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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Bonsignore Wins with the Tour at Jennerstown

The two-time champion is back in Victory Lane

Justin Bonsignore and Doug Coby are no strangers to running at the front of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour field. The two of them have combined to win eight of the last nine championships on NASCAR’s oldest touring series — and on Saturday night — they fought hard in the final two laps to decide the winner of the Jennerstown Salutes 150 on Memorial Day weekend.

In a chaotic, close finish, Bonsignore held off Coby by a mere car length to win the fourth race of the Whelen Modified Tour season and the only stop at Pennsylvania’s Jennerstown Speedway for this year. Coby chased the back bumper of Bonsignore’s No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc. machine around the .522-mile oval over the final 50 laps, and closed to the bumper when they took the white flag.

Through turns one and two on the final lap, Coby got a run, while Bonsignore slid sideways down the beginning of the backstretch. By the time they entered turn three, Coby was looking outside Bonsignore — but couldn’t quite draw even. They crossed the line with Bonsignore beating Coby, followed by Craig Lutz, Woody Pitkat and Patrick Emerling.

It was the 30th career win for Bonsignore, his second at Jennerstown, and first of the season.

“The driver just about gave it away there at the end,” Bonsignore said. “I let Doug get right back to me and almost spun out. … It’s great to get back to victory lane. … To get the Phoenix Communications guys back to victory lane. Get everybody back in victory lane. Have fans in the stands. Thank all the fans for coming out and sticking with the weather, I know it’s been tough.”

Coby, who passed Bonsignore late to steal the win last time out at Riverhead Raceway, settled for second.

“If Justin would have wiggled up the track on the last lap I think I would have probably gotten by him pretty easily,” Coby said. “I tried the outside, but he recovered enough. I wasn’t expecting to catch him that quickly at the end. We could have won tonight, and I feel like three out of the first four we could have won. We left Martinsville and going to these last three races, we feel like we are back where we need to be, qualifying and racing up front at every different track.”

Craig Lutz, the winner in the tour’s second race at Jennerstown last year, finished third.

Bonsignore is back in the championship mix after his win too, fourth and nine points out of the lead shared by Eric Goodale and Patrick Emerling. But that goal had to begin with getting past Coby on Saturday night.

“I was trying to just mind the gap on the lapped cars and I knew Doug got caught up a little bit and I had a nice gap,” Bonsignore said. “The lapped cars started getting into each other when we took the two to go. And I missed turn one completely, I don’t know if I got just marbles on the right rear [tire] and just messed up. But once Doug got close there, six-time champion, one of the best, looking, looking, just doing everything he can. We touched bars down in [turn] three [on the last lap], but I didn’t have to do it to be bad. And then we just drag raced back to the line.”

Woody Pitkat was fourth and Patrick Emerling fifth.

Jon McKennedy was sixth, followed by Kyle Bonsignore, JB Fortin, Tommy Catalano and Dave Sapienza.

The Jennerstown Salutes 150 presented by DGV streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Gold, and will re-air on NBCSN on Thursday, June 3 at 5 p.m. ET. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action with the Steel Palace 150 at New York’s Oswego Speedway on Saturday, June 12.

RESULTS

  1. Justin Bonsignore
  2. Doug Coby
  3. Craig Lutz
  4. Woody Pitkat
  5. Patrick Emerling
  6. Jon McKennedy
  7. Kyle Bonsignore
  8. J.B. Fortin
  9. Tommy Catalano
  10. Dave Sapienza
  11. Max McLaughlin
  12. Anthony Nocella
  13. Timmy Solomito
  14. Timmy Catalano
  15. Walter Sutcliffe Jr.
  16. Melissa Fifield
  17. Scott Wylie
  18. Eric Goodale
  19. Ron Silk
  20. Tyler Rypkema

UPDATED STANDINGS

  1. Eric Goodale Ldr.
  2. Patrick Emerling Ldr.
  3. Doug Coby -7
  4. Justin Bonsignore -9
  5. Kyle Bonsignore -12
  6. Tommy Catalano -14
  7. Woody Pitkat -22
  8. Jon McKennedy -26
  9. Tyler Rypkema -34
  10. Ron Silk -34
  11. Ryan Preece -42
  12. Craig Lutz -44
  13. Anthony Nocella -48
  14. Max McLaughlin -51
  15. Chuck Hossfeld -51

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