Ron Silk Vs. Justin Bonsignore: Championship Scenarios For Whelen Modified Tour At Martinsville

Ron Silk (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Either Ron Silk or Justin Bonsignore will leave Martinsville Speedway on Thursday, Oct. 26 as the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion. Which is fitting considering those are the drivers who have graced the top of the standings for the vast majority of the season.

Silk and Bonsignore, both already champs on the Tour with Silk taking the title in 2011 and Bonsignore winning in 2018, 2020 and 2021, have battled each other for race wins all year. Each driver has five victories, and they rank first and second in average finish positions among Tour regulars.

Silk, though, has the advantage entering the season-finale at the legendary half-mile paperclip in Southwest Virginia.

The driver of Haydt Yannone Racing’s No. 16 Modified has a 13-point lead over Bonsignore in the standings thanks in large part to the results of the most recent race, the World Series 150 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Oct. 8. Silk won the race while Bonsignore, the pole-sitter, slid to a 13th place finish.

That means Bonsignore and his No. 51 Ken Massa Motorsports team need a little help to secure their fourth Modified Tour championship.

Simply put: If Silk finishes eighth or better at Martinsville, he will clinch the title no matter what Bonsignore does. Should Silk finish ninth or worse, the championship scenarios will open for Bonsignore.

The biggest factor working in Silk’s favor entering the finale is the consistency he’s displayed in 2023. He has 15 top-five finishes in 17 races; his only finishes outside the top five were his seventh-place run at Richmond Raceway in April and his 12th-place effort at New Hampshire’s Monadnock Speedway in September. The latter was the result of a spin early in the event.

Bonsignore, of course, has been just as strong. He has 14 top fives in 17 races and a series-high seven Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Awards. Silk has zero poles.

Fittingly, all eyes will be on these two competitors as the Whelen Modified Tour season reaches its final laps at Martinsville.

Below are the championship points scenarios based on each driver’s possible finish positions in the finale. Included below the table are the tiebreaker scenarios in the event both drivers end the Martinsville race with the same amount of points.

(The table features 39 positions based on the entry list for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200.)

Ron Silk vs. Justin Bonsignore: Championship points scenarios for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Martinsville

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship points tiebreakers

(Via the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rule book)

17-8 Ties

17-8.1 Championship points

A. In the event two or more drivers or Car Owners have the same number of points (a tie), each driver or Car Owner will be ranked according to the greatest number of 1st place finishes in 2023 Events for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour as of that time.

B. If a tie still exists, the greatest number of 2nd place finishes, 3rd place finishes, etc., will be used in the same manner, until the tie is broken.

C. If a tie still remains, the driver and/or Car Owner having the highest finishing position first during the current season in which the driver and/or Car Owner competed for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at the time will prevail.


  1. Looks like another whopper of an entry list that has several cars listed with 3 numbers again like at N Wilkesboro. It seems there should be a less confusing way to release the cars that are entered than the way they do it. The entry blank says field is limited to 32 starters including provisionals but they let everyone start at Wilkesboro so I wouldn’t be surprised if they do the same at Martinsville. I am surprised to not see defending champion LaJoie; and alas defending series champion Mckennedy not in the field. That is not a good look. I’m torn on who I want to win the championship this year as the hard racing between Bonsignore and Silk would make up about 70% of a highlight reel for the series’s season. I still haven’t gotten over my shock of how a Moran/Silk pairing could “piss away” the gift that Bonsignore gave them at Oswego. “Piss away” may be a little harsh but I watched the Monadnock race and one replay and I still don’t see how Silk would get in an unnecessary skirmish that early in the race that would cause that much damage. Maybe someone on this thread that knows could explain to me what happened so early there at Monadnock? That “episode” along with Bonsignore shifting to reverse instead of high at Thompson has caused me to stage up my two inch thick tinfoil helmet in case I need to put in on while watching the Martinsville race.

  2. The championship is Silk’s to lose. All the recent drama has happened due to mistakes. We shall see.

    Looks like folks are racing for a clock.

    Pretty good entry list. Missing Dug Colby, Jake Johnson and Nocella. Maybe a couple others.

    So far, 39 cars are on the entry list, 32 are allowed to start. Shall we see another disregard of the rules and start all comers?

  3. GREAT entry list
    looking forward to Thursday night!!

    i think Silk is great! any era great! he could race on the Island in the 70s, up in the New England in the 80s etc..
    Bonsignore is a good driver for sure, but i think the success is more a Team 51 effort than driver talent..

    Rest in peace Richie!

  4. Found it. Looking forward to the race tomorrow. Really impressive entry list. I was curious about sending people home. Doesn’t seem right to send cars that haul all that way home after turning only two qualifying laps.

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