Justin Bonsignore Turns Heads In Xfinity Series At NHMS Before Getting Turned Out Of Sixth Place Late

Justin Bonsignore (19) and Christopher Bell (20) lead the field during the Xfinity Series SciAps 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

LOUDON, N.H. – Motorsports fans in the Northeast have become quite familiar of the last decade with the talent of three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore. 

On Saturday a nation of NASCAR Xfinity Series fans got introduced to that talent in a big way. 

Bonsignore made his Xfinity Series debut one to remember for most of Saturday’s SciAps 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Unfortunately, it was an ending Bonsignore wanted to quickly forget. 

Bonsignore led three laps (laps 49-51) spent a good portion of the race running second and spent most of the second half of the event in the top-five. He was running sixth on a lap 182 caution when he got driven into from behind and then spun during a chaotic four-wide scenario. He ended up settling for a 23rd place finish. 

“I’m a race car driver, I wanted to win,” Bonsignore said. “I don’t know if we had the driver to win to win today, but I definitely thought we could have run top-five if all plays out well there. I’m bummed that it ends the way it does because we definitely had a good car. We could have run top-three or top-five. We were just as good as [second place finisher Sheldon Creed] I think. It just wasn’t meant to be. 

“… I’ll enjoy is as much as you can. It’s still a [23rd] place finish. …Disappointed but just really proud of the effort we put in.” 

Bonsignore made his series debut driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell won the event

Because of weather issues on Friday in Loudon the Holtsville, N.Y. driver got barely a lap of practice in the car on Friday and had to start deep in the field due to qualifying being cancelled. 

“You couldn’t ask for a better day,” Bonsignore said. “[Crew chief Seth Chavka] played the strategy perfect with the caution in the first stage. I was still learning. Especially with the laps, I was just learning every lap and just trying to figure things out. I got the track position. I struggled with the first restart, a lot of wheel spin, but just kept getting better and better all day long. We had really good pace. I gave up a lot of track position on pit road all day. It’s just way different than what I’m used to and way harder.” 

Bonsignore restarted 10th on a lap 175 restart following pit stops for all the   leaders. He quickly worked his way back to sixth place before the day went bad on the late restart. On the rough restart, Sam Mayer went to the apron through turn one to make it four wide and contact from Sammy Smith sent Bonsignore spinning. 

“I don’t know, we were in good shape,” Bonsignore said. “Even coming from 10th, we got back to sixth. I understand you’ve got to be aggressive in those cars and I was trying to block the bottom because they were all timing the starts on me. I don’t know what happened. I haven’t seen a replay yet. … The rear tires weren’t on the track, I know that much. It’s hard to do anything when the rear tires are off the ground.”

Bonsignore, won the Whelen Modified Tour Mohegan Sun 100 Saturday morning at NHMS, said he hopes to get another opportunity in the Xfinity Series. 

“I don’t like to get emotional, but it is emotional to accomplish what we did today,” Bonsignore said. “The Modified was great. But I’m a racer, like I said, now we ran [23rd] so that’s out the window. But in all in all it was great to have all my [Whelen Modified Tour crew members] standing here. … We’ll go see [Joe Gibbs Racing executive vice-president of NASCAR Xfinity Series/Development Steve deSouza] and see if we can do this some more.” 

Listen to Justin Bonsignore’s pit road intervew following the Xfinity Series event at the RaceDayCT Insider Page


  1. Justin did a great job all day. He was as fast if not faster than those who had much more experience in an Xfinity car. He got allot of exposure during the whole broadcast. His save entering pit road was awesome. Had he not gotten dumped by Sammy ‘no talent’ Smith, he would have finished at least top 5, most likely top 3, and may have even pulled off the win. Shows his true talent, as lap 1 was the first lap in an Xfinity car.

  2. He did very well for himself, was impressed. Getting really tired of watching these Nascar development drivers taking out our local hero’s every week. Thanks (ARCA). Guys like Bonsignore, Stewert Frieson, Coery Lajoie all deserve to be racing alongside a better group of guys and gals

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