Positive Returns: Justin Bonsignore Tops Whelen Modified Tour At Monadnock Speedway

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory at Monadock Speedway Sunday (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

A chaotic season for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour thanks to pandemic restrictions has meant some major changes to the series schedule, including the addition of events not on the originally announced slate of events. 

One of the tracks not originally on the 2020 schedule was Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H.

One could be certain that when it was announced earlier this summer that a race at Monadnock Speedway would be added to the schedule, 2018 series champion Justin Bonsignore was not disappointed at all. 

Before the track was dropped from the Whelen Modified Tour schedule following the 2016 season, the quarter-mile oval was a place where Bonsignore shined regularly. 

In seven starts at Monadnock from 2010-2016 Bonsignore had two wins, a second, a third, a fourth and a fifth. His worst career finish at the track came in his first start at track in 2010, a ninth place. 

Sunday, with the series returning to the track for the first time since 2016, Bonsignore showed he hadn’t forgot the fast way around. 

Bonsignore drove away from Ron Silk over the closing laps to win the Advanced Gas Distributors Inc. 200 Wade Cole Memorial at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. 

“It’s a pleasure to be back at Monadnock,” Bonsignore said. “It’s a shame we haven’t been here in a bunch of years. But if there’s anything good that came out of COVID it was that we got to come back here. One of my favorite race tracks.” 

It was the third victory in five Whelen Modified Tour events this year for Bonsignore, who won the first two races of the season. It was the 29th Whelen Modified Tour victory overall for the Holtsville, N.Y. driver. 

Silk, of Norwalk, was second. Reigning series champion Doug Coby of Milford was third. 

Pole winner Jon McKennedy led the way for much of the early going. On lap 62 Silk went by McKennedy to take over the top spot. 

Bonsignore went by McKennedy for second on lap 77 before a rash of cautions killed the rhythm of the event. Silk held off Bonsignore over five restarts from lap 128 to 166. 

On lap 175 Bonisgnore made the move under Silk for the lead, but it was Silk pulling a masterful crossover move to regain the top spot. But that return to the front was brief for Silk as Bonsignore went back to the front on the next lap and was able to pull away over the final 20 laps. 

“Another great car … my whole team just did a great job today,” Bonsignore said. “I could tell that they were running harder than I wanted to in the beginning of the race and that’s kind of the MO at these quarter mile races, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got enough right rear [tire] at the end. I didn’t know with all the cautions if I’d be able to get [Silk]. He was really good. A lot better than us for five or six laps, then we’d be able to get rhythm and run him back down. He put that killer cross [over] on me and I thought ‘Man I just gave it back to him.’ But I just kept at it.” 

Silk was returning to action after his Kevin Stuart Motorsports team made the decision to skip the Aug. 22 event at Jennerstown Speedway. 

“I probably went a little bit too hard in the beginning, chasing [McKennedy] there and getting by him,” Silk said. “But I thought we had a car that if I could get to the lead I would be able to keep it. I just didn’t have much left at the end. [Bonsignore] was definitely better than us at the end.” 

The race was run in memory of longtime Whelen Modified Tour competitor Wade Cole, who was killed in an accident in March at his shop while preparing his car for the season. 

“Wade would have loved it,” Bonsignore said. “He would have been in every race no matter what was going on with all the craziness. We miss Wade. We appreciate all his family and friends. … We definitely miss Wade.” 


  1. Banner day. Fifield did not qualify last so well done to the 01.
    I could swear Hirschman put Pasteryak in the wall with a well timed jog to the right in retaliation for an earlier dust up.. Roll the tape.
    Surprises include the Nocella and Williams. Williams a huge surprise (yuck). The LFR and Fuller paying off for the 82 as well as Nocella of course.
    For Pete’s sake how about you give Amy C one of the good Catalano cars and let her see what she can do at the TTOMS Stafford race. She’s way better then what she showed at Monadnock.
    A sixth was not mediocre for Hirschman after he tangled with Pasteryak a couple times. It was respectable at the very least.

  2. Got home a good five hours earlier than Friday/Saturday morning. I love this Track Pass stuff. Not because I ever watch but because all the WMT races are going off at a set(and reasonable) time. What a beautiful day for racing today.

    Silk might be the best restart driver going. He absolutely schooled the 58 on Friday. Did the same to the 51 today.

    The 7NY has qualifying down. They are missing on long run race setup. The 75 is a 3rd-5th place car every race now. Looked like they were getting beat off the corners by a little bit today. Their day is coming. Just need a little more speed and some luck.

    Hopefully today earned Monadnock a spot on the 2021 schedule. Looked liked everyone had fun.

    I noticed Nascar cleared the infield of camera guys. Good thing. That 4 car went right though the grass mid race. Again, I urge all tracks to follow suit. No need for people to be standing out there unprotected.

  3. Jimmy King says

    A few too many cautions but overall a great day. Loved the battle between Bonsignore and Silk, hard but clean racing. Regarding Pasteryak and Hirschman; I didn’t see the first tangle as I was watching the front. Pasteryak must have been upset because later in the race when he was getting lapped he respected the blue flag for the 51,85,10,and 82….until the 60 came next in 5th place. Williams was almost a strait away back in 6th. Pasteryak ran Hirschman all over the track for several laps, clearly trying to ruin his finish. Williams got all the way to The 60’s bumper when he finally got up underneath the 75 despite Chris’ efforts. I think what happened next was pretty obvious.

  4. https://twitter.com/nascarroots/status/1300180598326046721?s=21
    First encounter between Pasteryak and Hirschman

  5. Race within a race.

    -lap 43- 75 7th, 60 10th
    -lap 51 Fifield black consultation flag
    -lap 59 75 still 7th and 60 10th
    -lap 68 Sapienza turns Summers. 75 7th, 60 9th
    Goodale drives a Fury. Didn’t know that’
    -lap 82- 75 6th, 60 7th
    -lap 91- 60 out of shape, 46 for the pass 75 5th, 46 6th , 60 7th
    Half way no change in 75, 46, 60
    92 to go- 75 5th, 60 6th
    78 to go -Emerling dives low on the 4, pass attempt fails as he spins caution out.
    66 to go -Summers spins. 75 5th, 60 6th, 1 7th
    Lutzcracker? Never heard that nickname
    60 to go Summers flat tire
    51 to go- 60 challenge to the 75 outside fails
    50 to go- 60 under the 75 for the pass but scratched as caution comes out for the 4. Had no caution comes out everything between the 75 and 60 may never have happened.
    42 to go-75 is loose and bobbles and the 1 underneath for the pass
    40 to go- 60 really low out of 4, comes up front right doinks 75’s left rear, the 75 goes spinning, 60 pulls up but hits the 75 again before escaping. That’s what really pissed off Pasteryak and rightfully so.
    Outstanding run by the 75 over. 58 and 22 also victims.
    Politically incorrect comment of the day by Dodge. Steering boxes went out with the Indians.
    9 to go-50 way behind the 60 as was mentioned
    4 to go-after nice job of blocking by the 75, 60 finally gets under Pasteryak in three, drives the 75 way up in 4 as Williams scoots low to take a position from the 60. Pasteryak was so high out of 4 and his front end steering so out of toe for the second time he becomes a victim of the 60 coming out of 4.

    My view Claremont was a high for Hirshman. Monadnock a low second only to the TTOMS takeout of Silk last year.

  6. Doinked? Really? And you ask me if I am like 100? The 75 got dumped by the 60 plain and simple so let’s call it what it is. Never gave him a chance to correct, just drove through him and finished him off.

    Lutzcracker, that’s been around since Lutz dove SK’s at Waterford many years ago. But in all fairness, you would not know that because you did not attend Waterford.

  7. R.I.P. Chadwick Bozeman, always a king.

  8. I personally had one of the best weekends I’ve ever had, a total of 300 laps of modified racing across two of my favorite tracks, just can’t ask for more. Really looking forward to Claremont next Sunday, lots of big northeast slm drivers signed up for the $10k gspss race.

  9. Yes – Lutzcraker is a Matt Buckler/Speedbowl nickname.

  10. There are plenty of MH meltdowns on the YouTubes. Seekonk was the crown jewel but not the first one by a long shot He has more TC in him than people want to give him “credit” for.

    Rob A, I agree. It was a crazy fun weekend. I’ve said this this before but I hope TT and the Racing Guys schedule more races close to the WMT events so we can have more of these doubleheader weekends.

    Thompson and Loudon up next. WMMP put together a 100 lap race with MRS this upcoming Saturday. Decent starting field. Yet another option.

  11. Roll the tape again. Hirschman did pull up that actually made it worse because Pasteryak went up track into his path. No driving through anyone. No finishing anyone off intentionally.
    Really? Matt Buckler again. Lutzcracker. What is that? A play on Ritz crackers or an inference he’s a racing ball buster. Ben Dodge says “they call him Lutzcraker”…….who and why? That’s nickname malpractice.
    How about the Ace from Miller Place. Lutz may have had that dust up with Hinckley in the TTOMS race but he’s known to be cool and deliberate driver for the most part. He’s not a cracker anything.. Get Buckler on line one. The Mom with Twins that Wins for Nichole Thibeault. The Ace from Miller Place or Miller Place Ace for Lutz. Come on man, that’s good stuff. Simple descriptive and personal.
    I’m working on Joey Cipriano. Gotta nip Joey Zip Drive nonsense in the bud.
    I’ll put doinked up against jingle any day.

  12. I rolled the tape Just Me provided 10 times and the 60 was under the 75 and took him out, drove into his left rear and dumped him. Don’t care how many times you roll it, doesn’t change what happened or the outcome.

  13. I watched the replay of the second race from Jennerstown on NBC Sports Channel today. I hate to say it but the announcer for that race did a far superior job to the one Ben Dodge did yesterday at Monadnock. Whoever he is, I tip my cap to him!

  14. ” the 60 was under the 75 and took him out, drove into his left rear and dumped him. ”

    “Dumped him” implies that it was intentional. There’s no way you can know that. To me it looked like driver error.

    ” Never gave him a chance to correct, just drove through him and finished him off.”

    That is not correct. Hirschman pulled up as soon as he realized what he had done with mayhem ensuing and only hit the 75 because it came up the track in front of him. “Finishing him off” implies he had some kind of sinister attempt to purposely hurt the guy.

    Earl says
    August 30, 2020 at 2:15 pm
    Of course the red 60 will never see a NASCAR WMT event, it will never pass inspection. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

    My question is when Hirschmans conduct in this race is already bad enough why is it necessary to use so much hyperbole that no one can know is true. Furthermore I don’t know that what you say about the red 60 isn’t true but why do you make it sound like it’s an established fact when you have no idea if it’s true. And if you know for a fact it’s true how is it so illegal?

    I don’t want an answer for any of this. All I’d like is for you Earl not to get all worked up and accuse others of “stirring things up” when you do a lot of it yourself.

  15. Keep doing you Ben Dodge. The Ben Dodge intros on youtube got me through the delayed start of the season. The 2600lb rocket sleds line is iconic.

    He is the Ken Squire of modified racing.

  16. JD, a definite “second that” about Ben Dodge. I think he’s great to listen to, and Matt Buckler as well. Hey, they have some well used one-liners, but really, don’t we all? Everyone has a certain thing they say in certain circumstances that becomes one of your life’s clichés and one-liners. It’s part of what makes you “you”. Ben and Matt, keep doing “you”!

  17. 🎀🎀🎀 Liz Cherokee 🎀🎀🎀 says

    Hey daRealBicycleRacer! I’m sure that you know who is now in the top 25 in points, but you chose not to acknowledge it. Let’s just say that I know your type!

    Regardless, I’m hoping for a better finish for Melissa on Wednesday night. Bottoms up boys!

  18. Ladies and Gentlemen, there is no doubt that Ben Dodge literally performed to perfection as he described Sunday’s action on the high banks of Monadnock.

  19. Ben Dodge is what we like to call a local racing icon. Every Friday during racing season right next to his announcing partner Matt Buckler like two cymbals in an orchestra making the same magic he has for going on a half century. Describing all the door to door, wheel to wheel action. The jingles, bottom shots, smooches to the rear bumper, no love lost there, drama on and off the track from heats to the big dance.
    Like him or not Ben will literally be calling the races until he no longer can.

  20. 13, Thirteen people, either family or friends lost to Covid. The latest 2, my grandparents. My Meme passed this morning, my grandpa this afternoon. Worst part, never had the chance to say goodbye.
    This virus is real people, and it’s an equal opportunity killer.
    Please follow the guidelines. Wear that mask, social distance, wash your hands. Don’t think that because the numbers are low, that your safe, your not.
    I’ve grown tired of losing loved ones and friends to this virus. Please everyone be careful, and stay safe.

  21. Ken Squire of modified racing is the perfect analogy. Sure they both make mistakes talking but I could listen to both of them forever. Ben Dodge and Matt Buckler together is just perfect in my opinion. I hear lots of people in southern New England complaining about them plenty and I can’t help but think that you guys don’t know how good you got it.

  22. Rob P.,
    Sorry for you loss. Just awful.

  23. Rob P, so sorry to hear of all of your losses! I don’t know you, but truly my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to you and yours. I absolutely cannot wrap my head around losing that many loved ones in such a short period of time. Completely beyond comprehension. Please know that they are in a much better place, and although we find it very hard to understand, God has a game plan for us all.

  24. Suitcase Jake says

    Looking forward to Thompson Tomorrow !! The Best place for Modifieds in my Lifetime. Having a ton of trips to the High Banks since the 70’s , So many fantastic Memories. I just wanna support the new operators . I can watch it free on NBC Gold, but wanna be there just to see and feel those Mighty Modifieds
    come Roaring by at High Speed. Two grooves of side by side racing with the best drivers in the Country there is just no other Track that showcases the Modifieds quite like Thompson. Some of the races at NHIS have been real good too, but some have been single file wagon trail rides too. For my top 5 i will go with the #7NY Mc Kennedy to finally Break through for a Big Win. Second i will go with the #85 of Silk. Third the # 10 of Coby. Fourth I will take OLD BLUE # 3 Swanson , Boehlers have T figured out all the way back to when Lenny first started coming down with Bugsy . Fifth I will go with # 6 of Preece.
    Enjoy the races any way you can !! the # 51 has been crazy hot but i think his luck runs out this time…

  25. Rob P, my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your grandparents. If there is a silver lining to this cloud, they are together again.

    Stay strong my friend!

  26. I noticed Nascar cleared the infield of camera guys. Good thing. That 4 car went right though the grass mid race. Again, I urge all tracks to follow suit. No need for people to be standing out there unprotected.

    JD I am one of those “camera guys”. When at Monadnock I usually shoot from the pole in three/four. Not worried. I am fully aware of my surroundings at all times. Gallop would not have let the car roll as he did if someone was there.

  27. Thanks Earl and Fast Eddie. 2020 has really sucked so far, and all the losses are taking a toll on me. Meme and grandpa being the worse, because like I said, couldn’t even say goodbye.
    I really appreciate your kindness, given that you probably don’t even know me. Stay safe my friends

  28. Suitcase Jake says

    Rob p. , Very sorry to hear of the overwhelming losses in your Life … May God grant you Peace in the midst of this Horrible Storm . You have a gift of writing that is quite apparent. Keep up with your comments on this site, writing can be, very therapeutic as you may or may not realize…

  29. Thanks Jake, been a rough week.

  30. The last camera guy that I saw get run over was fully aware of his surroundings too. I don’t even know what that means when you have one eye closed and the other in a camera. A pole won’t save your life necessarily. Poles have killed many a racers that were fully geared up in race cars. Not sure a photographer would fair very well. I wish you the best. Please don’t become the story.

    I wouldn’t stand out there if you offered me $10,000 to do it.

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