Justin Bonsignore, driver of the #51 Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet, looks on before the Musket 200 Presented by Whelen for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire on September 12, 2020. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)
Justin Bonsignore, driver of the #51 Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet, looks on before the Musket 200 Presented by Whelen for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire on September 12, 2020. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

PIT BOX: Justin Bonsignore Ready To Clinch Second Whelen Modified Title


You can’t blame Justin Bonsignore for having a love-hate relationship with Stafford Motor Speedway.

The Connecticut half-mile is the one track on the 2020 schedule that the Long Island driver has yet to win at. But it’s also the track where he clinched his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship in 2018, and came put a hammerlock on this year’s title with a strong run on Saturday in the NAPA Auto Parts 150.

There are (limited) tickets available to see this race in person, and the race will also be streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Gold.


NAPA Auto Parts 150

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Bonsignore came up short of the Musket 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway two weeks ago, but there was silver lining, as he gained nine points on six-time champion Doug Coby.

Stafford Nwmt Logo

That pushed Bonsignore’s lead to 27 points with two races remaining – Stafford and the finale on Oct. 11 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Bonsignore clinched the 2018 title in that season’s penultimate race at Stafford, which was won by his cousin, Kyle Bonsignore.

Stafford has suited Coby well. In addition to being a former track champion in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series at the track, Coby has 12 Whelen Modified Tour wins – tied with the late Ted Christopher for second all-time. Coby has won six of the last 14 events. On the flip side, Justin Bonsignore has four runner-up finishes, including last year’s Fall Final at Stafford.

In addition to Kyle Bonsignore (2018), Craig Lutz scored his first career Whelen Modified Tour win in last fall’s race at Stafford. Lutz sits fourth in points after picking up his second career win earlier this season, and is just six points behind third-place Jon McKennedy. Dave Sapienza is fifth in points after m

issing most of last season with a back-injury and is having his best career points performance in this abbreviated season.

Craig Lutz and Jon McKennedy both lost significant ground to Bonsignore in the championship chase at Monadnock. But Lutz has two third-place finishes at Thompson in his last three races there, while McKennedy finished fourth at the World Series finale last year.

Ron Silk also has a pair of Tour wins at Stafford, including one last season.

RACING REFERENCE: Previous NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Stafford | NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers career stats at Stafford | 2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Standings

RACE FACTS

RACE

NAPA AUTO PARTS 150

PLACE

Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, Conn.

DATE

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020

TIME

6 p.m. ET

TELEVISION/RADIO

Trackpass on NBC Gold (live), 4 p.m. ET; NBCSN — Thursday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m. ET

TRACK LAYOUT

half-mile paved oval

EVENT SCHEDULE

Saturday, Sept. 26 – Garage opens: 10:15 a.m. ET; Practice: 1:20-2:20 p.m.; Qualifying: 4 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts 150: 6 p.m.

TWITTER

@StaffordSpeedwy, @NASCARRoots

HASHTAG

#NWMT

RACE CENTER | ENTRY LIST | RACE SCHEDULE

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the NAPA Auto Parts 150 is limited to 32, including provisional positions. The field will be set by qualifying (1-30) and provisional process per the entry blank (31-36) for the NAPA Auto Parts 150. In the event that qualifying as stated on this entry blank does not take place for any unforeseen circumstance, the field will be set in accordance with the 2020 NASCAR Touring Series Rule Book.

QUALIFYING: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying. Vehicle must qualify on race set up.

The NAPA Auto Parts 150 will be 150 laps (93.75 miles) and is to be run in one (1) segments. The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position. To utilize the third change tire, teams will designate a practice tire purchased at Stafford Motor Speedway to be the fourth change tire.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) for qualifying and to start the race, plus an additional seven (7) for a total of eleven (11) tires.