Justin Bonsignore Races To Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire 75 Win At Thompson

THOMPSON – Justin Bonsignore came into the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season fully expecting to be a contender for a series championship.

Justin Bonsignore in victory lane at Thompson (Photo: Travis Barrett)

Through the opening stages of the season Bonsignore and his team struggled to lived up to those expectations.

But Sunday at Thompson International Speedway Bonsisgnore, of Holtsville, N.Y., bounced back from disappointment in dramatic fashion.

Bonsignore passed Ryan Preece for the lead on lap 68 and then held off Bobby Santos III on a the event’s final restart to win the Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire 75 at Thompson Speedway.

The race was extended to 82 laps because of a late caution.

Santos, of Franklin, Mass., was second and Prece, of Berlin, third.

“This is huge,” Bonsignore said. “Our team has been ups and downs all year. We really felt we could come out of the box and contend. … We kind of took a step backwards.”

Bonsignore passed Ted Christopher for second place on lap 65, before going by Preece for the lead on lap 68. Preece, who started on the pole, had dominated the event up to that point.

“We were just really tight in the beginning,” Bonsignore said. “We were having a lot of radio problems, then we started running a little hot. I was complaining pretty bad over the radio. Our car just had no forward drive in the beginning run. We got that caution and everything heat cycled through and I don’t know if everybody else just came back to us or we just got a little better. We got a really good restart and got up to third.

“I just started working Teddy over as hard as I could, showing him the nose, showing him the outside. It’s real hard to pass him here, everybody knows that, he’s the best. Finally I just put the slide job on him down in [turn] three, didn’t make any contact, which is how it’s supposed to be done here and it’s tough to do it. Then we ran Ryan down. I didn’t think was going to get him as easy as I did. He tried to cross over back but our car was really good up off [the corner].”

The caution flew on lap 73 for a crash involving Rowan Pennink and Patrick Emerling. On the lap 81 restart Santos went from fourth to second.

“The last thing I wanted to see was that caution,” Bonsignore said. “That’s the last thing you want to see when you’re driving away with two [laps] to go. But luckily we got a good start, rolled in on the top. But Bobby was coming. I was going to have to protect the bottom really bad to hold him off. I knew it would be exciting and clean.”

The race came to and end when Ron Silk ended up in the wall in turn two on lap 82 after Bonsignore had taken the white flag.

“The way our season has gone, I’ll take it when a caution ends the race,” Bonsignore said. “Overall, a great day for us.”

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