Pit Box: Whelen Modified Tour Ready For Fireworks At White Mountain

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Justin Bonsignore ran away from the field in the season opener.

He won’t have as much space on Saturday.

After Bonsignore dominated the race at Pennylvania’s half-mile Jennerstown Speedway, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will celebrate the Independence Day 200 with its inaugural visit to White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, New Hampshire. The banked quarter-mile should offer fans plenty of sparks on the track, and the facility will cap the night with a fireworks show.



The good news for teams chasing Justin Bonsignore, is that this will be the tour’s first visit to the track. So, theoretically, the Long Island driver does not have the advantage of, say going to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, where he’s won seven of the last eight races.

The bad news is Bonsignore has shown to be pretty good on quarter-mile tracks.

He’s won the last four races at his home track of Riverhead Raceway, and seven of the last 10 races there. And he had two wins and six top fives in seven starts at New Hampshire’s Monadnock Speedway.

Throw in the fact Bonsignore has four wins, two seconds and a fifth in his last seven races on the tour dating back to last August.

Six-time tour champion Doug Coby wound up seventh is his debut as a driver/owner. But the Milford, Connecticut, driver has shown over his title runs to be unruffled by a slow start; although only with Coby’s resume would a top 10 be considered a slow start. Like Bonsignore, Coby won at Monadnock. He also has had a pair of wins at the third-mile Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts.

Craig Lutz scored his first career win at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway and turned in a strong runner-up performance at Jennerstown. Matt Hirschman and Matt Swanson took their turns in the top five, while Calvin Carroll moved up 19 spots to pick up his first career top five.

RACING REFERENCE: 2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Standings


PLACEWhite Mountain Motorsports Park
DATESaturday, July 4, 2020
TIME17 p.m. ET
TELEVISIONTrackpass on NBC Gold (live), 7 p.m. ET; NBCSN — Monday, July 13, 12 a.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUTQuarter-mile paved oval
EVENT SCHEDULESaturday, July 4 — Garage opens: 12:45 p.m. ET; Practice: 3-4 p.m.; Qualifying: 6 p.m.; Independence Day 200: 7 p.m.
HASHTAG#IndependenceDay200, #NWMT


CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Independence Day 200 is limited to 28, including provisional positions. The field will be set by qualifying (1-22) and provisional process per the entry blank (23-28) for the Independence Day 200. In the event that qualifying as stated on this entry blank does not take place for any unforeseen circumstance, the field will be set in accordance with the 2020 NASCAR Touring Series Rule Book.

QUALIFYING: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying. Vehicle must qualify on race set up.

The Independence Day 200 will be 200 laps (50 miles) and is to be run without a break.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: The maximum tire allotment available for this event is eight (8) tires per team.


  1. Everyone’s distracted with the screwy season. Different tracks, safety protocols, more worries with travel arrangements especially to new locations. The best funded, most experienced, most talented with a really good driver and the fewest changes in their system will always have the advantage. That’s the 51. Or on this size track perhaps Hirschman?
    Two solid grooves. Should be a good one. Maybe exceptional for this sized track.
    10% of the field Catalano’s once again.

  2. I think WMMP could become a player in modified racing moving forward. This weekend will give teams and fans the opportunity to experience the track first hand. They already play host to ACT & PASS on a regular basis. Part of the reason the Bullring Bash failed was most modified teams and fans had never seen WMMP. That all changes on Saturday. Obviously the track has shown interest in modifieds recently. Not saying it will be a regular stop for the WMT but it is an ideal modified facility right in the middle of vacation land. It’s only an hour north of Loudon. Very easy to get to.

    I’ll also push the idea once again of more WMT/TT doubleheaders in the future. Makes for a really fun weekend for fans.

  3. The battle of the crew chiefs… Stone vs. Moran.

    Doubt either has any recent experience WMMP. Let’s see how they do.

    I’m going with Silk for this race.

  4. Potato Farmer says

    The garage opens at 12:45 pm. Garage? The pit area at WMMP is a sandy dust bowl.

  5. Ole Timer Trivia
    How many wins does Woody Pitkat have on the NWMT? TRACK? team?
    Woody has 4 wins on the tour 2 at Stafford, one at Loudon, with Buzz Chew. One at Wall with Watts.

  6. Ole Timer Trivia
    Since the tour started in 1985, how many champions have there been? How many won multiple championships? How many won back to back?

  7. Woody has 2 wins at loudon not 2

  8. Woody has 2 wins at loudon not 1.

  9. Ron p. & Ronnie, are you talking about WMT according to their records Woody only has 1 win at Loudon. The other win might have been in the shoot out, which is not a points race.
    Having known Woody since he was 8 years old, I wouldn’t mind saying he has 2 wins, but according to NASCAR he only has 1.

  10. Ole Timer Trivia
    Since the NWMT started in 1985 how many champions have there been?

    There have been 17 champions. Of those, 5 drivers (Spencer,Stefanik, Hirshman, Lia & Coby) have all won multiple championships. 4 drivers have recorded back to back championships. Spencer 86-87, Hirshman 95-96 & 04-05 Stefanik 97-98 & 01-02 and Coby 14 thru 17.

  11. OLE TIMER Trivia
    Although the SK Modified division started in 1982, Stafford ran Tour Type modified thru 1986. Who won the 1986 modified championship?

  12. Doug, for the record, Doug Coby had 5 SK wins at Stafford, between 4/27/02 thru 9/25/09. He is 30th among all time SK winners

  13. To put things in perspective it took Coby 7 years to rack up 5 wins. Ronnie Williams has won 17 times in 5 years, and Ryan Preece racked up 25 wins in 5 years. Keith Rocco has 57 wins over 14 years, and TC has 109 wins over 31 years.

  14. Stefanik won the last Modified championship at Stafford. If we’re talking about SK wins Coby had 6 wins within the dates you stated. 4 in 2002 that did not earn him a championship. One each in 2008 and 2009.
    Those numbers do provide a great deal of perspective with regard to their Stafford SK careers. Context regarding the totality of their modified careers is a different matter.
    Checking the numbers is interesting. What I did not know is that Preece won a tour mod race before he won his first SK race.

  15. Good job Doug, it was Stefanik. I didn’t realize that Preece tidbit. Thanks for sharing. Stafford’s website has Coby at 5 wins. Look under all time SK feature winners.

  16. Under ” All-Time Wins (by event) 1948-2019″ it shows Coby with 6 wins. However one appears to be a 21 means 21 win. Why that would be on the list I don’t know but there you go. Proper answer is 5 if we’re talking traditional wins as you said.

  17. 5, 6 don’t really matter much. There are drivers who have more wins in less time, at a time when SK competition is much tougher the last 5 or so years. There are allot of fast cars, with good to great drivers. On any given Friday there are probably 10 cars that could win. Coby just doesntimpress me much. Even with his 6 championships. He’s always had the best equipment noneycan buy, and one of the most talented crew chiefs, plus help from LFR. With all that behind you, you probably could train a monkey to drive successfully

  18. Rob P.
    I’ve got to argue you on the “He’s always had the best equipment” comment on Coby. In 2012 Coby won a Whelen Modified Tour championship driving for Wayne Darling, who at the time wasn’t exactly one of the high and royal owners of the Modified Tour. That team was a part-time operation in 2011 that Coby took to five wins and a title in 2012. And barring a wreck in qualifying at Riverhead in 2013, Coby more than likely wins a second consecutive title for Darling in 2013. Finishing second in the standings after only starting 13 of 14 events for a team that two years prior didn’t even run full-time is a pretty amazing statistic. Seven wins in 27 starts over 2012-2013 for a team that was not considered one of the division’s big spender groups is not too bad either. I know a lot of guys over the years that have driven a lot better equipment than Coby and never got a single Modified Tour win, much less 27 wins over a nine-year span. And beyond the Tour stuff, he’s a guy who has a Late Model championship at Stafford, a Pro Stock championship at Stafford, SK Modified wins, NEMA Midget wins. I think you’re missing the mark painting Coby as someone who can only win if he has the best equipment.

  19. That Wayne Darling team had a decent brain trust to put a good car under Coby. Like I’ve said many times, it’s the talent over equipment. I believe they ran newer Troyer and had awesome Bob Bruneau horsepower. A driver can not overcome a poorly prepared car.

    You’d be surprised to know some championship teams competed some really old cars. It was the talent that made them go fast.

  20. I retract my previous comment, sorry to any Doug Coby fan I might have offended.

  21. Another testement to the phrase “YOU CANT FIX STUPID” A College student in Alabama threw a Covid party, when he found out he tested positive for the virus. Everyone who attended paid a few, and the first person to come down with the virus won the pot.
    Like I said “You can’t fix stupid”

  22. Rob P.
    I don’t know that it was about offending anyone. I just don’t agree that it’s a fair opinion to say that Doug Coby’s body I’d accomplishment in racing is due to having been in the best equipment money can buy for the entirety of his career.
    I also think his body of work over many years earned him the opportunity with Mike Smeriglio Racing.
    And over the years I’ve seen countless drivers and teams show up to the track with the best of everything who still couldn’t get out of their own way. It’s a team sport. Driver, equipment, crew, owner.

  23. Rob P.,
    If you want to see the epitome of ignorant go check some of the comments on Facebook accompanying the post from Stafford Speedway today announcing the more stringent rules that will be in place this week.

  24. With regard to the mandatory mask rule at Stafford there’s this:

    “Thank you for being a responsible business operator. The more we do right the quicker this will be over”

    and there is this:

    ” No need to go then ! Call me when the mask order is lifted”

    This is good news. You don’t want the guy that isn’t cooperative at the race in the first place. The overall response is positive and even those that don’t like it like Robert Bloxsum that I suspect represents a whole lot of people appreciate what’s at stake and are going along. Some intransigent non mask advocates are being mocked and told to stay away.

    Best response in my book was this:
    “stay home if you won’t comply! We worked hard to make this thing go away and carelessness and ignorance to science will cause it to rise. Just look at the know it all’s in the south to see what happens when you ignore science. Congrats Stafford Speedway at coming up with a plan that provides a safe environment for all. I watched enough people die from this and dont’ want any more.”

    As of this morning there are 142 comments. People are engaged. and for the most part seem ready to do whatever is necessary to keep racing alive.

    Make no mistake about it. This starts as it should with strong rules for opening stipulated by the state that Stafford knows they have to take seriously to keep the ball rolling. As Mr. Courchesne wrote in so many words after the Ace debacle leaders in Hartford don’t know racing and would pull the plug in a second if the images of defiance were plastered all over WFSB evening news. They’ve embraced it and have shown they aren’t messing around. Now people see the mess down south with infections and even those not inclined to go along aren’t as fervent as they once were. It may be a thing now with it’s own momentum.

  25. I was extremely disappointed to read Doug Coby’s abilities compared to a monkey. The second time that reference was made in the RaceDayCt comment forum. Equally happy to see Mr. Courchesne intervene and the reference retracted.
    You can dislike any driver for any reason and it’s fine. After following Coby on Facebook, the Bottom Shot podcast interview. the Morning Bullring on Speed51 and his post race interviews he comes across with strong opinions, is self involved and in my view hard to like personally. What it takes to win is something else altogether.
    Smeriglio didn’t win with Szegedy and did with Coby. Coby may be 30th in Stafford SK wins but he’s 19th in Stafford wins. Ruggiero is 24th on the same list so lists don’t mean much without context. Then there is the 6 championships. After they’re earned they can be made to sound easy by detractors but there’s nothing about championships that are easy. He worked well within the Smeriglio system to produce wins Kept the owner, a top crew chief, talented crew members and a major league sponsor happy for years. He won from the front, won from scratch and got the best possible finish at times when dust ups made winning a bridge too far but helped in the championship race.
    The icing on the cake is forming his own team. Convincing the remnants of the old team to come along when they could have been scooped up by other teams. Then adding a partner, buying another car and ostensibly positioning his team for a run at another championship. Owning and funding a team is really hard juggling all the pieces that in this case includes keeping his long time sponsor on board. The guy owns a couple businesses, is doing this as well.
    No Coby is not a lovable guy at all. He’s a stud that is smart, exudes confidence.and has been successful almost everywhere he has gone. He’s a driver but more importantly a team builder that thrives in a sport that can’t win without a unified team effort.
    Coby is not my favorite in virtually any race. Like him or not you have to give the guy his due.

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