Homer: Justin Bonsignore Wins Whelen Mod Tour Hoosier Tire East 200 At Riverhead Raceway

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Hoosier Tire East 200 Sunday at Riverhead Raceway (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Hoosier Tire East 200 Sunday at Riverhead Raceway (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images for NASCAR)

No rain was enough to extinguish the home track home fires burning at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway Sunday for Justin Bonsignore.

The Holtsville, N.Y. driver and former weekly competitor at the Riverhead quarter-mile made Sunday’s rain delayed Hoosier Tire East 200 his own.

In dominating fashion, Bonsignore won the Whelen Modified Tour Hoosier Tire East 200 Sunday at Riverhead Raceway.

Bonsignore took the lead from Timmy Solomito on lap nine and never trailed again. The race was originally scheduled for Saturday evening but was postponed because of rain.

“We had a really good car [Saturday],” Bonsignore said. “We would have liked to race [Saturday], I think we would have had a great car then. But we just bided our time. It kind of worked out the way [pole-winner Tom Rogers Jr.] got penalized for that post qualifying infraction. We got a good start and [Solomito] was real tight at the start so I just knew to get to the lead and set my pace from there.” 

Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield was second and Doug Coby of Milford third.

It was the seventh career Whelen Modified Tour victory for Bonsignore in 79 career series starts. He got his first series win on July 30, 2011 at Riverhead.

The victory proved the next step in a turnaround for Bonsignore and his M3 Racing team after a struggling first four events of the season. After finishing 20th or worse in the first four events this year Bosnignore finished second to Coby in the division’s most recent event before Sunday on June 10 at Thompson Speedway.

Solomito went by Vincent Biondolillo for the lead at the start with Bonsignore moving to second. On lap nine Bonsignore moved to the lead past Solomito.

Ryan Preece, a regular dominator in Whelen Modified Tour events at Riverhead, moved to second and began nagging Bonsignore, but to no avail.

On lap 114 Coby moved past Preece for second. Coby gave Bonsignore a run for the top spot on a lap 125 restart, but Bonsignore kept his grip on the lead.

With 141 laps complete, the red flag was brought out for rainy conditions, sending the field to the pits with Bonsignore leading Coby and Szegedy in third.

After the rains stopped, Bonsignore’s domination continued as he left the field behind. Coby lost second to Szegedy on lap 162. Szegedy was able to catch Bonsignore in traffic in the closing laps, but had no way around the leader.

“The only time they really would get to my bumper was just in lapped traffic,” Bonsignore said. “I was really playing it as safe as it could. [Crew chief] Bill Michael and the [M3 Racing team] they dialed [my car] in completely 100 percent today. I couldn’t believe how good of a car we had. It was definitely a pleasure to drive. You don’t get those too often.”

Eric Goodale of Riverhead was fourth and Woody Pitkat of Stafford fifth.

Coby, the reigning series champion, and Ryan Preece left Riverhead tied at the top of the series standings with Pitkat two points behind in third.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Riverhead Hoosier Tire East 200 Results
At Riverhead Raceway
Riverhead, N.Y.
Lap length: 0.25 miles
(Start position in parentheses)

1. (4) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200 laps, 45.045 mph.
2. (11) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Dodge, 200.
3. (6) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
4. (12) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
5. (24) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
6. (2) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 200.
7. (1) Tom Rogers, Jr., Patchogue, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
8. (5) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
9. (3) Vincent Biondolillo, Farmingville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
10. (27) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
11. (21) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
12. (23) Kyle Ellwood, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
13. (16) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
14. (26) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
15. (18) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
16. (20) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
17. (22) Brendon Bock, Franklin Square, N.Y., Ford, 199.
18. (19) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 199.
19. (14) Jerry Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 198.
20. (25) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 198.
21. (28) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 198.
22. (7) Troy Talman, Oxford, Mass., Chevrolet, 197.
23. (15) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Chevrolet, 196.
24. (17) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 149, handling.
25. (8) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 146.
26. (10) Frank Vigliarolo, Jr., Mt. Sinai, N.Y., Chevrolet, 124, accident.
27. (13) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 45, rear end.
28. (9) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Pontiac, 18, accident.

Race Statistics
Time of Race: 1 hour 6 minutes 36 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.415 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: T.Rogers, Jr. (74.888 mph, 12.018 seconds)
Caution Flags: 6 for 74 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Solomito 1-8; J. Bonsignore 9-123; D. Coby 124; J. Bonsignore 125-200.
Standings: 1. D. Coby, 251; 2. R. Preece, 251; 3. W. Pitkat, 249; 4. T. Szegedy, 225; 5. B. Santos, 214; 6. T. Solomito, 213; 7. T. Christopher, 206; 8. E. Goodale, 204; 9. P. Emerling, 201; 10. R. Pennink, 191.


  1. Nice run for todd

  2. Another Fellah says

    I wonder if Szegedy had that Hutter spec engine that’s been sitting on the floor in Mystic installed for this race…

  3. That would bum me out… I really hope an open motor can still compete for wins. Can anyone confirm what was in todds car? If it was a spec maybe I’ll just start watching k&n. Boring cars built exactly the same…. Yay

  4. just a fan says

    there would be NO reason to run a new motor of any kind at the head …lol….IF bob has a new hutter spec ? you would see it at NHMS….

  5. justafella says

    The distributor was at the rear of the engine ,fabricated valve covers and had a $250 alternator on it !

  6. Grey Matter says

    Motor doesn’t mean much if the car can’t handle on a track like Riverhead.

  7. JustaFella says

    How about Woody picking up 19 spots and Tommy Rogers picking up 21 respectively ! Nice ride from da rear

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