Rolling On: Justin Bonsignore Wins Whelen Modified All-Star Shootout At NHMS

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Whelen All-Star Shootout Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

LOUDON, N.H. – The competition on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has been pretty much chasing Justin Bonsignore at most events this season.

Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, instead of chasing Bonsignore, Rowan Pennink tried just moving him out the way.

That didn’t work either.

Bonsignore held on through a huge last lap pop from Pennink and went on to win the fifth Whelen Modified Tour Whelen All-Star Shootout Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

It was the first victory in the non-points All-Star event for Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y. The Whelen Modified Tour will compete in the regular Eastern Propane & Oil 100 Saturday at NHMS. Bonsignore has won four of the first seven events on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule this year and comes into the halfway event of the season holding the points lead.

“I’m just happy to get the win and glad the car’s in one piece and we can build on our notebook for tomorrow,” Bonsignore said. “… Anytime you can roll into victory lane at Loudon it’s always cool.”

Doug Coby of Milford was second and Eric Goodale of Riverhead, N.Y. third.

“We had a really good car but it’s still really so hard to get away from the pack when you’re drafting,” Bonsignore said. “We had a really good car. [Pennink] had a good run on me down the [backstretch] and I protected the bottom. Obviously it didn’t work out too well for him. … Hopefully we put on a good show for the fans.”

The field came to the pits on lap 21 after a mandatory caution with Jon McKennedy leading, Pennink in second, Bonsignore third, Rob Summers fourth and Eric Goodale fifth. The redraw of the top-five put Goodale out front for the restart.

On the restart Pennink went from fourth to second with Bonsignore tucking into third and Coby going from sixth to fourth.

Pennink went to the lead on lap 23 with Bonsignore following to second. Two laps later Bonsignore moved past Pennink to take over the lead. On lap 34 Coby took a shot at Pennink for second but backed out, leaving Pennink to chase Bonsignore on the final lap.

Down the backstretch on the final circuit it was Pennink looking low into turn three. But Bonsignore defended the low lane. Going through the corner Pennink gave Bonsignore a hard shot. Bonsignore held on while Pennink’s momentum carried him hard into the turn three wall.

“Unfortunately my worst lap was my last lap,” Bonsignore said.
“Rowan got a really good run off of [turn] two and down the [backstretch]. I did like everybody does coming to the checkered, you block the bottom. He tried to get into us, tried to get us up off the bottom and it didn’t work out, we were able to hold our ground.

“I was doing the Indy Car swerve every lap to try and break the draft. And I knew off of [turn] two he had a good run so I was going to do it, just go in on the bottom and if he was going to drive around me or under me it was going to be whatever, come home second and make sure we don’t wreck the car. But he tried to just root me up off the bottom and unfortunately for him it just didn’t work. I hate that his car got torn up. You don’t want to have anybody get torn up in an All-Star race. I committed to my line down the whole straightaway. It is what it is.”

Pennink wasn’t immediately available for comment after the race.


  1. sour grapes of ireland says

    so many times this has become acceptable to block for a win… admitting he`s faster aka “got a run on me” so I protected (blocked) .. I did what everybody does… blocked… I am sure if pennick went up top he would have blocked there too… never once said “I gave him the top” ..admits to swerving trying to break the draft.. (blocking high and low) ..unfortunately my last lap was my worst..(I made my car as wide as I could on the biggest track we run) leave the mirrors in the cars . no spotters and allow race control to contract all drivers to announce cautions etc… this is stupid… the real story is a non chassis going for the win against all the big shots .. karma is a female dog…cant wait for pennick response.. I may be eating my oatmeal ….we will see !

  2. Are any of the Mod Tour drivers making the drive (flight) to Stafford for tonights races ?

  3. Do you really think Pennink would not have done the same thing given the circumstance? Pay attention to his driving style, he is absolutely no angel by any means…………

  4. Blocking is good, getting blocked is bad.

    Too bad for the 3. Hope they are good to go tomorrow for the points. Amazing seeing a home built chassis running with that simple LFR chassis.

  5. sour grapes of ireland says

    hell has frozen over ..da real and I agree on something.. well said sir!!!!

  6. Well, there’s hope for you, sour grapes of ireland.

    There are no angels out there, none. There racers and there are pricks. Pennink is a racer, and damn good one at that.

    Any damage report on the 3?

  7. There was no number 3 sir..i gotta go eat my beer and burgeer.its drinking day happy 4th of june

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