John Beatty Hoping For Redemption In Whelen Mod Tour Miller Lite 200 Riverhead

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Justin Bonsignore (51) and John Beatty Jr. (5) coming to the checkered at Riverhead Raceway during the Whelen Modified Tour Buzz Chew Chevrolet Cadillac 200 in July (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

Just one lap short of glory.

John Beatty was just a quarter-mile away from scoring his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory at Riverhead Raceway in July. Beatty led the final stages of the race, before a late yellow closed the field up, and allowed defending tour champion Justin Bonsignore to earn his third straight win at the New York oval after some contact in the final corners.

This time, Beatty is going back for redemption when the Whelen Modified Tour returns for the Miller Lite 200 on Saturday night. He wants the trophy.

“Every tour race teaches me something new,” Beatty told “I always take away something from each tour race, even if it’s a negative experience, or a positive one. Being that I don’t tour race regularly, I have to make the most out of each opportunity I get.”

Beatty actually led the 200th lap of the Buzz Chew Chevrolet Cadillac 200 in July, but when he got into NASCAR overtime, it didn’t pan out his way.

He’s a competitor in the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified division — one that has proven to produce some of the top talents the Whelen Modified Tour offers. Names like Bonsignore, Timmy Solomito, Eric Goodale and Craig Lutz all cut their teeth competing at Riverhead. Three of those four have won races on the tour, and Lutz is inching closer.

“It gives me a chance to run against different competitors and it’s humbling to be able to race with them,” Beatty said. “It really challenges me and my team to be better at what we do. It also gives me a chance to represent my local track.”

Entering Saturday, Beatty has two wins at Riverhead this season, and is third in the track’s championship point standings, 122 from the top. Track regular Kyle Soper has seven wins in 16 Modified races at the quarter-mile this season and leads the standings by a large margin. Tom Rogers Jr. is third. All three are entered fro Saturday.

With the track division off, Beatty is just one of many locals who will give it their best shot to knock off Bonsignore, who has three straight victories at Riverhead. Bonsignore recently had six in a row at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, before Doug Coby broke that streak last month. Beatty would love to be the one to end Bonsignore’s streak at Riverhead before it grows.

“Like I’ve said before, my chances are as good as anyone’s chances out there. Myself and my team always bring our best to the track,” Beatty said. “It’s all about being at the right place at the right time. I’ve always had a great team, and with a little bit of luck I don’t see why our performance this race should be shy of anything less than my last few tour races in Riverhead.”

“After countless hours in the garage, along with sacrifices in my daily life, it would be a tremendous accomplishment for me and my team to win, along with those that give me endless support. Especially my friends and family.”


  • After a rough first 12 races, Timmy Solomito is returning home to Riverhead looking to take the No. 16 RB Enterprise Chevrolet back to the top. Solomito has three of his nine career Whelen Modified Tour wins at his home track, and is a former regular in the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified division. Earlier this season, he finished inside the top five in the tour race, and also competed in select local events.
  • Former track champion Tom Rogers Jr. is entered, driving for Danny Watts in the No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet. Woody Pitkat drove the first Riverhead race, and the first 11 races of the season for Watts, finishing 13th at the New York oval. Chase Dowling drove the car to a 9th  place finish last time on track at Oswego Speedway.
  • Riverhead is the next race in a busy stretch for Whelen Modified Tour teams. After one week off, the series will return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Musket 250 presented by Whelen, then back to Connecticut for the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway and Sunoco World Series season finale at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

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  1. That’s one perspective. Another is Bonsignor could use a little redemption for be a putz and taking the low road literally and figuratively.

  2. This is gonna be an all out cage match.

    Good luck to Coby.

    It is gonna be awesome watching Riverhead regulars JBon and Silk.

  3. Good luck to Coby, he’s gonna need it.

    This is going to be quite the show for JBon and Silk.

    JBon and Silk have to put Coby away at Riverhead. After this is NHMS, Stafford and Thompson. Coby does well at Thompson and Stafford. Coby hasn’t had bad luck this year… yet.

  4. This race starts 28 cars, 30 on the entry list.

    Who will be sent home?

  5. The top three point leaders at Riverhead are going to attempt to qualify. Including points leader and big winner this year Kyle Soper who did not race in the Buzz Chew event. Also second and third place leaders Rogers and Beatty Young, Rutkoski, Turbish as well. These guys routinely fly around that track at speeds close to what the NWMT cars do as Beatty clearly demonstrated last time as well as Rogers who landed a top 10. All eyes will be on Beatty but Soper may be one to watch as well.
    Bertuccio in the 21, no Pitkat, Rogers in the 82, Sapienza back in the 36.
    Odd’s are long the Riverhead regulars can repeat at the front but one thing is pretty clear. Riverhead is hands down the best opportunity for unfamiliar names to rock the dominance of the NWMT world.

  6. I’m grateful to Fanschoice for showing the races they do. I just wish they’d have some consistent policy or notification on when and why races are blacked out.
    Riverhead NY to Enfield,Ct . Doesn’t the LI Sound account for anything? Your race don’t show it it’s fine. Just say where you aren’t showing it. Man I was looking forward to seeing the Riverhead regulars do well.

  7. I saw full race in Chicopee, no blackouts, was interesting race with the 82 and 16 looking good until the 51 did his usual, the 46 comes soooooooooooooooo close every race, he got to win soon, 30 cars start, hoping 40 plus at NHMS

  8. Crazy in NY says

    Was blacked out up here in middle NYS as well. Go figure

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