Lost And Found: Justin Bonsignore Grabs Whelen Mod Tour Icebreaker 150 Victory At Thompson

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – The opening two events of the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour weren’t very smile producing for reigning series champion Justin Bonsignore. 

But when it comes to Thompson Speedway, the Holtsville, N.Y. driver knows happiness for he and his M3 Racing team is often easy to find at the historic facility. 

Bonsigore finished 12thin the season opening event at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway on March 16. Power steering issues left the Bonsignore 57 laps off the leaders in 25thplace on March 30 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. 

As he drove around the track galaxies behind the leaders at South Boston, Bonsignore was adjusting the mindset for the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson. 

“I said it on the radio, I was like 40 laps down last week, I said ‘Don’t worry guys, I’ll make up for this next week.’” Bonsignore said. “I knew we were going to one of our best tracks. I couldn’t ask for a better place to come when you get off to a slow start.”

Sunday at Thompson Bonsignore found exactly the elixir he was hoping for at the friendly confines that have been so welcoming to him over the past few years. 

Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y., inherited the lead when Doug Coby was penalized under caution on lap 108 and then drove away over the final 40 laps to win the Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway. 

Ron Silk of Norwalk was second and Eric Goodale of Riverhead, N.Y. third. 

It was the fifth consecutive series victory at Thompson for Bonsignore, making him the first driver in series history to accomplish that feat. It was his seventh win in the last 11 series events at the track and 10thwin overall on the .625-mile oval. 

Six drivers in series history (Bonsignore, Richie Evans, Jeff Fuller, Steve Park, Mike Stefanik and Doug Coby) have won four consecutive series events at Thompson. 

“Stuff like that is really cool,” Bonsignore said. “It’s stuff you’ll think about when you’re done racing.” 

Five-time series champion Doug Coby won the pole and led all the way until all the leaders headed to the pits under caution on lap 102. Coby beat Bonsigore out of the pits, but was penalized for running over an air hose under caution. 

The penalty dropped Coby to 14thplace. 

“We’ve had speed at every race so far,” Bonsignore said. “Myrtle Beach we didn’t pit and last week I got us wrecked. We had to put together a full race and just execute and have a little bit of luck. Doug and I were pretty even. … You’ve got to have a little luck go your way and we finally we got some this year. 

“It would have been a good race. Neither one of us would have gave an inch I know that. I’ve won a bunch of here and some of them are just on luck. You’ve got to put yourself in position and my team always does.” 

Silk, who was coming off a victory at South Boston, wasn’t able to mount a challenge on Bonsigore over the final 40 laps. 

“Him and [Coby] were the best two cars all weekend and [Coby] was even a little bit better than him,” Silk said. “I think he would just get out a few car lengths and kind of mind the gap and not use too much of what he had left in case there was some late race cautions.” 

Coby, who won the season opener at Myrtle Beach, clawed back to fifth place and will take the points lead by seven over Patrick Emerling to the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford on April 28. Jimmy Blewett and Burt Myers are tied for third in the standings, eight points behind Coby. Bonsignore sits seventh in the standings, 25 points off the lead.

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Comments

  1. Still unclear what caused the caution at with 4 to go, pretty much a boring racing. PASS race was the best race of the day

  2. Chris,
    Huge piece of metal debris on the front stretch.

  3. It was an air cleaner that came off

  4. Such a shame. The second fastest car won. But accolades to Coby and Buckler for recognizing every position was important in the big picture.
    Slick moves of the day…..Goodale and Silk. Whether it was taking less important rubber on early and the most important tires late or just fast stops I didn’t see. But track position was everything, they were really smart and won the war of strategy.
    Who said circle track racing is dying. That crowd was outstanding.

  5. Mid guy says:

    Well the world is normal again. 2-15 are back dominating. 21 fell off the map. 54 no show after the drop of the green. 75 is the last remaining surprise story of 2019.

  6. Thanks

  7. The #92 Cars Air Cleaner

  8. Surprise of the day for me, was lutz running in fourth for so long, until he got in a little trouble at the very end.
    i was sitting at the end of the fourth turn. Watched showtime run everyone and their brother up the hill going into 3, by driving in so deep, and using 8 tires instead of four. Finally went once too many, and took out benjamin in the 15. Both cars never the same after that. Could see it coming, i just did not know who he was going to take with him at the time. Too bad.

  9. Nice day, great New England weather. Welcome to the northeast racing season.

    What’s with the Catalano cars? Make a splash in practice and qualifying, then can’t finish.

    Good showing for E. Goodale, he’s got a win coming sooner than later. The 07 was wicked fast too. Nice run by Silk.

    There’s no parity like disparity.

    The 82 looked better than it finished to me anyways. The 64 has only bad luck, just incredible. The 21 just couldn’t get a handle on it this weekend. The 7 was off. 36 had a bad day.

    Only 3 yellows and a couple loooooooooong runs that really stretched out the field. Cars were getting wiggly, needed the yellow for adjustments and/or tires.

  10. Muddbus says:

    BORING…………..

  11. “That crowd was outstanding”

    At $50 to $60/head + $50 a campsite for some! Outstanding to see that level of attendance.

    So much for admission needing to be $10 to draw a good crowd…

  12. humphry says:

    To bad the 01 had to drop out with mechanical issues as she was having another great run. Maybe those issues are why she was off the pace the first two races this year and they finally manifested themselves and failed this weekend. Probably things were seizing up which severely impeded her forward progress. Once the tranny and differential issues are repaired I am looking for a stellar run from her at the Sizzler!

  13. knuckles mahoney says:

    16 needs a total makeover. What a joke. They’re not even competitive. Get a new driver in that thing.

  14. Moonglum says:

    This is off topic but why is Thompson letting mothers on the pits pushing around baby carriages with and 5 6 year olds hanging on to them it an accident waiting to happen

  15. Might be the car. The 16 qualified 3/10’s of a second slower then last year. 14th fastest best lap speed.
    Just not as fast.

  16. Not sure if anyone else noticed, but the flagman did not seem to be on the ball during the Tour race. Could be he is a “starter in training” or something like that. It appeared the assistant starter had to get his attention to throw the yellow flag when Catalano spun. Also on the final restart they forgot to turn out the caution lights until the leaders were already past turn 2.

  17. Curious why more Mod drivers do not run. The low line at Thompson? The low line seamed to work well for DJ Shaw in the PASS race; would think with a modified being lighter and wider tires would be able to make the bottom work.

  18. Slapnuts says:

    I’m a little surprised that the caution light coming back on after green was given on final restart is not a bigger story. I have experience in flagging and after a green is given if a yellow light is mistakingly displayed you keep it yellow and restart end of story. You never just switch it back off after 3 seconds of yellow lights as you’ve now just officially compromised a green/wht./ checker restart. No telling who went in mid pack and who didn’t and when your talking single points making a difference in the final standings for all the cash it’s BAD PRACTICE.

  19. Muddbus says:

    How about all the bikes in the pits also…..many with little kids on them….

  20. Fast Eddie says:

    Anyone who thought the race was boring must have been only watching the front-runners and missed some of the mid-pack multi-car battles for position. Also, great racing from many of the other divisions over the weekend, a number of them having last lap battles for the lead.
    Knuckles, Solomito can definitely drive as he proved in 2016 & 2017. There have to be some car and/or engine issues with the 16.
    Humphry, were you hanging out with Liz over the weekend? I hope you’re o.k., your comments have me worried about your sanity! 🙂

  21. Chris; great strategy if you can make it work. The only guy I saw consistently do just that yesterday was the 2. After he was sent to the rear, he methodically picked them off 1 by 1 getting low into 3 and getting just halfway up into the middle groove , if at all. The car just has to work low, and from what i saw, coby was consistently the only guy that could do it, at least from where i was sitting anyway.
    Slapnights, I was on my feet when I saw that yellow. i though maybe they got silk for jumping the last restart, or something like that I was trying to figure out what I missed. Thought I was having a “senior” moment, as no-one else around me seemed to notice, and the race stayed green! Thank god for your comment, as thought I might have to give up those new “ultas 16 oz@ at the track!!! You saved me!

  22. humphry says:

    Fast Ed, still recovering from being thrown under the bus by those who are accusing me of being a misogynist. Those busses are pretty heavy and can cause traumatic injuries you know. As Doug would say “I am on the Mellissa train” but that is probably like being on a Boeing 737 Max 8 at this point.

  23. About the low line at Thomson… engines are turning lower RPMs one the inside lane and it makes for a slower exit. The high line allows the engines to exit with higher RPM and better time down the straight. Watch two cars side by side through T1-2, on exit, the inside car doesn’t get the jump, the outside car pulls ahead.

  24. Hillary 2020 says:

    And the yellow lights didn’t just come on for a second either. They were on long enough where it looked like some cars may have slowed down.

  25. Hillary 2020 says:

    Accident waiting to happen for sure. I hear that this season they’re charging an 8 month old the same as an 80 year old for a pit pass. Maybe at least that’ll keep some parents from wanting to bring the kids in the pits.

  26. Knuckles, I agree, another very disappointing run for the 16….. who you want to replace the natural with, Hinkley? Williams? Rocco? Santos?

  27. It doesn’t look like the driver of the 16 is the problem. That car loses it quickly. Not much a driver can do with a car that isn’t set up as good as the other cars.

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