.Teams and Drivers,
Submit your FREE profile
 for 2010
   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Stafford Speedway on May 23rd for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125, Justin Bonsignore, driver of the #51 chem3.com Chevrolet finds himself in an unfamiliar position. For the very first time in his NWMT career, Bonsignore is at the top of the points standings thanks to his win in the season opening race at Thompson and a 5th place finish in the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler last month at Stafford.

“It’s my first time leading the points and hopefully we can stay up there,” said Bonsignore. “It’s not so much leading the points, but knowing we’ve gotten off to a good start this season. We’ve been on the other side of it where we’ve had a big hole to dig out of at the beginning of the season, which is nearly impossible with the short schedule we have. More than anything, we want to continue our good start, go for top-5 finishes, and take wins if they’re there and we’re in position. The competition on the Tour is very tough, there’s 10 to 12 guys each week that can win. Especially guys like Doug and Woody, they’re off to hot starts as well. Some of the other guys like Ryan and Bobby, they’ve had one or two bad races so they have a little bit to dig out of but you know at some point in the season they’ll be right there with us. If we can keep doing what we’ve been doing and have great finishes and maybe win a few races, we should be able to maintain up there.”

When it comes to NWMT competition at Stafford, Bonsignore has had a somewhat checkered past. Bonsignore has won 2 of his 3 career pole positions at Stafford, but in 17 career starts his average finish is only 13th. But on a positive note, Bonsignore has recorded top-5 finishes in 3 of his last 5 Stafford starts and he is feeling good about his chances of collecting his first Stafford victory in the TSI Harley-Davidson 125.

“I think every time we go to the racetrack we have a car that can win the race,” said Bonsignore. “The last time out at Stafford for the Sizzler we missed a little for the race, but I think we learned some things from that and hopefully we can improve upon that. We were still able to get a fifth place finish on a day that we probably didn’t deserve a fifth place finish. When you can make something good out of having a not so great racecar, I think that just shows how good of a race team we can be.”

With the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 being 75 laps shorter than the NAPA Spring Sizzler was, teams will have to employ a different strategy in order to win the race. The TSI Harley-Davidson 125 has been won in years past by drivers running the entire 125 lap distance without pitting, and the last 2 races have seen Doug Coby and Ryan Preece come through the pack after an early race pit stop to win. While Bonsignore has been discussing different strategy options, he says his strategy of choice will most likely be determined after the green flag falls.

“We were actually just talking about how we’re going to approach the race and if we’re going to pit or not,” said Bonsignore. “It’s probably going to be an in-race decision once we see how the car is going. With the race being an impound race, you’re really taking your best educated guess on what the racetrack is going to do and what the racecar will do. If you’re out front or in the top-3 or top-4, you might not pit but if circumstances come up where something happens and you find yourself in the back and you need to take advantage of two fresh tires, we’ll definitely do that. The setup will probably be pretty close to what we had for the Sizzler. I don’t really get into that side of it with the crew, but all in all it should be a pretty similar package and hopefully it will be as quick as we were for the Sizzler. With very minimal adjustments allowed after qualifying, you pretty much have to be in race mode the whole time so we’ll work on race runs all day during practice and hopefully we’ll have a really good car for when the night time comes.”

One key area to taking home a good finish will be to get a good qualifying lap and starting position for the race. With 2 Stafford poles to his credit, Bonsignore knows the fast way around the track and he is hoping to improve on his top-5 qualifying effort from the NAPA Spring Sizzler last month to capitalize on having good track position for the start of the race.

“I think it showed during the Sizzler we had to pit for fuel and we had a good car but it was really tough to come back through traffic,” said Bonsignore. “The competition was so good and so close that track position was really tough to come by. Hopefully we can qualify in the top-5 and stay up there all night and make the night a little easier. Any track that you can qualify up front at is definitely a positive. Last year we crashed with Ryan on lap-0 and he didn’t have any damage and was able to come back through the field and win and we had a little damage to our car and we came back to seventh. If you have a good enough car, you can definitely come back through the field, but why make things difficult, we want to make it as easy a night as we can.”

Since TSI Harley-Davidson took over the title sponsorship of Stafford’s Memorial Day Weekend NWMT event, there have been 6 different winners in the 6 races under the TSI banner since 2008. Also, the past four winners of the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 have gone on to win the championship in the same season. With the points lead already in his hands coming into the race, Bonsignore will look to add his name to both lists as the 7th different TSI Harley-Davidson 125 winner and 2014 NWMT champion.

Tickets for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $33.00 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 is priced at $35.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking in self contained Recreational Vehicles.

For more information on the TSI Harley-Davidson 125, 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: May 23, 2014

2007-2014  © GeeLaw Motorsports/RGeePro/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.   Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without written prior consent