NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore finished fourth in the season-opener for the Tri Track Open Modified Series at Monadnock Speedway on Saturday night.
Driving the Jimmy Paige prepared No. 00, Bonsignore won his qualifying heat race and started third in the feature but fell back and had to work his way to the front over the final 40 laps in his pursuit of twin championships in one season.
Bonsignore restarted outside the top-15 following a pit stop just after halfway of the Wonder Casino 100, and slowly worked back through the field. He would enter the top-five, pass for fourth, and begin chasing down the leaders, but the Holtsville, New York driver ran out of time.
In only his second overall start with the No. 00 bunch, Bonsignore now has two fourth-place finishes in Tri Track action.
“Just missed it on the start and I was way too conservative,” Bonsignore said. “I got put three-wide early, and the car wasn’t there, but we made some big changes on the pit stop and we were maybe one caution short of having a shot at the win. We salvaged a really good run — I wasn’t sure we were going to get there after halfway, but we did.”
Bonsignore’s heat win earned the No. 00 a $300 check courtesy of the Pepsi Challenge that Tri Track offers.
Justin Bonsignore returns to NASCAR Tour competition on May 15 at Riverhead Raceway. He will return to action for Jimmy Paige and the No. 00 team at Star Speedway on Saturday, May 22, for the second of six Tri Track Open Modified Series events.
WOODY PITKAT, STAN MERTZ RACING SEVENTH AT MONADNOCK
After a long day at Monadnock Speedway in the season opener for the Tri Track Open Modified Series, Woody Pitkat and Stan Mertz Racing finished seventh. Pitkat won his qualifying heat, driving the Twisted Tea/Truly Hard Seltzer No. 6 to the front of the 15-lap contest, and in the feature, a mix of ups, and downs, ended with a solid top-10 run to open the six-race Tri Track Series. It was the first of 10 planned events for the Stan Mertz Racing team for the 2021 season.
“It definitely could have been worse, could have been better,” Pitkat said. “The competition out here is no joke. We could have been a 14th place car and we were able to finish seventh. We’re still working out a few bugs, but we will address everything and straighten things out and get ready for the next one.”
Sponsors of the team include Twisted Tea, Truly Hard Seltzer, AXIS Engineering Group, Black and White Grille (Spencer, MA), TowBoatUS, Cape Towing & Salvage, J&S Motors, Pomfret Wine & Spirits, Mike Holmes & Son Excavating, Earnest Performance and Kenneth Blackmer Transport.
The seventh-place effort earned Pitkat and Mertz Racing four points towards the Call Before You Dig Modified Challenge championship, which will be a $8,111 winning prize to the driver that scores the most points between the six Tri Track races and the four Stafford Open Modified 80 events.
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