Total Title Domination: Justin Bonsignore Clinches 2018 Whelen Modified Tour Championship At Stafford Fall Final 150

Justin Bonsignore celebrates clinching the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship following the NAPA Fall Final 150 Sunday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Justin Bonsignore has been close before when it comes to chasing NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships.

Close, but never good enough before 2018.

But there’s absolutely no reason for any use of the word “close” when it comes to 2018 on the Whelen Modified Tour for Bonsignore.

One of the most amazing seasons in Whelen Modified Tour history could best be described as Bonsignore putting a full-on walloping on the competition within the series.

On Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway Bonsignore removed any last little bits of drama when it comes to Whelen Modified Tour Championship.

The 30-year old from Holtsville, N.Y. used a 12th place finish in the Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Fall Final 150 to clinch his first series title with one more race remaining this season.

“It’s just surreal,” Bonsignore said. “I don’t know when it will sink in.

The Whelen Modified Tour closes its season on Oct. 14 with the running of the Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson. Bonsignore goes to the finale with an insurmountable 64-point lead over Chase Dowling, who is second in the standings.

Bonsignore has been driving for the Ken Massa owned M3 Racing team since the start of the 2010 season.

“It’s just unbelievable,” Bonsignore said. “A lot of hard years and a lot of hard work over those years. The first thing that sticks out is just [team owners] Ken and Janine Massa for sticking behind me all these years when things weren’t going that well and we weren’t winning races. There’s other people that could have been better in that seat and they stuck behind me.”

Bonsignore, who finish second in the Whelen Modified Tour standings in 2016 and third in 2014 and 2017, has put up a set of astounding numbers this season. In 15 starts he has seven wins, 11 top-five’s and 14 top-10’s. Before Sunday his worst finish of the season was eighth.

“We’ve had a fairly comfortable lead for most of the summer and we were able to race hard because of it,” Bonsignore said. “… I just wanted to win. We had cars that were capable of winning almost every week.”

Before the start of the season the M3 Team went switch to an LFR Chassis and brought on crew chief Ryan Stone.

“Just bringing Ryan Stone on board and switching to LFR and just reinvesting in our race team,” Bonsignore said.

Bonsignore ran with the leaders most of the day at Stafford. He was running third on lap 138 when his cousin and eventual race winner Kyle Bonsignore made contact with him and sent him up the track and falling back through the field. It was Kyle Bonsignore’s first career Whelen Modified Tour victory in his 11th series start. Craig Lutz of Miller Place, N.Y. was second and Doug Coby of Milford third.

“I wanted to kill my cousin with about 10 to go, and then I just couldn’t wait to go hug him in victory lane afterwards so big range of emotions there,” Justin Bonsignore said.

Justin Bonsignore finished fifth in the season opening event on March 17. He won the second event of the season, the Icebreaker 150 on April 8 and took over the points lead. He never fell out of the points lead the rest of the season.

Justin Bonsignore ended the streak of four consecutive championships by Coby.

“It’s the same thing [seven-time series champion] Mike Stefanik told me after my first [championship], they just don’t hand these things out to anybody and it takes a lot of hard work,” Coby said. “And he’s put in his dues. I feel like I was somebody that put in my dues when I got mine and he’s put in his work and certainly his car owner Ken [Massa] and the whole crew, they’ve been really clawing at this for the last 8-10 years. Numerous different chassis, different crew chiefs … and they have the right combination right now.”

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  1. CONGRATULATIONS to Justin Bonsignore, and the #51 team on winning your first NWMT Championship. A combination of hard work, preparation, determination and talent, led to a very dominant season. Great job by all involved. I think this may be the first of many. Enjoy!

  2. Excellence can be tedious.
    Great job JB and the entire team.

  3. $500,000 dollar’s pay’s for alot of great stuff in racing.

  4. Gotta give a shout out to Rob Fuller, and the team at LFR Chassis. Five NWMT Championships in a row. Obviously LFR is doing something right maybe next year will be Dowling turn. Either way there’s a good chance we’ll see more LFR cars competing next season. Keep up the good work Rob.

  5. Rob p it’s already started the 46 was a new LFR not sure but the 36 appeared to be a LFR , doesn’t look like anyone with LFR is switching to Troyer , but who knows maybe in a few years it will go the other way or maybe someone new will come along

  6. NH MOD CHASER says

    Yes the 36 was a LFR car. IT was Saps first race with it.

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