Justin Bonsignore Scores The Season Sweep at Riverhead

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. —  Justin Bonsignore just continues to pull away.

The Holtsville, New York, driver found himself carrying the checkered flag for the seventh time this season on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway.

Bonsignore took the lead from Timmy Solomito and went on to score his sixth career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win at his home track, sweeping the two races at the New York oval in 2018. The victory was the seventh in the first 13 races of the season and his 19th career in Whelen Modified Tour competition.

“We circle these races for sure, if you can't win anywhere else, you better win at home,” Bonsignore said. “You have to put on a show for the hometown fans. I put extra effort to make sure I am on top of my game when I come here.”

After qualifying was rained out, Bonsignore started from the outside pole position after the field was set by practice speeds. Bonsignore didn't have the car to beat in the early laps — as polesitter Doug Coby was at the point for nearly the entire first half of the race.

But, when Coby spun from the lead off turn two, Bonsignore found himself in the middle of a battle with fellow hometown favorite Solomito for the win. After chasing the back bumper of Solomito's No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford, Bonsignore made his move and was not going to be denied.

A final caution gave Solomito one last chance, but he wasn't able to get the grip he needed. The second-place finish was the best result of the season for the Islip, New York driver.

“We faded a little bit towards the end, but I wanted to get up there and lead some laps,” Solomito said. “We haven't really had the speed all year, but to come here and give them a run for their money, we kept them honest tonight.”

Chase Dowling, who is still looking for his first career Whelen Modified Tour win, scored his eighth podium finish in 54 career starts. Coby, who spun from the lead early, rallied through the field and finished fourth. It was the fourth straight top five finish for the Milford, Connecticut driver at the quarter-mile.

Dave Sapienza, who ran as high as third spot before a crash on a restart, came back to finish fifth. John Fortin was sixth, followed by John Beatty, Shawn Solomito, Chris Pasteryak and Rob Summers.

The Miller Lite 200 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, September 13, at 6 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the inaugural Musket 250 on Saturday, September 22.