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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



Racing is all about Up and Downs
by Denise DuPont

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 2010 rookie contenders, Justin Bonsignore and Richie Pallai, Jr, are in the top thirteen in points for the series as they race to the end of the 2010 NWMT season. With only two races left in their first year of competing on the tour, the two young guns are both striving to be in the top ten and to be honored as the “Rookie of the Year”.

At New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) it was Richie Pallai’s turn to run with the race front runners such as Ryan Newman, Mike Stefanik, Ryan Preece, Todd Szegedy and Ron Silk. And as the day became tough day for some of the competitors, it became a run to remember for Pallai on the “Magic Mile”.

During the day, bad luck slowly took out lead runners but Pallai managed to keep the #39 car out of trouble. In the end he brought the car home for a solid tenth place finish. “We had a good car. I had put us in a hole qualifying pretty far back. We passed a lot of cars on the green today. We got up to the front there and a couple of the leaders pitted. We stayed out. We stayed up there and we were running about seventh when it was about twenty to go. There was only a hand full of guys behind us that we had not passed all day. So we came in and took some tires. Then we took some fuel just in case. Then we got back by them all and then the last caution cost us. I think that we would have gotten up even higher. But we will take it. We have a top ten so it was a good run. It is only our second time here so we are real happy”.

Rookie, Justin Bonsignore was not as lucky as Pallai. He went from his first Coors Light Pole Award at Bristol Motor Speedway to a disappointing twenty-seventh place finish at NHMS.

Bonsignore’s target had been a top ten finish at NHMS. Starting the race back further back in the field than where he wanted, Bonsignore regrouped and followed Jimmy Blewett through the field of cars. Running with Blewett, he almost was able to make up for his qualifying time. “We came back with a really good car. We ran with Jimmy Blewett for the first part of the race and he ended up second.”

But his plans ended when he was involved in a incident on lap 38 that brought out the red flag. Jimmy Blewett and Ed Flemke were racing hard for the same spot on the track. Flemke had the air taken out from under his car and spun. Cars dove both high and low to avoid but there was not enough room for everyone to make it through. “So it is kind of disappointing. We thought we could have had a solid top five or ten finish.”

“It is just unfortunate that we got caught up in somebody else’s mess again this year,” said Bonsignore. “It was really none of our doing. We just were just running where we were faster than those where we were running. It is just frustrating to get caught up in some of the slower guys mess. We put ourselves in that position on Thursday.” Bonsignore had qualified twentieth on Thursday.

So the NWMT rookie contenders left NHMS with mixed emotions and thoughts. Currently second in rookie points, Richie Pallai, was pleased with his team’s success. He was also disappointed that he did not run with fellow rookie contender, Justin Bonsignore. “I would rather beat him on the track rather than to see him wreck or see me wreck. He is the same way. We were racing side by side a little bit, Justin and I, and that is the way that we both want to do it. It is just unfortunate for them. But racing is about your ups and downs and today is a down for them. So we have to make the best of it and I think that we did.”

NWMT rookie race teams will take the next few weeks to regroup as racing move closer to home. The next NWMT race will be Sunday, October 3rd at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Rookie Race Notes from New Hampshire Motor Speedway

After the bitter and sweet finishes at NHMS, what are the rookies thoughts for the rest of the year?

Justin Bonsignore
“Performance wise we have run great everywhere that we went. That is the only thing that is keeping g us going right now. We have had so much bad luck and getting caught up in other people’s messes and stupid stuff. That is the only thing that is positive about it. We are trying to build towards next year and be a championship contender. That is our biggest thing. – getting ready for next year. We think that we have the rookie of the year lock up which is good. So we are just concentrating on planning for next year.”

Richie Pallai, Jr.
“We are going one race at a time. So now we are all excited about Stafford it is our home track. We have qualified good there. But we have not run a good race there yet. So if we can put both together and start up front, I think that we will run up front all day. If we could win at Stafford that would be really big for us.”

  Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: September 19, 2010

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