Thompson, CT — The 2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship will be decided this Sunday, October 11 with the Sunoco World Series 150 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. The final race of the 58th Annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing will tie a bow on the tour’s 36th season with two modern greats battling for the title.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule took several unexpected turns this year due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Several venues had to be dropped while new ones were added in a constant shuffle. Despite it all, the season draws to a close with two familiar sights: a trip to Thompson for the Sunoco World Series, and Justin Bonsignore and Doug Coby in the hunt for a championship.
Holtsville, NY’s Bonsignore sits in the catbird seat. The 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion enters the Sunoco World Series 150 with a 27-point lead over six-time champion Coby. Bonsignore has won three of the eight events contested this year. A finish of 23rd or better on Sunday will clinch his second NASCAR Modified title.
Bonsignore’s track record at Thompson Speedway is a good sign for his chances. He won seven of the eight series events held at the track across the 2018 and 2019 seasons. In last month’s Thompson 150, he finished a close second to Ron Silk. The hard charger made his name by going all-out for wins, and though Bonsignore merely needs to stay out of trouble on Sunday, he may well be a factor for the victory before the day is over.
Milford, CT’s Coby is the only man who can catch Bonsignore. The multi-time champion has continued to thrive in his first season as a car owner, and second in points would objectively be a great year. Still, once a racer stands atop the mountain, it’s hard to settle for anything less.
Coby enters Sunday knowing he needs a win or top-5 finish just to have a shot at the championship. As a six-time winner at Thompson, with the most recent triumph coming last year, he is certainly up to the challenge. From there, he must hope that Bonsignore falters enough for him to steal a seventh crown.
Although the title is the big story on Sunday, the Sunoco World Series 150 is far from a two-man dance. Norwalk, CT’s Ron Silk may be the hottest driver in Modified racing. He has won two of the last three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events, including September’s trip to Thompson. After a slow start, the Kevin Stuart–owned team is ending the year on a high note.
Several top runners, on the other hand, are still looking for their first win of the year. Number-three point driver Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, MA has surprisingly been shut out of Victory Lane to date. Matt Swanson, Dave Sapienza, Anthony Nocella, and Woody Pitkat also have been knocking on the door with their performances. A win at the historic 5/8-mile oval and a big check to go with it would be the perfect way to enter the pending offseason.
The rest of the NASCAR Modified stars will be out in force this weekend. Craig Lutz, Ronnie Williams, Patrick Emerling, Kyle Bonsignore, and Eric Goodale are just some of the racers who have filed entries for the Sunoco World Series 150. Some drivers will be doing double-, triple-, or even quadruple duty among the other Modified divisions on the card.
The Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park runs from Friday, October 9 through Sunday, October 11. Many of the NASCAR Modified stars can also be seen in the Budweiser Modified Open 75 on Saturday’s schedule. The ISMA Big Block Supermodifieds, Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models, ACT-type Late Model Open, NEMA Midgets, and Exit Realty Pro Truck Series are also part of the 19-division program.
Advance general admission tickets for the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing can be purchased at https://happsnow.com/event/Thompson-Speedway-Motorsports-Park-YHPQ/WORLD-SERIES–NO2QX. A three-day ticket is $55 for adults and $15 for kids ages 12 and under. Pit passes will be sold at the track and are $75 for adults and $40 for kids ages 12 and under. The Saturday and Sunday programs, with the exception of the NASCAR Modified action, will also be broadcast via pay-per-view on Speed51TV.
For more information about the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing schedule, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit www.acttour.com/thompson-speedway. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.
For camping information and general Thompson Speedway inquires, call (860) 923-2280, email [email protected], or visit www.thompsonspeedway.com. You can follow Thompson Speedway on Facebook and Instagram at @ThompsonSpeedway or on Twitter at @ThompsonSpdwy.
For technical information concerning all PASS divisions, and for media or marketing questions, please contact [email protected] or visit www.proallstarsseries.com. Don’t forget to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow on Twitter @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.
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-Photo credit: Speed51/Rick Ibsen