Thundering: Justin Bonsignore Keeps Rolling With Whelen Mod Tour Win In Bush’s 150 At Bristol

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Bush’s 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway Thursday (Photo: Jim DuPont)

Four second place finishes. Six top-five finishes. Ten finishes in the top-10 in 11 events.

Seemingly any other year those would be statistical numbers that would likely have a driver running away from the field in the Whelen Modified Tour standings.

For Chase Dowling, those are numbers that aren’t even good enough to get a sniff near the top of the series standings.

That’s the illustration of just how good Justin Bonsignore has been in 2018. That’s how magical this season has been for Bonsignore and his Ken Massa owned M3 Racing team.

Bonsignore’s astonishing rampage of the Whelen Modified Tour schedule in 2018 continued Thursday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

The Holtsville, N.Y. driver held off Dowling over the closing stages to win the Whelen Modified Tour Bush’s 150 Thursday at Bristol.

It was Bonsignore’s sixth victory in 11 events this year. Bonsignore has finished in the top-five in nine events and his worst finish of the season is eighth. It was his 18th career Whelen Modified Tour victory and his first at Bristol in nine starts at the track.

“We’ve always had a lot of speed and a lot of success here – we were able to run in the top-three, top-five, I think we finished second one year – but the last couple of years it’s either been feast or famine for us,” Bonsignore said. “We were either leaving here with a good finish or with a destroyed race car. We were really adamant to come down here and not points race, even in the position we’re in right now. We wanted to win Bristol. It’s a huge thing to check off the list as a Modified guy. I’m really glad we were able to drive up the ramp to [Victory Lane]. That’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”

Dowling, of Roxbury, was second and Rob Summer of Manchester third.

Bonsignore won the pole in qualifying earlier on Thursday afternoon. Bonsignore led the final 60 laps with Dowling chasing him to the checkered.

“He’s been right there with us all year,” Bonsignore said of Dowling. “He and [team owner Rob Fuller] and [crew chief Stephen Kopcik] and that whole LFR 15 team have been keeping us honest even though we’ve had a lot of success. It’s only a matter of time before they win a race.”

Said Dowling: “Justin did what he had to do,” Dowling said following his second-place effort. “We are bringing fast race cars to the track every week. We are top five.”

With five races remaining Bonsignore holds a 64-point lead over Dowling. He could skip the next event entirely and still would hold a double-digit point lead in the standings.

Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y., the 2017 Whelen Modified Tour winner at Bristol was fourth. Five-time series champion Doug Coby of Milford was fifth. Ronnie Williams of Tolland was sixth.

Dave Sapienza, Rowan Pennink, Burt Myers and Eric Goodale rounded out the top-10 respectively.

Full Results from the Whelen Modified Tour Bush’s 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway


  1. No mistakes. Mistakes were costly for the 2, 07, and 16. They couldn’t get back. The 07 and 16 were crazy fast before their spins.

    The plate and bigger blade slowed things down. Only 4 cautions, so that was good.

    Good run for Summers. He is getting closer and closer. He is very consistent.

    The better crew chief/driver combos did as expected.

  2. wmass01013 says

    all that summary from your house, wow

  3. It’s all over says

    2 cars were built in the LFR shop this winter and those 2 cars are making the entire field look stupid. 2 car is hanging on to top 5s but still not in the same zip code as 15 and 51. I want to know what teams are planning on doing to keep up. This is the largest points lead in the series history. Second is also a full race ahead of third. Maybe Dareal can design a chassis that can keep up. I’m sure if we ask him he would tell everyone that he would design something so good it would win more races than a LFR. When it actually comes time to do it we will see NOTHING happen but some jaw running. Again.

  4. wmass relax
    dareal and i went to bristol like we do every year
    i flew him on on tuesday

  5. after thinking about dareal

    i realize he is a good man!!!
    just because pur iqs are off the charts 236
    people hate us
    my iq is 236
    dareal iq 235

  6. Why do they run this race so far away from the others for only 21 cars to run it? There are so many tracks closer? Always wondered thanks

  7. Another question.. why does Melissa run this series only to run less than half of the races and head to the infield. She is super nice when I met her at the icebreaker. but why spend all that time and money to not run the whole events? She could be winning in a weekly series somewhere. She is 24th in points with an average finish of 25.7.

  8. Bad news bearer says

    So just heard that the Nascar inspectors took shocks to the RnD center after Bristol. Who wants to bet that they will find out some interesting things this week? Will they actually blow the cover on the LFR teams? Fullers background is shocks. No way they are not running something different. Is it legal though?

  9. This sounds just like the 2 car two years ago. The phone must be ringing at the LFR shop. The other guys need to do something and quick. Troyer will be left with all the mid pack cars and other series that no one watches. Spafcos light is dimming every day.

  10. Dareal. Will you listen to yourself. The 07 and 16 were crazy fast before their spin. Really????! They spun trying to keep up with the leaders! The leaders STAYED crazy fast all race. That’s why they finish up front. Take off the rose glasses and give the LFR car props you bag of gas. The 51 and 15 lapped up to 8th place and were a straightaway ahead of third. AGAIN. I’m pulling into the drive thru now. Bag my fries and hand me my coke and STFU.

  11. Good question racer. Kind of a waste of hard earned money to travel to Bristol to watch 21 mods race. I think the prestige of racing Bristol is wearing off never mind the investment required by the owners to run there. Give it a year or two the the race will be rescheduled to another venue.

  12. Looking at the lap times, what do you consider crazy fast? The 51 consistently ran lap times that most of the others could not match. That is why he won unless I missed something. Give credit where credit is due, JB is having a banner year and the kid is a wheel man.

  13. Take the 15 and 51 cars, trade those LFR cars with the LFR cars from the 01 and the 98 teams, and the crew chief/driver combos of JBon/Stone and Dowling/Kopcik will still prevail. The drivers/crew chief combos of Fifield and Parent will still finish in the back, if they finish at all.

    Shocks were confiscated? OH MY!!!! LOL!!!! Didn’t I say, just a week or so ago, that shocks need to be tech’d every week? LOL!!!! Don’t worry… NASCAR won’t find anything wrong. It will be too embarrassing. And nothing will be said regardless of what is found. And NASCAR will make sure they never look there again. 😬 🤭 🤫 🤔 🐵 🙈 🙉 🙊 🐒 There will never be penalties assessed about whatever they might find… never. It will taint too many previous races, seasons, records and championships. Look how many races Newman got away with, and he’s been insignificant since the cheated up motor was found. NASCAR will never allow their negligence, incompetence, deliberate ignorance, etc. to be blatantly displayed like that. Shocks need to be tech’d at every event. I find it interesting that NASCAR decided to tech shocks at Bristol. The cars run flat out at Bristol, little to no braking, and see suspension travel due to the banking. Shocks need to be tech’d at tracks where the brakes are used.

    Geezhus people, watch the noses of the cars that set the nose perfectly every time, over and over and over and over and over. You either know what to look for or you don’t. 😑 There is no way a car can set the nose like that every time, all conditions, every track, and be compliant with the rules.

    There were only 4 cautions, and long runs, that put plenty of cars down laps. doh. The 01 was lapped after something like only 7 laps. What chassis does the 01 run?

    Racer28, Bristol is a thrilling track for modifieds. If you have never seen the mods at Bristol, I recommend making it a high priority bucket list item. At least once. They have to go for the points. Teams love Bristol, it is a great track for mods. An epic event. Need a couple epic events, otherwise it gets boring.

    What’s going on with the 2 this season? What chassis are they running? Are they doing chassis R&D?

  14. Why only 21 cars? Anbody know ?

  15. Dareal get over it , any sport the top players top coaches and top equipment usually wins , and that’s why these top teams chose LFR to give them there best chance of winning, or do you think they wanted a challenge is why they chose LFR , and m guessing there may be more teams with LFR next year you haven’t been able to post Troyer 1 2 3 like you did in March , I guess then I was the chassis not the teams so much

  16. If I had to guess and it’s only a guess why only 21 cars competed could be the way the series has been treated by the track in years past. As a fan, Bristol has pissed me off like no other track ever has. Treating the series and it’s fans like 3rd class citizens eventually brings consequences. My trip to Bristol was only a 3 hour trip one way. Once there. 10 bucks to park, 30 for a ticket for a 150 lap tour race? This year I was lucky, I actually got to see a full 150 lap race unlike many years gone by. I can only imagine what driving 12-14 hours, spending thousands to race and then repeatedly getting the shaft feels like. I sure didn’t see many of the NC fans I used to see in the stands. I love the mods and really enjoy when the tour comes south but it’s becoming easier and easier to say the heck with Bristol and their BS.

  17. Crazy in NY says

    Teams love Bristol, it is a great track for mods. An epic event. Need a couple epic events, otherwise it gets boring.
    So epic they managed a whole 22 cars there. (Calvin Carroll blew his spec up in practice.)
    And…..could you please post the current shock rule that you’re going on about?

  18. John t., it costs a competitive team like $10,000 to run in the Bristol event. That was also the first place winnings. After that, everyone lost BIGLY bucks. First place broke even. The teams have to prep, haul down, motels, meals, etc. and the expenses add up. Plus these guys have to take off from their regular jobs.

    Why do they do this? Racing is an addiction.

  19. Crazy in NY, have somebody read the rule book to you.

  20. Dareal I agree with you. I wondered if the teams got any extra money for going. I don’t see the point financially to make the trip. I wondered if this was sponsor driven, NASCAR mandates, or maybe TV otherwise it makes no sense to me why they make the trip so far away. There are some awesome tracks so much closer. Shawn any ideas or knowledge that can help me understand this. Thanks for all the other responses to my question.

  21. Said it before, saying it again. In years past we’ve seen certain chassis builders get ahead of the competition. Their dominance usually lasts a season, then the others catch up. Not taking anything away from Justin Bonsignore, he’s enjoying a dream season, of which he will most likely be crowned champion. Rob Fuller, and the LFR engineers have done their homework. They’ve been fast for a few years now, and with the 51 team running their chassis, along with Chase running full time are enjoying the fruits of their labor. Coby won 4 championships driving an LFR car, but I don’t recall him being as dominant as Bonsignore. The spec engines have. had an effect on the whole field, some finding speed, some losing speed, but in the end the best rise to the top.

  22. Rob P.
    Coby has three titles (‘15, ‘16, ‘17) with LFR.

  23. Racer28,
    I think it’s just become an event that is an easy one for teams not chasing a championship to scratch off the schedule to save some money.

  24. Barely making it says

    Someone asked Dareal for the stats on teams pre and post chassis swap to LFR. Anyone heard those? I only know the 51 stats now because everyone is talking about it. It seems the 2 had similar success with no poles and 1 win in 2014 and then a banner 2015. I’m just saying it looks and sounds like dareal doesn’t want yo go there. He keeps bringing up the 01 like that means anything. That’s pretty pathetic even for him.

  25. Thanks for the correction Shawn. Notably missing from this race was Ryan Preece. What’s up with that?

  26. Rob p,
    My understanding is that he had an XFINITY Series sponsor commitment for Craftsman.

  27. For those who don’t have access to the rule book:
    20D – 12.3 Shock Absorbers A. Coil over shock absorbers may be used. Shock absorbers and coil overs hock and spring, by visual reference, must remain within the outline of the body and no holes can be cut in the outer body for the mounting of shocks. B. Shock absorbers must provide a resultant force dependent upon piston velocity and must be acceptable to NASCAR Officials. Shock absorbers and components must be acceptable to NASCAR Officials. Shock absorbers and components must be used as supplied by a manufacturer and approved by NASCAR. Shock absorbers and components must be available to all Competitors and must meet the following minimum requirements: 1. Shock absorbers must be either a mono-tube or twin-tube telescoping type. Mono-tube shock absorbers must be of the nitrogen-gas pressurized, deflective disc valve type with an integral gas reservoir and with steel deflective disc valve shims sealing the primary metering faces of the single piston in the main shock body. Shock absorber bodies must be made of aluminum. If the shock absorber is of the twin tube type then it must use a maximum 1.375 inch diameter piston with compression bypass valves that are the coil-spring loaded disc type or the coil-spring loaded spool or poppet valve type and a compression head (may also be called foot valve or head valve). The twin-tube shock absorber may use a gas cell located between the tubes. An external gas reservoir will not be permitted. Inertial valves will not be permitted. Twin-tube shock absorbers and internal components must remain as produced by the manufacturer, approved by NASCAR, and as displayed on the approved component shock board and as such, are not considered to be interchangeable and will not be permitted to be modified by the Competitor.
    . Mono-tube shock absorbers must meet the following dimensions:
    Overall Length (Extended) 23.60 Inches Maximum (center to center)
    Piston/Shock Body Outside Diameter 2.16 Inches
    Maximum Piston/Shock Body Length 10.00 Inches
    Maximum Gas Reservoir Outside Diameter 2.60 Inches
    Maximum Gas Reservoir Length 3.80 Inches
    Maximum Shock Shaft Diameter 0.500 Inches Minimum and 0.630Inches Maximum
    NOTE: The internal bore of the shock absorber body must remain as supplied by the manufacturer. The internal bore diameter of the shock absorber body must be the same from top to bottom. Tapers, steps, grooves and other misalignments will not be permitted. Modifications which provide position sensitive piston travel will not be permitted.
    3. Changes in shock absorber force must not be made by the position of the shock absorber shaft, only by the velocity of the shaft through the compression and rebound stroke. Only one (1) piston per shock with one (1) shim stack on compression side and one (1) shim stack on the rebound side of piston, will be permitted.
    4 . Only a single, manual, external shaft bleed adjustment through a tapered needle into a fixed orifice in the hollow shaft, acceptable to NASCAR Officials, will be permitted on the shock absorbers of the mono-tube type.
    5 . Only a single manual external adjustment, with an adjusting pin (allen head screw) tapered to regulate bleed and pressure of the spring on the valve will be permitted on the shock absorbers of the twin tube type.
    6 . The shock absorber shaft must not have any sleeves or spacers, that could limit the travel of the shaft into or out of the main body.
    C . Shock absorbers and internal components are subject to inspections
    D . NASCAR Officials may use a shock absorber provided by the respective manufacturer as a guide in determining whether a Competitor’s shock absorber conforms to the specifications in the Rule Book.
    E. A maximum of one (1) shock absorber per wheel will be permitted.
    F. Quick disconnect shock mounts will not be permitted. The shocks must be attached with nuts and bolts.
    G. External shock absorber reservoirs will not be permitted.
    H. Remote or electronically controlled shock absorbers will not be permitted.
    I. Heating pads and/or blankets will not be permitted for warming the shock absorbers.
    J. Air scoops, covers or any aerodynamic devices on or around the fronts shock absorbers will not be permitted.
    K. It is the responsibility of the crew chief, not NASCAR, to ensure the shock absorbers are used in accordance with the manufactures instructions and specifications

  28. And this is the important part from the rule book:

    “All downward chassis movement while the race vehicle is in competition must be limited only by the normal increasing stiffness of the springs or the bottoming of the chassis against the race track, whichever occurs first. Any device or procedure that in the judgment of NASCAR Officials attempts to detract from or compromise the above will not be permitted.”

  29. Crazy in NY says

    K. It is the responsibility of the crew chief, not NASCAR, to ensure the shock absorbers are used in accordance with the manufactures instructions and specifications

    Oh really? Then why confiscate them and send them to the tech center? In the end this statement governs everything they. { Must be approved by NASCAR}. They always leave an out. They can make you legal or not on a whim. How nice.

  30. Crazy, do you really not know why shocks can be confiscated? Really?

  31. Quite shocking! NASCAR takes the shocks, most likely from the top 3, and a random pick. So they must be cheating. It must be illegal shocks. The shocks have to be illegal. Give me a break! If they had taken spindles, then we’d hear, must be illegal spindles. NASCAR routinely takes parts, or whole cars back to the R&D center, sometimes things turn up, but most of the time it’s just business as usual. Why can’t everyone just agree LFR is having a good year, Bonsignore is having a great year. Maybe it is in the shocks, but why jump to the conclusion that they are illegal? I think LFR’s engineers found something that other chassis guys will eventually find, but for now they’re on top nothing illegal about it. The biggest advantage I see is LFR is one shop building cars, as opposed to TROYER’s multiple shops, with multiple people each with their own way of doing things. LFR simply has more control of the end product.

  32. Are your eyes glazing over? Thanks JM for providing the actual rules. Shocks are very complicated. A lot of room for mischief indeed for teams that are willing to bump up against the rule book. But like all the conjecture about the mysterious cheater this and that this too shall pass.
    I’m in the Rob camp. No conspiracy, no mass cheating just routine inspection of a critical component that will produce acceptable compliance within the rules or not. I suspect they will start by comparing the pulled shock to the characteristics of the approved manufacturer produced shocks they have as reference using a shock dyno something like this.
    They’ll run the tests, allow for wear, adjust for temperature and other variables and if they find anomalies out of the manufacturers accepted parameters the crew chiefs may have some splainin to do.
    One thing is for sure. If they report nothing found someone will claim conspiracy.

  33. Facts are facts says

    Here are the facts. Dareal is the best thing for LFR and it Fuller. Here’s why. He could have just said, congrats to LFR they are doing well. Instead he says things like, there is no way the LFR cars can ride around that low and be set perfect lap after lap when in fact they are legal and someone do figure it out and it’s the same guy that designed the LFR chassis. So now if I was racing mods why wouldn’t I want this same guy helping me???? Hmmmmmm.
    Then he tries bashing the LFR cars and teams by saying that they did just as good with Troyer or Spafco when EVERYONE here knows that’s not the case. EVERY driver from Bonsignore to Santos and Colby have credited the chassis. Even Chase was a average driver in the 9 car. Never finished better than 4th and now he is rattling off top 5s most the time.
    Here’s some marketing advise Dareal. If you don’t want to bring attention to it don’t talk about it. By you doing what you do and saying what you say you are selling cars for LFR.
    Troyer and Spafco will NEVER keep up with LFR until they hire someone with Fullers credentials. That will never happen. Fuller loves modifieds. Great for teams and bad for Troyer. A guy like that would cost a lot of money to employ or will have to take ownership of some sort to make it worth while to them. I don’t think Fuller needs the money so even if sales are down for some reason he can continue. The problem is what will Troyer or Spafco do when sales go down? The fuse is lit in that.

  34. Anyone check the “spec” roof sheet metal? 🙄 LOL

  35. Bristol has always been a losing money deal for teams this was the last year we will go there rumors are martinsville Charlotte or Richmond the payout was worse this year than in years past as far as the shocks next year whatever shock builder pays NASCAR that’s what shocks we will run

  36. thanks dareal
    great insight and once again you r da man!!!!!!
    please reach out to me DAREAL
    lifes tough with oyt you sirrr
    please come back home

  37. Hey Doug lets all take a guess who will be claiming conspiracy

  38. Another year of a ho-hum race at Bristol. Look at the finishing order, no real racing. Give me a mod race at Martinsville or Richmond any day of the week. The cars don’t race well at Bristol. I am surprised that nobody has used the excuse the reason for the restrictor plates and spoiler change was because they were faster than the cup cars (that is the theory most have used for NHMS and Richmond in the past). But, it did limit the cautions and the carnage. Still significant movement from the rear to the top 10. Looks like the N.Y. circus stench has rubbed off on the 07 (and the other car from there will never shake it off). And another big paying race and no black #60 (the car is kept just a few hours from Bristol). Must be afraid of the competition.

  39. Sorry, my previous post should have read. “Still no significant movement from the rear to the top 10”.

  40. And because Dareal likes the driver of the 51 theres no motor cheating comments FLUX CAPACITOR big carb cam ect just Justin is driving well this year I have a bridge i can sell you Dareal.

  41. I agree with Pete, 200 laps at Martinsville for the Grandfathers clock, the best trophy there is as far as I am concerned.

  42. Yeah, you would think that Bristol would be one of those high-profile races that the modified royalty would surely run.

    Pete C., somebody did say that the reason for the plates and bigger blade was because mods were faster than the Cup cars.

    A couple high profile cars went around on their own, looks like they needed an even bigger blade.

  43. I’m going to suggest that NASCAR give Mr. Bonsignor the championship by acclimation, have him sit out the rest of the season and make the races really interesting. And it could be without the 51 team.
    So far 7 drivers have won poles: JB 4, Hirschman 1, Williams 1, Dowling 2, Coby 1, Preece 1 and Newman 1.
    5 winners so far: JB 6, McKennedy 1, Preece 2, Coby 1 and Santos 1.
    How about one step down from excellence who’s been consistently good and who has surprised. Dowling has ruled second place success with 4. But how about Hirschman with a 2nd and 3rd. The 3 scored a second twice. Lutz got a second as did our man Woody. Emerling invaded for two forths. And Rob Summers a third at Bristol. Nice.
    There are literally 8 teams that are legitimate threats to win any given race. There’s been some good racing and surprises you just need to look past a team at the absolute top of their game.

  44. Any announcement from NASCAR yet on the shock analysis?

  45. Bill says:
    Bristol has always been a losing money deal for teams this was the last year we will go there rumors are martinsville Charlotte or Richmond the payout was worse this year than in years past

    Pete C says:
    Give me a mod race at Martinsville or Richmond any day of the week

    Racer 28 says:
    There are so many tracks much closer.

    Many wondering why the long trip to run a NASCAR WMT race and the answer is very easy. Money.Your beloved NASCAR charges tracks over $30k to sanction a WMT event. New Hampshire and Bristol are easily able to absorb that cost with all the $$ brought in over their long weekends of racing that the WMT is an undercard for. Riverhead has an owner with deep pockets willing to pay out that astronomical fee. Stafford and Thompson have made $$ doing it, but even now, don’t you think these open shows at Stafford are trial runs to see if they need to continue paying NASCAR $$ for something they can just do themselves? This year, and every year over the past 15 or so, it’s been a different track giving the WMT a try for a few years, but never latching onto for an every year deal because it’s too expensive and raising the ticket prices so much for a WMT show to cover their cost of paying NASCAR pisses off the regular local paying fan. (Oswego, Sekonk, Myrtle this year, in past places like Chemung, Monadnock, Claremont, Wall, Jennerstown, Spencer, etc have all tried the WMT out but it never stuck as regularly held at those tracks. Why? Hosting a WMT event doesn’t make them $$)
    As for Martinsville and Richmond, neither will ever host stand alone NWMT events. Martinsville tried it a handful of times in the mid 2000s. Don’t you think if it was a successful business venture for the track that they would have continued to hold the event? I was there twice for those races, the place was empty and the racing sucked. Richmond hasn’t had a Modified tour race in almost 20 years. After their last race there, I recall reading in one of the race papers that the track claimed to lose $50k hosting the event and the modifieds haven’t been on Richmonds schedule since.

    Track owners and promoters are businessmen. Hosting a NASCAR WMT isn’t a profitable business venture for the majority of race tracks that have tried it. If it were, they would have the events still! The only people guaranteed to make $$ with a NASCAR WMT event is NASCAR!

  46. Great comment Phil. Can I take a shot at building on it.
    No one knows what the fees are NASCAR charges for the races other then those involved. Each is negotiated individually based on the venue, the race and potential revenue based on the history of the event. There is more push and pull on price then the general public understands with some long time track owners like the Arutes and others exercising a great deal of influence in coming up with a number that works for all and doesn’t incentivize tracks to drop dates. There are other incentives to tracks including revenue sharing of TV income that is spread over all tracks dependent on their overall commitments to NASCAR dates. There may be revenue sharing as well for national sponsor income that filters down to the tracks in some form. There is status to being a NASCAR track with NWMT dates as evidenced by Ben Dodge incessantly mentioning that NASCAR is the biggest auto racing sanctioning body in the world. Also that it was a big deal, or many thought so, when the Speedbowl was shut out by NASCAR.
    If Staffords Open’s are designed to replace any dates it’s most likely one or both of the VMRS races. The NWMT events are iconic and virtually untouchable unless there is some catastrophic change in priorities none of us know anything about.
    It’s a big nut but it’s not as bleak as it may appear.
    That is all a guess.

  47. Phil A, the NSWMT was dissolved. The southern teams wouldn’t travel across the street to race, they didn’t travel to Bristol in decent numbers, nor to the NWMT events. The modifieds are a northeastern thing. If NASCAR wants to sell them elsewhere, they need to cough up some bucks. There just doesn’t seem to be a viable, sustainable market outside the northeast.

  48. Phil I can’t agree more if there was a better playground owners would run their NASCAR is horrible to everyone except NASCAR but for most people it’s still the most prestigious series out there the tri track is good to the owners and drivers from what I’ve seen. I hope the 250 at Loudon is successful for the owners and teams

  49. Darealgoodfella says:
    Phil A, the NSWMT was dissolved. The southern teams wouldn’t travel across the street to race, they didn’t travel to Bristol in decent numbers, nor to the NWMT events. The modifieds are a northeastern thing. If NASCAR wants to sell them elsewhere, they need to cough up some bucks. There just doesn’t seem to be a viable, sustainable market outside the northeast.

    I agree 100% about NASCAR having to cough up bucks or something to sell them elsewhere. I also agree with the many posters on here that Bristol just doesn’t work, for many reasons. However, I don’t think Martinsville or Richmond are the answers. What about Concord having an event on the same weekend that Cup is at Charlotte? Very close and Concord is a proven great venue for the Modifieds. Promote it in conjunction with the events at the Charlotte facility and give it a chance. Have you been there? Great track for our beloved ground pounding modifieds!!
    BTW, Myrtle Beach was a very good place for the modifieds too. Bristol just doesn’t seem to work, unfortunately…

  50. Phil and Doug, that all makes sense. I always wondered why as it did make sense to me to go that far with such few cars. Thanks for helping me and others better understand it.

  51. Why are all y’all so concerned with getting a NWMT race in the south where the NSWMT was a failure? Why have the northern teams travel to where the racing market isn’t interested in modifieds?

  52. Have to agree with dareal, Southerners don’t watch Modifieds. In my opinion, the northeast tracks should all sit down, and consider a super late model division. A key point being a car that could be run anywhere in New England or New York, with very minimal change. When they interviewed Kyle Busch at Bristol, he didn’t say ” I like racing my modified” he said ” I like racing my super late model”. The division is a success down south, producing close racing for big purses. The reason, you can race your car about anywhere. Maybe something close to an ACT car but not an ACT car as ACT rules are too restrictive as far as engines builders and chassis builders. Just a common set of rules so you give the teams options.

  53. Great point rob never really thought about it that way I know when they run modifieds and super late models at speedweeks in Florida the stands fill up and it’s a good show

  54. A super late model division common to all the northeast tracks would benefit everyone. Chassis builders like Bob Fill, and Rob Russell for example. Just about every engine builder. The drivers would get experience in a class where they would be able to transition to higher levels. And the fans would see some great racing. But it’s got to be a commitment by allot of the northeast tracks to make it work. Measures could be put in place to make weekly racing almost affordable, because face it racing ain’t affordable. And maybe have some big money regional races. The super late models work down south because of common rules, the northeast track owners need to get their heads out of their asses, and band together. Together the northeast tracks could have a division that makes the racers happy and the tracks money.

  55. Southerners don’t watch Modifieds???? How bout 17,000 every Sat nite at Bowman Gray you people kill me. lol

  56. I’m guessing Bowman Gray also has a late model or super late model division. And I don’t believe 17000 people attend every week, maybe for big shows. That being said 1 track doesn’t make any division affordable the point is to have a car you can race at multiple tracks, with minimal changes.

  57. Fast Eddie says

    I thought we had Super Late Models; the Granite State and PASS series. And PASS also runs down south. I’m not real familiar with them, but as far as $$ goes, Seekonk has been running a $10K race for 3 years, and there I think are some big $$ PASS races at Oxford and other tracks in Maine.

  58. bowman gray lists capacity as 15000. i’ve been there several times over the years, and they’ve had between 10-13000 each time ive been there. very good crowds! they also, usually have close to 30 modifieds. however, i’ve also been to various tour events (NASCAR, Southern Mod Tour, etc) at various southern tracks (Concord, Caraway, Hickory, Greenville and others), and those races have had car counts between 8 and 20 and the “crowds” were on average around 1000 people. i think Bowman Gray is an anomaly and the dareal is right overall. i agree that the powers that be should be trying to get more tracks on the NWMT schedule, and tracks closer to where most of the modified teams are based. but, again, i believe that many tracks that have had the NWMT in the past have found it too costly a venture and chose not to have them return. in my earlier posts, i was only suggesting Concord in response to those Charlotte, Richmond and MVille suggestions.

  59. Rob p says:
    Have to agree with dareal, Southerners don’t watch Modifieds. In my opinion, the northeast tracks should all sit down, and consider a super late model division. A key point being a car that could be run anywhere in New England or New York, with very minimal change.

    why cant they just do that with the modifieds? over the past 20 years or so, the modifieds, touring and weekly, arent able to run at different tracks. somewhere along the way, the rules have gotten way too complicated. the same sk type modified should be able to run at thompson, stafford and waterord. that same modified should be able to run at any of the other tracks in the northeast (wall, claremont, chemung, spencer. etc) for that matter.
    the same holds true for tour modifieds. why an ROC modified cant be run at a NWMT event and vice versa is ridiculous.

  60. Fast Eddie says

    Rob & Phil, even if the rules are the same, it can still be a lot of work to set the car up for each track. I was at an SK150 at the Speedbowl 5 or 6 years ago and Ryan Preece was there spectating. One of the announcers asked him why he wasn’t racing that day, after running Stafford the night before. He said it’s a full day’s labor to get the car changed from the Stafford setup to Speedbowl setup, and there wasn’t enough time to properly make the changeover. I’m guessing that was changing suspension parts to make it handle and run fast. A fast Stafford setup won’t necessarily be fast at Thompson or Waterford.

  61. Fast Eddie. The point I’m trying to get accross is that the northeast needs a late model division where the rules are the same at all or most of the tracks in N.E., NY, NJ& PA. While I agree you may not be able to run Stafford and Waterford without drastic changes, there are allot of similar tracks that you would have the option of running. Throw in some high dollar special shows, and it might be worth it to change the car to go from running a 5/8 mule track to a bullring. But mainly have a car that you could run weekly at multiple tracks. Years ago Stafford and Thompson had the same rules for late models and we ran both tracks with very little changes to the car. That’s what the northeast needs is a late model, or super late model that you can run everywhere, common rules to give teams options. I’m in no way saying that we should get rid of Modifieds.

  62. Same theme, different day. We’ve all sung the tune of common rules at some point be it modifieds, SK’s. SK Lights, Late Models or Streets. I scanned the rules at LM bastions Seekonk and Beach Ridge and they are indeed their own rules. So how about a devils advocate view as to why what seems to exist for virtually all tracks is the opposite of common rules.
    Each of the regional big dogs is it’s own fiefdom where in many cases they have inter-generational ownership, unique fan bases, their own specialty and are moderately successful. Fast Eddie would probably know better but I would include Stafford, Thompson, Seekonk and Beech Ridge in the group. They’re clanish and protective of the slice of the pie they have. They are probably making money. They may know what Fast Eddie suggested that it is difficult to change setups for different tracks do to the sophistication of the cars these days. They may know in talking to their drivers that racing multi times a week given the current reality of expense is more a fan fantasy then a racing reality even if there was zero changes needed from track to track on setup.
    So we fans being mostly selfish and naive say common rules. But as far as I can see with the exception of Waterford and Thompson common rules are mostly avoided like the plague. Thompson and the Speedbowl can do it because one is part time and the other hanging on year to year.
    I don’t know this but based on the articles and comments made over the years even the teams don’t care about common rules. They seem to be more interested in rule changes at any track that affect cost of racing at the one track they race.
    I know I will bang the drum for common rules for the Streets where ever possible. But I’m pretty sure that based on history that is a relic of the past and will always be the exception rather then the rule. You want common rules and race different tracks we already have that. , Tour racing.

  63. Fast Eddie says

    Rob, me neither, Modifieds Rule!! But that brings us back around to most New England tracks that have Late Models are running them with ACT rules… except Stafford. I think most tracks that have Super Late Models seem to run PASS or GSPS rules, which might be real close if not the same. It’s a Catch 22: If the track stays with unique rules, the possibility of increasing the car count isn’t good. (I wouldn’t want a race car that I could run at only one track) If you change the rules, you may get new faces but you jeopardize your original team roster, as not all will have the $$ or desire to change.

  64. The first 100 laps of the Bristol race were great. A lot of passing.
    Bristol will separate the men from the boys that’s for sure.
    Bonsignore won $15,750 for the Bristol win.
    If you watch the race on TV you will see Bonsignore running High, Wide and Handsome didn’t see anyone else running up in that groove.
    Last place paid was a minimum of $1,000 to start without bonus money . That needs to be double.
    $2,000 to Start. 21st place (Last) paid $1,600.
    The WMT is all about the Point Fund. Please keep that in mind.
    As for the Southern Modifieds they support nothing. Look at the SMRS they get 9, 10 or 11 cars per show. That’s way Whelen dropped them.
    The combined WMT payed the SWMT regulars extra bonus money in 2017 and they didn’t even support that.
    Paying the Champion of the SWMT $28,000 for 10 to 15 car fields was not worth it.
    The Southern tracks do not want to pay a WMT purse. South Boston, Caraway, Dominion, Bowman Gray, SNMP, Hickory and so on want the WMT to run for nothing.

  65. Just watched the Bristol race on NBCSN. One word…BORING. The same old thing the tour is known for… BORING racing. They need to go back to built motors or something, because with the current package the racing is just BORING. Not the type of racing I’d be willing to pay 40 bucks to watch

  66. Rob p., I agree with that. It was so boring the announcers had nothing to talk about.

    The restrictor plate and HUGE blade really put a damper on the racing. Amazing that even with the HUGE blade cars still went around with ease.

  67. One question I have. Who was Tom Baldwin referring to when he said we may soon see a modified standout in the #47 JTG NMEC car? Was he referring to Preece?

  68. Fast Eddie says

    Rob, I was able to watch it last night. I backed up the DVR to make sure I heard it right, and thought the exact same thing. Maybe Ryan is replacing Allmendinger? Or maybe becoming a teammate?

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