Restart: Justin Bonsignore Returns To Whelen Mod Tour Victory Lane In Icebreaker 150 At Thompson

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

THOMPSON – For three years Thompson Speedway was a place where NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Justin Bonsignore could count on for turning fortunes around.

Over a span of 11 Whelen Modified Tour events at Thompson from the start of the 2014 season to the close of the 2016 season Bonsignore had four victories and seven top-three finishes.

Despite finishing third in the series standings in 2017, it was a year Bonsignore didn’t look fondly upon. After six consecutive seasons of recording at least one victory each season on the Whelen Modified Tour, Bonsignore went winless in 2017. And even the elixir that Thompson had become for his psyche seemed to disappear. In four events at Thompson last year Bonsignore had finishes of ninth, 10th, 11th and 14th.

“You figure you struggle some places and you’ll just come to Thompson … and we’ll still run good. It was tough. … It was a real tough season.”

Over the offseason Bonsignore’s team went to a new chassis with LFR, got a new crew chief in Ryan Stone and saw their shop move to Milford. A fifth place finish in the season opening Whelen Modified Tour event on March 17 the positive exhale the team needed after a winter of major change.

Sunday at Thompson Speedway Bonsignore and his team got an even bigger lifting of spirits.

Bonsignore held on through a rugged late restart and won the Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 at Thompson.

It was Bonsignore’s first Whelen Modified Tour victory since the season ending Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson in 2016.

“Two thousand seventeen humbled me for sure,” Bonsignore said. “You come to the racetrack and you think you can win every week and you’re just struggling to finish in the top-10, it will humble a person real quick. It makes me appreciate everything we’ve gone through this whole winter.

“… Just a total reboot and in two races we’ve got a top-five and a win. Unbelievable.”

Craig Lutz of Miller Place, N.Y. had a career best second place finish and Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. was third.

Bonsignore’s day nearly went bad before the first lap was completed when he locked up cold brakes and slid up the track in turn three.

“Just a bonehead move on my part,” Bonsignore said. “… You’ve got to just shake it out of your head when that stuff happens and you’ve just got to go run your race.”

But Bonsigore stayed near the front all day.

By lap 100 it looked like a battle for the win would come down to Chase Dowling and Jon McKennedy. But on lap 117 Dowling was penalized for jumping a restart, handing the lead to McKennedy, he looked to be on a cruise to his second consecutive victory after winning the season opener at Myrtle Beach.

But coming to a restart on lap 147, McKennedy slowed on the track after running out of fuel, putting Bonsignore to the front.

“I was just so surprised that Chase jumped the start first of all,” Bonsignore said. “Secondly, I’m like ‘Why is McKennedy going to play games with me on this restart, it makes no sense?’ And then they’re like, ‘He’s out of fuel.’”

It set up for a green-white-checkered finish with Ronnie Williams starting second to Bonsignore and looking for his first career victory. Williams with Bonsignore at the restart and tucked in behind him coming to the white flag. Going into turn one Williams tried to make a move for the lead, but after contact between the two, Williams ended up going hard into the turn one wall.

“I knew he was going to be anxious,” Bonsignore said. “We’ve all been looking for our first win. Thompson is an easy place to do something on a restart and get in the lead. I got a really good launch and unfortunately he was able to get in line behind me. He kind of got into me getting into [turn three] and then launched onto me and shoved me up the hill and I just didn’t get a good run off of [turn] four. I’d have to see a replay, but I feel like I was already getting into turn one and he kind of just went for that banzai move at the end and I went to protect. It’s unfortunate he wrecked but luckily I was able to save my car. He’s going for the win. I probably even at 10 years into this deal would have went for the same move.”

Said Williams: “I was just going for the win. If you don’t make that move you’re not a racecar driver. Going for the win, stuff happens. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t. We’ll move on to the next one.”

Lutz chased Bonsignore to the line.

“It’s huge,” Lutz said. “We always run fast, it’s just to put the whole race together and get a good finish like we deserve, it feels good.”

Pennink missed the season opening event at Myrtle Beach while recovering from offseason back surgery. He won the Valenti Modified Racing Series event Saturday at Thompson in his first competition of 2018.

On Sunday his day looked day in turn three on the first lap when he ended up in the wall after contact from the sliding Bonsignore in turn three. But his team rallied on the day.

“It was great, we had a lot of ups and downs,” Pennink said. “We got put in the wall by [Bonsignore] on the first lap of the race and we [had front end damage] and had to come back from that. … I can’t complain.”

Bonsignore left Thompson leading the Whelen Modified Tour standings with Lutz and Dowling tied for second, eights off the top spot.

Full Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 results 


  1. Hey Dareal you female dog. How about those LFR cars. 15 dominates and 51 wins. Why don’t you tell us how that’s NOT because of the chassis swap. You know they won a lot of races last year. Bahahahahahahaha. Your blind. Watching on fans choice no one was touching that 15. Justin openly credited the chassis swap. So tell us again how it was all Doug and Phil.

  2. What an awesome race!!! I loved it!! Glad jimmy was ok after flipping late. What an awesome weekend. All the drivers at the meet and greet were so friendly. I had two awesome days on my first ever visit to Thompson. I hope the guy who broke his leg gets better soon. He was holding up the victory lane sight when it blew over and he went over the track wall trying to hold it up on Saturday. Matt Buckler was excellent again as was the whole announcing team. Thanks Thompson for an awesome weekend and racing..

  3. Well I just gained some respect for the LFR car. WOW. Chase did jump the start but that car was in a league of its own…….again.

  4. WeldingWonders says

    Blind luck but I picked the guy. LFR the key or something else? Who cares. Can Mr. Consistency carry it over to Stafford? Not really his track is it?
    Can’t wait to hear all the great comments that will be coming. So many stories and angles to the emerging NWMT season that is shaping up to be a barn burner. Surprises and disappointments in the final standings for sure. I ask the veteran fans of the NWMT. Is this a season with more intrigue and unknowns? Coby the sun everyone revolved around in the past few years and he’s merely a key player in a bigger drama now.
    Pretty good crowd in less then favorable conditions at Thomson. Accolades to them for staying the course. But now the conditions get better and look for a great crowd at Stafford including me for the first time in 25 years.

  5. WeldingWonders says

    That was a great article. Man I don’t know how you do it Shawn on the fly but there it is.

  6. wmass01013 says

    glad 22 was ok, that was a HARD hit and JB flipping on roof in almost same spot as JBIII passed was kinda creepy, but glad both ok

  7. Race 413 says

    Great to see Bonsignore win always liked him.Chase jumping a restart unheard of ,but you race and you learn. Best finish of weekend goes to Pennick, winner on Saturday and third on Sunday all while driving hurt. Congrats to Keith on his SK win

  8. Race 413 says

    Did Preece make it to race if so where did he finish.

  9. As it is well known I’m not a die hard LFR FAN. This being said congratulations to Justin Bonsignore, the #51 team and there sponsors and to LFR and Rob Fuller. Chase dominates the race and Justin wins looks like you’ve done your homework. An oops to Ronnie Williams after winning the pole and running a good race only to crash at the end going for the win. Better luck next time.

  10. McKennedy was stout again in the 7. Would have been interesting if he did not run out of gas. Great racing, great day and congrats to Justin on the win.

  11. Crazy in NY says

    The best car ran out of gas but we’ll never know for sure.

  12. Race 413,
    Yes he made it. Full results are at the bottom of the story.

  13. RobP that’s pretty spot on. I’m not a fan either. Not too sure why honestly. Hard to deny that the LFR boys are fast for sure. That 15 was crazy fast. Glad it was on fans choice. It was 50 in NC and I thought I was cold!!

  14. Thanks Shawn didn’t see blue lettering at bottom will look for it now. Good job on coverage

  15. A few days ago I was a Rob Fuller LFR Hater based on hearsay a guy Timmy set me kinda straight. And the victory by Justin and great run by Chase tell me they do their homework. Hoping to make Stafford and meet Mr Fuller so I can form my own opinions and not rely on the people around me.

  16. NH MOD CHASER says

    Hey Doug did you have a good time at the race ? I did even though I know nothing about racing and I’m a zero.Hey Crazy in NY I can come over and help you with those weeds in your lawn LOL

  17. RobP it’s easy to hate success. I respect it. Especially in this sport. The best way to answer the haters is with more success. Did you hear Justin in victory lane? “Most of all I have to thank Robbie Fuller for not hanging up the phone until we made a deal.” That’s pretty cool. Justin’s going have some haters this year as well. So goes the battle! Has anyone seen points now? I know it’s early but be interesting to see.

  18. wmass01013 says

    Doug does not go to WMT RACES there might be a line to get in

  19. Lets not forget Melissa and her 30th place finish only 34 laps down still running. I’ll bet LFR is proud of that effort as well. Maybe she should try Troyer next since SPAFCO and LFR did not work for her. Just calling it as I see it.

  20. sour grapes of wrath says

    the fastest car didn`t win the race ..sometimes that happens ……… in any event the winner acknowledged his gaff at the beginning of the race .small consolation for those effected by that ..I for one and sick of this banzai move ..bottom shot that seems to now be the norm in modified racing on the tour and in sk`s ..along with other winners admitting to driving defensively aka blocking… is there real racing anymore ????? ..just ruins it for me .

  21. Crazy in NY says

    CHASER, I’ll be at Claremont for the TTOM opener. Look me up there, I’ll bring some weed from my lawn, and we’ll roll up a fat one and smoke a toast to our boy. LOL btw some of the nicest guys around are Zero’s. Ever meet Mike Holdridge and his father Dale?

  22. darealgoodfella says

    Ricky W., why don’t you go to the track? What about those LFR cars?

    I’m not a die hard chassis fan, so I think all this chassis warring is stupid. It’s fun helping those that think a chassis is irrefutably and exclusively the reason for an advantage or win to make fools of themselves. Notice it’s the LFR crew that is spouting off? I don’t see Troyer, CD, SPAFCO, etc. groupies doing what LFR groupies are doing. Only LFR groupies are doing Trumpian style marketing, carnival barkers one and all. Look where that got us.

    LFR house car did well, about time. After all those years of embarrassing results. The driver wrenches it. 51 won because the better car ran out of fuel. The 7NY owned the race at that point – until it ran out of gas. The 51 was good, but not > than the 7NY. The 51 has a new crew chief, a former key LFR person, and effectively it is another house car. The 2 was junk after an incident. I didn’t see it hit or get hit, just hit the brakes hard and looked like it avoided contact, but it was junk after that, and was almost going to be lapped if not for a caution. They did quite a bit of work on the RF. Then took on tires and after all the attrition, the 2 moved up. And then there was the accident that crunched the rear. The omnipotent LFR chassis can’t fend off accidents? WHAT THE ???? The 01 LFR… how is the chassis working out there? Magic elixir? The 44 ended up 9th. So LFR has Master Phil Moran that can make just about anything compete, and the 51 has another LFR expert in Ryan Stone, a former key LFR employee. Exceptional car capability is expected with those two, no? What about the 44? They changed crew chiefs and got better with the same chassis, see how that works? How about the 01? No chassis mojo magic there? If you want to claim chassis superiority, it has to apply to all that are using it, and CONSISTENTLY. The 51 had crew chief issues the last 2-3 years, and that affected performance more than any hardware. Can’t blame that on a chassis.

    It’s more about the capability of the people than the brand of hardware. They are all using good parts. People can do with hardware, but people are the real limits. Take the Tinio team. Very funny story. They wanted to go SK racing, thought they were buying SK cars, but later found out they bought Tour cars. Oh well, they went Tour racing instead. They all look alike, right? With that situation, you can buy all the parts and driver you want and then just pray.

    As far as JBonsignore goes, he needs to get more assertive. When Bobby Santos first hit the Tour, he was okay, but expectations were higher. In a published interview, he said he realized he needed to get more assertive, the Tour cars allowed for it. He drove the mods like he drove the true open wheel cars that did not have nerf bars, where they tend to keep some distance between each other, and contact results in the end of a bad day. JBon seems to have a force field around his car… he doesn’t get too close to other cars. That has to change. That said, some drivers can’t drive in traffic, as if they are traffic-phobes, some are absolutely expert in the gentle application of bumpers and nerf bars, and some are complete idiots in traffic. JBon needs to turn up his wick some more.

    Look, the TC fans chanted that TC could win in anything with wheels, it was all the driver. But for some strange reason, we have this chassis war and the success of a driver is now dependent on a particular chassis. Yeah, ri-i-i-i-i-i-ight.

    It was a good race. Typical in that a couple cars broke away, and then there was the pack. The breakaway cars are usually the same cast of characters, the better of the competitive cars. Let’s face it, not too many different cars lead laps, just as not too many cars win. That is left to the cream of the crop, and the rare lucky one. There was RACING in the pack. Hardly any single file, lots of double file, sometimes even 3-wide.

    Probably too many yellows/reds, maybe the cold temps had something to do with that. Cold, dry air makes power, but tires don’t stick.

    Glad to see JBon take ownership of that boner, going into T3 way too hot just a couple laps into the race.

    Hey Doug (WeldingWonders, Sybil, et al.), see all those built engines?

    Perhaps the highlight reel event was when the 16 took the air filter off the 3. Crazy, just crazy. Both cars lived to finish on the lead lap. Still have no idea how the 3 had no other apparent damage other than losing the air filter. It happened in the blink of an eye.

    It was cold, very cold, with a stiff wind from the NNW. It was cold.

    Like art and I were discussing on another thread, it appears that avoiding trouble is a big part of surviving to have a chance at winning, and that was so true today. The cars that were in the top 10-ish saw quite a bit of bumping and rubbing. There was quite a bit of gasping going on in the stands. Quite a few really good cars DNF’d. Many of those cars that DNF’d would have been in the top 10.

    The 7NY owned the race from lap 119, then ran out of gas with a couple to go. Bummer. The 51 took over the lead. Not the most eloquent or macho way to win, but a win is a win. It’s racing.

    Blewett had a great run going too. He was coming on at the end. The incident towards the end of the race that took him out was crazy… like 5-wide going into T1, cars all over the place, too many good cars collected in that. That the pack was running so close together, instead of strung out, will result in more of this.

    Eighteen cars finished on the lead lap, and many more should have if not for bonehead behavior.

    Preece had to start in the back, worked his way to 4th. Not bad for not practicing the car and just showing up on raceday. Those pesky xfinity races can get in the way.

    Great crowd, very few empty stands, parking areas were packed!!!

    No line to get into the paddock, walked right up to the ticket window. Concession stand lines moved quickly. No lines at the general admission ticket booths. Doug (WeldingWonders, Sybil, eta l.), you would have loved it.

    Very successful event.

  23. I usually don’t criticize drivers there’s driving hard and boneheaded driving the 51 is driving like a bonehead wreaked good cars on lap one.This has become common with him its a shame.

  24. WeldingWonders says

    I’d ask Sour Grapes if you saw Blewetts dive bomb moves? Did it in turn one to Krause pushing him up the track then to Pennink in turn 3 to take the lead that he promptly lost because he abused his tires.. Pennink knew what was coming and to his credit gave him ample room.

  25. WeldingWonders says

    I don’t get your comment at all Bill. The first lap deal was not good but it wasn’t some kind of crazy over driving mistake. Kind of fluky actually. Pennink survived OK as it turned out. And how about all the other mistakes drivers made during the race. Dowlings obviously, Blewett dive bombing Krause and Pennink. Ronnie Williams caused some problems on restarts at least twice for being slow. And what caused all those other cautions and wrecked cars? Bonsignor a menace? Mr. Consistency, Mr. Under the Radar and a top 5 finish a menace. Didn’t see it. Thought Blewett was more of a menace.

  26. WeldingWonders says

    NH Mod Chaser and Crazy in NY. Now those are two kindred spirits and happy to have brought you two together. You remind me of the Beavis and Butthead types at the back of the class whispering and joking to each other and avoiding participation in anything useful. I’ve heard of cooking and eating dandelions greens but if you guys want to smoke them knock yourselves out. Me I’ll be at the nearest weed shop in Mass when they finally open for business to get some of the real thing.

  27. WeldingWonders says

    Hey wmass01013. What do Safety Kleen, NAPA, Starrett Tools, Bush’s Beans, Toyota, Bud and in my case Hocon Gas all have in common? That’s right, they sponsor racing. And why do they do that wmass01013? Think hard now…… can do it. No, no, no, not because they’re good guys that love racing. They want to give their products exposure, sell more product and make money. And as it turns out if you support these companies you don’t even have to go to one race to support the very sport you’re not going to. I know, difficult thing to grasp isn’t it for a guy like you. Can’t be a Patriots, Red Sox, Lakers, Golden Gophers or even a Monster Series fan unless you go to the events according to you. Tough rule to follow that thankfully for modern sports, ESPN, Fox Sports,CBS Sport, NBC Sports, sports talk radio and hundreds of other sports media outlets only you seem to follow.
    So wmass01013 you recalled one comment I made going on a year ago where I said I didn’t want to wait in a long line with people making credit card purchases when a cash window that is usually provided wasn’t. A minor protest that I joked about at the time and all these months later you pull it out like you discovered toilet paper. Mostly because you’re petty and a small thinker and probably belong at the back of the class with Beavis and Butthead smoking dandelions and chuckling.
    I will be at the Sizzler for the races on Sunday. Mainly because the NWMT this year is in my view simply loaded and providing tremendous action on the track. Also the boring qualifying is on Saturday and Stafford has shifted the SK Lights to Sunday making the ticket price for the one day only a great value.

  28. WeldingWonders says

    And the last bottom feeder joining myself, wmass01013, Crazy in NY and NH MOD CHASER in providing nearly nothing useful to the thread is humphry with yet another mocking attack on Melissa Fifield. She isn’t even low hanging fruit. It’s like fruit laying right on the ground you don’t even have to reach for. You’re picking on the weakest link that by the way is participating whereas you are not. Is it because she’s a woman? Just do one thing. Don’t ever lecture anyone about sticking to the topic at hand as you tend to do when you’re attacking the chick,. The chick admittedly going slow but nonetheless spending the money, doing the work, organizing the team that appears on the track whereas we do not.

  29. Dareal. Your comment was SK ling I didn’t waste my time reading it. Just admit that your off base with the whole debate. Humphry you just displayed your intelligence with that asinine statement. Come on man.

  30. Dareal. Man you can stretch a statement. One question?????? How did that 15 run at Thompson in October. About time you say. Your have issues my man. And the dude that says the 7 was class of the field. Without the 15 it was a good race between 51 and 7. Neither could touch 15. I was there!

  31. I do agree blewett is a bull in a china shop and there was some stupid moves going around Justin just has to use his head sometimes

  32. wmass01013 says

    Ok Doug not to get in a pissing match, oh that right peeing on yur cornflakes u don’t like either,, I appreciate any sponsor that uses the WMT or the tracks I frequent and I have been going to these tracks for almost 40 yrs, in all that time I have never went to any race, loaded my stuff in the car and walked up to the ticket window and said I am going home because line moving too slow, Lines happen at races in NEW ENGLAND! I am not petty or a small thinker as u say, just a big fan of modifieds wherever they race, lines happen, delays happen, weather happens, it was bad cold yesterday but I didn’t leave until checked flag fell, doesn’t mean I am any better or worse than you or anyone, grow some thick skin man, don’t take all post so serious and have some fun, and enjoy the races!

  33. Joe Lajoie says

    I think if the Tour got a couple hot laps before the start that deal with Justin wouldn’t have happened. Cold tires on a cold track was a recipe for disaster.
    And I’ll second wmass01013’s comment on some people needing thicker skin. This page turns into the Days of Our Freakin Lives sometimes. If you’ve got a spreadsheet with every posters comments that have bothered you and you feel the need to air it out every time you get butt hurt, then maybe you need to step away from the computer for a little while. Especially when 95% of these posters post under a ficticious name and you wouldn’t even know who they were if they were sitting next to you in the grandstands or standing next to you in the pits (that is if you ever go in the pits).

  34. NH MOD CHASER says

    Doug bottom feeder here you never answered my question.Did you have a good time at the race ??

  35. darealgoodfella says

    Todd said: “Dareal. Your comment was SK ling I didn’t waste my time reading it. Just admit that your off base with the whole debate. Humphry you just displayed your intelligence with that asinine statement. Come on man.”

    Todd, you and the rest of the LFR groupies claim that the LFR chassis is superior and above reproach. Well, that means every car running the LFR should be the cars to beat. If there are 5 LFR cars in the race, the top 5 should be all LFR cars.

    Todd, what is “SK ling”? More covfefe? You didn’t read it yet you think I should admit to something?

    Put Fifield in the 2 with Moran. Think that car will be a top 3 contender then? Put Moran over with the 01 LFR. Well?

    The 44 hasn’t been all that great. If they were having fun they’d run full time.

    Think those are asinine statements? Well, if you do, you agree that the chassis is not the omnipotent magic elixir that enables the success it may experience. You agree, whether you know it or not, that the driver, crew chief and many other factors are in play. But keep saying it over and over.

    humphry has a very good point.

  36. darealgoodfella says

    Pre-race hot laps!!!! YES!!! YES!!!

  37. You keep digging your hole deeper. The 44 not that good. Ok. Who won Loudon last year? The biggest mod race of the year. Wait a minute…… he won BOTH you DA! You keep bringing up the 01. Your pathetic. Last year you brought up the 15 house car and how bad they are. The 2 car is the only LFR car running good now you have the 51 with what looks like similar success. They didn’t win 1 race last year. 2 races in they have a win and 2 top 5s. Your running on the 01 argument now and it’s pathetic. Just admit defeat. Open mouth insert foot. Now write a story on how this is wrong so everyone can read you scrambling to cover your but. Sorry bro. You missed this one big.

  38. Modified Guy says

    This should get some responses.
    How would you rate the importance for each of these categories to become a Modified Championship team.
    Driver – 40%
    Crew Chief – 30%
    Crew (Tire Specialist, Pit Crew, spotter, etc) – 15%
    Chassis – 15%
    Motor – 0% (All top teams run a spec motor)
    Please feel free to add other categories.

  39. Humphry has a good point? You guys ever see that movie dumb and dumber? Hmmmmm. Here’s the fact girls. When a top 10 team is making a chassis change and goes with LFR they run better. PERIOD. Been proven time and time again. Simply search stats. When You ladies realize that the 01 is missing a lot more than a chassis combination you will accept the facts. So if I’m a Troyer or Spafco guy where do I go for support? Those guys don’t even run a car! I want to have someone realavant. Those LFR cars get faster every year. Sorry boys. Game set match.

  40. darealgoodfella says

    The 44 has had these LFR cars through 2 Crew Chiefs. The first guy was let go because performance was not good with the new chassis. This new guy is better, but not omnipotent. Not seeing Phil Moran performance. The first year with this new guy and the LFR was horrible. The car is not heads and tails ahead of the field. Sorry, not sorry. If the chassis was that great, it should be an instant step change in performance. Never happened. And Bobby Santos is a far better driver than Colbee.

    Only two races in and you are into October. Relax.

  41. darealgoodfella says

    Brian, why do you and the other groupies have to insult the talent and give all this credit to a chassis? The chassis is only as good as the talent can use it. The chassis isn’t going to do what the talent is incapable of to begin with.

    So Brian, please tell us what is so special about the LFR and why it is so much better than Troyer, SPAFCO, CD, etc. Go ahead, teach us something.

  42. Crazy in NY says

    MOD CHASER, if you don’t have a preference I’d like to be Butthead if that;s OK with you.
    I’d have to be crazy to not want a cool handle like that. Crazy? why yes I am.

  43. Know allot about haters. Even though it was long ago, back in 2001-2002 when we won back to back LM championships, we had haters both online and at the track, allot of accusers too. But the very dedicated fans mostly kids ,made it all worth it, and the more the haters boo gives us the drive to do even better. No longer a Fuller hater, but not yet a fan either.

  44. Last year at Stafford Melissa qualified at 24.370 almost as slow as street stocks. I’m all for women in the sport but that’s absolutely pathetic. Maybe she should try a lower division before she hurts someone. Doesn’t NASCAR mandate a minimum speed, or do they not enforce it when they don’t have a full field?

  45. Race dude says

    Blocking ain’t racing. In Indycar and F1 you are able to ” defend ” your position as long as you don’t chop the driver behind you. TC had his own way of dealing with blocking … The 3 tap rule. But nowadays it blatent blocking and something should be done before someone gets seriously hurt or worse killed. If your slow let them go.

  46. I firmly believe that it’s not the chassis, it’s not the driver, it’s not the crew and it’s not the motor. It is all of the above coming together in perfect harmony that form a winning team. The one exception TC he could win in almost everything. Every year teams shift around but the team who has it all together with good leadership and a decent driver can win with just about any chassis. Look at Rowan Pennick and Ole Blue that is a Bohler chassis probly the only in existance, Mike Bohler has spent his life racing and building cars and they have a dedicated team. They run up front on most occasions, finished 3rd at Thompson. Look at Todd Owen with his Chassis Pro Car because of his talent he runs good. So I really don’t think The chassis is the key to success, don’t forget there’s allot of stuff you need to bolt onto them things to make them a race car

  47. Regardless of who’s chassis you run, some people have a great year, some many great years and some just wish they could have a great race.

  48. sour grapes of wrath says

    welding wonders I hate all these morons who dive bomb ..every one of them…not racing its a cheap move but hey no groove outside…too cold or the guy in front is blocking just use him up or divebomb.. …… as for the 51 he overdrove early and caused some carnage up.. oh your brakes..???? how about “I messed up and sorry” ….as for the final laps its either …”I dive bombed to win the race” …or I was “blocking to save my position to win the race” ….the show now is a joke ..but hey the new generation of race fan likes the wrecks and contact.. the guys paying the bills don’t.. fact o life bring on the carnage ..problem is I have walked the track at Thompson Stafford and Waterford the first two are wide and two cars should be able to run side by side if some legit driving, sportsmanship is shown.. very rare bird ..Waterford is a little bit tougher less length and width but its also doable..just don’t understand it too bad bad bad

  49. Modifieds are going through a technical evolution right now. The chassis builders are forcing each other to evolve or be left behind. Hopefully as the cars get even more technical they also become safer at the same time. Seat technology is a good start but not enough. I remember the last technical leap, allot of good drivers died. Let’s not let it come to that please. GOOD LUCK AND GODSPEED TO ALL THE MODIFIED RACERS GOING FORWARD. and always keep in our hearts those men who came before us to get this great sport where it is. Their sacrifice should never be forgotten.

  50. darealgoodfella says

    Brian wrote, “So if I’m a Troyer or Spafco guy where do I go for support? Those guys don’t even run a car! I want to have someone realavant.”

    LOL! Pretty desperate, Brian.

    Troyer has had excellent service representation with Northeast for years and years. They are at all the races. SPAFCO has a support truck at the track, and the shop in CT. Both are located in the heart of Modified country. They don’t have to run a house car anymore, they are well established already. LFR didn’t even have support up here until recently. When they were in NC, they had a deal with Raceworks to service their chassis. And you are questioning representation and support of other chassis? Audacious and laughable.

    That was a big failure.

    Try again…

  51. Old Observer says

    Modified Guy TEAM 100%

  52. darealgoodfella says

    Rob p., you get it. There is no chassis war, just a bunch of advocates trying to throw shade on the competition. It’s fun yanking and giving them wedgies.

    Modified Guy, you bring up a great topic for discussion. I would give the Crew Chief much higher weighting. You can take a great driver and put him in a crap car and he won’t perform. Even a great team misses the setup once in a while – the set up is crucial. Weight placement, spring selection, shocks, geometry, suspension settings, are crucial, regardless of chassis. That’s Crew Chief, not chassis. Then the tire guy, he needs lots of love too. Rob p., I know you love TC, but there were times when TC was in pure evil cars and he couldn’t do anything with them. TC was also extremely lucky to have had some of the best crew chiefs such as Barry Kuhnel and Brad LaFontaine, and they prepared great cars. TC won his only championship with Brad LaFontaine.

  53. Gotta agree with old observer team 100% and there is no I in TEAM

  54. With regards to Melissa fifield . Is it her or the car? If another driver were put in the car would it be significantly faster? If so Rob Fuller should KINDLY ask her to remove any reference to LFR from the car. Running street stock times is pathetic and a sign that she should consider a career change. But can also be detrimental to LFR’S reputation

  55. An open letter to Rob Fuller.
    Dear Rob,
    I don’t know you, you don’t know me. In the past I’ve formed an opinion of hatred towards you based solely on rumors and hearsay. For this I am truly sorry. You have never done anything to personally offend me and I hope that you can accept my sincere apologies. Good luck going forward in 2018
    Sincerely Rob o.

  56. Fast Eddie says

    I’d like to second Old Observers comment with CHEMISTRY. When you have a group of talented people with good equipment, they still need to be able to work and communicate together as a TEAM. In the right circumstances the team talent total can be much more than the sum of the individuals involved if the chemistry is there.
    A #44 observation: I believe their previous crew chief left when they decided not to be a full time WMT team, which I think happened due to conflicts with Bobby’s USAC schedule along with funding. And their “new guy” is Bobby’s dad, who I think is doing a great job as crew chief. For some reason it took #44 a little longer then others to figure out the LFR car, but it’s sure working now! They will win at least a couple this year for sure!

  57. Rob P. Couldn’t agree more. They are doing this because of 1 person. Rob Fuller. If LFR never began all these others would still be on cruise control. Fact Dareal. If you don’t admit that your in denial.

  58. Ok. I have purchased every chassis except a LFR and here’s my question. Troyer: NE race cars is the dealer. They order their chassis without the front clip on the car. Why?? I would go to the track and see other Troyer cars with different parts on them. Why didn’t mine have that I asked. The team would tell me that they do work to them on their own. Ok. Spafco. I personally didn’t like it. Now the 58 car has one so it’s in good hands. But Jason openly said it’s not a real Spafco because he changed a bunch. Why? I do believe LFR had forced their hand but it seems to me a stock Spafco or Troyer won’t help today. You need a crew chief that knows what works. So mod guy I say the car is more than the driver today. And anyone that denies the LFR success either has a gripe with Fuller or the company. It’s pretty apparent that they have something that the others do not. The 15 was in a class of its own and the 51 won the race. I only counted 5 LFR cars in the race and 3 of them lead at some point. Troyer has 80% of the field and lead only a couple laps. Here’s the deal. If Tommy Baldwin or Sly told every Troyer customer what to do they would be better. These guys want to win so they don’t want to edjucate anyone or tell Troyer what they are doing knowing that it will go to every other customer. Fuller wants to sell product so he is telling his customers what to do. This is what Troyer is missing. They need a house car so they can learn on their own and help customers. To say customer support is a trailer full of street stock wheels is just ignorant. Not a very edjucated statement. Customer support is getting a answer on what shocks and springs to run at Stafford. I’m sorry but without actually doing it you can’t count on the customer to RnD for you with the evolution going as fast as it is now a days. Maybe Dareal can do some track support for Troyer or Spafco. Ok…….I actually laughed out loud!

  59. wmass01013 says

    as far as the 51, he did man up and said on the radio right after the incident MY BAD went in to hot, MY FAULT hope nobodys car was hurt!

  60. wmass01013 says

    ROB P, we have had the Mellissa discussion many times, why she doesn’t run SK’s or VMRS to gain track time and experience, they do tell her when she is not going minimum speed on WMT, I guess her choice to run WMT and never be competitive, who knows why!

  61. darealgoodfella says

    The 01… has all the same parts… SPEC, LFR. Talk amongst your selves. Must have forgotten the flux capacitor. So if the 01 is lacking talent, then that must mean that the 2, 51, 44, 15 have talent that the 01 doesn’t have. I mean, they are all using the same parts. They are all using the same parts so the differentiator is the talent, and what that talent does with the parts. She shows no signs of improving after all these years.

    Ricky W, have you ever been to a track? You present yourself as very ‘edjucated’. No competitive team uses a STOCK chassis, they all MODIFY their chassis in some way. Well, at least the real racers. They all have their secret sauce. Chassis are ordered per the customer’s options. This is COMPETITION and they all think they know more and better than the rest. They are constantly fiddling and trying different stuff, and it is obvious. If you ever go into the pits, you can see it. Even with your well ‘edjucated’ self, you should have known to not open this can of worms. Every crew chief has their secrets. If you are amazed and surprised that people are MODIFYING their stuff, then you are in the wrong place. Ricky W, since you are running box stock parts and just bolting them together, wondering why everybody else’s cars have all these modifications that you had no idea about, shows you have no place being here. And you think you are so ‘edjucated’. 🤦‍♂️ Does it hurt being you?

    Anybody think Crew Chiefs aren’t important? The 51 canned that Danny guy early in the season… think they called it “Got the Band Back Together” because they got the previous Crew Chief to come back. So Crew Chiefs are very important, so important as to get rid of one early in the season when things weren’t working and hope to recover. So far, the 51 has blamed the chassis and crew chiefs, so the only thing left is the driver and he better turn it up. Nobody left to blame. A good car is far easier to drive, and the Crew Chief is supposed to do that.

    Let’s be clear, when you say chassis, all I think is the bare chassis, no suspension parts, just the welded up pipes and channel. The front suspensions (GEOMETRY) are effectively the same across all cars, at least what will affect handling. The mount points are all the same, tailorable per the crew chief whims. The rear ends are located per the crew chief whims across all chassis brands. So every suspension technique and geometry can be duplicated on any chassis. The pivot points can be located anywhere on all chassis, making them all the same. These pivot points are crucial for the set up. Weight can be located anywhere on any chassis. Springs and shocks are all interchangeable. The rules in the rulebook, which I’m sure your ‘edjucated’ self has never read, keeps critical points the same across all chassis.

    So Ricky W, can you please tell us what makes the LFR so special? Oh wait, you are still surprised that teams MODIFY their chassis. I guess you are not the person to answer that. Never mind.

  62. darealgoodfella says

    wmass01013… the 01 can run the SK series and still get destroyed. It gets pretty rough out there with the SKs… she’d be annihilated. Stunning that after all these years they still can’t make speed. It just isn’t happening.

  63. Ricky W wrote: “Ok. I have purchased every chassis except a LFR and here’s my question. Troyer: NE race cars is the dealer. They order their chassis without the front clip on the car. Why?? I would go to the track and see other Troyer cars with different parts on them. Why didn’t mine have that I asked. The team would tell me that they do work to them on their own. Ok. Spafco. I personally didn’t like it. Now the 58 car has one so it’s in good hands. But Jason openly said it’s not a real Spafco because he changed a bunch. Why? I do believe LFR had forced their hand but it seems to me a stock Spafco or Troyer won’t help today. ”

    Ricky W, LFR didn’t force anybody’s hand. MODIFIEDS have been getting MODIFIED long before LFR, as in since there have been MODIFIEDS. But you clearly wouldn’t know that. Just walk around the pits, decent eyesight is all you need. Ricky, how many years have you been doing this?

    Are the LFR chassis out there being used bone stock? Be careful.

  64. Dareal have to disagree with you on suspension geometry. Each team has there own way of setting a car up. Yes there is a sweet spot but it can be achieved many different ways. On the front end there are different lenth A frames with different ball joint angles and offsets. The number of different spindle configurations is mind boggling even the angle you mount the coil overs at can make a big difference caster camber bump steer. There are unlimited variables, and what works well for one driver won’t nessesarely work for another. Sorry to Burst your bubble

  65. Dareal. You just keep getting more and more lost man. All the geometry is the same with all cars. Wow. That’s a stretch. LFR didn’t force anyone’s hand? REALLY? The TA1 and TA2 would not exist if it wasn’t for LFR. Heck the new Troyer hood is a LFR copy! Come on man. Get your mit on and get in the game. I think I’m done wasting brain cells with you. Your just a special kind of stupid.

  66. Heading to 100 comments on this?Seems like a lot of huffing and puffing seeing as only 1 LFR in the top 5 at the END of the race.That’s the thing that counts, not running well all day.

  67. Wow Ricky you just hit a grand slam. You’ve gotta be an old racer like me. There are some people who just don’t get how much technology is in these cars. They also have no idea of the countless hours spent getting all the geometry just right. This has become a sport where things are now measured in thousandths of an inch. Nowadays the chassis builders are constantly changing things in an effort to get to the top, or stay there,this makes setup more important than it’s ever been. A little off just won’t work anymore.

  68. That each team has their own way sounds familiar… oh yeah, I called it “secret sauce”. But all chassis have the same capability to allow a crew chief to do his own secret sauce recipe. The trunnions allow for pivot locating, all can use different length A-arms, can adjust the location of the lower control arms, can locate a rear end any way they want. All can locate the ball joints anywhere they want. And therefore can set that magic roll center anywhere they want with any chassis.

    So I asked this before… someone please provide a list of exclusive LFR chassis attributes that supports the bloviating.

  69. Rob p, or anyone… does the LFR chassis allow for more caster, camber, toe, whatever, etc. that the other chassis do not allow? What would that be? Make a list…

    What technical feature does the LFR chassis have that others do not?

  70. Rob p. wrote: “Modifieds are going through a technical evolution right now. The chassis builders are forcing each other to evolve or be left behind. Hopefully as the cars get even more technical they also become safer at the same time. ”

    Please do tell about this technical revolution. Is it really a technical revolution or a marketing ploy?

    But go ahead and list all the recent technical chassis revolutions. Really would like to see all these things that have been forced by LFR on the other chassis. lol.

  71. art, notice it’s been all bluff & bluster? Zero content. All carnival barker.

    Scary that people still follow that. Like moths to fire.

  72. Dareal, get real, if you’ve been around racing then you should be able to see it for yourself. Modifieds have begun to evolve. The LFR wasn’t a car drawn on the back of a napkin, it was designed on a computer where they could look at stuff like the placement of tubing and the effect that placement would have. All the chassis builders are starting to go to CAD. All the builders seek repeatability in their design. TROYER has 3 different chassis the 98, TA-1 and TA-2 all are different designs the TA-1&2 most likely being CAD cars. Aerodynamics have become key in modifieds. Look at the hoods being used, think maybe there’s a reason they’re shaped that way? Sure is, it’s called aerodynamics. As far as advantage with any chassis, you would have to talk to the builder, but each has advantages and disadvantages. Come on ,get with the program. Ricky was right your a special kind of stupid

  73. I highly suspect that Rob p. is another alias of Doug.

    Rob p., CAD is decades old, many decades old. If somebody is bragging about using CAD on a modified, they just crawled out of the primordial soup.

    Rob p. wrote: “Dareal, get real, if you’ve been around racing then you should be able to see it for yourself.”

    What is it that I should be seeing? Go ahead, what is it? List please.

    Rob p. wrote: “The LFR wasn’t a car drawn on the back of a napkin, it was designed on a computer where they could look at stuff like the placement of tubing and the effect that placement would have.”

    Really? What effect is that you are talking about? List please. List all those effects. Make sure they are all performance effects.

    Rob p. wrote: “As far as advantage with any chassis, you would have to talk to the builder, but each has advantages and disadvantages. ”

    You don’t know? LOL!!!

    Really? REALLY????? Don’t these guys have the expertise to simply look at a chassis and be able to know what the advantage or disadvantage of each and every difference is between chassis? You think they are just figuring that out now, after all these years? After all these decades?

  74. I think what Rob p is trying to say is that technology has advanced Modified chassis building. When LFR first came out, I read an article on NASCAR.COM about how LFR through technology was building modifieds that would be easier for the teams to setup, and repair. Cars are now being designed on a computer which allows the engineer to design parts, and using sofisticated software, test the design as opposed to actually having to build it. There is even software available to help setup a race car now. Chassis builders have always pushed the envelope in design, causing the other builders to keep advancing, this goes back to the time of Geoff Bodine and his NU-DYNE chassis. When he debuted the Cavalier bodied #99 at Thompson years ago it was revolutionary. Nowadays cars are built on surface plates and tested on tie down machines. Parts are CNC machined for repeatability. In some cases even the tubing is cut using CNC equipment. In short technology has helped in making chassis building competitive and forced the companies to keep innovating in their designs

  75. Congratulations Justin.

    If you want a championship, you are going to have to take that burden on yourself, on your shoulders, and make it work. This is your time.

  76. Dareal, really are you really that stupid. Technology has had a profound effect on Modified chassis building. Yes CAD has been around forever but recent software allows an engineer to design a chassis complete with suspension, then he is able to highlight an area and see the stresses that area will be under in race conditions as well as other areas that may be affected. This allows the engineer to optimize the placement of tubes and mounting points on the chassis. Tie down plate machines are now in use to assist in setup and design of cars. Most parts are made using CNC technology for repeatability. Cars are built on surface plates. Do you know what a surface plate is? As far as the advantages of a chassis, couldn’t tell you and am willing to bet you couldn’t tell me either. But seeing your so damn smart why don’t you give us all a lesson in modified chassis building and setup. Should be interesting coming from someone who thinks suspension geometry is the same on all the cars.Ricky said you where a special kind of stupid. I say your just F…in stupid!

  77. Rob p., When it comes to Dareal, your wasting your time trying to explain anything. Don’t you know he’s mister modified, I mean he must be right? NOT! Anyone who doesn’t understand the complexity of suspension will never understand technology. I know you from the races at Stafford and know how smart you are at least when it comes to Late Models. Your posts are enlightening and interesting to read, unlike dareal who only wishes he could offer some knowledge of race cars, instead falling back to picking apart everything anybody posts

  78. Darealdumbass, I am not another alias of Doug. At least with Doug’s posts I am entertained sometimes enlightened,sometimes aggrevated but always respected. Doug, like myself is an old racer with actual knowledge of the workings of a race car. I enjoy reminiscing of the good old days with him. Your posts are 99.9% worthless drabble from a person who has absolutely no clue. Bet you show up at the races with your prized Dale Earndhart #3 jacket and hat on, drink too many beers, become belligerent and piss off the people around you. Am I right. Why don’t you stick to going to the Waterford Toilet Bowl and keep your Ill conceived thoughts to you and yourself no one appreciates someone who has nothing constructive to add to the conversation

  79. Race 413, and how does any and all of what you wrote have to do with the performance of the car on the track? And specifically, all the bloviating about how the LFR groupies are making like the LFR chassis is leaps and bounds ahead of any other chassis. You really didn’t add any more detail than what Rob p. contributed.

    Go ahead… how does all you wrote directly explain all the alleged superior performance of an LFR chassis over all other chassis?

    Congratulations Justin. Build upon this. Although you inherited the lead due to the misfortune of others, that’s racing and you were in position to take advantage.

  80. Race dude. says

    Rob p. Your wrong about darealdumbass. He’s the guy in the leather jacket with the chain wallet and the carquest ball cap who sits in the bottom row drinks too many beers while slugging down rot gut vodka gets beligerant starts yelling at drivers who can’t hear him and pisses off everyone around him. Otherwise your spot on. He has nothing meaningful to contribute to the conversation so he picks apart everyone else’s posts.

  81. I am glad that Shawn has given us racers a site like Racedayct, where we can get info on racers and racing in Connecticut and New England, and also post our opinions. I try my best to stay on point and contribute info to the conversation that some may find of interest. My post about the evolution of modifieds was meant to be informative, but Darealdumbass decided to do what he does best and ended up missing me off. My subsequent posts were meant for Darealdumbass alone and if I’ve offended anyone else I apologize. Darealdumbass has never offered up anything but insults ( especially to Doug) and it finally got to me.again if I offended anyone other than Darealdumbass I’m sorry. Thanks again to Shawn for racedayct.

  82. Race dude. wrote: “He has nothing meaningful to contribute to the conversation so he picks apart everyone else’s posts.”

    The fact that the posts can and are picked apart to show there is NO basis for fact and substantiation just shows how you have nothing, absolutely nothing to back up the non-factual OPINIONS, and all the excitement over the LFR chassis over the Troyer, SPAFCO, CD, etc. Oh, and let’s not forget the homegrown BRE, that constantly runs up top.

    Did LFR give you some free decals at the track? That must have sealed the deal.

    Rob p., opinions are fine, they are not facts. You, and Doug (aka: WeldingWonders, Sybil, et al.) need to get over that. Repeating an opinion over and over does not make it a fact… it’s called gaslighting. It’s a technique Hitler used. Repeat something over and over, people give in and start to believe it as fact. If your opinions get picked apart and left as rubble on the side of the road, too bad. But then, you are trying to conflate opinions with facts. And you and others have yet to present facts as to the alleged TECHNICAL benefits of the LFR CHASSIS. Forget all the marketing BS, what are the real, unique and exclusive technical features that are better than the other chassis brands? And features that directly and exclusively make the LFR chassis run better on the track, and mutually exclusive of the talent and anything else that makes the car faster.

    Go ahead… the modified racing world is waiting for your enlightenment. Maybe you can get a job as VP of Marketing, a non-technical position, the carnival barker.

    “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” – Abe Lincoln

    There are many more words of wisdom about using the internet from Honest Abe Lincoln, specifically about quotes on the internet. Google them and maybe you can learn something.

  83. Do you really think LFR was designed from the ground up? Sorry don’t believe that. All they did is take the best attributes from Troyer, SPAFCO, CD and Raceworks, made a few things look different, added a few of their own ideas so they were not of accused of being a copy cat and done.

  84. Never have you heard me say anything about LFR being Superior. The things I brought up deal with how technology has affected the building of race cars. But again there you go. If you want info on LFR call Rob Fuller. I’m done trying to get you to understand what I’m trying to say.

  85. Bingo Humphrey, maybe you can explain it to darealdumbass

  86. humphry wrote: “Do you really think LFR was designed from the ground up? Sorry don’t believe that. All they did is take the best attributes from Troyer, SPAFCO, CD and Raceworks, made a few things look different, added a few of their own ideas so they were not of accused of being a copy cat and done.”



    Drop the 🎤.

  87. wmass01013 says

    Does it matter if you drop the mic when nobody is listening????

  88. RickyinMass says

    dareal may not know a great president when he has one but he’s the smartest racing guy hear.

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