Sweet Tunes: With Changes, Justin Bonsignore Enthusiastic For Second Half Of Whelen Mod Tour Season

Justin Bonsignore

STAFFORD – It’s fair to characterize that through the first seven races this year on the Whelen Modified Tour, Justin Bonsignore and his M3 Racing team have been slightly out of tune.

Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway Bonsignore was back making sweet music on the track, finishing third in the Whelen Modified Tour Stafford 150.

“We got the band back together,” Bonsignore told fans gleefully on the track after the event.

After the 2016 season Billy Michael resigned as Bonsignore’s crew chief after three season’s in the position. He was replaced by Danny Laferriere.

Over the first seven races this season Bonsignore’s status as a threat to win weekly had faded some. He had five top-10 finishes in the first seven races, but no finish better than fifth.

Following a 17th place finish in the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway changes were made within the team that put Michael back in the crew chief’s role with the team.

“It wasn’t something we wanted to do, especially in the busiest time of the year,” Bonsignore said. “Danny did a great job for our team the last year and a half. I’m very appreciative for what him and his wife Melanie did for our team. But sometimes things in racing don’t work and we had an opportunity present itself to bring Bill back for mostly just race day stuff. … We’re housing the stuff on [Long Island] again and preparing the cars ourselves, me and the guys. We bring them up to SPAFCO and they’re giving us a lot of factory support to get through the rest of the year. We looked at the points and said we weren’t out of it yet. We’re actually closer than where we were going into this race last year and we had that great stretch.”

With eight races remaining this season Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y., sits tied for third in the series standings, 25 points behind leader Timmy Solomito. The series heads to Thompson Speedway Wednesday for the Budweiser King of Beers 150. Bonsignore is the defending champion of the event and has five of his 12 career Whelen Modified Tour victories at the track.

“There’s a whole other half of a season here and we’re going to some of our better tracks,” Bonsignore said. “I think we’ve got two really good races coming up in the next week. This stretch always usually sets the tone for the rest of the season. I’m excited. We’ve got a lot of good tracks coming up and hopefully this is the start of things to come for us.”

Bonsignore, in his eighth season full-time on the Whelen Modified Tour, is looking for his first series championship.

“I was a little worried if we’d come out of the box just as good as we ended last year,” Bonsignore said of Friday at Stafford. “Obviously tonight we showed that we can run back in the top-five. This is just such a tough place with track position. We ran second and we were fine and then you get to fifth and you can’t go nowhere. I felt we had the best strategy with tires. I guess it just didn’t work. Too many yellows or whatever it was. If we would have had a couple more green-white-checkered’s aybe we would have been there. But all in all in a really good night. I’m proud of my guys. Nobody gave up. It’s been a tough season so far, but we’re back I hope and hopefully people have got to keep an eye on us for the rest of the season.”


  1. darealgoodfella says

    That explains why the car looked so much better at Stafford.

    Thompson looks like it will be a fun night.

  2. Wow. I need to hire Justin as my life coach. Talk about putting a positive spin on life. Danny was great?….. really dude? That’s why you ran like dong? Come on. This team needs a major change soon (chassis is my thought) before they are written off completely.

  3. You go Justin, Billy Michael you are da man!

  4. Easy on Danny ! He is a great guy it just didn’t woark… let’s go Billy and Justin! Bonswahhh nation is ready ! Danny we love you and your wife … see you soon your the man …. best of luck to the #51 team and Danny !

  5. darealgoodfella says

    Well, this Danny was Crew Chief with the 51, and before that the Mark Sypher/Lia 8, and before that the Mystic Missile. Okay, that explains things.

    Looking forward to seeing the 51 jump in performance. Thompson should be a pretty good race.

  6. darealgoodfella says

    Looking forward to seeing the 51 in the mix with authority.

  7. darealgoodfella says

    The 51 was very good at Thompson with Billy Michael. Let’s see if they get it back and can run up front.

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