New View: Justin Bonsignore Adds Tri-Track Open Mod Series With Owner Jimmy Paige To Schedule For 2021

Justin Bonsignore prior to the running of the Tri-Track Open Modified Series CBYD Modified Classic 81 last October at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

What was planned to be a one-race deal for a season ending event in 2021 has turned into a relationship for two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore and Tour Type Modified team owner Jimmy Paige. 

Bonsignore will be defending the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title in 2021, but also will be chasing another Tour Type Modified championship. 

Bonsignore will race full-time with the Tri-Track Open Modified Series in 2021 driving for Paige. 

“The plan for now is to run the Tri-Track stuff for [Paige],” Bonsignore told RaceDayCT. “We kind of left the door open to other Open Modified stuff, but I don’t see any set plan on that. I’m interested most in running the Tri-Track.” 

Bonsignore competed in the Tri-Track Series’ season ending CBYD Modified Classic 81 for Paige at Stafford Speedway last October. Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y., ended up fourth in the Stafford event after starting 14th. Born then was a relationship between Bonsignore, Paige and the team’s crew chief Steve LeMay. 

“[Tri-Track Open Modified Series managing partners Ed Bennett and Wayne Darling] have built a good foundation and I’ve been wanting to do it for a few years but just haven’t had any opportunities with other teams that I thought I could go out and win with,” Bonsignore said. “This came about last year for the end of the season and I enjoyed myself a lot racing with that team. A lot of good guys, good team, really family based. For me it was a good fit and I think they have a really good car that can win at those facilities. And the Tri-Track schedule is tracks that I really enjoy going to as well that I run really well at.” 

The Tri-Track Open Modified Series will run six events in 2021 with two races at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. (May 1, Aug. 14), two races at Star Speedway in Epping, N.H. (May 22, July 24) and two races at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway (June 30, Oct. 23). 

Bonsignore’s focus for 2021 will be defending his Whelen Modified Tour championship with Kenneth Massa Motorsports. Bonsignore won his second Whelen Modified Tour championship in 2020 driving for the team. 

Bonsignore was originally scheduled to run the Stafford Tri-Track event for car owner Gary Casella as a teammate to Doug Coby. When Casella lost a motor in the weeks leading up to the event it led to Bonsignore connecting with Paige, who was looking for a driver to replace Chase Dowling. 

“He told us last that we were the first people that had called him up and asked him to drive a car,” Paige told RaceDayCT. “… He said he hadn’t run a lot of Open shows because nobody had ever asked him to do it. … Drivers are hard to come by, so this worked. Chase did a good job and then he couldn’t do it anymore with us. So now we have this deal.” 

Said Bonsignore: “Since probably I got hooked up with Ken Massa back in 2009, that’s probably the first time … in a long time that somebody has called me and asked me to drive a winning capable car. It was cool. It was humbling and nice to have your name brought up and mentioned when people need a driver. It was a nice compliment.” 

Paige likes how the six-event Tri-Track Open Modified Series has positioned themselves within the landscape of Tour Type Modified racing. 

“The big benefit to the Tri-Track is that [series managing partners Ed Bennett and Wayne Darling] and those guys with that series do an absolutely fantastic job with that deal,” Paige said. “And they do it because they love racing. They don’t take one nickel out of it. … They do it because it’s what they want to see in racing. I think that’s what’s killed the NASCAR stuff, they have their hand out for everything. NASCAR has got their hands out wanting more and more way too much. 

“I think the last few years with the Tri-Track the number they’ve run is just right. … It’s easy at the beginning of the year to say, it’s six races and I’m going to budget $30,000 to go racing. If I recoup some of that money, great, if I don’t then that’s my worst-case scenario. But then all of the sudden when something becomes nine or 10 races, if you’re not running in the top-three to top-five, you’re not going to do them all. 

“The big thing with Tri-Track, at least on average race they’re covering the cost of your tires and you know you’re going to get something. For guys to know if they make the show they’re getting $1,000 back, that’s huge. When you go there and you wreck out or something happens and you break, you know you’re getting something. Racing is expensive obviously, but it’s good to know you’re getting something back. If all of the sudden you start doubling the amount of shows, I think you’re just going to get fewer cars.” 

Bonsignore had had three wins and nine top-five finishes in nine events in 2020 on the Whelen Modified Tour to run away with his second series title. He also won the series championship in 2018, which was a season that saw him win eight of 16 events. Overall Bonsignore has 29 Whelen Modified Tour victories over 162 series starts since 2007. 

Bonsignore said in addition to the team running the Whelen Modified Tour schedule, the Kenneth Massa Motorsports team plans to run the Thompson 300 – which will be a Tour Type Modified Open Show that will be part of the Sunoco World Series weekend in October at Thompson Speedway – and the Tour Type Modified Islip 300 at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway. 

Comments

  1. JBon and Paige, definitely a potent combination

  2. JB a great addition to the TTOMS.

  3. That’s a great car that gets it’s share of wins. The 00 at TTOMS events is nothing new. It will be good for Bonsignor piloting a ride other then the Massa car on a regular basis. Will he do better then Dowling? Doubt it but we’ll see. We know he won’t be afraid to bull his way by anyone if he feels he’s faster so that will be different.
    Paige will have the 00 at Stafford and the other opens as well. Hopefully Bonsignor can be the guy driving it.

  4. Jimmy Paige is a real racer.

  5. He’ll probably do well in that car. Great car, great driver…

    Is Chase driving a Ben Dodge car in open events this year?

  6. Fast Eddie says

    Bonsignore in 00 on 1/4 & 1/3 bullrings? I think the rest of the field will have their work cut ou for them!

  7. Barry,
    Yes Chase will be in the Dodge owned car for whatever Open events they do.

  8. Even though MH has won the TTOMS championship many times, 2021 will be no cake walk for him with this years increased competition.

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