Swept Up: Justin Bonsignore Closes Title Year With Sunoco World Series 150 Win At Thompson

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – On April 8 at Thompson Speedway, Justin Bonsignore drove to victory in the Icebreaker 150, the second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event of the season.

It was a win that set in motion a wave of domination upon the series, the likes of which had rarely been seen the division’s inception in 1985.

Sunday at Thompson Speedway Bonsignore fittingly put the exclamation point on his 2018 reign of terror by driving away with victory in the season ending Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150.

“You can’t even script this,” Bonsignore said.

It was the eighth victory in 16 series events this season and completed a sweep of all four series events in 2018 at Thompson for Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y., who clinched his first series championship in the penultimate event of the season on Sept. 30 at Stafford Motor Speedway,

“We had one goal in mind all weekend, that was to come here and try and win the race,” Bonsignore said. “We had nothing else to lose, we could race hard, we could be aggressive with our strategy and just unbelievable.”

Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass. was second and Ron Silk of Norwalk third.

Bonsignore ended the season with 12 top-five finishes and 15 top-10’s. Before a 12th place finish at Stafford on Sept. 30, Bonsignore’s worst finish was an eighth place. He also won five poles and the exhibition Whelen All-Star Shootout in July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Bonsignore is in his ninth season driving for the Ken Massa owned M3 Racing team. Before the season the team made wholesale changes by changing to an LFR chassis and bringing in new crew chief Ryan Stone.

“They totally dominated,” said Silk, who won the 2011 championship. “It’s not just the wins and the poles, they were fastest in most of the practices. Anything that you could won they pretty much won the majority this year, that you could be the best at. So hats off to them. They’re a good group of guys. Their crew chief, Ryan Stone, is my best friend so I’m happy for him. He worked with me on the [TS Haulers Racing team] when we won the championship in 2011. I’m happy for all those guys, they deserve it.”

Of Bonsignore’s 20 career series victories, 10 have come at Thompson over 34 starts at the track since 2010.

Bonsignore joined seven-time series champion Mike Stefanik, five-time series champion Doug Coby and former series regular and later Monster Energy Cup Series winners Steve Park as the only driver’s since the series inception in 1985 to sweep all the events in one season at Thompson.

“It’s elite company,” Bonsignore said. “I’m just really proud of it. Every time I come here I know we’re going to have great race cars. Our win total, it boggles us when we come where that we’ve been fortunate enough to win that many races.”

Bonsignore was running sixth when the caution flew on lap 80 sending all the 13 cars on the lead lap to pit road.

Bonsignore came off pit road after the round of pit stops with a lead he would never relinquish again.

“Ryan Stone brought another bullet,” Bonsignore said. “The guys killed it on pit road again. They got us out from sixth to first. And when you get the lead it makes it that much easier to save your tires and manage the race. Our car was really good at the end and just managed the gas and hoped for no yellows and we got it.”


  1. Henry Lecomte says

    Way to go A deserving driver team and owner

  2. Great! Now maybe he can stop complaing about Ryan preece

  3. As tracks go and the competition they offer never got the Thompson thing. So many think it’s the bomb and may it is. You’ve got your higher grove that the fast cars thrive in. You’re welcome to go low at any time and no one will bother you as you try to make the pass. Completing the pass is a rarity.
    The best basis for comparison was the SK Lights or whatever they call them at Thompson. Lined up going like a bat out of heck and not much drama. As opposed to Stafford where they routinely went wheel to wheel lap after lap after lap. And after Stafford treated the outer grove it really got competitive up there. SK’s at Thompson tend to be the same deal. Line up, go like a son of a gun and go low only if you’ve got the car dialed in for it.
    Bonsignor wins again at Thompson. Bonsignor wins again. Most other teams are in awe of what they have done and rightfully so but when is too much excellence in one place bad for the series?
    Thompson is great for big shows and should stick to it’s strength. The World Series is epic and almost too much racing to truly absorb. As for weekly excitement Stafford is king of the hill and even the Speedbowl is a better bet for real weekly racing even in it’s weakened state and if it can survive. I doubt it but according to me it never opened for the 2017 season.
    Thanks to Denise Dupont for the updates and RaceDayCt. Especially Mr. C. How one person can handle all the action, the interviews, develop story lines,write stories, report results on so much action and all the things I have no idea are involved is beyond me. A well deserved rest is due.

  4. Open wheel fan says

    Please express huge thank you to Denise DuPont for the excellent live updates all weekend at Thompson world series. You did a terrific job and staying for the Valenti Modified Racing Series feature on Saturday night. Great job keeping fans constantly updated while updating modified tour feature and the on track photos. RACEDAYCT is a great racing web site and look at web site every day. Big thank you !!

  5. Congratulations Justin and the entire Nº 51 race team! Heck of a season! Well deserved!

  6. The 51 team is a great collection of talent right now.

    Look over the standings, and they are stacked in order of talent, and compilations of talent of the entire team.

    It’s a cookie-cutter series now girls and boys, and talent is the differentiator.

  7. Great job JB and the entire 51 team. Banner season and hopefully more of the same for 2019.

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