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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour hits Stafford Speedway this weekend for the 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, Justin Bonsignore will be hoping to turn his luck at Stafford around. In 8 previous races at Stafford, Bonsignore’s best finish has been 10th on two occasions and he has an average finish of 17.6 in those eight races. But one of Bonsignore’s top-10 finishes at Stafford came in last year’s CARQUEST Fall Final, where Bonsignore put his #51 M3 Technology car on pole and led 79 laps and he hopes to repeat that performance in order to take home a career best Stafford finish in the Sizzler.

“We sure hope we can have a good finish,” said Bonsignore. “We had some motor issues in the first couple Stafford races last year and we ended up getting caught up in a wreck at the Fall Final, so we’d love to be able to win the Sizzler, that would be a big deal. We’re bringing back the same car we had at the Fall Final last year, so I think we’ll have a good chance.

Aaron Clifford, my crew chief, always does a good job preparing our cars and we’re usually fast right off of the truck, so that makes my job a lot easier. I love coming to Stafford, it’s one of my favorite tracks although we haven’t always had the best finishes at Stafford.”

The first step for Bonsignore and his fellow Whelen Modified Tour competitors will be to lay down a good qualifying lap on Saturday in preparation for the 200-lap CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on Sunday. A good qualifying lap can often be the start of a good weekend at Stafford. “I think that Stafford is one of the tougher places we go to pass, so it’s important to get a good lap in qualifying,” said Bonsignore. “We usually get about an hour and a half of practice, which isn’t a lot of time, so if your car is off a bit, you’re going to be chasing it for a while. The closer you can start to the front allows you to be easier on the car at the beginning of the race and you can save something for the end of the race.”

With a race distance of 200 laps, the CARQUEST Spring Sizzler is the longest race on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule and can be difficult to plan a strategy for says Bonsignore.

“Our game plan is usually to try to save the tires for as long as we can before we pit,” said Bonsignore. “It seems like whenever we do put a game plan together before the race, the way the race plays out and how the cautions fall usually throws our game plan right out the window. For the Sizzler, there’s so many different options you can take. If you’re in the top-3, most of the leaders will probably do what you do. If you’re in the top-10, you’re probably going to do what the leader does, and then if you’re outside of the top-10, you might try to get off strategy from everyone else and either short pit or stay out and pit later. Most of the time, it comes down to circumstances. It’s a tough call to make, that’s why I would never want to be a crew chief.”

Although the strategy game can be a bit tricky during the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, Bonsignore has a good idea in mind in what it will take to hold up the winner’s trophy on Sunday.

“It’s going to be tough to win the Sizzler, there’s a lot of good cars on the Tour this year,” said Bonsignore. “I think the most important thing to win the Sizzler will be to have a car that can go a long way on the first set of tires. Being a 200-lap race, there’s usually a long green flag run, so you need to have a car that is good on tires, have a good, smooth pit stop, and then be near the top-3 for the end of the race and make moves as you have to at the end.”

The 2012 CARQUEST TECH-NET Spring Sizzler gets underway Friday, April 27 with a practice session for Stafford’s weekly divisions. The practice session will be open to the public at no charge. Action continues on Saturday, April 28 with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions. Saturday will wrap up with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions. The Sizzler continues on Sunday, April 29 with the CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party followed by Stafford’s SK Modifieds® and Late Models joining the Whelen Modified Tour in feature action.

Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $42.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.

For more information on the 41st Annual CARQUEST TECH-NET Spring Sizzler®,
or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at
860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

  Source: Scott Running / Stafford Motor Speedway
Posted: April 27, 2012

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