Lucky Strike: Justin Bonsignore Gets Duel At The Dog Win At Monadnock After Late Fireworks

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Duel at the Dog 200 at Monadnock Speedway Sunday (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

A simmering feud between Matt Hirschman and JB Fortin proved fortuitous for Justin Bonsignore Sunday at Monadnock Speedway.

When Fortin decided to exact payback on Matt Hirschman with just over two laps remaining, it was Bonsignore who was in the right place to take advantage and win the Whelen Modified Tour Duel at the Dog 200 Sunday in Winchester, N.H.

“I guess you have to be more lucky than good any day,” Bonsignore said. “Matt had us beat there at the end. We were close. We were neck and neck. I don’t know what’s going on between [Hirschman and Fortin].”

It was the fourth victory in nine Whelen Modified Tour starts at Monadnock for Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y. It was Bonsignore’s second win of the season. He also won at Richmond (Va.) Raceway on April 1.

Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., ended up second and series points leader Ron Silk of Norwalk was third.

Hirschman went by Silk for the lead with 44 laps remaining and looked to have the car to beat out front.

After getting to second, Bonsignore was able to close up Hirschman’s lead while the two navigated lapped traffic with about seven laps remaining. Then the drama began.

On lap 197 Hirschman and Bonsignore came up on the car of Fortin, who was running at the tail end of the lead lap, in turn four. On lap 198 Hirschman went to the outside of Fortin through turns one and two. The pair went down the backstretch side-by-side. Through turns three and four Fortin pushed Hirschman up the track. In turn four Bonsignore went to the low lane under both cars to take over the lead from Hirschman.

On lap 199 Hirschman tried to go low under Fortin into turn one but Fortin blocked him on that maneuver also, allowing Bonsignore to easily roll away out front.

“I could kind of seeing it coming from a mile away,” Bonsignore said. “I just got into [turn] three, hooked the bottom and just stood on the throttle.”

“We had a good run today either way. We were a second or third place car all day long. That’s what you’ve got to do to win these races, just keep yourself in position. Fortunate today to pull it off.”

Third place running Silk said the move by Fortin to cost Hirschman the win looked intentional.

“Fortin just ran the [Hirschman] all over the track,” Silk said. “Looked like it was intentional.”

It seemed Fortin was exacting payback for some late contact between himself and Hirschman during the Whelen Modified Tour Granite State Derby on May 21 at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H.

In that event Fortin was battling with eventual race winner Doug Coby for the lead with 28 laps remaining, but a spin by Bonsignore brought out the caution and sent the leaders to the pits. Hirschman was third and Fortin fourth on the ensuing restart. After the restart there was slight contact battling for position between Hirschman and Fortin. After the contact Fortin went up the track with an issue. Hirschman ended up third and Fortin eighth in that event.

“He thinks I cost him that race when the car that spun to bring that caution out when he might have had a chance to win that race is the guy he just helped win the race,” Hirschman said Saturday at Monadnock. “It shows how smart he is.”

Later Hirschman told RaceDayCT that he looked back on the Lee event and couldn’t understand the anger brewing from Fortin.

“[After the race at Lee] he was so mad at me that he came after me after the checkered flag,” Hirschman said. “He swerved and tried to rip my front wheels off after the checkered flag. I had no idea, I wasn’t it expecting it. I didn’t know what had happened. I asked everyone on my team and nobody had seen anything that for any reason he should be mad at me. He was still cussing me out after he was out the car. I watched the replay of the race at Lee and I didn’t really see anything. There was nothing there.

“He’s mad at me for something when I didn’t do anything. And he can go and watch the video and see that and he’s still mad. Something ain’t right there with him. We got close and maybe touched but that did not put him out of the groove or anything like that. It’s unfortunate for my team because they don’t deserve that. … For that to happen is just unfortunate for my team to lose a race that way.”

Fortin posted a message on the JB Fortin Racing Facebook page following the event Sunday and denied intentionally blocking or running Hirschman up the track.

The message from Fortin read: “We were hanging on from lap 100 on. What happened was definitely not intentional. I should have backed the corner up more. I struggled the whole race down in that corner. When we got down into [turn three] I was afraid to take Matt out with the back of the car [or] else I would [have] turned down under the yellow. Unfortunately the [right front] bumped his bar and ripped the wheel out of my hand. By the time I got a hold of the wheel Justin was to my door spotter screaming inside.

“I feel terrible for what happened. You never want to be the cause of someone’s bad day. I understand how everyone feels and see’s what happened. We don’t operate as a team like that. I don’t condone taking people out of races. We were running 13 second laps with split second decisions. Sorry for costing Matt a win not that it matters much at this point.”

Sam Rameau of Westinster, Mass. was fourth and Doug Coby of Milford fifth Sunday at Monadnock. Eric Goodale, Jake Johnson, Austin Beers, Tommy Catalano and Jacob Perry rouned out the top-10 respectively in the 25-car field.

The view from turn one at Matt Hirschman (outside), JB Fortin (center) and Justin Bonsignore on the frontstretch completing lap 198 (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)


  1. Nerfbarsmurf says

    No “Showtime” Jimmy Blewett eh? Late withdrawal? Couldn’t stay to race Sunday? Just watched the highlights on Floracing.

  2. Ed Janczar says

    Just watched the Lee highlights on flo racing. If Matt Hirschman would like to sit down with me and watch the video I will show him that at 3:24 on the restart the leader buzzes the tires and gets a little sideways at the start finish line, but all that Fortin sees is the car next to him(the 60) moving up the track into him basically giving him a rub job going into turn one which caused Fortin to run up the track going into turn one. You may think that you did nothing wrong Matt because you are the cleanest modified driver ever, but Fortin was fast at Lee and he probably felt like you did him wrong. Just like when you said that Jimmy Blewett harpooned you at the Turkey Derby a few years ago.

  3. Decent race, great day to be outside!!!! There was a good amount of scrambling going on. Sure would like to see Jon McKennedy run in the top 5.

    The TBR run comes to an end. Oh well.

    The 01 must be having so much fun!!!!!! 🤩

  4. stats for the mod tour says

    hey da real here is a stat for you .. taking out the leader Fortin 2 …Fifield 0 LOL

  5. stats for the mod tour, if Fifield could make it more than 15 laps, maybe someday she could take out a leader.

  6. James Osterhoudt says

    Wait a minute here; I thought in the NASCAR world “rubbin’ is racin!'” You mean that it isn’t?

  7. Lapped Traffic says

    Is the 79 done? How about LFR? Not a good showing and rumors of chassis failures…Ouch for those guys moving forward!

  8. Bonsignor gracious in victory lane acknowledging he got lucky in so many words.
    Silk says Fortin was driving the 60 all over the track.
    Fortin says not intentional and the wheel came out of his hands.
    Hirschman can’t even remember what happened at Lee to get Fortin so upset.

    So who do you believe? Intentional, not intentional they all sound pretty good. Well accept the whole wheel getting ripped out of his hands deal. I’d pose the question. Has anyone ever heard that as an reason for a wreck or some mishap on the track cause I sure can’t remember any driver admitting that? This is a Riverhead guy used to tight racing for Pete’s sake. Leaning toward Fortin speaking with forked tongue on this one. Hirschman blatantly at fault at Lee. Iffy at best in my view. It was in a pack, Fortin went wide the lap before on his own and Bonsignor did spin and cause Fortin to miss his best finish to date.
    That’s racing.

  9. Fortin is totally out of mind and doesn’t even know what’s going on. Had multiple incidents with drivers this year and plays it off like it was accidents. 2 weeks ago nerfed the 79 sending him into wall destroying any hopes of win and takes hirshman out of win yesterday. Different note .. wtf is up with lFR Gen 2 ?! Part of the race they were all riding 16th-19th laps
    down. Trial and error every race week end and out NO results ! That’s Insanity

  10. Jimmy King says

    It was a great race. Watching the 60, 51, 16, and 7 trade places throughout the race was awesome. Watching the 34 intentionally screw up the race was unfortunate; no matter who you were rooting for. NASCAR claims to be the most “professional” of all the modified series. Matching fire suits for the officials is one thing. Let’s see how they deal with such unprofessional behavior.

  11. Interesting observation Ed. If it was payback, it’s a bitch and it has been said that you give it when it means the most.

  12. Dr Robert Neville says

    That stuff at the end was amateur midget league wrestling compared to how the professionals down at Bowman Gray do it.

  13. Suitcase Jake says

    Doug, do you have a link ,…. for the Pick’em results … Thank you ……

  14. For Suitcase Jake as requested says

    NWMT DUEL AT THE DOG 200 6/18/22

    S. Jake…60-7ny-06-79-16-25nh..2+5+4+18+3+(23)=32
    Lapped T..7ny-60-16-79-50-58>>5+2+3+(18)+12+6=28
    Big City…7ny-60,-51-16-79-11>5+2+1+3+(18)+4=15
    Liz… … 51-16-79-7ny-16-06>>>0+3+18+5+(duplicate)+4=30
    Ken L…..60-7ny-51-1-50-92>>>2+5+1+13+12+(26)=33


    Big city….15

    Lapped Traffic…….28
    Liz Cherokee……..30
    Suitcase Jake…….32
    Ken L……………….33
    Viva race fan………37
    Fast Eddie………..54


    Fast Eddie……2
    Viva race fan…1
    Rafter fan……1
    Big city………..1


    Suitcase Jake…3
    Fast Eddie………3
    Lapped traffic ….2
    Bigcity ………..2
    Rafter fan……….1
    Viva race fan…….1
    get serious……….1

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