Island Party: Justin Bonsignore Wins Whelen Mod Tour Eddie Partridge 256 At Riverhead Raceway

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Eddie Partridge 256 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

It was a night at Riverhead Raceway celebrating the exploits of Long Island native Eddie Partridge and his support as the owner of the historic bullring. 

And when it was over it was the most successful Islander of late in Modified racing celebrating victory. 

Justin Bonsignore, who got his start in Modified racing at Riverhead, won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Eddie Partridge 256 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway. 

Partridge, a longtime Whelen Modified Tour team owner who purchased Riverhead Raceway in 2015, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 10, 2021 just hours after celebrating a Whelen Modified Tour victory with driver Ryan Preece at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.  

The event also marked the first time that infield pitting was used for a Whelen Modified Tour event at Riverhead. 

“It’s a shame that we lost Eddie last year, but what [Riverhead general manager] John Ellwood, [and co-owners] Tom Gatz and Connie [Partridge] do for this place, and the way they honor him is unbelievable what they do each and every week,” Bonsignore said. “… There’s just so much that they do. I’m just so happy that they keep Long Island racing going for all of us and all the fans. How about the fans? What a crowd? Pit stops went off really well. I think John Ellwood is on to something here.” 

It was the 35th career Whelen Modified Tour victory for Bonsignore, the three-time series champion from Holtsville, N.Y. It was the ninth Whelen Modified Tour victory in 24 series starts at Riverhead since 2007. The win moved Bonsignore into sole possession of fifth place on the Whelen Modified Tour all-time win list, breaking a tie he was in with Doug Coby with 34 wins. It was his second consecutive victory and series leading fourth this season. 

Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. was second and Ron Silk of Norwalk third. 

Bonsignore used an outside run off of turn two to get by Emerling for the lead on lap 230 and then held off a stalking Emerling over the final 10 laps. 

“I knew I could roll the top on him,” Bonsignore said. “… He let me run the top cleanly. It’s always a pleasure racing [Emerling].” 

Said Emerling: “The cautions just didn’t fall in our favor there. It sucks. We are disappointed with a second and I guess that’s a good thing. I’ve got to give it up to [my team]. They did an awesome job. We had the best race car out there. We lacked a little drive off [the corner]. Just a little bit too many laps and the cautions didn’t fall our way. … I could have run [Bonsignore] a little bit rougher, but I guess we’re proud of running them clean there.” 

Silk, who won the 2011 Whelen Modified Tour championship, was left still looking for his first series win at Riverhead. 

“You want to win them all, but it would have been cool to win one for Eddie there,” Silk said. “All in all a great job by my guys. I can’t thank my entire team enough. Keep knocking on the door, we’ll get there sooner or later.” 

The event changed up the driver’s championship standings dramatically with two events remaining in the season. Bonsignore is looking for his third consecutive series title after winning championships in 2018, 2020 and 2021. Bonsignore came into the event third in the driver’s championship standings, 17 points behind leader Jon McKennedy. Silk came into Saturday’s event second in the standings, 10 points behind McKennedy. When the night was over McKennedy remained atop the driver’s standings with Silk and Bonsignore each three points behind. Eric Goodale is fourth in the driver standings, 22 points off the lead. 

The Tommy Baldwin Racing team, with drivers Doug Coby, Jimmy Blewett and Mike Christopher Jr., continues to lead the owner’s championship standings. Coby was fourth Saturday. 

The series visits Thompson Speedway on Oct. 9 for the Sunoco World Series 150 before closing out the year at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Oct. 27. 

Bonsignore, who won the pole in qualifying, held the top spot at the start, with second place qualifier Emerling tucking in behind him. Doug Coby went from fourth to third past Eric Goodale at the start. 

The first caution flew on lap 16 for an incident involving Ken Heagy and Donny Lia. 

On the ensuring restart the top three remained in line with Ron Silk moving to fourth past Goodale. 

Caution flew on lap 73 for the spinning car of Gary McDonald with Bonsignore still out front chased by Emerling, Coby and Silk respectively. 

Bonsignore held the top spot on the lap 82 restart, leaving Emerling and Coby to battle side-by-side for second for three laps before Emerling took control back of the runner-up spot. 

Yellow was back out on lap 86 when Dylan Slepian and JB Fortin were involved in a wreck. The wreck brought out a red flag for cleanup. 

After the red flag the race went green with a lap 92 restart. On the restart it was Emerling using the outside lane to get by Bonsignore for the lead while Silk moved to third past Coby. Bonsignore fought back to the inside and regained the lead on lap 96. Caution was back out on lap 97 for the spinning car of Matt Brode. During the short green flag stint Coby fell to fifth. 

On the lap 104 restart Bonsignore was able to stave off Emerling and it was Silk gets the low run past Emerling to move into second place. But Emerling quickly fought back on lap 106 to move back to second. 

The fifth caution flew on lap 108 when Kyle Bonsignore spun. 

On the lap 114 restart Justin Bonsignore and Emerling fought side-by-side for a lap up front before Justin Bonsignore cleared for the top spot, leaving Emerling to battle Silk for second. 

Caution six flew on lap 136 for another Brode spin. The caution period saw second place running Emerling head to pit road. It moved Silk to second and Craig Lutz to third. 

On the lap 144 restart Justin Bonsignore was able to get away from Silk with Goodale getting by Lutz for third. 

By lap 176 Emerling was back up to fifth after pitting. On lap 177 Goodale went by Silk for second as Justin Bonsignore created some breathing room out front. 

Caution was out once again on lap 183 for a John Beatty Jr. spin with Justin Bonsignore leading Goodale and Silk in third. 

Under caution most of the leaders headed to pit road. Emerling, Kyle Bonsignore and Dave Sapienza stayed on track. The race restarted with those three up front with Justin Bonsignore edging Coby in the race off pit road to restart in fourth with Coby fifth. 

On the lap 197 restart it was Emerling and Kyle Bonsignore fighting side-by-side for a lap before Kyle Bonsignore moved to the lead on lap 198. 

On lap 207 Justin Bonsignore moved past Sapiezna for third place. In front of him Emerling got by Kyle Bonsignore to go to the lead. 

On lap 213 Justin Bonsignore got by Kyle Bonsignore to move to second place. Two laps later contact between Kyle Bonsignore and Silk sent Kyle Bonsignore spinning to bring out the eighth caution. The red flag was thrown under caution with Emerling leading, Justin Bonsignore in second, Slik in third, Goodale in fourth and Coby in fifth. 

On the lap 225 restart Emerling fought off a hard charge from Justin Bonsignore to stay out front. But Justin Bonsignore stayed on his bumper. On lap 230 Justin Bonsignore used the outside lane move off of turn two to regain the lead for good.

Full Results from the Eddie Partridge 256 at Riverhead Raceway

Justin Bonsignore celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Eddie Partridge 256 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)


  1. EDDIE PARTRIDGE 256 PICK 6 Results says


    AlJ… 51 7ny 16 79 82 (22)>>>>>0+4+3+10+7=24
    csg…. 7ny, 82, 79, 16, (22), 51>>>4+7+10+3+1=25
    Ken L..7ny-15-51-16-82-(79)>>>>4+9+1+3+7=24
    Earl…7ny, (15), 16, 66, 79, 07>>>4+3+8+10+2=27
    Just Me..51, 7ny, 16, (79), 82, 15>0+4+3+7+9=23
    Getser.. 51, 07,16, 66, 82,( 170)>>0+2+3+8+7=20
    Eddie…7, 16, 07, 51, (79), 66>>>4+3+2+1+8=18
    Lapped…7ny, 79, 51,15, (22), 16>4+10+1+9+3=27
    Liz C….15, 16, 51, 7ny,( 3), 79>>9+3+1+4+10=27
    Bobf….7ny, 51, 16,15,79, (22).>>4+1+3+9+10=27
    Wmass…51 15 7ny (34) 16 58>>0+9+4+3+5=21

    18 Fast Eddie
    20 Getserious
    21 wmass

    3-Fast Eddie
    2-Suitcase Jake
    2-Get serious
    1-Viva race fan
    1-Rafter fan
    1-Big city
    1-I wanna play
    1-Lapped Traffic
    1-Just Me- The Original

    9-Suitcase Jake
    7-Fast Eddie
    5-Ken L
    4-Get serious
    3-Lapped traffic
    3- Just Me-The Original
    2-Rafter fan
    2-Liz Cherokee
    1-Viva race fan
    1-Mike H
    1-I wanna play

    Special thanks to Fast Eddie who’s picks ended up so low it make the addition very easy. Well done young man, The Natural was the winning choice in the end.
    For those that named a car for the csg Poll Bonus that was not part of this Pick 6, it would have had no impact on the final podium standings.

  2. I thought it was a good race. Nice pass by JBon for the win. As concerned as I was about the pit lane when first announced I was wrong. The pit lane while tight wasn’t any worse than what you see at some other tracks. I didn’t notice cars getting blocked in and having to back up. Did the infield pitting cause more caution laps to be run while they got everyone lined up for pit stops. Seemed like a lot of caution laps were run setting the field. Maybe it was about the same but to me it seemed longer. When I first saw the set up, I was concerned disabled cars who usually duck into the infield wouldn’t be able to do so bringing out more cautions. If there were any issues it looks like they got into the pits and either stayed in their box or got into that small area between the pit lanes not causing a caution. No spins into the newly erected walls which was another concern I had. A spin into the infield wouldn’t have been an issue at orior Riverhead races but could have been a night ending event with the new pit setup. Again, no issues there. The fans in attendance probably enjoyed being able to watch the live pitstops unfold in front of them. In my opinion, the new pit setup worked well, Nice job by Riverhead and the Whelen tour

  3. 🎀🎀🎀 Liz Cherokee 🎀🎀🎀 says

    Fast Eddie’s 18 points is very impressive! This mimosa 🥂 is for you Eddie! 💋

  4. Okay, that infield pitting worked out rather well. It was tight, but it appeared to work. A much better product for the fans.

    Not too much stupid going on. A couple horns were bent nose up on a few cars early on. Didn’t see what happened. Sad to say, but Lia just isn’t working in the 3.

    The 01 was averaging 64 laps per race before this race, and completed 192 laps last night. 😱 Amazing!!!! 3x average!!!!! Might have to put new tires on.

  5. NFL PICK 4- WEEK 2 Pick 4 Results says

    NFL PICK 4- WEEK 2 Pick 4 Results

    Wild Card-Bengals (-7) at the Cowboys
    Patriots (-1.5) at the Steelers
    Browns (-6) play at home vs the J-E-T-S….Jets, Jets, Jets
    Giants (-2.5) at home vs the Panthers

    Final Scores

    Jet 31-Browns 30
    Giants 19-Panthers 16
    Patriots 17-Steelers 14
    Cowboys 20-Bengals 17

    SC…Cowboys, Steelers (41), Brown, Giants>>>2-2
    AlJ….cowboys(49) patriots browns panthers>>>2-2
    csg….Bengals, Pats, Browns, Giants(38)>>>>>>2-2
    Doug..Bengals, Steelers(36), Browns, Giants>>>1-3
    Fast Eddie…Bengals, Pats, Browns(38), Panthers>1-3
    Suitcase Jake…Bengels-Steelers(43)-Browns-Giants>1-3
    Liz Cherokee…Bengals, Patriots, Jets, Giants(38)>3-1
    Bobf….Bengals,Pats(34), Browns, Giants>>>>2-2

    Clarification-final point spread on the Pats-Steelers game was Steelers -3 that would make a pick of either team a win by the rules. My understanding of betting is that you get the point spread at the time you place a bet. So this game will go by the spread at the time this contest is posted that at the time was Pats -1.5.


    Suitcase Jake….….4-4
    Bobf……………..…5-3 (62.5% success-second place)
    AlJ… ……………..4-4
    Fast Eddie………. 3-5
    Liz Cherokee……3-1 (75% success-current leader)

    If you haven’t figured it out yet picking these games with the spread is really hard.
    Congratulations to Liz Cherokee. Showing faith in the home teams and carving out a clear win.
    Stick with it, this is gonna be fun.

  6. Thanks Doug, I’ll try to keep that going! Liz thanks for your comment! This is the first chance I’ve had to check the scores, was at the Star Classic all weekend. Great turnouts by both Super classes, would have been nice to start the MRS race earlier. Good racing overall!

  7. So you like the pit set up did you? It was unique but can’t say that race was any better then the drama we saw in the other two Riverhead events. What is nice is we get to see the entire race program on FloRacing. Legends had a really big wreck, unusual for them. Think those crate car Legends are an abomination to the spirit of short track racing and yet they put on such a good show at Riverhead I can’t look away. The kid that won for the first time in Crate Mods who got DQ’d a few weeks back for no muffler came back and won Saturday. Even NWMT qualifying had some drama build up as they went along.
    It’s interesting that the Riverhead drivers seem to be well mannered under stress compared to some of the undisciplined Stafford drivers which is a bit of a surprise.
    It’s both a little disappointing and reason to rejoice at the same time. The 79, 16 and 51 within three points going into the final two events. Would have been nice to see the McKennedy/Silk duel come to a conclusion but there’s Justin Bonsignor that cocky bugger looming going into a couple good tracks for the team. McKennedy’s fans have all kinds of excuses for his failure to close on more the one occasion. I can’t help but wonder if he’ll choke here the pressure is intense.

  8. That crate winner got DQ’d again in post race tech.

    And I think the pitroad is a great way to distinguish the 2 (or 3) tour races at riverhead moving forward.

    Will be interesting to see if riverhead uses the pit road at events like the islip 300 moving forward.

  9. Dareal;
    Was never a fan of lia going to the 3 when announced.
    He is just to hard on equipment in my opinion, which leads to ill handling, bad decisions, and bent up stuff.
    He had to have brought money to get in that ride imo.
    Preece gave it a good ride, Johnson more than respectable given his status, but yes, lia disappointing (as expected by me) Just not sure of the rationale behind that one…..

  10. Bobf, agree with everything you said.

  11. Suitcase Jake says

    Lia didn’t work out…I Agree..I believe Jake Johnson will be FULLTIME on the TOUR next year 2023…He may use His own 15 Modified or the OLD BLUE # 3 or a COMBO of both cars to complete the FULL schedule …. Just remember old Suitcase predicted some rides in OLD BLUE last silly season…I have lots of eyes and ears down near Southeastern Ma, … LOL

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