OSWEGO, N.Y. — Justin Bonsignore knew it was going to take a few checkered flags if he wanted to climb his way back into the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship battle.
With five races to go, Bonsignore proved on Saturday that he isn’t out of it yet. He scored his fourth victory of the season in the Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s at Oswego Speedway, earning the victory as part of the track’s annual Classic Weekend.
It was the 24th career win in Whelen Modified Tour competition for Bonsignore and his first at the ‘Steel Palace’ of Oswego.
“It’s unbelievable. There is a lot of history at this track,” he said. “I’ve wanted to win here every time we have come here.”
Bonsignore might not have posted the fastest lap times all day, but, when it mattered, his car shined. For the first 64 laps, he chased the back bumper of Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole winner Rob Summers in the race for the lead. He passed Summers at lap 65, and led through until a caution at lap 99, when Tyler Rypkema spun.
Then, his Phoenix Communications crew went to work. They got him out at the front of the cars that pitted and took fresh tires, but, he had to restart third, behind Patrick Emerling and Tommy Catalano.
It didn’t take him long to get back to the top spot. Before the field exited turn two, he was the leader once again.
Bonsignore had to hold off defending race winner Matt Hirschman on a final dash to the finish, but was able to accomplish the task. While the No. 51 Phoenix Communications Chevrolet struggled to turn through the center of the corners, Bonsignore was able to make it work.
He beat Hirschman to the line by .146 seconds. Following Hirschman, former Whelen Modified Tour champion Ron Silk was third, with Craig Lutz and Bobby Santos III completing the top five.
Doug Coby was sixth, followed by Eric Goodale, Timmy Solomito, Chase Dowling and Tommy Catalano.
Coby leads Bonsignore by 37 points, with Silk 44 back with four races remaining in the championship points schedule.
The Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s will air on NBCSN on Thursday, September 5, at 6 p.m.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track for the second appearance at New York’s Riverhead Raceway on Saturday, September 7.