This Saturday, Bonsignore will be back behind the wheel of Paige’s No. 00, with veteran crew chief Steve LeMay calling the shots pit-side. Despite the team combination still being fresh, the Long Island driver and two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion already feels at home with this stalwart squad.
Watch Live: Tri-Track Modifieds at Monadnock
“I enjoyed being a part of the team and was excited to be asked to come back,” Bonsignore said. “Things went pretty well at Stafford with Stevie as crew chief, with Jimmy, and everybody; just having a good time. The whole pit crew took us in as one of their own, like we had been there for a long time. I’m excited to run a bunch of races with them this year and hopefully contend for wins.”
First up on the three-track, six-race schedule is 100 laps at Monadnock Speedway in southwest New Hampshire. It is a track that Bonsignore has nearly-always run well at, collecting three wins there on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, including just last year.
Monadnock is one of my favorite tracks to race. I was excited to get back there last year. Learned a lot, the track has changed with pavement getting older each year. It’s nice to have been there last year and know what to look for with some little tricks that might help us this weekend. It doesn’t matter the series, it’s a great track for me. – Justin Bonsignore
The weekend ahead does come with an added wrinkle, with Bonsignore and a number of drivers now running at Stafford Speedway on Friday night following the postponement of the Spring Sizzler for the Whelen Modified Tour from last Sunday. But, it’s a change that Bonsignore has openly embraced.
“Actually, for me it makes things a little easier to have it be one trip off the Island, and get two races out of one weekend. I’m good with it, never hurts to race back-to-back nights. It’s not that hot out yet, so we don’t to worry about any of that. Just normal hydration, other than that it’s not big deal. I welcome traveling as little as possible off Long Island, as everybody knows that’s no fun. This is a good thing, I feel.”
Rarely competing away from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in recent years, Bonsignore is excited for the chance to compete against a mostly different roster of drivers than he is used to.
Justin Bonsignore is a mainstay on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, but this year he’ll go up against a different group of competitors with the Tri-Track Open Modified Series.
“They’ve built a really good series with Tri-Track, the last five or six years they’ve come a long way as a group. They have a well-established field, some of the best Modified racers in the region are going to be at Monadnock this weekend. You always have to beat guys like Matt Hirschman, plus throw in guys like Ryan Preece this weekend, there are more big names too. Hopefully we’re in contention to run with those guys.”
A two-time and defending champion on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Bonsignore also has the 2014 Modified Racing Series and 2018 Indoor Auto Racing TQ Midget championships on his career accomplishment list. With just six races on the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, spread from May to October, the challenge of continuity is higher than he is used to. But, he is welcoming of the new challenge.
“I’ve never run a ton in this series and I’ve never won in the series. I’m always watching and keeping track of these races, and seeing the guys that are going for the win. I want to get my name on that list. Again, our goal is to contend and win races. It’s a short sprint to the championship, come the end of the year we’d like a shot at the title at Seekonk. That’s why we do it, if we can just be smooth, we’ll have a shot at the end of it.”
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51