BONSIGNORE SECURES SUNOCO ROOKIE AWARD
New York Native Wins Whelen Southern Modified Award
Bonsignore had one goal as he began his first
full-time season of competition in the NASCAR Whelen
Southern Modified Tour: Improve on his limited
number of starts last season and get better every
Bonsignore used nine top-10 finishes in 11 races to
finish a solid seventh in the final championship
standings and as a result walks away as the 2016
Sunoco Rookie of the Year for the southern tour.
Bonsignore and his team never stopped working harder
“We had some new people on the crew and a lot of
learning to do early in the season,” Bonsignore
said. “We kept working at it and we found a lot of
speed at the beginning of the year.”
The first thing every race car driver will tell you
is that they want speed in their race car and while
Bonsignore’s car had the speed, there were still
several things to work on with a new crew, car and
series for the Bay Shore, New York, native.
“We had speed but we needed to work on getting the
gremlins out of the way for our team,” he added.
“Learning how to work well on the pit stops and just
getting the car comfortable to drive were some of
the things we concentrated on early in the year.”
In addition to the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honor,
Bonsignore also celebrated his first Coors Light
Pole Award as the highest southern tour regular to
qualify at Bristol with the combination race in
He kept the momentum from that performance at
Bristol going and two races latter scored his best
finish to date coming home second to James Civali at
the fall race at Virginia's South Boston Speedway.
Bonsignore finished the season strong with five
consecutive top-10 showings and after that
performance he wished the season didn’t end at
Charlotte last week.
“Hopefully we’ll pick up right were we left off (at
the end of the season),” Bonsignore said. “After
learning a lot racing against modified veterans like
George Brunnhoelzl III, Burt Myers, Jason Myers and
others makes me want to get back out there on the
Austin Pickens finished second in the Sunoco Rookie
of the Year standings, followed by Shawn Balluzo,
Lauren Edgerton and Robert Babb.
Rookie points are earned on a 10-to-1 system with
the highest-finishing first-year driver in a race
scoring 10, the second nine, and so on down to one
point for the lowest finishers.
Bonsignore will receive the Sunoco Rookie of the
Year Award on Dec. 10 as part of the NASCAR Night of
Champions Touring Series Awards at the NASCAR Hall
of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jason Christley /
October 14, 2016