Justin Bonsignore Wins Icebreakers 150 at Thompson, CT

4/8/18 THOMPSON, Conn. — Even though he finished third in the championship standings last year, Justin Bonsignore struggled for much of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.

As a result, over the latest offseason, his Kenneth Massa Motorsports team decided they needed to make a change. The team switched to LFR Chassis and brought Ryan Stone on board as crew chief, in what Bonsignore called a complete “reboot.”

Sunday, in the 44th annual Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Bonsignore took his new combination to the winner's circle in just their second effort as a team. The victory was the 13th of his Whelen Modified Tour career, and his sixth on the 0.625-mile high-banked oval, making him the active leader in victories at the track.

“It was tough,” Bonsignore said of his struggles throughout last year. “The 2017 season humbled me a lot as a person, as a race car driver, it was just a really tough season. To come back and have a really good car at Myrtle Beach, and come here and have luck go our way today and get a win, it's a really good feeling.”

Even though he carried the checkered flag, his return to the winner's circle didn't come without an array of close calls. On lap one, Bonsignore locked the brakes up going into turn three, and nearly made contact with Rowan Pennink. Then, in the final laps, the Holtsville, New York, driver found himself chasing Jon McKennedy looking to capture Thompson magic once again.

Coming down for a restart with five laps to go, McKennedy's No. 7 Accell Construction Chevrolet slowed in turn three, running out of fuel while in the lead. Bonsignore inherited the advantage for the final restart, but had to hold off a furious charge by Ronnie Williams on the final two circuits. Williams ended up crashing in turn one following some contact, while Bonsignore went around and captured the checkered flag.

“We had a really good car,” Bonsignore said. “I'll take the luck any day of the week. I knew Ronnie was going to be anxious. We have all been there, looking for our first win. I got a good launch on the restart. I really just love winning at Thompson.”

Craig Lutz put together an impressive final stint of the race to charge through the field and finish second, while defending race winner Rowan Pennink, in his first race back since offseason back surgery, finished third. Ryan Preece and Matt Swanson completed the top five.

Doug Coby rebounded from two wrecks and finished sixth, followed by Rob Summers, Chase Dowling, Bobby Santos and Timmy Solomito. Earlier in the day, Ronnie Williams scored his first career pole award.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track for the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 29.

 

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race number 2 of 2
Sunday, April 8, 2018 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park , Thompson, CT
150 laps on a .625 mile paved track (93.8 miles)

Time of race: n/a
Average Speed: n/a
Pole Speed: n/a
Cautions: n/a
Margin of Victory: .205 sec
Attendance: n/a
Lead changes: n/a

Fin St # Driver Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Status Led Pts
1 51 Justin Bonsignore Phoenix Communications, Inc.   (Kenneth Massa) Chevrolet 150
2 46 Craig Lutz Riverhead Building Supply   (Russell Goodale) Chevrolet 150 0.205
3 3 Rowan Pennink Cape Cod Copper / USNE Inc   (Jan Boehler) Chevrolet 150 0.440
4 6 Ryan Preece TS Hauler   (Ed Partridge) Chevrolet 150 0.776
5 89 Matt Swanson Starrett Racing   (John Swanson) Chevrolet 150 0.802
6 2 Doug Coby Mayhew Tools   (Mike Smeriglio III) Chevrolet 150 0.858
7 64 Rob Summers Hoosier Tire East / Fast Track   (Mike Murphy) Chevrolet 150 0.956
8 15 Chase Dowling 15-40 Connection   (Rob Fuller) Chevrolet 150 1.533
9 44 Bobby Santos III Sully Tinio / Olivas Market   (Sully Tinio) Chevrolet 150 1.537
10 16 Timmy Solomito Starrett Racing   (Eric Sanderson) Ford 150 1.784
11 75 Chris Pasteryak Dawley's Auto   (Charles Pasteryak) Chevrolet 150 2.074
12 82 Woody Pitkat Horton Avenue Materials   (Danny Watts Jr.) Chevrolet 150 2.265
13 1 Burt Myers Citrusafe / Dunleavy Truck & Trailer   (Eddie Harvey) Chevrolet 150 2.782
14 24 Andrew Krause Supreme Mfg   (Diane Krause) Chevrolet 150 3.389
15 54 Tommy Catalano * Catalano Motorsports   (Amy Catalano) Chevrolet 150 3.672
16 25 Calvin Carroll Power w / Prestige / Cruising w / Betty   (Joe Carroll) Chevrolet 150 4.313
17 26 Gary McDonald Lakeland Landscaping Supply / TRC Elect   (Sean McDonald) Chevrolet 150 5.082
18 33 Wade Cole Perf. Engines / Kendall Oil   (Wade Cole) Chevrolet 150 8.512
19 21 Ronnie Williams Gershow Recycling / Empower Financial   (Joseph Bertuccio) Chevrolet 149 1 Lap
20 7 Jon McKennedy Accell Construction Inc.   (Tommy Baldwin) Chevrolet 149 1 Lap
21 38 Manny Dias * Performance Engines / Kendall Oil   (Linda Rodebaugh) Chevrolet 147 3 Laps
22 23 Joe DeGracia * PJ DeGracia Contracting   (Paul Degracia) Chevrolet 147 3 Laps
23 97 Bryan Dauzat OB Builders   (Byran Dauzat) Chevrolet 146 4 Laps
24 85 Ron Silk Stuart's Automotive   (Kevin Stuart) Chevrolet 141 9 Laps
25 36 Dave Sapienza Sapienza Enterprise   (Judy Thilberg) Chevrolet 138 12 Laps
26 57 Andy Seuss O.B. Builders   (Bryan Dauzat) Chevrolet 134 16 Laps
27 58 Eric Goodale GAF Roofing   (Edgar Goodale) Chevrolet 134 16 Laps
28 76 Jimmy Blewett Starrett Racing / John Blewett Inc   (John Blewett Sr.) Chevrolet 134 16 Laps
29 63 Austin Pickens Siteone Greenbrier   (Steve Pickens) Chevrolet 126 24 Laps
30 01 Melissa Fifield Crowells Towing   (Kenneth Fifield) Chevrolet 116 34 Laps
31 14 Blake Barney * Atlantic Sprinkler   (Richard Barney) Chevrolet 112 38 Laps
32 95 Kyle Soper * Eastport Feeds   (Wayne Anderson) Chevrolet 57 93 Laps
33 07 Patrick Emerling Buffalo Auto Auction   (Jennifer Emerling) Chevrolet 25 125 Laps
34 22 Kyle Bonsignore Snap-On Tools   (Kyle Bonsignore) Ford 24 126 Laps
35 78 Walter Sutcliffe, Jr. Close Enuff Racing   (Steven Sutcliffe) Chevrolet 9 141 Laps
36 20 Max Zachem MP2 Motorsports / Lu-Mac's   (Ken Zachem) Chevrolet 1 149 Laps

 

By Kyle Souza