Last To First: Justin Bonsignore Rallies Late To Win Whelen Modified Tour Event At Richmond

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in Friday’s Whelen Modified Tour event at Richmond Raceway (FloRacing Image)

It was a start to the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season that literally couldn’t have been any worse for Justin Bonsignore.

Due to a mechanical issue early, the two-time reigning series champion Bonsignore finished last in the season opening event for the series at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway on Feb. 12.

Friday the three-time series champion bounced back in the best way possible, from last in the opener to first in the second event.

Bonignore used a late pass of Tommy Catalano to win the Whelen Modified Tour Viriginia Is For Racing Lovers 150 Friday at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

“I’ve been wondering for seven long weeks what was going to happen when we got here,” Bonsignore said. “We were really good here last fall and just had that mechanical failure that knocked us out. But [crew chief] Ryan Stone prepared a great car again. … The whole team, great pit stops.”

Catalano, of Ontario, N.Y., held on to finish second. Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, N.Y. was third.

It was the 32nd career Whelen Modified Tour victory for Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y.

“As a team we’ve been looking at the points and seeing ourselves dead last for seven long weeks,” Bonsignore said. “Confidence wise for us as a group it’s good. We know what we can do each and every week. … We gave everybody a mulligan, we’ll just have to be perfect for the rest.”

Bonsignore won the pole and started up front, but it was Catalano who seemed to have the dominant car for much of the show.

Catalano went by Max McLaughlin for the lead on lap 108 and then began to check out from the field. By the time Bonsignore got by McLaughlin for second on lap 119, Catalano had built up nearly a one-second lead.

Bonsignore didn’t seem to be doing much to cut into the lead until Catalano endured lapped traffic and then suddenly the advantage disappeared quickly.

By lap 138 Bonsignore was all over Catalano’s bumper and on lap 139 Bonsignore went past him for the lead for good.

“It wasn’t easy by any means,” Bonsignore said. “[Catalano] made me earn it. He’s really coming into his own and it’s awesome to see, but our car was just really good on that long run. … Lapped traffic was definitely not too favorable to [Catalano]. Once I was able to get to him I just made quick work of him.”

Full Race Results of the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 150


  1. CONGRATS to Justin and the #51 team for your win at Richmond.

  2. YEEHAAAA!!!! Nice work by the 51 team. JBon-Stone is a great duo.

    Liz, 21 laps. Can you believe it. 21 laps.

    Wahoo for Ole’ Blue!!!! I hope the array of pilots will put Ole’ Blue on top.

  3. 🎀🎀🎀 Liz Cherokee 🎀🎀🎀 says

    How gracious of you da🚲boy! Thanks for congratulating Melissa for completing 21 more laps than you did. I don’t know what happened to her, but I had to leave for Virginia Beach boozer right after the race. Have a nice weekend buttercup!

  4. Nice $15,800 payday for the 51 and $8,000 for the 54.

    Really curious to see what the future of this events holds. Two good shows put on. Two ok car counts. Not many people in the stands. Ticket master chart doesn’t look great for this Sunday. Their second date got moved out of the playoffs into (hot) august. Track president is leaving after this race.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see Richmond lose a date when cup goes street racing. Not sure the modifieds would fit into the tracks plans at that point.

  5. -love Joe Coss. He can call every race by himself and it would be fine with me. A nice clean competent call that highlights the action one the track without silly nonsense a lot of announcers think they need to provide to make their call unique.
    -some chatter about K. Bonsignor and Fortin not pulling over for Catalano implying it cost him his first win. Not all lapped traffic is created equal. Fifield and McDonald for sure need to stay out of harms way. Others racing for position perhaps less so. Catalano would have lost anyway mainly because his tires were spent with the dirt tracking making it worse and the 51 was being very efficient. It was still a banner run for the Catalano clan that sent a message that this year they are here to compete.
    -The Rypkema’s tried the old 2 LFR they got after the team shut down, it didn’t give them the boost they’d hoped and now they are on to a new Fury. It appears to be working.
    -that was a terrific race at a good track and while the winner was not a surprise the amount of movement during the race was very entertaining. The empty stands was so sad to see the race deserved better.
    -that 58 team skipped the 5 open races at New Smyrna. That two events so far they’ve looked sharp. Combined with the new Fury it’s adding up to a very serious championship run.
    -one thing for sure, we that participate in the Pick-em’s have a lot of catching up to do. For the most part we picked the big names and teams but unfortunately the pecking order has changed or at the very least is different depending on the event. The 16 and 79 teams over rated it seems, Emerling probably distracted by his Xfinity commitments, the 3 still trying to find it’s footing with all the drivers, the 44ma, 77 and Newman have the reps but not quite the rides they need to showcase their abilities.
    -Bonsignor put the tour on notice. The 51 may not be giving them any more “mulligans” like at New Smyrna. Pretty bold talk for a team that has 2 DNF’s for equipment failure in the last 5 NWMT events as well as failures stepping out of the NASCAR cocoon at the Islip 300 and Thompson 300. Time will tell Dorothy but you may not be in Kansas anymore.
    -Hossfeld and Ebersole in the top 5. Whoa, didn’t see that coming. Whether it’s the diverse geographic locations of races, the big purse, FloRacing bonus money….whatever the NWMT this year are as much open races as championship battles in my view. A very good thing.

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