Justin Bonsignore Pulls Away Late For All Star Shootout Win at New Hampshire
By KYLE SOUZA
LOUDON, NH — Justin Bonsignore found his way to the front once again on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The Holtsville, New York, driver took the lead on lap 24 of the 35-lap All Star Shootout, and went on to capture the checkered flag in the non-points NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at the 1.058-mile oval. His victory marks the fifth different driver to win the exhibition event in its five-year history.
“Anytime you can come up to New Hampshire and win, no matter what type of race it is, it’s an awesome feeling to turn into Victory Lane,” Bonsignore said. “We were able to get back to the front after the break, and I was just trying to protect the bottom. I just can’t thank everyone from the Phoenix Communications team enough.”
On the white flag lap, while Bonsignore was at the point heading into turn three, Rowan Pennink made a furious charge diving into the turn, but lost control of his No. 3 Cape Cod Copper/Mosquito Free Chevrolet after contact with the back bumper of Bonsignore’s machine. While Pennink ended up 14th, Bonsignore rolled to the start/finish line and into the winner’s circle.
Although two early cautions for wrecks slowed the race, during a mandatory caution on lap 20, a spin of a wheel determined an invert would be five, lining Eric Goodale and polesitter Rob Summers up on the front row for the restart.
Bonsignore lined up third for the green, and took the lead from Pennink when he rolled to the inside on lap 23. Pennink hounded the back bumper for the final laps, but after the contact, he ended up in the outside wall.
Five-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby narrowly avoided the wreck and crossed the line second, while Eric Goodale, Jon McKennedy and Bobby Santos rounded out the top five.
“We were trying some things with this car that we never got the chance to try (in years past) because it was our primary car,” Coby said. “We brought a brand new car for tomorrow’s race. After all these races here, I still learn more about the draft all the time.”
Ryan Preece finished sixth, followed by Andy Seuss, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Newman, Woody Pitkat and Matt Swanson.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track on Saturday, when the Eastern Propane & Oil 100, the eighth points race of the season, is scheduled to go green just after 2 p.m.