Doug Coby And Justin Bonsignore To Decide Whelen Mod Tour Title At Sunoco World Series

(Press Release from Thompson Speedway)

Doug Coby (left) and Justin Bonsignore (right) (Photos: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolls into Thompson for the 57th annual Sunoco World Series October 11-13, two drivers are going to be in contention to earn the series championship. 

Doug Coby, a five-time champion looking to add to his historic resume, leads defending Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore by 19 points. For Coby, a solid day should help get the job done without even having to win the race. For Bonsignore, he is going to have to do everything he can to close the gap, and hope Coby has a bit of a stumble. 

“We’ll have a good car, but I know they are going to have a good car,” Coby said. “You have to figure Justin is going to win and go lead the most laps like he usually does. We are going to have to be every bit as good.” 

For Coby, this season has been filled with a return to the top. After a 2018 season that only included one victory, which wasn’t up to his standards, he watched Bonsignore dominate. A change in his shock package, combined with some improved setups, has given him four checkered flags in the 15 races this year. Coby went to Victory Lane in the Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150 at Thompson in August and finished inside the top five in the other two races at TSMP this year.

Bonsignore, who dominated en route to his first title last year with eight wins, has five victories this season, including two at Thompson. Entering the Bud 150, Bonsignore had won six straight Whelen Modified Tour races at TSMP, but he finished second that night, breaking the streak. Trailing Coby by 19 points might be a product of two DNF’s early in the season at South Boston Speedway and Wall Stadium Speedway. 

“We’ve thought for a while now that we needed to win every race. In the last four races, we have two wins. We’re doing what we need to do, but we spotted those guys too many points in the beginning of the year,” Bonsignore said. “We’re doing a great job. I’m happy. We just need to go there (to the World Series) and win the race, and if other things happen and we need to change our strategy, we will go with that.” 

For Coby, his 19-point lead might give him the chance to relax a bit in the early laps and settle in. But, as the Milford, Connecticut, driver knows, there is no safe spot in the field. In the 2017 Icebreaker, Coby started third, but didn’t complete a whole lap after a wreck on the backstretch ended his day. He knows anything can happen, but a strong finish will do the trick. 

“Even if we have some challenges, I’d like to think we can finish there,” Coby said. “If you get caught up in someone else’s mess, and you blow the right-front off, we could be running up front and be caught up in something and finish 20th. It’s really going to come down to the last lap.” 

Bonsignore has 11 wins in 36 Thompson starts, and he’s finished inside the top two in the last seven races at the Connecticut oval. 

“Every time we unload at Thompson, first lap I know what I am looking for, and I know the feel we need. You have a lot of confidence there when you win races,” Bonsignore said. “I’m excited to go and hopefully end the season on a high note. It’s been an amazing year. Five years after what we did last year, we backed it up. We have a lot of confidence; we will just go down swinging. Until they hand him the trophy, we are not out of it.” 

Coby knows putting a whole day together could earn him a sixth championship, which would put him past Tony Hirschman for the second most titles in the Whelen Modified Tour modern era. That would leave Coby trailing just the late Mike Stefanik, who had seven. 

“We should qualify up front, and if you qualify good, you should be able to get through half of he race without too much aggression. Then, it’s just a matter of if everyone comes in together and takes tires, you have to have a good stop, and be in the right lanes on the restarts,” Coby said. “Hopefully we have a good car that keeps us out of trouble. It’s going to be a barnburner.”

The 57th annual Sunoco World Series will take the green flag on Friday, October 11, and roll through Sunday, October 13. The event begins on Friday, with practice sessions running throughout the afternoon, and qualifying heat racing set to begin at approximately 4:30 p.m. Feature racing on Friday includes the Granite State Pro Stock Series, Late Models, Open Vintage Modifieds and Senior Tour Auto Racers. 

Saturday, action begins early with practice at 9 a.m., while qualifying racing begins at 2:30 p.m. There are 10 different feature races planned for Saturday night. Sunday, action begins at 1 p.m., with the season-finale for Thompson’s Sunoco Modified division. The NEMA Lites, ISMA Supermodifieds and TSMP Limited Sportsman will also join the headliner of Sunday — the Sunoco World Series 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. 

Admission to the paddock area for the entire three days is $75, with grandstand general admission set at $55. Any seniors (65+), veterans and active military will have general admission tickets priced at $50, while kids 12 and under are free in general admission.  

Thompson’s annual breakfast and dinner buffets will also take place during Sunoco World Series weekend. The breakfast buffet runs from 7-11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and is $14 per person. The dinner buffet runs from 5-11 p.m. on Saturday night only and is $24 per person. For any children 12 and under, the dinner buffet is $14.  

For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, fans should visit the track on the web,, and follow the track via social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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  1. What a great year. Aside from the misjudgement at Stafford Coby has been fairly spectacular this season. Connecticut boy with Stafford roots. Gotta root for the guy. Will he play it safe? Wasn’t he in a points battle with Preece a few years back where he played it safe at Thompson? Smart guy and a winner. He’ll do what winners do. Whatever it takes to accumulate enough points.
    Odd’s are long for Bonsignor but accidents and mechanical failures happen so no one is handing anything to Coby yet.

  2. Two cars in contention. The same two cars won 9 of the races so far.


    And in the beginning of the season, folks will still say that ten cars have a chance to win any race. Only 5 cars won races this season, as with every other season.

    The standings rank the collective talent of the teams, with most weight on the crew chief and drivers. A good tire guy helps too.

  3. Only 5 cars won races this season. Just goes to show how hard it is to get good talent.

  4. Santos has whipped them both when he has been around. We need him back full time in 2020. It’s 6 winners by the way in 2019. It was 5 before Sunday.

    Can’t tell me the 07, 58, 99, 3,16, 1 can’t win anytime. Some have already won albeit not this season. Plenty of talent. The 2 and 51 are tough right now. No doubt.

  5. Take a look at the stats… over the 15 races so far there have been 75 total top 5 positions. Only four cars own 37 of those 75 positions. The other 38 top 5 positions are made up from many other cars each with a couple top 5 placements. This is the way it is year after year, just a couple cars hog the dog dish. It’s that talent and wisdom of just a few top talented crew chiefs and drivers that consistently rise to the top.

    Only a couple crew chiefs know how to set up a car. The rest just buy the same parts and hope for the best.

    The difference between the 2 and 51 is that the 51 has 51 less laps this season than the 2, one less Top 5, two less Top 10s. Impossible to overcome, the 2 has to have lots of bad luck for the 51 to have a chance.

    Once again, the championship belongs to Phil Moran, unless Coby screws up.

  6. I’m going to say the guy that said this last February nailed it.
    “It’s the collective talent that wins. The team is only as good as the weakest link. The 2 car lost a few people and look what happened. Even Super Phil couldn’t compensate for all the talent that left the 2.”
    Not the 2 part but the reference to collective talent. In other words the “TEAM”. Not just the crew chief or the driver or the tire changer. The TEAM.
    Well said DGF.

  7. That reference to 75 top 5 positions and 4 cars accounting for 37 of them is a great stat. The dog dish metaphor also outstanding. We expected two this year and got 4. That’s twice as many top dogs as we thought isn’t it?

  8. For me the observation going into the season that 10 or more cars could win races holds up very well. 6 won this year including three that might not have been first choices in the races they won Pitkat, Lutz and the 36. Solomito at Riverhead, Dowling at South Boston, Hirschman at Oswego, McKennedy at Myrtle Beach and Stafford and Beatty at Riverhead didn’t win but were close with seconds.
    If the contention is that it’s been a boring and predictable season I wouldn’t agree with that at all.

  9. For me successful teams are about leadership, communication and inclusion. Starting with an owner that has extensive resources, has lined up committed sponsors and is charismatic enough to attract top talent including the crew chief and driver. More importantly to keep it all together for years enjoying varying degrees of success in that time. We’re lucky we have a few teams like that. The two top dogs being the 2 and 51. They aren’t a sign of imbalance in the series. They are a strength that teams can copy and at some point overtake.

  10. I’d add Hossfeld to the list of guys who could win anytime too. He has only had a few races with the 21 but they are right there too. It takes an A game performance to top the 2 and 51 right now but it can be done. DaReal had Justin on the hot seat before last season. The 16 was a title contender until this year. Plenty of teams out there that just need a few tenths of a second. Like Doug said, so many just missed out on the checkers this year. Silk sort of came out of nowhere with his pile of big wins.

  11. JD, it’s not even a few tenths, it’s about running closer to flawless. No mistakes, no bad luck, no getting caught up in other peoples problems. That’s how cars stay on the lead lap, in the top 10, in the top 5, and have a far better chance of winning. In order to win, the car has to first get in position to finish the race on the lead lap. Look over the stats, many fast cars don’t finish the race, or don’t finish on the lead lap. They have to know how to NAIL the set up for each event, and NAIL the adjustments on the pit stops. Every time. Right now, even though they are all running the same equipment, the same SPEC engines and cookie cutter chassis, they have to NAIL the suspension set ups and tires every time. No equipment can make up for lack of talent. It’s all about who has the talent, and who has run the most laps at private test and tune sessions. It’s known some top teams run hundreds and hundreds of laps at private test and tune sessions in preparation for and throughout a season.

    There’s plenty of cars that show signs of brilliance… for just a few laps. They need to run that good every lap. That’s how the cream rises to the top.

    If Silk didn’t have his episodes of bad luck (aka: Goodale), he’d be right there with the 2. If the 51 didn’t have those couple bouts of bad luck, it would be much closer, or he’d be on top right now. It’s about running flawlessly, and the 2 has had only one “bad” race outside the top 10, by far the best and most consistent car, running the closest to flawless this season. Will the law of averages catch up with the 2 at Thompson?

    There’s plenty of good equipment out there, far more than there are top talented crew chiefs and driver pairings. If those other cars had top talent crew chiefs and driver pairings, the racing would be incredible, and there would probably be numerous cars entering the last race of the season with a legit chance at the title.

    Thompson will still be rather exciting because of all the potential for movement within the top 15.

  12. This flawless Coby guy, who is that? Can’t be the guy that had to go to the rear at Myrtle Beach because of a nail in his tire and come from the rear. Or having a race end at NHMS prematurely that perhaps he could have won. Or the next week at Stafford when he was flawless until he wasn’t. 10th at the blood bath at Wall and finishes a lap down but finishes. 10th at the Musket with a few laps to go, gets banged around a bit, slices and dices his way to a third.
    The Coby I’ve been watching has earned every bit of first place. Actually more ugly then flawless at times. Now he has to be a closer.

  13. This is all about the 2 and if they do not make mistakes that amount to enough to let the 51 get by. But then, Coby can pull a Szegedy and give it away.

  14. The more I think about this, it would take a complete and epic failure by the 2 team for the 51 to win.

    Unrelated, WMT returns to South Boston 3/2020. Good to see them back.

  15. Seems pretty obvious what you are saying DGF. It is about Bonsignor as well. He has to win or be very close to winning. There is a lot of pressure on that team as well.

  16. JBon has to get EVERY bonus point possible, and Coby has to finish W-A-Y back, as in a bigly, YUGE, EPIC failure. Coby would have to finish uncharacteristically way back. Phil Moran has done an excellent job this year, producing cars that a monkey can drive and prevail. JBON is going to HAVE to run hard to get out front and run the most lead laps. Coby should not want to compete with that, and stay back where he can run a conservative lap, stay safe, keeping JBon within a few places. That means Coby will have to be in traffic, where he does not do well. He will be in traffic, cars that will be slicing and dicing for position, points, and movement in the final point$ $tanding$. The pack has lots of competition this year, and they are not going to give Coby any respect. Coby is going to have to respect many, many cars in the field at Thompson, for many, many cars are running for season final points standings. Coby ain’t gonna get any respect.

  17. OK then according to my DGF Handy Pocket Organizer of themes it looks like we have one of the favorites going back years. Coby That would be item (E) and (H) according to my score card.

    A) Troyer was the one true chassis builder of quality equipment and Rob Fuller is a no talent bum that wrecked cars as a driver and LFR is over rated..
    B) Political comments centering on Trump can appear at any time. The constant is that everything associated with Trump is bad and if you support him you are not smart enough to understand how bad he is.
    C) Everything and everyone connected to the Speedbowl is bad, the track is dead, the season will never start, the stands will never be demolished, the stands will never be built and he predicted it all for the last two years.
    D) Theories on everything from coasting in the corners to the importance of talent, tire management, cookie cutter chassis’s, crate like spec engines and chassis geometry. DGF get’s it you probably will not.
    E) Coby won with a cheater carb that became a flux capacitor or proxy for cheater carb. No one likes Coby, he’s won because he’s on a talented team and he‘s been lucky not having to overcome any adversity this season especially.
    F) Hirschman can only win at bull rings, Hirschman is not talented enough to race a full NWMT schedule, Hirschman in not in the same class as the NWMT front runners, etc, etc, etc.
    G) Doug, AKA Sybil, Insipid Sybil, RickyinMass. WeldingWonders has zero credulity, doesn’t go to the right races or enough of them, isn’t in the right place for the ones he goes to and doesn’t know what he’s seeing when he’s there.
    H) It’s always a zero sum game, there must be a loser for him to win. No debate, no gray area, no compromise. What DGF knows is the way it is and if you don’t get it you’re not bright enough to understand.

  18. JD, you have me thinking that what happens from 3P and back will be more exciting to watch than the futile efforts of JBon hoping the 2 wrecks, blows up, etc.

  19. “Coby would have to finish uncharacteristically way back. Phil Moran has done an excellent job this year, producing cars that a monkey can drive and prevail.”

    Coby monkey like. That is according to Darealgoodfella, AKA DaFella, AKA Daidiot, AKA Dajerk, AKA Da Stupid, AKA longwindedfella, AKA darealidiot,AKA peterperfect,AKA Darealmoron, AKA Duh Real, AKA DareFakeFella, AKA DaDope, AKA Da Dumb Dumb, AKA, darealtripboy, AKA darealboogermaker, AKA boydareal, AKA darealisnotsafefromhisownstupidmistakes.

    I doubt few would agree with that nor put it in terms so demeaning even if not a fan of Coby’s.
    Then again that’s the DGF’s way. Item (H) in my DGF Handy Pocket Organizer. Can’t just wish Bonsignor best wishes. Have to trash Coby in the process.

  20. ” That means Coby will have to be in traffic, where he does not do well.”
    Another stupid statement. It just never ends. Came from the rear in the first race. Holds his own at the bull rings 10th place in the Musket as laps wind down and finishes in third slicing and dicing.
    It’s the cheater carb all over again when Coby and Preece were fighting for a championship. Same hatred of Coby and it ends up in stupid, completely untrue statements.

  21. More than likely that the 51 wins the race and the 2 wins the championship. Hopefully nobody takes either of them out to become the story. The 2 is focused on the points. The 51 has to win and hope for more after that.. Both will start upfront. The less restarts the better for Coby. I’m sure both will cut Cup like pitstops.

    Sizzler 4/26/2020. Couldn’t help but notice all schedule talk has been scrubbed from social media. Hmm…

    Is it me or does Doug not like DRG. LOL

  22. I’m thinking Goodale will take out the 2.

  23. Walt Maguire says

    Timmy will win the pole, lead all the laps and win. Coby and Bonsignore will hire Timmy to be their driver coaches for next year.
    That’s his destiny as the superstar he is heading to the nascar how.

  24. Well, 39 cars on the entry list, one withdrawal.

    Weather is looking good. Should be a great event. Maybe Sybil will be seen in the pits.

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