Squeeze Play: Anthony Nocella Scores Victory After Wild Whelen Modified Tour Finish At NHMS 

Anthony Nocella celebrates victory in the Whelen Manufactured in America 100 Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

LOUDON, N.H. – For those who drive Tour Type Modifieds in New England, a victory in a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is the stuff of dreams.

For Anthony Nocella, who grew up just an hour south of the track in Woburn, Mass., those dreams have long been envisioned in his mind. 

But it’s fair to say the 29-year old Nocella probably never could have pictured the way he was able to score his first win in Loudon and on the Whelen Modified Tour Saturday. 

Nocella, running fifth going into turn three on the final lap, crossed under the checkered flag first in a chaotic finish in the Whelen Manufactured in America 100 Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Nocella was able to find a lane under the wrecking cars of Patrick Emerling, Eric Goodale and Kyle Bonsignore coming to the checkered. 

“I knew if you’re close down the backstretch [on the last lap] you have a shot here,” Nocella said. “Everyone knows how chaotic the finishes usually get here. I knew we had a pretty good car.” 

It was the first series victory in 54 Whelen Modified Tour starts for Nocella since 2015. Before Saturday Nocella’s best finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in nine career starts on the 1.058-mile oval was a fourth place run in the Musket 200 on Sept. 12, 2020.

“It’s pretty awesome to get a Tour win and here of all places,” Nocella said. “Obviously it’s one of the big ones, and especially because it’s close to home. It’s a big one. It’s a nice one to get.” 

Bonsignore, of Bay Shore, N.Y. was second, Emerling, of Orchard Park, N.Y. crossed the finish sideways in third with Eric Goodale of Riverhead, N.Y. pushing him across in fourth. 

The fourth caution of the race flew on lap 94 when Donny Lia, running in fourth, spun in turn two after contact from Bonsignore. 

The race restarted on lap 98 with Goodale out front, Emerling in second, Jon McKennedy in third, Bonsignore in fourth and Nocella in fifth. 

Goodale initially got away from Emerling on the restart. Emerling got back to Goodale’s bumper on the backstretch on lap 99. Goodale and Emerling came to the white flag bumper to bumper. Emerling looked to the low lane into turn three and got under Goodale in the corner and darted ahead through the corner. Behind them Nocella moved past McKennedy into fourth place through turns three and four. 

Goodale got back to Emerling’s bumper in turn four. Goodale made the move to go low under Emerling coming onto the frontstretch. Contact turned Emerling’s car pointing toward the outside wall, sending Emerling sliding sideways in front of Goodale. Bonsignore on the outside tried to clear Goodale as Nocella was diving low to under the sideway sliding Nocella. 

Contact from Goodale pushing up the track behind the sliding Nocella pushed Bonsignore into the outside wall as Nocella found a clear lane away from the chaos on the low side of the track. Bonsignore was able to clear Goodale just before getting to the start/finish line, but by then Nocella had the momentum edge him at the line. Emerling came across the start finish line sideways with Goodale pushing him there. 

“We were right in the position we wanted to be,” Emerling said. “We just got together. I don’t know what happened, I’ve got to watch the video. We were there. We put ourselves in position to be there at the end. Unfortunately that happened. It just makes us hungrier for the next time. We’ve been really close to winning here many times. I feel like New Hampshire owes us one a little bit. We’ll just be hungrier and come back even stronger. … Just close quarters. All I know is we went spinning coming to the checkered.” 

Said Goodale: “I was going for the win. I knew he had a run on me going down the backstretch. I lifted early and let him slide up in front of me. I got to his back bumper. I didn’t want to cross him over that early so I got to him and he dove underneath me, he blocked obviously, and before I got to his bumper I wanted to move to not give him the shot, otherwise I had no chance. So I just moved up the track a little bit and we hooked bumpers. His right rear nerf bar just hooked my front bumper and he spun in front of me. I hate it for Patrick and myself. One of us was going to win that race. It sucks. … I would have like to have finish second. We still finished fourth. We had a really good car. We led some laps. It felt good to be out front. Just sucks. I feel like one got away from us today.” 

Like Nocella, Bonsignore, Emerling and Goodale were all looking for their first win at NHMS. 

“From what I could see, and I’m going to be honest, I was looking in my mirror for [Nocella] for a lot of it,” Bonsignore said. “ looked ahead of me. I thought [Goodale] had it won because he had a really good run off of [turn] four. It looked like [Emerling] tried to cut across him or something and misjudged and turned him. I darted to the outside to just try to get to the line and [Goodale] got into my left side and just jammed me up into the fence and that just cost me enough momentum to lose the race. By the time I got to the line I looked over and [Nocella] was ahead of me and I knew I didn’t get it. 

“Everybody is going for it. Off of [turn] four it’s just a drag race and if you’ve got a little bit of a run you’ve got to try to do what you can with it. I’m glad that we made it out pretty much unscathed. It was a good day for us, so I’ll take it.” 

Doug Coby went to the lead early and held that spot until the first caution flew on lap 21. 

Most of the leaders pitted under the first caution, but Goodale, Nocella and Lia chose to stay out and assumed the front spots in the field. 

On the lap 26 restart it was Goodale and Nocella controlling the pace up front, but the race quickly went back to caution. 

On lap 28 Austin Beers, Dave Sapienza, Kyle Ebersole and Ron Silk – who came into the race as the series points leader – wrecked together in turn two. 

Following lap 38 restart it was Nocella powering by Goodale for the lead off of turn four. But on lap 40 Goodale found his way back under Nocella for the lead into turn one. On lap 44 Donny Lia got by Nocella to take over second behind Goodale. 

On lap 46 Lia made a diving move under Goodale into turn one to move out front for the first time. By lap 50 Lia in the front and second place Goodale had checked out by nearly half a straightaway on third place Tommy Catalano. 

By lap 60 the tandem of Lia and Goodale out front had checked out to a four second advantage over then third place Patrick Emerling. By lap 65 Lia and Goodale had extended the advantage over third place Emerling to 7.5 seconds. By lap 70 the difference was up to 8.5 seconds. 

By lap 75 Lia had built up about a half second lead over Goodale in second with then third place Coby about 8.5 seconds off the lead. 

On lap 80 Lia had built up a 1.8 second lead over Goodale with Coby in third, nine seconds off the lead. 

Caution flew for the third third time on lap 83 when Catalano slid to the grass in turn four. 

Under caution Lia took only fuel and came off pit road holding his lead. Goodale followed him off pit road in second. Emerling restarted third with Craig Lutz in fourth and Coby in fifth. 

On the lap 89 restart it was Lia holding the top spot but not for long. Goodale got under Lia for the lead going into turn one on lap 90 with Emerling following to second in turn three. 

McKennedy ended fifth. Ryan Preece, Doug Coby, Donny Lia, Corey LaJoie and Craig Lutz rounded out the top-10 respectively.

The finish of the race with Anthony Nocella’s car (right) crossed the finish line just ahead of Kyle Bonsignore’s (left), with Patrick Emerling sliding across the line sideways in third (FloRacing Image)


  1. I hate to say this but, it was kinda a boring race due to the top two being 1/3 of the track ahead of everyone- but, the racing from 3rd back was good. I dont know what happened to Bonsignore on the pit stop to put him two laps down.

    I think Emerling would have won is he just took a normal line on the front stretch. He took the lead smoothly in 3/4 no dive bomb but for some reason the spotter probably said, “Goodale is crossing over” when he didnt. Eric went to the bottom but wouldn’t have had enough track to be ahead in my eyes. Idk kinda bummed it was dull for the lead most of the race maybe it was just one of those races like 2011. Happy Anthony Nocella won.

    Did the 3 get lots of damage at the finish? The camera went away as he went into The 58.

  2. Made In America Whelen 100 @ NHMS Pick 6 Results says

    Made In America Whelen 100 @ NHMS Pick 6 Results

    csg………7 (44) 16 51 07 40…7+21+12+3+6=49
    wmass. 58 7ny 32 (16) 44 51…4+5+19+13+12=53
    AIJ……… .16 51 7 44 3 (70)…21+12+7+13+8=61
    Earl..(16), 7ny, 44, 51, 40, 79…7+13+12+6+5=43
    Ken L…..44-40-7-51-(16)-07….13+6+7+12+3=41
    L Traf..79-(16)-40-51-7ny-44…5+6+12+7+13=43
    Eddie.44, (16), 7ny, 92, 51, 40…13+7+1+12+6=39
    Barry……7-51-44-40-79 –(?)….7+12+13+6+5=43
    B City..51, 7, 44, (16), 40, 79…12+7+13+6+5=43
    Bobf…. (16)-51-7ny-44-58-07…12+7+13+4+3=39
    Liz C….40, 44, (16), 07, 3, 7ny…6+13+3+8+7=37
    W Play..7 ,(44) , 40 , 51 ,79 ,07..7+6+12+5+3=33+(13)=46 WInner!!!
    Mike H. 51, 7ny,(16), 3, 17,40…12+7+8+9+6=42

    I wanna play….33 (46 All 6 tie breaker)
    Suitcase Jake…33 (54 All 6 tie breaker)
    Liz Cherokee…37

    Remainder of the field
    Bobf 39
    Fast Eddie 39
    Ken L 41
    Mike H 42
    Earl 43
    Big city 43
    Barry 43
    Lapped Traffic 43
    wmass …53

    Fast Eddie……2
    Get serious……1
    Viva race fan…1
    Rafter fan……1
    Big city………..1
    Suitcase Jake……1
    I wanna play….1

    Suitcase Jake…6
    Fast Eddie………5
    Bigcity ……..…..3
    Lapped traffic ….2
    Rafter fan……….2
    Liz Cherokee…..2
    Viva race fan…….1
    Get serious……1
    Ken L………….1
    Mike H………..1
    I wanna play…1

  3. Congrats to Anthony and the #92 team for the win. Great job.

  4. This won’t be popular but I have to say that race at the NHMS is perfectly designed to watch on TV. Especially when the production was so good which it was and the announcing as well. It would be nice to see the estimates of the attendance. It’s hard to tell since the place is so huge but it looked like they had a decent turn out. Also curious about the FloRacing turnout. It’s invisible but I’d like to believe if it really stands out as robust to the people in the know that could play into any decision in the future to put the place on the schedule regardless of what we see in the stands. Noticing more commercials and that may be a sign of streaming becoming a self sustaining profit center of it’s own based on ad revenue.
    Very upset. The 07 makes a great move for the lead then erased it. Emerling is no bonehead but that was a bonehead block attempt. And what’s up with that anyway at the NHMS with the modifieds they race at the end like they’re Indy cars. Indy cars have massive amounts of space between them to break the draft and block and there’s Emerling driving right into Goodale’s lane with what looked like no spotter guidance. Goodale races a near perfect race, is in the thick of the points race and this happens at the end? If they would just have a good old fashioned drag race to the checkers they could avoid this last minute chaos. It’s a thing now at the NHMS. last few laps anxiety sets in because you know someone is going to do something provocative and it isn’t going to go well.
    Silk dust up the very definition of being collected with no place to go. No super powers this race for TBR and Mr. 6 time champ. Bonsignor the fastest car two laps down and the announcers as camera missed it unless I missed it. Rypkema and Catalano poised for terrific runs that went up in smoke. Is Preece still running that $20,000 Super Late Model, 600 HP crate engine? No tires for Lia what’s up with that? I’m not going to be agreeing with the notion this race was boring, not at all.

  5. wmass01013 says

    Def too many commercials but what can you do, like Joe Koss but NOBODY explained why JBON 2 laps down and KBON who dragged a spilling Fuel can all the way around on lead lap, Race WAS hampered by JBON laps down, Santos complete Non factor, 7ny faded after early sucess, Lia no tires is hard to understand!, Silk with accident and Preece non factor

  6. Just Me - The Original says

    That $20,000 Super Late Model, 600 HP crate engine is not legal on the tour.

  7. Your going to need an assistant pretty soon to keep up with results Doug. Nice work, thank you. I love seeing this level of participation on the pick 6. It just makes the race so much more interesting, at least for me. All good stuff.

  8. seekonkfan says

    It was nice to see Ole Blue out front again! Lia is still a good shoe.

  9. wmass01013,
    Justin Bonsignore had a broken axel on the fuel stop early. Came back in under caution and lost two laps repairing that.

  10. Fast Eddie says

    Thanks once again Doug! Geez, I was the only person to pick the winner, and ended up tied for fourth. And the one time I didn’t pick 79, he finally has a decent finish. This is much more difficult than it looks, that’s for sure! 🙂

  11. wmass01013 says

    Thanx Shawn and Thank you Doug for letting us Play.

  12. Pick 6 does give the race an added dimension and fun……well not every time. My picks included Rypkema and Catalano both looking really strong early…sweet. Then Rypkema is out and I’m thinking OK that’s the Mulligan. Then Catalano goes up in smoke and a bad score is pretty much assured. Then Silks collected and it’s it’s official. Not only at the ass end again I have to score myself there.
    That’s racing!

  13. I hate how on Flo the link to open the race replay is a picture of the winner. Takes the fun out of watching.

  14. Fast Eddie says

    I’m guessing NHMS was not thinking they would get much of a crowd. Only one lane to drive on Saturday instead of the normal two. They definitely need more people checking bags. 4 tables set up in turn one but only one line working. I went out after Cup qualifying to check out the fan zone. Went back in normally plenty of time but almost missed the Xfinity start. Had to go up to the main gate to try and get in on time. Overall the racing itself was good. Maybe not as much action at the front of the WMT field, possibly due to a few of the normal group (51, 7ny, 16) had problems earlier. But a lot going on mid-pack in both races.

  15. wmass01013 says

    It did look like crowd wise that Both Sat. and Sun had very good crowds.

  16. Suitcase Jake says

    15 players and climbing,… We started with a loyal handful and now it just keeps growing each week … Thank you Doug for doing all the work …. Thank you to all the players in the
    Pick’em ,,… One thing we can all agree on and it’s FUN … BE HAPPY= HAVE FUN ………
    did the # 3 Old Blue get tires on the first pit stop ..? and then got gas on second stop..? He seemed pretty strong on old tires ? That’s one problem for crew chiefs if your not there you can’t put it in your notebook who put tires on and who just got fuel. On the tour you can only get fuel or tires not both at the same stop … When i am there i write in in my note book who did what or listen to the spotters report to the Teams who did what on each stop so we know what the contender’s did on each stop .. then we can make informed decisions on what we can do to get the most out of the car…watching on FLO i can only see what’s on the screen so that part i miss being there..The 7 was STRONG until contact on the front end messed up his chances… Glad to see Jon have a Solid Run …. He has a Good chance for the Championship as anyone he was in 3rd before the crazy finish … Was really hoping OLD BLUE could Win and Give US a BOUNCE in our step for a few weeks ….Kyle Bonsignore is really turning out to be quite the Driver …!!!!!

  17. Congrats to Anthony, the 92 team and RaceWorks!

  18. Suitcase Jake, the #3 took fuel, then tires the next caution. When it was already in trouble, and spun on the old tires. It was getting eaten alive by the rest of the fresh tires in the field. Not sure what happened in the pit sequence and how the #3 got into that position, but it really sucked. It looked good until everyone else came in and took tires while the #3 took splash of fuel.

  19. 2017, 5 years ago, wow. In this forum a debate raged over who had the strongest claim to credit with regard to the championship. Coby won it but Preece fans said not so fast sighting the fact Preece missed a couple races. Preece 5 wins to Coby’s 1 so the 42 point difference would likely have evaporated if Ryan had raced the full schedule. At the time the owners championship was not a big deal that started in 2018. Likely because of the fact many thought Eddie Partridge deserved some recognition for what his team had accomplished in 2017.
    Not exactly but a little like this year. My goodness is there any doubt TBR has dominated this year so far. Even in this race the car clearly not up to snuff after a jingle but still delivering a remarkable points finish under the circumstances for the owners championship. Silk, McKennedy, Goodale etc get the attention as drivers but this year especially the 7ny has to get the recognition for doing something really special. Maybe PSR as well. The car may not officially be a PSR chassis but on the whole it’s everything but a PSR and Baldwin gives them a lot of credit for making it what it is this year.
    Baldwin didn’t even know what his plans would be going into the season. From the PSR refurbishing, to a chain of success starting at New Smyrna with two different drivers. Then on to SMART with another driver then more driver rotations as the season progresses. 10th the worst finish, on wildly divergent tracks, the PSR magic still in tack having experienced no wrecks. In our wildest imaginings no one could ever come close to predicting any of this.
    If things continue as they are in my mind Silk, McKennedy, Goodale or whomever will always be one slot lower then the official standings show.
    In 2017 I suspect Eddie Partridge had to fight for recognition in what the team had accomplished. This year if things continue as they have been the 7ny should not have to fight for anything in getting the recognition they deserve.

  20. Doug… Ha.. we have been running neck+neck the last few picksix’s,, i had to work hard for the ass-end this week… my picks seemed like a good idea at the time……see you next time around… bye the way thanks for your efforts with pick-six.. beginning to think that JBonsignore + co are running worn-out machinery..

  21. Not going to kid you. Was very happy to have company in the 60 plus club.
    Thinking exactly the same thing about the 51’s equipment. What’s that like the third failure going back to the end of last year? Prior to that very reliable.

  22. I have been watching the 3 since New Symrna this year. Really want to be there at the next race they win to watch the fans of the 3. The following of that car is amazing. Does anyone know why they chose just fuel and no tires? I was watching pit stop and wondered. Can you take fuel and tires? Some tracks you can’t. 3 knows way more about racing then me, just curious

  23. Fast Eddie says

    Should have mentioned this before, been watching Anthony Nocella since his midget days, a very clean running racer, felt like he was way overdue for a WMT win, has more than a few wins in midgets and other modified events. Congrats the Nocella family and team!

  24. Sharpie Fan says

    From Turn 1 we could see J. Bonsignore’s tires spin for a long time before he was able to take off. Figured he broke something. (thanks Shawn). That also held Coby up as he was trying to get out around the #51.

    Sure good to see Ole Blue out front!

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