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Polly Reid

Justin Bonsignore nailed a restart in the early going to edge out Matt Hirschman for the lead and never looked back. While Bonsignore in the Ken Massa owned, chem3.com sponsored modified had to survive one more restart, the Holtsville, NY driver was not going to relinquish the position and cruised to a convincing victory at the 48th Annual World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.

“This is awesome,” said Bonsignore. “We’re down here just learning with the new car, new engine and when you have a run like we did last night, it gets everybody down. It’s awesome to bounce back tonight.”

Matt Hirschman followed for second, Ron Silk third, Ryan Preece fourth and Tommy Barrett fifth.

Hirschman was later disqualified for a left side weight infraction bumping Patrick Emerling up to a top five finish for the night. Chuck Hossfeld, Eric Goodale, Cole Powell, Spencer Davis and JR Bertuccio completed the top ten.

Hirschman led the 18 car field to green in the 35 lap Tour type modified main event. Bonsignore on the outside was immediately challenged by Ryan Preece on the inside but Bonsignore held his own.

The first yellow flag waved on lap five for an incident in turn two involving Al Emmarino.

On the restart it was Hirschman at the point, Bonsignore, Hossfeld who had just taken third from Preece now in fourth and Goodale the top five.

Coming off of turn four, the leaders side by side going to green, it was Bonsignore at the line with the edge, Hirschman, Bonsignore the becoming the new leader of the night.

The field was quickly reined in for another caution involving Jeremy Gerstner in the turn one outside wall.

Bonsignore, Hirschman, Hossfeld, Barrett, Preece, Jimmy Zacharias, Goodale, Emerling, Ron Silk and Powell the top ten on the restart came around for the green on lap 7.

At the half way point of the 35 lap feature, Bonsignore was beginning to stretch his lead over Barrett in second, Hirschman third, Hossfeld fourth and Silk who had just cracked the top five.

At lap 20, Hirschman passed Barrett for second and three circuits later it was Silk taking the third place spot from Barrett.
With five to go Bonsignore had a significant lead over the field with Hirschman unchallenged in second, Silk, Barrett and Preece the top five.

At the checkers Bonsignore captured the win with Hirschman, Silk, Preece who passed for fourth on the white flag lap and Barrett fifth.
“I’m not sure if Matt missed a shift or not, we launched pretty even,” said Bonsignore about the early restart that gave him the edge for the lead. “I grabbed high gear and he wasn’t there anymore. We had a good car, we were a little tight to start with which is what we wanted. The car came around at the end and we were able to build a nice comfortable lead and just kind of take it easy at the end. Luckily there were no late restarts.”

“We had a problem in qualifying,” said Silk referring to his ninth place starting position. “We had a valve stem leaking on a right rear tire so we timed with no stagger- that put us in the back. The car was pretty good, not as good as it has been, we missed a little tonight but to start ninth and get to third is good. There were a couple of cautions in the beginning but I never made up any ground- I actually lost ground in all those- on that last restart I was still ninth. Once we got strung out I could maneuver through the field and get to third. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, hopefully it doesn’t rain.”

“I was trying to get everything I could,” said Preece. “It seemed like some guys had good cars early and some had good cars late. Ronnie and I, our cars were really good late in the race - I think we’ll be good in the 100 lapper. We’re still learning some things- we’re definitely making gains and having fun, it’s been a good speedweeks.”

Tonight’s Richie Evans Memorial 100 closes out the Tour type modified action at New Smyrna Speedway. Ryan Preece is the point leader by two over Silk going into tonight’s action.

Silk is the defending winner of the Richie Evans Memorial.

Denise DuPont will be doing live updates on The Chrome Horn starting late this afternoon, hope you can join for the final night of coverage here at New Smyrna Speedway. www.thechromehorn.com CoverItLive.

Source: Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: February 21, 2014

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