September 10th, 2018
JUSTIN BONSIGNORE TAKES ANOTHER STEP TOWARDS 2018 NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR TITLE WITH MILLER LITE 200 VICTORY AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY
Bob Finan PR
Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville took another step towards his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship Saturday when he won the Miller Lite 200 at Riverhead Raceway earning his 6th career WMT victory at the track where his NASCAR Modified career began. The victory also gave Justin a clean sweep of the two NASCAR WMT races at the demanding quarter mile oval and upped his overall Riverhead NASCAR Modified win total to 13. The Miller Lite 200 program was completed despite a lengthy five plus hour rain delay.
The only NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice session was barely a half hour old when light rain fell over the track halting the session while track drying efforts began. After a short delay the track was deemed safe to resume the session but after one set of cars practiced the rain picked up in intensity and was halted once again. What ensued was a marathon track drying effort while NASCAR WMT officials along with Riverhead Raceway management held several meetings to explore options for the 200. After a five hour plus rain delay the 20-lap Street Stock race was run before the WMT cars were called to the track for the Miller Lite 200. Wesley Sammon of Southampton won his first career race in that SS event.
The 24 car WMT field was set by times from the shortened practice session earning defending champion Doug Coby the pole with current championship leader Justin Bonsignore to the outside. Coby with all his success on the WMT has never one at Riverhead Raceway and he quickly broke out to the lead of the race at the throw of the green. Coby paced the race over the first 64 laps of the contest before a spin off turn two on the 64th lap spoiled his race. Timmy Solomito who swept the 2 WMT races at Riverhead in 2017 moved to the race lead after Coby's misfortune. "The Natural" led the race over the next 67 laps with Justin Bonsignore in tow. The Solomito/Bonsignore friendly rivalry dates all the way back to their youthful Go-Kart racing days on Sunday afternoons at Riverhead.
Bonsignore would make a successful bid for the lead on lap 133 as he moved by Solomito who immediately attempted to cross Bonsignore back over with no success. The final of four caution flags of the race waved on lap 152 when WMT mainstay competitors Wade Cole and Gary McDonald got together in turn one. When the race resumed on lap 158 Solomito would edge out in front of Bonsignore to lead lap 159 but one lap later Justin motored his way back to the race lead on the 160th lap and from that point forward never looked back driving the Ken Massa owned, Phoenix Communications LFR to victory.
Timmy Solomito of Islip hopeful for his first WMT of 2018 had to be content with runner-up honors in the Starrett Tools Ford. Chase Dowling of Roxbury, Ct. was third in the 15-40 Connection Chevy losing some ground to Bonsignore in the championship chase. Doug Coby of Milford, Ct. rebounded nicely from his lap 64 spin for fourth in the Mayhew Tools entry with Dave Sapienza of Riverhead completing the top five in the Sap Enterprises Chevy.
John Fortin Sr. ran among the top runners for a majority of the race before settling for 6th at the finish in his Long Island Truck Parts Chevy best in class among the Riverhead Raceway regulars. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick who also spent his entire race among the top ten was 7th at the conclusion in the MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy. Roger Turbush of Riverhead was 16th in his Kennedy L.I Realty Chevy. Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead 22nd in the Horton Avenue Materials mount and Cory Midgett of East Hampton 24th in his Keith Grimes Excavating Chevy.
Miller Lite 200: 1. Justin Bonsignore 2. Timmy Solomito 3. Chase Dowling 4. Doug Coby 5. Dave Sapienza 6. John Fortin Sr. 7. John Beatty Jr. 8. Shawn Solomito 9. Chris Pasteryak 10. Rob Summers 11. Ronnie Williams 12. Tommy Catalano 13. Craig Lutz 14. Eric Goodale 15. Blake Barney 16. Roger Turbush 17. Wade Cole 18. Calvin Carroll 19. Gary McDonald 20. Melissa Fifield 21. Ken Heagy 22. Tom Rogers Jr. 23. Matt Swanson 24. Cory Midget