Torn: Bittersweet Justin Bonsignore Celebrates Thompson Mod Tour Win, Laments Lost Title

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: NASCAR/Fran Lawlor)

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: NASCAR/Fran Lawlor)

THOMPSON – Justin Bonsignore had a fairly clean day on the track during Sunday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway.

The big crash came for the Holtsville, N.Y. driver actually came when the racing was all over.

Bonsignore won the battle but lost the war Sunday at Thompson Speedway, winning the Sunoco World Series 150 but coming up short in his quest to win the championship.

Doug Coby of Milford finished sixth in the event to win his third consecutive series title and fourth title overall. Bonsignore finished the season with four victories in 17 events and 12 points behind Coby in the final standings.

“It’s unfortunate for sure,” Bonsignore said. “I said before the weekend that I wasn’t going to get down on myself about it. But I wasn’t totally convinced I’d just win it and put the pressure on him. … When you get to pull into victory lane and he takes over and celebrates from there it’s definitely a bummer.”

Bonsignore, looking for his first series title, came into the event trailing Coby by 20 points in the standings.

It was his fifth career victory at Thompson for Bonsignore and second in a row. He won the Budweiser King of Beers 150 at the track on Aug. 10.

“We kept [Coby’s Mike Smeriglio Racing team] honest this year,” Bonsignore said. “Everybody thought they’d just walk away with this deal. The second half of the year we really turned it on. We were 40 or 50 points out at one point. We’re not going to hang our head with any of this. … All in all an amazing season. To finish second is nothing to be ashamed of. Very proud of our season. Four wins. I think we finished in the top-five in all but four races. Just bummed, but really excited. Just come back next year stronger.”

Ryan Preece of Berlin was second and Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J. third.

Bonsignore started seventh and early in the race faded outside the top-10, but rallied back. After chasing leader Timmy Solomito for 50 laps, Bonsignore got under him into turn three and came off turn four with the lead on lap 130. He never trailed again.

“I just worked [Solomito] over,” Bonsignore said. “I knew he was free and I could see it and I’d show him the nose and show him the nose. Finally I could see that the guys behind us we’re running us down and I said ‘I’ve got to go.’ He drove it in there deep with us, we bounced wheels. It probably wasn’t one my cleaner passes at Thompson. I hope he’s not too upset. I’m sure he understand that we had to win the race and hope for the best.”


  1. Liz Cherokee says

    Sweet! 83% laps complete and a top 20 finish for Melissa to close out the year!!!

  2. ok were is that not so real guy that says the 2 will win every race with that huge carb that just drives by everyone..he only wins because of his huge horsepower…..that handling has nothing to do with his wins …..well he must have sold it to the 51 because now he drives by everyone at the horsepower tracks !!!!! lol what a non

  3. Really Liz ? I’m not a negative person but Melissa needs to find a division get equipment and talent level make her competitive. 83% would be even more if she wasn’t 20 laps down and running !! I couldn’t come out every week with zero chance of even a top ten. I can appreciate the competitor spirit. But drop back n find a division we’re u can do more than shoe up. Sorry.

  4. Congratulations To Justin and M3.Had a blast watching those guys put a rocketship out there for much of the year.Watch out next year because the 51 will be fast, consistent and Hungry.I’m glad to say goodbye to I 95 for a few months but still looking forward to April.

  5. Mellisa can run dare stock

    Top 20 with 21 car counts

  6. Jeffrey, that is the first thing I can honestly say I can agree with you on.

  7. n ice way to finish a good year 2nd in points and a number of wins in the later part of the year. nothing to hang you head on look how many teams never got close to wining a single race. the 51 team is top notch in racing and a big thanks to SPAFCO for great cars all year. see you at waterford justin with the 21 and another win for that team. way to go justin.

  8. Great job Justin, Billy and crew, can’t wait for 2017 and hopefully a championship. Gotta love those SPAFCO chassis!

  9. I personally don’t care about points, I think it takes away from racing, point racers don’t try to win all the time and sometimes stay home instead of running shows that pay good money

  10. Mr. Ken
    What a shame that all the money in the world can’t buy Justin a championship.
    Maybe you can take Your desk outside and burn it.
    Good luck next year.

  11. Great season man
    Its just with coby he is so much better than the rest
    You will be a runner up till doug retires
    But you are good man
    Just outclassed by power and crew

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