Bonsignore Survives Thompson, Comes Up Short on Title

Justin Bonsignore survived the carnage of a 40-car NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour field, putting in a near-perfect performance to lock down the victory in the Sunoco 150 at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Sunday.  It is Bonsignore’s sixth victory of the season, third at Thompson this year, and seventh victory in the last eight Thompson races.


Bonsignore lead the most laps, but had to fend off strong challenges from Craig Lutz and Ron Silk the whole way through the race.  He weathered the storm, mastering the restarts and controlling the pace from start to finish.


“It’s so important to control the lanes on the restart, I knew right from the start that we needed to get to the lead,” Bonsignore said.  “You have to be the control car, it’s so important here at Thompson.”


But despite his dominant win, Bonsignore fell just eight points short of the 2019 title.  He did everything he could, but the No. 2 Mayhew Tools entry of Doug Coby was just strong enough to get the job done.


“We knew we had a chance going in, so we had to just go out and execute,” Bonsignore said.  “Right from the opening of practice yesterday we were really fast and qualified well.  We knew we had to lead the most laps and try and win the race and we went out and did that, but they did what they needed to do to overall win the points.


“Really happy with our season and everything we’ve accomplished this year.  We won a lot last year, and to come back and still win six races this year and contend for another championship is special and I’m really proud of that.”


Ron Silk challenged Bonsignore for most of the second half of the race.  He never let go of the back bumper of the No. 51, but in the end, he did not have quite as strong a car as Bonsignore.


“I think he just had a little bit more drive than I did towards the end,” Silk said after the race. “He could just use the throttle a little more than I could.  He was able to get away, slowly, slowly get away.


“I think earlier in the run, I had a couple shots at him where I maybe could have got him, I was driving hard trying to get him to use his car.  In the end, he was a little bit better.  Second is a good run for us, a good way to finish the year.”


Matt Swanson brought Ole Blue home to a podium finish, scoring just his fourth Top 5 of the season.


“We were alright to start the race, we definitely weren’t a top five car I don’t think.” Swanson said. “When we finally got a green flag run, I started running down the leaders […] but just kind of ran out of time.


“All in all, a great way to end the Whelen Modified Tour season, top five in driver points and owner points, so we’ll take it.  We’ll go into 2020, hopefully chase some wins and possibly chase a championship.”


Bobby Santos III, still running the No. 36 for Dave Sapienza, brought the new LFR II chassis home in fourth, and Woody Pitkat piloted Eddie Harvey’s No. 1 to a strong fifth place finish.  Eric Goodale, Doug Coby, Chase Dowling, Rob Summers, and Timmy Solomito rounded out the top ten.


Keep an eye on the in the coming days and during the offseason for news, recaps, interviews, stories, silly season rumors, and more.


-Story by Ian Pettigrew, Northeast Correspondent

-Photo credit: photo


NWMT Sunoco 150 – Full Results (unofficial):

1          51        Justin Bonsignore       150

2          85        Ron Silk                      150

3          3          Matt Swanson             150

4          36        Bobby Santos III         150

5          1          Woody Pitkat              150

6          58        Eric Goodale               150

7          2          Doug Coby                 150

8          82        Chase Dowling           150

9          64        Rob Summers             150

10        16        Timmy Solomito        150

11        54        Tommy Catalano        150

12        46        Craig Lutz                   150

13        95        Kyle Soper                  150

14        06        Sam Rameau               150

15        22        Kyle Bonsignore         150

16        34        J.B. Fortin                   150

17        14        Blake Barney              150

18        80        Tom Rogers, Jr.          149

19        70        Dylan Slepian             149

20        21        Chuck Hossfeld          149

21        35        Andrew Molleur         149

22        47        Joey Mucciacciaro      149

23        38        Kyle Ellwood              148

24        26        Max Zachem               148

25        5          John Beatty, Jr.           147

26        33        Wade Cole                  143

27        32        Tyler Rypkema           108

28        12        J.R. Bertuccio             91

29        01        Melissa Fifield            71

30        25        Calvin Carroll             65

31        41        Kevin Shea                 62

32        75        Chris Pasteryak           56

33        24        Andrew Krause           56

34        45        Timmy Catalano         52

35        92        Anthony Nocella         38

36        07        Patrick Emerling         17

37        18        Ken Heagy                  12

38        55        Andy Jankowiak         12

39        77        Gary Putnam               12

40        52        Mark Bakaj                 12

Bonsignore Survives Thompson, Comes Up Short on Title