Justin Bonsignore Set To Make NEMA Debut In Cantor Memorial At Riverhead Raceway

(Press Release from Northeastern Midget Association)

Justin Bonsignore (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Justin Bonsignore (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Whelen Modified tour driver, Justin Bonsignore, is set to make his Northeastern Midget Association debut on Saturday May 28th at Riverhead Raceway in the inaugural Allan Cantor Memorial. Bonsignore will be teaming up with Tim Bertrand/Bertrand Motorsports, playing part to a three car card that evening with the team’s full time drivers, Todd Bertrand and five time NEMA champion, Randy Cabral.

A winner of six World Karting Association titles and eight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) events, Bonsignore is no stranger to victory lane. He was also the 2010 NWMT rookie of the year, and named the tour’s most popular driver in 2011.

“I am really excited and honored to get the chance to drive for the Bertrand family, they build and prepare some amazing looking cars, and they are extremely fast as well. I have always kept up with watching the NEMA races when we are there with the modifieds and more often than not the Bertrand cars are in victory lane, it was pretty awesome to have Tim reach out and ask me to drive the car,” said Bonsignore.

“I really hope I can get up to speed quickly and feel comfortable, the only thing I have driven in comparison is a TQ midget over the winter, but I have a feeling this is going to be a totally different animal, we are hoping to get a test in next week at the Speedbowl to learn the in/out of the cars and get a feel for what I will need to be comfortable. One good thing on my side will be that Tim prepares a great car and I know once the driver is up to speed that the car will already be there. I also know I can reach out to Todd and even Doug Coby for what to look for in the car and what to expect,” he went on to say.

Bonsignore will be piloting the #74 Esslinger powered machine, which was driven to two victories last year at Chemung and Waterford by Coby, and at Monadnock by Joey Payne.

Bonsignore is also no stranger to Riverhead, a place that NEMA has not visited in many years. The 2011 Riverhead Raceway modified champion said, on the topic of the midgets coming back – “I think it should produce a great race, I personally have only seen the NEMA cars on a bigger, wider tracks where they seem to get strung out, I think you will see a really close group of cars on a tight little bullring, where there might be a bunch of lead changes, good hard nose racing. Hopefully we are right in the mix of it.”

NEMA will play part of a busy evening on the 28th at Riverhead, as it’s the track’s “Wall of Fame” night, Vintage midget series, and the regular card of racing. It will also be the first NEMA Allan Cantor Memorial race, commemorating the long time club member who passed away last year. Allan’s son, Adam, and family will be on hand, as the Master of Ceremonies as the club remember’s the devoted Cantor.

The relationship between Cantor and Bonsignore also runs deep.

“I think the coolest part of getting the opportunity to drive for the Bertrand family is that it’s going to be in the Inaugural Allan Cantor Memorial. I have known Adam and Allan Cantor since Adam and I were about 8 years old racing go karts out at Westhampton Speedway, Alan was always such a great person and always was nice to me growing up. I know it may be a tall task to win in my first start, but I really want to win this race for that reason more then any other,” he said.

NEMA kicks off its season at Star Speedway for the Butch Walsh Memorial this Saturday. It will be the second race for the Lites, after Danny Cugini took down the win at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in April.

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