Justin Bonsignore only led one lap at New Hampshire Motor Speedway prior to Saturday’s F.W. Webb 100. But in front of a big crowd at “The Magic Mile,” the driver from Holtsville, New York led more laps than any other driver, including the final one, to score his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win at New Hampshire.
“It was about five years since we led that lap,” Bonsignore joked in Victory Lane. “It has been a struggle here for five or six years with blown engines and wrecked race cars.
“It’s always been frustrating here, sometimes you don’t even look forward to coming.”
Bonsignore led much of the second half of the race with Rowan Pennink glued to the back bumper of his No. 51. But when Pennink went up in smoke with two laps remaining, that set up a green-white-checkered finish with championship contender Doug Coby to his inside. While those behind him battled for position, Bonsignore used a strong restart to pull away and avoid any sort of last-lap challenge from his competition.
“The guys gave me a great car today, this is the car we destroyed down at Bristol,” Bonsignore said. “They rebuilt it within the last week and a half and we got it back. A lot of late hours in the shop, but that’s what it’s all about in this series. There is no better way to reward your guys than to get them to Victory Lane at Loudon.”
Pennink turned in one of his strongest performances of the season, leading multiple laps before seeing his engine expire as he plotted his move to challenge Bonsignore for the lead.
“Not really,” Pennink said when asked if there was any indication about his engine expiring. “I noticed it lost a little bit of power one straightaway before it blew up, but that was it. We’ve been in the running a lot of times here for the win and it never seems to pan out for us, but the three car was real strong today.”
Ron Silk finished in the runner-up position after moving from fourth to second on the final restart.
“I thought I had him,” Silk said confidently. “I knew fourth was a good spot to be on the restart. Coming to the white flag being second, I’m like, ‘I’m going to get him down the back straightaway.’ I just got wicked loose in one and two and lost too much ground. It got me too far back where I couldn’t make a run on him. I’m bummed, finishing second sucks.”
Championship contender Doug Coby had an up and down day, fading to 10th before eventually charging back up through the field to challenge for the lead in the later stages. He settled for third at the end of the day, an effort he was pleased with given what occurred throughout the 100-lap race.
“Things just didn’t go our way today,” Coby stated. “I’m happy with third, with the way that race went I’m very happy to finish third. I wish Justin would have finished second, though.”
Rookie racer Matt Swanson turned in an impressive performance finishing fourth, while NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Ryan Newman completed the top five.
While Bonsignore made plenty of left turns on Saturday, his most difficult turn was the final one he had to make at the end of the day.
“I don’t know how many of these guys have been here before, this is my first time.” Bonsignore stated. “I didn’t even know where to turn into Victory Lane.”
For on-demand coverage of Saturday’s F.W. Webb 100, visit NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live coverage powered by Speed51.com.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
F.W. Webb 100 Unofficial Results