Bonsignore and Janisch Battle for Allentown Indoor Win – PTD Exclusive
By MIKE MALLETT
Justin Bonsignore had a wild night to kick off the 2018 Indoor Racing Series for the TQ Midgets at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa. The Long Island driver experienced a little bit of everything. He eventually went on to score the victory after starting way back in the 20th position after he had qualified on the podium. Needless to say, his night took a lot of twist and turns before he ended up in Victory Lane.
“We had a good strong practice in the top three and then we qualified really good,” cited the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series regular. “In the heat race we were leading with three to go and I thought, ‘alright, this is going to be good we are going to be in the redraw, this is going to be easy peezy tonight.’ Then unfortunately we got wrecked. I’ve been doing this now for three years, been doing it a long time with the go karts. I’ve had a lot of struggles so I just learned not to let your highs get too high and your lows too low. Once we got to the top five in the feature the seas were just parting. The luck was coming to our side. It was a nice change.”
Bonsignore had some luck early in the feature as well as several cars in front of him either had mechanical issues or were involved in crashes. Bonsignore was able to navigate through the crashes without incident putting him just outside the top 10 with just a lap in the books. From there he took advantage of restarts to move forward.
“Before lap one we were 12th I think,” said Bonsignore. “We just avoided a lot of wrecks. Fortunately for us it knocked out a few good cars. The seas kept parting. We kept getting good restarts on the bottom.”
Bonsignore made his way into the top five as Ryan Flores was racing out in front with the advantage. As the laps clicked off, Bonsignore could see Flores starting to struggle with handling. He waited for an opportunity and took it on a lap 22 restart blasting by second place running Matt Janisch before getting Flores off the second turn for the lead.
“When we got to third or fourth I saw that Ryan (Flores) was really struggling,” stated Bonsignore. “I don’t know if he knocked the toe out or got a flat. I knew on the next restart it was going to be crucial to get by (Matt) Janisch. I think it was going to be heads up between us, whoever got the lead was probably going to win.”
It was Bonsignore’s first A-Main victory in the TQ Midget. He’s run well in the past but could never put the night together. Friday it finally happened.
“I’ve been coming to these since ’05,” stated Bonsignore. “I raced the go karts for a while and I watched the TQ’s. Finally I was able to put together my own car. You sit in the stands and watch guys like Teddy (Ted Christopher), (Joey) Payne and Liquid Lou (Lou Cicconi) for all them years, man I just wanted to do that. Now guys like Erick (Rudolph) and Ryan (Flores) are winning. I know we could do it. We just had to put it all together.”
The win locks him into the dash which guarantees him a top six starting spot for Saturday night’s 40-lap finale of the Allentown Indoor Racing Series event.
Janisch So Close to First Indoor TQ Victory
At the end of Friday night’s main-event for the TQ Midgets one restart ended up making all the difference as Bonsignore worked by Janisch and the leader at the time Ryan Flores. Janisch stayed with him the rest of the race but was forced to settle for a second place run.
“Flores was fading a little bit and maybe things would have been different if I could have got under him,” commented Janisch about the end of the race. “Justin, I don’t what the hell happened on that restart, but he got by both of us. He was fast. It’s tough when you are the same speed. For my first time in the car, I think we got a solid foundation for tomorrow.”
It took a lot of work to get Janisch to his second place finish. He qualified poorly after drawing an early pill. He made up that ground in the heat race racing from the back up to second. In the feature, he started ninth and hung at the front for the entire race.
“We started the day out not too great,” he said. “We had a bad draw. I had to go out early for time trials and the track was real bad. I don’t think I was in the top 30. We got better as the night went on. It felt good in the heat, I went from seventh to second. Right away in the feature, at the drop of the green, the car was good. It rolled the bottom real well and stuck on the outside. I was able to get on the throttle real early when I came off the corner. When you can do all those things you are going to go forward.”
Go forward he did. On this night it was good enough for second. He’ll have another shot for the win on Saturday night.