Pit Box: Justin Bonsignore Heads To Stafford Speedway Closing On Second Whelen Modified Tour Title

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Justin Bonsignore (Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

You can’t blame Justin Bonsignore for having a love-hate relationship with Stafford Motor Speedway.

The Connecticut half-mile is the one track on the 2020 schedule that the Long Island driver has yet to win at. But it’s also the track where he clinched his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship in 2018, and came put a hammerlock on this year’s title with a strong run on Saturday in the NAPA Auto Parts 150.

There are (limited) tickets available to see this race in person, and the race will also be streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Gold.

NAPA Auto Parts 150


Bonsignore came up short of the Musket 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway two weeks ago, but there was silver lining, as he gained nine points on six-time champion Doug Coby.

That pushed Bonsignore’s lead to 27 points with two races remaining — Stafford and the finale on Oct. 11 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Bonsignore clinched the 2018 title in that season’s penultimate race at Stafford, which was won by his cousin, Kyle Bonsignore.

Stafford has suited Coby well. In addition to being a former track champion in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series at the track, Coby has 12 Whelen Modified Tour wins — tied with the late Ted Christopher for second all-time. Coby has won six of the last 14 events. On the flip side, Justin Bonsignore has four runner-up finishes, including last year’s Fall Final at Stafford.

In addition to Kyle Bonsignore (2018), Craig Lutz scored his first career Whelen Modified Tour win in last fall’s race at Stafford. Lutz sits fourth in points after picking up his second career win earlier this season, and is just six points behind third-place Jon McKennedy. Dave Sapienza is fifth in points after missing most of last season with a back-injury and is having his best career points performance in this abbreviated season.

Craig Lutz and Jon McKennedy both lost significant ground to Bonsignore in the championship chase at Monadnock. But Lutz has two third-place finishes at Thompson in his last three races there, while McKennedy finished fourth at the World Series finale last year.

Ron Silk also has a pair of Tour wins at Stafford, including one last season.

RACING REFERENCE: Previous NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Stafford | NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers career stats at Stafford | 2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Standings


RACENAPA Auto Parts 150
PLACEStafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, Conn.
DATESaturday, Sept. 26, 2020
TIME16 p.m. ET
TELEVISION/RADIOTrackpass on NBC Gold (live), 6 p.m. ET; NBCSN — Thursday, Oct. 1, 3 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUThalf-mile paved oval
EVENT SCHEDULESaturday, Sept. 26 — Garage opens: 10:15 a.m. ET; Practice: 1:20-2:20 p.m.; Qualifying: 4 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts 150: 6 p.m.
TWITTER@StaffordSpeedwy, @NASCARRoots


CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the NAPA Auto Parts 150 is limited to 32, including provisional positions. The field will be set by qualifying (1-30) and provisional process per the entry blank (31-36) for the NAPA Auto Parts 150. 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 NAPA Auto Parts 150 will be 150 laps (93.75 miles) and is to be run in one (1) segments. The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position. To utilize the third change tire, teams will designate a practice tire purchased at Stafford Motor Speedway to be the fourth change tire.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) for qualifying and to start the race, plus an additional seven (7) for a total of eleven (11) tires.


  1. Hey Liz Cherokee, this is getting so exciting for you!!!!!!! It looks like Mel can vault over Mighty Big Money Matt Hirschman in the points with this race. She only needs like 8 points to get ahead of Mighty Big Money Matt Hirschman, and she can get that even if she wrecks on the first lap again!!!!!



    And if the Catalanos wreck out before Mel ends her race, if that’s even possible, she can make some progress on gaining or passing them in the points.

    Best of luck!!!!!

  2. Weather for Saturday looks spectacular!!!!! Great New England racing weather.

    Best of luck to everyone!!!!!!

  3. Don’t worry Liz, I’ll cheer with you. It’s racing… anything can happen. Besides at least she’s out there doing something she enjoys, and having fun.

  4. Catalanos won’t be at Stafford , doing the ROC only

  5. Still can’t wrap my head around the number of provisional spots given out. There should only be provisional spots for past champion drivers and car owners, the rest of the field should be set by time. If the provisional isn’t used, then hand them out. There have been times when faster cars are sent home because of the provisional process, and they wonder why they have a hard time getting a full field at most tracks. There are some good drivers who don’t time trial good, but end up at the front in the races, and setting the field by time could let them race, rather than watching much slower cars turn off pace laps.

  6. 🎀🎀🎀 Liz Cherokee 🎀🎀🎀 says

    GIRL POWER is dareal thing! Good to see that I’m still living rent free inside his head. Then again, it’s a low rent district!

    Tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day so it’s time to get my nips ready to go. Bottoms up boys!

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