it a little bit earlier and Woody drive into Stafford it looked like in the first corner. I regrouped and did what I needed.”

Said Pitkat: “We tightened it up just a little bit too much [on the pit stop]. That’s what we’re here to do is learn, we’re a new team and that’s what we’re going to learn. I can’t thank these guys enough. They had a phenomenal pit stop, we came out and gained some positions and I just drove my butt off. We were just a little bit too snug. Congrats to Justin and those guys, they had a stout piece. We have a great piece and it’s one piece so we can work on it for [the next race].”

Coby had the best seat for the show at the front. He was hoping the aggressive battle for the victory would turn out in his favor.

“I tried to let in unfold like it was meant to, and of course it would have been [me] in victory lane if it had unfolded properly,” Coby said. “They were battling real hard and they were certainly the class of the field. I wanted to be right there, but not right there.

“I’m really happy with the third. It’s certainly not what we wanted, we come here to win, but something that we’ll take given where we started and how hard we had to battle from fourth to 12th all race with a lot of good cars.”

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Comments

  1. 50 shades says:

    what chassis is bonsignore running?

  2. 50 Shades,

    Spafco

  3. Shawn, any comment from the 4 or 88 teams on the contact between turns 1 and 2 that ended Donny Lia’s day?

  4. Dan Butler says:

    Bonsignore and Pitkat, both are a class act. Great hard but respectful racing today!

  5. Paul,

    Pitkat said there was contact between the two. He indicated that Lia came down on him in the corner.

  6. darealgoodfella says:

    Something has to be done about the SPEC motor problem. The 51 and 88, both running the SPEC motor, stunk up the show, drove away from the field, checked out. Those cars were untouchable on the straights, where horsepower rules.

    As far as the 4 vs 88… it was a classic case of a car attempting a dive bomb move. The 88 tried to stuff it in low and deep under the 4 entering T1, but didn’t stuff it low or deep enough. The 4 was bumped in the LR, got loose and slid. Some will say the 4 turned down on to the 88, some will say the 88 wasn’t ready to do the dive move. I never could see or believe that at go time, when the cars are running their hardest, that a car on the outside can turn down and into the inside car like that. It was a dive bomb move gone bad. The car doing the dive bomb has to make sure it does not run into the lead car. The lead car is not obligated in any way to get out of the way of a car trying to pull off a dive bomb move. When a dive bomb move is attempted, it can’t be done anything less than completely. Anything less and the diving car is not doing it right, and diving car runs into the lead car, or has to back off. The dive move must be done low and deep, or it doesn’t work. When the car trying to do the dive bomb move doesn’t do it right, it runs into the the car it is trying to get under. Some drivers are good at it, some are still learning. I can list the drivers that still can’t do it, but I don’t want to get anyone upset. The 51 executed several outstanding dive bomb moves in T3 all day and took on all risk himself, never got close to hitting another car. He drove it deep and low and made it stick.

    Overall, it was a pretty good event. The IceBreaker usually has many silly incidents, but it wasn’t too bad.

  7. From my angle in turn 1 that would be 100% correct Shawn. Had a real nice view of that one. Woody was at least to his wheel if not further and I think Donny either tried to squeeze him and try to make him lift, or misjudged his entry. If not for the marbles up top Donny may have had that saved. Track really seemed to be eating up tires this weekend.

  8. I must add, that was one of the most competitive Icebreaker WMT races I have ever seen in my eyes. Great hard respectful racing. Some of the lower divisions could have taken note.

  9. What “SPEC motor problem” would that be? Teams that have the best of the best and do their homework to get the cars right? I’ve never known that to be a problem in my life… That’s how you win races which was evident Sunday.

  10. darealgoodfella says:

    Well, what do you expect Pitkat to say? Do you really expect him to say something like, “Well, I really screwed the pooch on that one, really muffed it up. Didn’t get it low and deep enough and then just drove into the 4. Oops, my bad.”

    If there was so much grip and the 4 could turn down on the 88, why would he? He would just drive around the 88 on the outside. Or instead of doing the dive bomb, the 88 should have done the pass on the outside where all that grip was that the 4 used to turn down. After all, everyone knows that the center line is far superior to the low line at Thompson. That’s why the leaders always choose to restart on the outside. There is some sarcasm sprinkled in there, you figure it out.

    The 51 and 88 had the horsepower over the rest of the field. The 88 should not have forced the issue like that. It could pass at will on the straights.

    Yes, mommy, I ate the cookies from the cookie jar.

    LOL!!!

  11. That “Spec Motor Problem” your referring to is the only chance the Modified Tour has to be viable in the future. I would love to hear your theory behind the “problem”

  12. Force the issue? What race did you watch? When a driver has the wheel to another competitors wheel and the nose at the door, it’s called “having the position” not “forcing the issue”… Woody didn’t do anything wrong. The 4 came down. Everyone but you agrees.

  13. darealgoodfella says:

    Hey John, here’s a better idea… you tell us how the Spec motor is the only chance the Tour has to be viable. Go ahead.

  14. darealgoodfella says:

    Hey Dingus, that’s not a good position to force an issue. Everyone but me agrees? Did you take a triple secret survey? Hey Dingus, the very thought of the outside car pulling down into the low car is still implausible. The 88 not being able to hold it low and then run into the 4… that’s more like it. Actually, that’s what happened.

    Dingus says: “Force the issue? What race did you watch? When a driver has the wheel to another competitors wheel and the nose at the door, it’s called “having the position” not “forcing the issue”… Woody didn’t do anything wrong. The 4 came down. Everyone but you agrees.”

    Hey Shawn, does Lia agree with Pitkat?

  15. You make it sound like they were in the center of the corner when the 4 turned down when in fact the incident happened on entry. So you might want to get the facts of the incident straight. The 4 was trying to squeeze Pitkat, plain and simple. This is not an uncommon practice by Lia. And of course Lia won’t agree… He thinks he is god and everyone should bow down when he is on the racetrack. There is a reason he didn’t survive in the Truck Series… Remember how he got his truck win? OH YEAH! He squeezed the 30 on entry just like he tried to do with Pitkat…

  16. You make it glaringly obvious that you have never sat in a racecar let alone be involved in a side by side battle. You would end up in the wall every single time with the mentality you are showing. When a car is as far up on you as Woody was, you give them enough room to race. Lia pinched him. You and Lia can go sit in a corner and cry all you want. Facts are facts. Everyone saw it. The officials, fans, crews. Everyone except you. So you must be right cause you always are when you post on here…

  17. darealgoodfella says:

    Hey Dingus, if things were reversed, and it was the 4 going low for the dive and the 88 turning down on the 4, and the 88 ended up in the wall, would you be blaming the 4? Yes, you would. You have demonstrated that you are a Lia-hater. Facts are facts. LOL!!!! Next you’ll probably say that any car in front of your favorite is supposed to slow down and get out of the way or they are troublemakers. And I guess I should remind you that Lia did get a shot at the big leagues, has 17 wins, 18 poles, set track records, and 2 championships. Woody has far less experience, has zero wins and just got his first pole.

  18. darealgoodfella says:

    Hey Dingus, here’s what you said: “You make it sound like they were in the center of the corner when the 4 turned down when in fact the incident happened on entry.

    in response to what I said. Here’s what I said, “Or instead of doing the dive bomb, the 88 should have done the pass …”

    Dive bomb moves get done on entry, no where else. So I made it clear the incident happened on entry. You are proving yourself to be the one that doesn’t understand.

  19. I think Donny lia has had the more superior ride and money them woody has had. Woody just got a top notch ride this year!

  20. darealwhoeveryouarethisweek

    You are like talking to the wall that Lia hit. And are just like Lia himself. A legend in your own mind.

    Believe what you want but we all know the truth.

  21. darealgoodfella says:

    Hey Dingus, you remind me of Nixon. When he was getting his butt kicked, he created the ‘Silent Majority’ as his backing. And you are the spokesman of your Silent Majority? Tell us more about the “we” you speak of. Voices? It doesn’t matter how many of you there are, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong. The more there are, the more that are wrong.

    Dingus, if you were at the track, it must have been your first time. The very thought of a leading outside car pulling down on the inside car to get the inside car to back off is absurd. The outside car is already on the edge, and any contact with an inside car will loosen the outside car and the outside car will lose that fight. It happens all the time. The inside car can use the outside car as a moving wall and move the outside car. The outside car loses. Especially when it was a dive-bomb move gone bad. An outside car is not going to attempt to initiate contact with an inside car. The RF of the 88 was lined up with the LR of the 4. On entry, the rear is already incredibly light and vulnerable. Do you really think a driver on the outside wants to intentionally come down and rub his LR against the RF of an inside car on entry when his rear is already light in entry? Dingus, you have so much to learn.

    Here’s another racing concept you need to understand… the leading car runs his line. He doesn’t have to get out of the way of the cars that are behind. The cars that are behind are to figure out how to cleanly get around the cars in front. I believe that’s called racing, clean, respectful racing.

    No driver would intentionally come down like that on entry to initiate contact with his LR against an inside car in an attempt to pinch the inside car.

  22. MCT 4 Fan says:

    Badfellow, at this point on The Tour Lia is by far the dirtiest driver he makes the TC of old look like a Angel.

  23. http://youtu.be/l7G_-ZVqxrk?t=2m33s

    Clear as day. I need to say no more. Have a nice one wrongfella

  24. darealgoodfella says:

    Why did you have to bring up TC? TC looks like an angel? In what Universe? None of them are angels, but at least Lia finishes races and can drive his car back to the pits. This Sunday was the extremely rare exception, and I maintain he was taken out. TC regularly has to walk back to the pits, his car shattered. None of them are angels, but everybody looks extremely angelic next to TC.

    Several years ago, Preece destroyed the 3 and the 4 cars, when Santos was driving the 4, with a dive-bomb move that went bad. This was in T3 at Loudon. And he admitted it, he forced the issue and should have waited a couple more laps until he had better position. He tried a dive-bomb move from too far back, and went in way too hot, and annihilated both cars. He didn’t have the position, forced the issue, and drove into the side of the 4.

    What happened this IceBreaker wasn’t much different.

    Woody was driving a car that was far superior to anything he has ever driven. Perhaps he tried to do more than he should have.

  25. Ummm sooo I watched the video and sorry dude woody was there and had inside position. Lia tried to take his running room away by squeezing him off. Dunno what else to say besides that. He was there and it’s on video.

  26. MCT 4 Fan says:

    Badfella nascar didn’t see your way at all Pitkat 2nd Lia 21. Ask Dave Dion what he thinks about Donnie Puke !

  27. Andy Boright says:

    My impressions from the Icebreacker is that the tour is in deep, deep trouble. This spec engine controversy isn’t doing anything to help car counts, which have taken a serious dive the past few years.

    Melissa Fifield has no business running on the tour, the last thing the competitive drivers need is to be running up on that rolling speed bump every 4 or 5 laps. Someone that slow on the track is going to get people seriously hurt or killed – what an embarrassment for the series!

  28. I don’t see this spec motor as a problem yet!! Buzz chew drove the 88 last year with a spec motor and he didn’t exactly light the world on fire with a bunch of great finishes. The 88 & 51 & 6 are really good drivers. If I’m not mistaken silk also has a spec motor. We’ll see what happens at Stafford and maybe I’ll join your side on this. Not convinced it’s just motor yet. If those guys continue to win or drive away from the field you’ll definitely have a problem.

    And yes fifeld does not belong or there with those tour mods. I cringed when I read the story on racedayct over the winter. She wasn’t even competitive on the vmrs.

  29. darealgoodfella says:

    Hey Dingus, you are right, it is clear as day. The 88 didn’t have the position and drove into the 4.

    Depends on what you call the position. And frankly, I think that will have many different interpretations.

    But watching that video, you can see the 88 didn’t have the position. Watch it frame-by-frame. As they are in front of the camera, you can see that the front wheels of the 88 are BEHIND the rear wheels of the 4. The contact looks like it was on the LR nerf bar or LR wheel of the 4, which the 88 could have avoided very easily. And no outside car will come down on the inside car with his rear… he can only lose that battle. But the inside car can easily and effectively tap the rear of the outside car and move it, which is what happened.

    Watch it again, carefully. First the 88 turned down a little, then sort of straightened out for a bit, and then it drove into the LR of the 4. The 4 turned in after the 88 turned in. The 88 turned in first and a lateral gap opened up between the cars. But the 88 didn’t turn in enough, and then the 88 drove into the 4. If the 88 turned in correctly, this would not have happened.

    That wasn’t very respectful racing on the part of the 88.

    And once again, I’ll say if the cars were reversed, you’d all be pig-piling on the 4 for dirty driving and walling the 88. You can yap about having the “position” all you want, but that has nothing to do with this, and you know it.

  30. darealgoodfella says:

    Fred, the 88 & 51 were the only Spec motors running the IceBreaker. The 88 was a very potent car last year, but if you look over the stats, rarely finished on the lead lap, and DNF’d (accidents) at about a third of the races. But it had great speed at times.

    I’m watching the IceBreaker on Sunday and was wondering if the Spec motor rules were changed over the winter giving that motor even more power. The Spec motors looked better than the Newman/7NY motor with the extra air passages.

    Being concerned about the slow cars is substantiated. I did notice that the slower cars did a pretty good job staying out of the way on Sunday. Last year, the perennial Red Lantern cars ran in the racing lanes, it was all too common. One of these cars drifted up on the backstretch at Thompson and almost put Preece into the wall as Preece was flying by. Perhaps there needs to be a minimum speed rule, or if a slow car impedes, they get black flagged, or a 2 lap penalty. It’s effectively having two classes of cars on the track at once, but it’s a big issue when the top tier cars are impeded or put at risk by the slow cars.

  31. Christ… My 2 y/o has better comprehension of factual information than you seem to… I find it absolutely astonishing that even when presented with video evidence of the truth in what happened that you still argue your convoluted belief that Woody dumped the 4 when it’s clear the 4 chopped his nose off to 99.9% of the world. I’m done arguing with a brick wall.

  32. I have read that the 88 ran the NASCAR spec engine at Thompson. However, “Billy the Kid” is clearly written on the “hood” of the 88. What’s the story?

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