Pit Box: Jon McKennedy Back In The Lineup With Whelen Modified Tour At Oswego Speedway

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Jon McKennedy (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

One of New York’s top racing institutions, Oswego Speedway is the next stop on the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule this Saturday night.

Saturday’s Toyota Mod Classic 150 marks the 16th trip to Oswego Speedway for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. The series visited the track for the first time in 1988 when four races were scheduled at the five-eighths-mile paved oval. Brian Ross won the first two events, with Mike McLaughlin and George Kent Jr. taking the other two.

Four more visits to Oswego followed in 1989, but the series didn’t return again until 2016, when Doug Coby powered to a dominant victory ahead of Timmy Solomito. Other Oswego winners have included Tony Hirschman, Mike Stefanik, Ryan Preece, Matt Hirschman, Justin Bonsignore and Ron Silk.

Tickets to Saturday’s Toyota Mod Classic 150 are available here. Below is everything you need to know about the 13th race of the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.

Toyota Mod Classic 150 at Oswego Speedway

What to watch for:

The champ is back.

Jon McKennedy, the defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, hasn’t been in action with the series since early June after parting ways with his previous team owners. That changes Saturday when the Modified Tour heads to Oswego Speedway for the running of the Toyota Mod Classic 150.

McKennedy will team up with Mike Curb and Gary Putnam to pilot the No. 77 entry that has been driven by Max McLaughlin in multiple events this year. He’ll look to challenge for his third career series victory alongside several other capable contenders.

They include Kyle Bonsignore, who is riding a wave of momentum after netting his second career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory one weekend ago at Langley Speedway. His cousin, three-time series champion and defending Oswego winner Justin Bonsignore, will also be one to watch Saturday.

MORE OSWEGOWatch live on FloRacing

Current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship points leader Ron Silk heads to Oswego with a one-point advantage on Justin Bonsignore as he pursues his Oswego win. The Catalano family will have not one, but two competitors in the field as series veteran Tommy Catalano is joined by his younger brother Tyler Catalano, who will be making his series debut.

Bobby Santos III will be back in action aboard the No. 14 Advantage Motorsports entry that Patrick Emerling piloted during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in February. Austin Beers will chase his third win of the year in the No. 64 KLM Motorsports ride and Tyler Rypkema will continue his pursuit of his first series win.

Other notable entries include Craig Lutz, Anthony Sesely, Bryan Narducci and Tim Connolly.

The complete entry list for the Toyota Mod Classic 150 is available here.


RaceToyota Mod Classic 150
DateSaturday, Sept 2, 2023
TrackOswego Speedway
LayoutFive-eighths-mile paved oval
LocationOswego, New York
Start Time7:30 p.m. ET
Posted awards$90,995
Live streamFloRacing (Live)

Schedule: Saturday, Sept. 2 … Final practice from 2-3 p.m. ET … Qualifying at 5 p.m. ET … Toyota Mod Classic 150 at 7:30 p.m. ET (FloRacing).

Qualifying: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time. Starting field for the Toyota Mod Classic 150 is limited to 28 starters including Provisional Positions.

Tire allotment: The maximum tire allotment available for this event is eleven (11) tires per team. All tires used for qualifying and the race must be purchased at the track and scanned by Hoosier, unless otherwise approved in advance by the Series Director. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. All qualifying tires must remain in impound until released by NASCAR Officials. The remaining tire allotment may be used for practice and/or change tires during the event. The tire change rule is three (3) tires, any position.


  1. Okay, this is good… great to see McKennedy back.

    Shawn, any news on Nocella running?

  2. darealgoodfella,
    Anthony Nocella will definitely not be at Oswego. I think they’re looking at a return with the family team for Monadnock Speedway on Sept. 9.

  3. Hillary 2024 says

    And still only 18 cars.

  4. Can anyone spare a little info in that 14 car santos is running? Is the crew the Tinio crew that Bobby has on the 44? Not sure I recognize the crew chiefs name. Thx

  5. James H Osterhoudt says

    The Whelen Modified Tour is about finished. 19 cars for Oswego and 15 cars at Langley. NASCAR is doing its level best to kill the division!

  6. Suitcase Jake says

    Excellent to see Our reigning Champ back on Track … Jon is too talented to not be part of the Action… I was hoping he would be a Good Fit for the #46 Car…Stay tuned…SILLY SEASON HAS BEGUN…Jon in the Goodale would be very interesting combo…. Jon has plenty of set up experience and the 46 has great equipment and Crew…???? the car Santos is driving is a Top Runner … Strong Car… He was the only one who challenged Big Money this Winter at New Smyrna…. Look for Bobby to be a FACTOR in this Race….

  7. It’s impressive isn’t it? They just hauled to Langley, this week wayyy out to Oswego and muster more cars with a couple stalwarts out for health issues. Inside the car count it gets better. True that 14 car Santos is driving joined Hirschman as the class of the field at New Smyrna running one/two all four nights. Emerling driving and Hirschman getting into an on track rhubarb as well. I don’t see Jon (Ray Donovan) McKennedy getting more out of the 77 then McLaughlin but Santos knows the track well so maybe that’s a difference maker. The 22 and 82 do well at Oswego. Silk not so good last year in the 16. 51 looks to rule on paper with the 60 on the sidelines but races are run on a track not paper.
    Bring your best game Pick 6’ers this one could shuffle the deck on the usual pecking order. Spiced up with wild cards like the 2 last year piloted to a second by Hossfeld.
    Really like the idea of McKennedy in the 46. Not so much for the driving, Nocella is a good driver but more what he has in his head. But it’s about resources, input and geographical location as well so it’s complicated. Oh yes and “chemistry”.

  8. Doug u seem to have the answers. Keep typing away your bull crap and keep the criticism going Cause everyone and anything going on is wrong and you have the answers for everything. NOT ..! Would it really be a shock if mckennedy “ Ray “ runs better than max did ? In your wild .. delusional mind absolutely. John driving 46 .. no that make to much sense for russell and doug to try 🙄. Doug .. Let me Remind ya he has won pretty much everything there is to win open wheel in the north east. 4x MRS champion, Tri- Track champion, ISMA champion … oh and btw Doug a Nascar whelen Modified champion! One of most versatile drivers in short track racing. Not one dimensional driver who cares or races the same series year after year to build his “stats” like so many guys do and get all caught up in it. Wins in everything Doug … all forms of race cars from 1/4 – 1 mile tracks . Briggs Stratton all the 1000 horse power. John will go down as one of the best period. Let’s get serious Doug .. maybe for once can you ? One more time.. 🤔 7x champion in New Englands top open wheel touring series🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 who else has doug ? Exactly. Good night 😴🌙

  9. Don't Believe The Hype says

    Why do people make jon mckennedy out to be some kind of modified legend? He’s a career points racer. People hype him like he has 20 tour wins. He has 2 wins in 97 tour races. He’s got 2 tri-track wins in his life. Yeah he’s talented, but not like Coby, Silk, Justin level talent. He raced for Tommy Baldwin for 4 years and had 1 win. Craig Lutz has twice as many tour wins as mckennedy with pretty much the same amount of starts.

  10. Ken Heagy is 9th in points and Melissa Fifield is 12th. Both are going to finish in the top 10 in the whelen tour points this year. If you put Heagy and Fifield in the SK Light race this week at Stafford nether of them would finish in the top 25. How can someone be 9th in points and have an average finish of 18th place?

  11. Dare I say it, Ryan’s already pretty cross with me. Oh well I can’t ticked him off any more then I have already.
    It’s Jon or Jonathan, not John.

  12. Not sure what Ryan is on, but it must be good stuff. Jon is solid, but saying he’ll go down as one of the best is nuts. Numbers don’t lie. Jon had 42 Tour races with Baldwin and got 1 win. Mike Christopher had 5 races with Baldwin and had the same amount of Tour wins as Jon. Coby had four wins with Baldwin in his first 12 races with that team. There’s a reason Jon was let go by 2 teams in the last 3 years and it wasn’t because owners are firing drivers cause they are to good.

  13. Carl I think Ryan point is John has won in numerous series and types of cars. Not many drivers can drive different types of cars and be successful. So yea that is saying something and deserves some notice. Overall one of the best cause he can win in anything. Whelen stats not greatest .. but I’ve witnessed many times leading with a few to go running out fuel or getting wrecked like martinsville. Should have half dozen wins or so. O well

  14. Jon is a good solid racer, but not close to great. I think Coby and Bonsignore have had a few months where they won more modified races than Jon has won in his career. Jon isn’t even in the top 5 of the best modified drivers of the last 5 years. He’s still behind Bonsignore, Coby, Hirschman, Silk and Preece. The driver championship was nice for him last year, but anyone around the series knows if Coby had done every race for Tommy Baldwin instead of having 3 drivers it wouldn’t have been close.

  15. Gary D.

    You’re correct but, don’t hate the player hate the game. Looking at the points and based on who will not be attending, all Fifield has to do is start the race and she will be top 10 in points end of the night. All she needs is 17 points.

  16. Ryan was very hurtful and a bit unfair. Teeing off on me for what was a simple, benign observation involving McKennedy. The thrust of the comment enthusiasm for the race tonight that has the potential to see one of more party crashers to the usual tour elite we see dominate.
    A mention that Hirschman will be missed. Terrific post on Facebook. Making the point in so many words his broken arm will heal, he will be back to race this season but that’s not his priority now. What is, would be Baldwin’s challenge but more importantly his wife’s. On a scale of rough that’s right up there as the roughest enough said.
    Suitcase Jake is the resident McKennedy advocate and can list his qualifications as a driver A to Z. If he’s seeing the possibilities of McKennedy in the 46 eventually it’s only good judgment to defer his observations on the prospect.
    It is true that before the 2022 championship season I had McKennedy in the second tier of tour modified drivers. Carl’s point about the 7ny spot on but championships count and McKennedy spearheaded the 2022 driver championship effort in every sense. Thus I have replaced Preece who is inactive this year in modifieds with McKennedy in my top tier joining Hirschman, Coby, Bonsignor, Silk, Santos. You are welcome to include a drivers diverse skills in their resume if you like but for my top tier only the total body of success in the tour modified class of cars applies.
    I don’t know what the premier division is in the northeast, the tour modifieds or super late models it depends on where you are. I know for sure the super modifieds are not anywhere near the top open wheeled touring division based on any customary metrics of success that generally would include total division car counts and fan interest. That would be tour modifieds hands down.

  17. All of you can complain about the POINTS and where some drivers sit but it’s JUST the way things are in 2023 with Tour Modifieds. This is not the 1970s or 80’s anymore, the Evans, Kent, Cook, Ruggiero, Spencer era is gone, teams dont run 30, 40 or more races no matter the track anymore. YES the WMT takes the most comments BUT ALLLLL SERIES are going thru the same things

    WMT 12 races 71 teams 1 race 7 teams all races
    ROC 9 races 58 teams 1 race 6 teams all races
    Tri Track 4 races 49 teams 1 race 13 teams all races
    MRS 4 races points hard to find
    Stafford 5 races 40, 22 23 19 26 teams no points
    Thompson 3 races 22, 21, 15 teams no points
    NHMS open Mod 1 race 20 teams
    JDV open 1 race 24 teams

    So far 39 races run over 200 Tour type teams and very few teams running alll events in 1 series, so if you are Loyal to any series you will be high in points

  18. Everybody is down by count this year but overall competition on the tour has become so bad. As a fan I don’t want to go to a race where there’s only 5 or 6 guys who have a realistic chance to win. Tri-track and stafford total numbers are down but there’s still more than 15 cars at every race that have a realistic chance to contend for a win. Tri-track at Waterford last month had 20 guys in the race that had a realistic chance to win the. Right now at most tour events there are 5 guys starting the race who have a chance at winning or maybe 7 depending on what non-regulars show up. I don’t want to see a race where 2/3 or 3/4 of the field starts knowing they probably have no chance to win, and that’s what the tour is right now.

  19. As far as the number of potential winners go what is a reasonable expectation for the NWMT as far as history is concerned?

    2023-6 different winners in 12 races
    2019=6 different winners in 16 races
    2015-5 different winners in 15 races
    2010-6 different winners in 14 races
    2005-5 different winners in 18 races
    2000-9 different winners in 17 races

    Anyone can watch of not watch for whatever reason they choose and have any expectation. Historically it appears the number of different winners so far this year is right in line or stronger then what’s happened in prior years on average. If you like the MMTTS because of a greater number of potential winners that’s fine but it’s not like the Tour has trailed off on that score in 2023.
    I wouldn’t agree Stafford has 15 cars that could win one of their opens nor 20 in MMTTS races.

  20. 01 last in practice, 2.508 seconds off P1. 18 cars took practice and she will likely time trial 18th. Unless someone crashes or drops out will finish no worse than 18th collecting the points, hello 10th place in points.

  21. My bad she qualified 17th.

  22. Happy Labor Day race fans. The roots of Labor Day well earned celebrating the reigning in of workers hours to the 8 hours work week we all grew up with and take for granted. That’s under siege now as connectivity allows business to keep workers on call 24/7 but that’s a topic for another forum. What is relevant is most of you working stiffs get a day off. No you won’t turn into a card carrying commi by recognizing the holiday. Just relax, grill some dogs and burgers, turn off the phones and computers and have a few brews you earned it.
    Since it’s a slow racing news day how about a little good natured chop busting.
    My protagonist “Ryan” got all lit up by the simple mention of McKennedy likely to not get much more out of the 77 then McLaughlin. Tell you what, I wasn’t wrong was I big guy? May not have the fast ball any more but my change up can hit the strike zone from time to time.
    The thing about beating the same drum over and over is that eventually you lose focus, hit the rim and lose the beat. Something Earl did pretty well phoning in Fifield’s last place qualifying effort then realizing to his chagrin no doubt he swung and missed. A couple MPH faster then McDonald, not her first second to last qualifying effort, the woman clearly on rails…….in relative terms obviously.
    Congratulations to Earl and the forum participants at large. The conversation now including other slow cars “manned” by drivers that no longer get a pass based on their fun sticks. In the same class that played a larger and unfortunate roll in the Oswego race. Including even Connolly if you can believe it what the heck is that guy doing? 9 wins in an era loaded with great drivers, two decades later comes back for what? That was rhetorical I know the answer.
    No fan is likely to care at all about Fifield’s qualifying run but for her it may just be a highlight of her season so good for her. McDonald surely has his benchmarks that he’s happy about that make it all worth it to him. Connolly as well.
    Passing lapped cars has always been and will continue to be part of circle track racing. It’s just part of the challenge like negotiating all the dips and bumps on the Oswego track. Were I any one of the participants that fans are so cavalierly writing off as “back markers”, “field fillers” or any other demeaning term the peanut gallery can come up with I’d say screw you. I have my own reasons, my own goals, am meeting some of the expectations I had going in so talk to the hand. The one that’s got the middle finger raised just for you.

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