To The Front: Justin Bonsignore Gets First Whelen Mod Tour Win Of 2016 At Thompson Bud 150

Justin Bonsignore 8-10-16

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Budweiser King of Beers 150 Thursday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

THOMPSON – Justin Bonsignore’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour statistics coming into Wednesday’s Budweiser King of Beers 150 painted the picture of a driver having a season of celebration.

Six top-five finishes in nine starts with a pair of seconds and a third.

Though the piece missing from those numbers was tempering the excitement of all the good happening around the Holtsville, N.Y. driver. 

Missing was a victory in 2016. Wednesday Bonsignore filled that hole in the statistical overlook. And he did it in style, beating out the driver it seems everyone is chasing week after week.

Bonsignore held off three-time and reigning series champion Doug Coby to win the Whelen Modified Tour Budweiser King of Beers 150 at Thompson Speedway.

“It was eating at me,” said Bonsignore, who last won on Aug. 29, 2015 at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway. “I haven’t won really in a long time. … Tonight we had a really good car, we qualified up front and that was probably the biggest thing. We’ve struggled to qualify.”

Both of Bonsignore’s victories in 2015 came at Riverhead. It was Bonsignore’s ninth career Whelen Modified Tour victory and fourth at Thompson.

Coby, of Milford, was second and Bobby Santos III of Franklin, Mass. third.

Coby, who has won three of 10 events this year, charged from fourth to second on a lap 148 restart, but couldn’t find a way by Bonsignore over the final two laps.

“I had to put a little block on him in [turn] three, but when you have a car like that you just can’t give these things away,” Bonsignore said. “They’re hard to win. We want to be the guy that can beat him. They’re consistently the best team every week. To beat them tonight is huge. It’s a compliment to them. They are the best right now. We’re trying hard to catch them and to beat them. It’s just really tough.”

Coby started on the pole and dominated the early stages before a lap 55 caution sent all the leaders to the pits.

Chase Dowling led the field off pit road with Eric Goodale in second, Bonsignore third and Coby fourth. Coby rocketed back to the lead on the lap 62 restart with Bonsignore following to second.

By lap 70 Bonsignore was all over Coby and made the move to go by Coby for the lead on lap 74. Bonsignore opened up some breathing room during a stretch of green flag laps, but Coby closed back to his bumper by lap 123 and was peeking low just before the caution flew on lap 126.

“I was getting little free, more than I wanted to,” Bonsignore said. “And I did see that hey came back to me a little bit. I knew he was rolling the bottom and I knew it was going to be really hard for him unless he could roll the same groove as me and just get a good run and out-drag me down the backstretch and slide job me. I didn’t think he’d be able to clear me off the bottom. But that yellow definitely made it a little for the last all but three laps.”

Said Coby: “I was getting a little bit of a rhythm in the lower groove and Justin knows that that’s where I’m going to go and I kind of know that h knows that’s where I’m going to go. … Right around that caution I started to see him sliding just a little bit more. The gap closed up a foot or two every lap more. I was just riding kind of content.”

On the ensuing restart Coby spun in his tires in the low lane and Bonsignore was able to check out as Santos moved to second. The caution flew again on lap 143 to set up the final lap 148 restart, but Coby attempt to go from fourth and by Bonsignore over the final three laps came up short.

“This is just huge for us,” Bonsignore said. “We really needed it.”


  1. nice win justin. way to go for M3 team and SPAFCO racing.

  2. Great job M3 racing Justin ran a great race.With the dominance of the 2 we still have a tight points race with 7 races to go.It certainly is a much more competitive season than many have predicted.I think it will be decided back at Thompson in October.

  3. Great job Justin, great job Billy and great job SPAFCO………………..

  4. Well, it looks like the 51 found the magical set up combination. Let’s see how often they are able to make it work in the future.

    Good event.

    Rain in the area ruined qualifying for the 8 and 4. The 4 went out first after the rain delay and almost went into the wall as he got on the track. Qualifying was postponed and the track was “dried”. The 4 & 8 did well in practice and had late qualifying draws, and should have had a pretty good qualifying. Not to be… they qualified horribly after the rain delay and started in the back, 19th and 20th. That definitely was not a good thing for both of them. They made progress, but at a cost. The 4 was up to 5th and the 8 was up there as well. The 4 was penalized for something, some sort of contact that spun another car. Looked like a normal racing deal. Certainly tame by TC standards. From my view, it seemed like the car that spun got in the way of the 4 and did it to himself. Oh well.

    The 3 had engine issues again, 2nd straight engine related DNF. Had high hopes for that deal. They run pretty good, when the engines allow.

    Only 3 cautions. With that comes long runs. Seems to be less cautions overall this season. Is there a correlation with the lack of TC? 😝

    I’m sure the 2 team has filed a protest with NASCAR because another car actually raced the 2.

    The 6 came alive late in the race and made it to tech.

    Pretty good event.

  5. Muddbus461 says

    Are you kidding?What race were you watching.Another WMT Conrail special.Only 25 cars also.Hope there are more than 25 at Oswego.That was the real Modified Bore last night.

  6. Muddbus461, that’s what happens when there aren’t many cautions. There were 55 lap, 66 lap, 11 lap and 4 lap runs. The last two short runs were pretty exciting because the cars were bunched up. But when there are long runs, the cars will spread out. And when there are lots of cautions, you complain about that.

  7. Liz Cherokee says

    Good to see Melissa doing better last night! Now if I could only get Thompson to start serving some Robert Mondavi Private Select wines for our enjoyment…

  8. I wonder why people go to the races if they are not enjoying themselves.When it becomes a bore or too expensive or whatever I will stop going and find another hobby.

  9. Wow. TC doesn’t even have to be in a race to draw criticism. Dareal, next thing you’ll probably say is that TC was one of the founders of ISIS.

  10. Fast Eddie says

    Dareal, I’m with you on this one. The deuce is losing some of it’s dominance as other teams are catching up. I thought there was a lot of good racing for position within the top 10-12 spots; some guys working 2-3 laps setting up to make a pass. GOOD STUFF!!

  11. I still state that the 2 car has not done much “racing” this year. Starts up front almost every race, and usually only has to deal with lapped traffic. I believe that when he is in the pack, and needs to “race”, either he, or the car, is not that great as all might say ! Insert driver of the 44 into the seat of the 2, and the racing will become even more boring, if you know what I mean !

  12. Observer, I have to disagree with you on the 2. Coby dropped to 8th at Loudon after halftime and then came roaring back to win, passing some very good cars in the process. I do think there are 6-8 cars very capable of running with and beating the 2. We have seen that the last few races. The 2 is also 0-3 at Thompson after sweeping there last year. The points race also indicate as much. The cautions have drastically been reduced the last several years because there are less cars and less field fillers who have no business being out there. Has nothing to do with TC.

    Bristol baby!!

  13. Observer, agree with you on all points. The 2 can’t race. It has to stay out in front out of the mix. The 2 is no good in real racing traffic. If the 2 car was as equal as the other cars, it would be getting beat down in traffic.

    NH Mark, at Loudon, the 2 was shuffled back on a restart, and with a huge track such as Loudon, an anomalously powerful car has all the room, straightaways, and time to come back with no intense or risky close confines racing involved. Just squeeze the throttle and go, and that’s the way it happened. Look at the standings, the 16 and 51 are the only cars near the orbit of the 2. There are more cars this year, still the same field fillers. No TC and way less cautions.

    Who is going to Bristol?

  14. Liz,Melissa finished down over 60 laps.I think maybe we should stick to H2O and stop clouding our senses with Mr Mondavi

  15. Kimbo dice says

    Hey DAH-REAL I’m going to Bristol do you want to meet me in the parking lot ? I can ktlsoou and then …

  16. Joe Lajoie says

    If a darealgoodfella fell in the forest would anyone hear it?
    Why would you care if anyone was going to Bristol? It’s not like you have the cojones to say who you are so someone could meet up with you.

  17. old observer says

    2 & 51 were racing each other hard early in the race, later others were added to the mix, 2 was going to finish 4th or lower but gained spots on the last restart because the lower groove wasn’t there.
    Good racing throughout the field. Enjoyed the race & the program was moved along quickly despite the weather.
    Some of you need to enjoy what we have and stop complaining about everything.

  18. Is TC going to Bristol?

  19. I agree with your last paragraph, to many Monday morning quaterbacks.

  20. Liz Cherokee says

    No clouding of my senses here… Melissa has been the most popular driver on the Whelen Modified Tour for the last two years! Time to drink some Perrier-Jouet Blason Rose to that!

  21. Congrats to the 51!!!! This has been a good season. They are running very consistently, 7 top 5s, two more than any other car.

    The Bristol race should be different in that many teams have learned more about the SPEC motor car and handling needs. Let’s see how that works at Bristol. Over the last couple races at Bristol, many teams have gotten better. Still, stay away from the 2.

  22. Liz Cherokee,
    I do not doubt that Melissa and family are wonderful, family oriented people. That being said, she does not belong in a Tour mod.

  23. Kimbo dice says

    I didn’t think so . But it don’t hurt to try .

  24. Kimbo dice, don’t be offended. I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings. But I just don’t associate with knuckle-dragging troglodytes. It’s not personal.

    But I’ll be looking down on you. 😈 💀

    And Joe LaJoie, you really should use an anonymous handle.

  25. Are these Fools really talking about meeting up to fight????,,,,Why?…Because they have different opinions?…..Priceless.

  26. Jim Phillips says

    Keyboard Heros LOL

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