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Justin Bonsignore earns Whelen Modified Tour sweep of Riverhead

NASCAR Home Tracks

Justin Bonsignore just continues to pull away.

The Holtsville, New York, driver found himself carrying the checkered flag for the seventh time this season on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway.

Bonsignore took the lead from Timmy Solomito on lap 133 and went on to score his sixth career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win at his home track, sweeping the two races at the New York oval in 2018. The victory was the seventh in the first 13 races of the season and his 19th career in Whelen Modified Tour competition.

“We circle these races for sure, if you can’t win anywhere else, you better win at home,” Bonsignore said. “You have to put on a show for the hometown fans. I put extra effort to make sure I am on top of my game when I come here.”

After qualifying was rained out, Bonsignore started from the outside pole position after the field was set by practice speeds. Bonsignore didn’t have the car to beat in the early laps — as polesitter Doug Coby was at the point for the first 64 laps.

But, when Coby spun from the lead off turn two on lap 65, Bonsignore found himself in the middle of a battle with fellow hometown favorite Solomito for the win. After chasing the back bumper of Solomito’s No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford, Bonsignore made his move on lap 133 and was not going to be denied.

A final caution flag on lap 152 gave Solomito one last chance, and he was able to lead the field across the line on lap 159. But, just one lap later, Solomito slid back and Bonsignore took control.

He never looked back.

The second-place finish was the best result of the season for the Islip, New York driver.

“We faded a little bit towards the end, but I wanted to get up there and lead some laps,” Solomito said. “We haven’t really had the speed all year, but to come here and give them a run for their money, we kept them honest tonight.”

Chase Dowling, who is still looking for his first career Whelen Modified Tour win, scored his eighth podium finish in 54 career starts. Coby, who spun from the lead early, rallied through the field and finished fourth. It was the fourth straight top five finish for the Milford, Connecticut driver at the quarter-mile.

Dave Sapienza, who ran as high as third spot before a crash on a restart, came back to finish fifth. John Fortin was sixth, followed by John Beatty, Shawn Solomito, Chris Pasteryak and Rob Summers.

  1. Justin Bonsignore
  2. Timmy Solomito
  3. Chase Dowling
  4. Doug Coby
  5. Dave Sapienza
  6. John Fortin
  7. John Beatty, Jr.
  8. Shawn Solomito
  9. Chris Pasteryak
  10. Rob Summers
  11. Ronnie Williams
  12. Tommy Catalano*
  13. Craig Lutz
  14. Eric Goodale
  15. Blake Barney*
  16. Roger Turbush*
  17. Wade Cole
  18. Calvin Carroll
  19. Gary McDonald
  20. Melissa Fifield
  21. Ken Heagy
  22. Tom Rogers
  23. Matt Swanson
  24. Cory Osland

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