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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



Bonsignore Gets Second Career Win at Thompson International Speedway
by Polly Reid

Starting second at the green and dropping back to sixth before five circuits were complete, Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, NY in the M3 Technology sponsored Chevrolet went to task and worked his way methodically forward. On lap 68 he made the winning move passing Ryan Preece to score his second career win, his first at Thompson International Speedway in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire Northern 75.

Crossing for second was Bobby Santos, Ryan Preece third, Todd Szegedy fourth and Ted Christopher fifth.

“This is huge,” smiled Bonsignore. “Our team has been up and down all year, we really thought we'd come out of the box and contend like Doug (Coby) has all year. We kind of took a step backwards, made some changes with our team, this is only our third race together, we struggled our first race, Bristol showed we can do it. I have all the confidence in the world in my guys. They are so dedicated and when they get to the race track, it's a good time.”

The 75 lap point race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour had a total of four cautions including the finish under yellow when Ron Silk running seventh hit the turn one and two outside wall on the white flag lap, the field crossing the stripe under a yellow checker.

It was after the caution with 22 laps to go that Bonsignore noticed his car was coming to him. "We were just really tight in the beginning, our car just had no forward drive, then we got that caution and I don't know if everyone else just came back to us or if we got a little bit better but we got a really good restart that got us up to third there.”

Bonsignore gained three positions on that restart and found himself two spots from the checkers - only Ted Christopher with thirteen Tour wins at Thompson and Ryan Preece who had led the entire event was between him and pulling the Ken Massa owned modified into victory lane. Bonsignore knew there was not much time, 22 circuits to be exact and he took his move forward to task. “I started working Teddy over as hard as I could, showed him a nose, showed him an outside, it's real hard to pass him here, everyone knows that, he's the best. Finally I just put the slide job on him in turn three and we didn't make any contact which is how you're supposed to do it then we ran Ryan down. I didn't think I was going to get him as easy as I did. He tried to cross back over but our car was really good up off."

Bonsignore became the second leader of the day and just as he was putting some distance from the field a turn four incident involving Bryon Chew, Ed Flemke, Rowan Pennink and Patrick Emerling brought out the yellow, three circuits shy of the checkers. “The last thing I wanted to see was that caution. That's not what you want to see when you're driving away from them with two to go.” The Town Fair Tire Northern 75 was going into overtime.

Bonsignore lined up to lead the field for a green, white, checkered finish with Preece, Christopher, Santos and Mike Stefanik the top five. Bonsignore maintained his lead while the scramble for the checkers became fierce. Silk got the worse of it on the white flag lap and was forced into the outside wall bringing out a yellow, checker finish. Santos secured second and Preece claimed third on the extended feature at lap 82, seven over the advertised distance. “We got a good start, rolled in on the top- Bobby was coming- I knew it was going to be exciting- the way our season's gone, I'll take it with the caution that ended the race.”

Rolling into his hometrack next weekend, Bonsignore will no doubt be a top choice for victory at Riverhead Raceway where he collected his first career Tour win last year. “We've got another good week next week at Riverhead, I'm really looking forward to that, maybe we can go two in a row. We're going back home, we ran there recently and won two weeks ago- I think there is a really good chance.”

He may be a part time driver on the NWMT, but when he does make it to the track, Bobby Santos of Franklin, MA seems to make a statement, for the good, in the ImperialCars.com/Tinio Corp. sponsored, Sully Tinio owned Chevrolet. Third at the initial green, Santos challenged Preece in the beginning, then Bonsignore at the end, his day’s work resulting in a solid second. “My guys gave me a really good car, that Billy the Kid Motor is really good. We just got a little loose, we were off just a little bit- I want to thank those guys they did an awesome job.”

Setting fast time, collecting his fifth Coors Light pole award of the season, Ryan Preece turned on a torrid pace keeping the competition in his rear view mirror. If the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 had remained green, there would have been no catching the Berlin, CT driver.

After Bonsignore made his move for the lead, the final caution occurred with a less than a handful of circuits left on the board. The caution cost Preece yet another position, his day ending third. “I want to thank East West Marine, Flamingo Motorsports, Sanderson McCloud, R&B Enterprises, American Lamp Recycling, everybody involved in this whole deal. We wouldn't be here without them.” Preece was already looking ahead before he even climbed out of the car. “We know what we have to do to make our car better for the 50 lap showdown and hope we can put on a show for the fans.”

Mike Stefanik crossed sixth with Donny Lia, Eric Beers, Eric Berndt and Richie Pallai, Jr the remaining top ten finishers.
Point leader Doug Coby finished the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 in 13th- while not the best points day for the Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct title contending modified, Coby maintains a 32 point lead over Ron Silk heading to Riverhead Raceway this next Saturday, Sept. 15th.

  Source: Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: September 10, 2012

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