Justin Bonsignore with his 7th Riverhead WMT win

" Buzz Chew Chevy Cadillac 200 going backwards over the finish line "

7/6/19 - RIVERHEAD, N.Y. —  Saturday night short-track racing at the highest level of modified racing.

There was contact, and even spinning, but it was enough for Justin Bonsignore to score his third straight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday night.

Bonsignore restarted to the inside of track regular John Beatty Jr. in overtime, and coming to the checkered flag, contact between the two drivers sent Beatty up the track, and Bonsignore spinning nose-first towards the frontstretch wall. In the midst of his spin, he crossed the line first in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet Cadillac 200.

The victory was Bonsignore's third of the season and his 23rd career in Whelen Modified Tour competition. He becomes just the third driver in series history to win three straight at Riverhead, joining Mike Ewanitsko and Ryan Preece as the only drivers to accomplish the feat.

“The restart before I was able to hang with him a few laps, but John had a better car, and I was really shocked he took the outside on the last restart,” Bonsignore said. “He gave me a good shot getting into three, but you are coming to the checkered. I hate racing like that. But these races are so hard to win, and we need to win all of the races we can to get back in this points race.”

Beatty looked to have the car to beat in the final stages. He passed Timmy Solomito for the lead on lap 150 and was at the point for a near run to the finish, until a caution for a wreck down the backstretch with three laps to go closed the field up. Beatty selected the top lane, and when the field went down into turn one at the green, the contact started between the two leaders.

They leaned on each other the final two laps, until the contact in turn four, coming to the checkered, sent Bonsignore spinning. Beatty, a regular in Riverhead's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I Modified class, was disappointed in the result, but happy with his effort. He nearly became the first track regular in more than two decades to win a Whelen Modified Tour race at the oval.

“I was just keeping up with the pace and my car just kept getting better and better (before the last yellow),” Beatty said. “Everyone races their own way. I'm not the kind of guy to drive someone up a lane or two, but Justin did his job. He won the race.”

Timmy Solomito, who led 37 laps, crossed the line third. Solomito took the lead for the first time on lap 76, after contact between Coby and Solomito sent Coby spinning in turn one, while racing for the lead. Ron Silk and Craig Lutz rounded out the top-five.

Coby rebounded to sixth, while Patrick Emerling, Eric Goodale, Tom Rogers Jr. and Tommy Catalano completed the top 10.

Coby leads the championship point standings by 31 over Silk, while Bonsignore is third, 32 points back.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as part of their annual Monster Energy Cup Series weekend on Saturday, July 20. Select drivers will also compete in the All-Star Shootout at New Hampshire on Friday, July 19.

FIN
STR
CAR#
DRIVER
SPONSOR
MAKE
LAPS
STATUS
1
2
Justin Bonsignore
Phoenix Communications Inc.   (Kenneth Massa)
Chevrolet
209
running
2
12
John Beatty, Jr.
MSM Elite
Chevrolet
209
running
3
5
Timmy Solomito
Starrett Racing   (Eric Sanderson)
Ford
209
running
4
14
Ron Silk
Stuart's Automotive   (Kevin Stuart)
Chevrolet
209
running
5
15
Craig Lutz
Riverhead Building Supply   (Russell Goodale)
Chevrolet
209
running
6
1
Doug Coby
Mayhew Tools / Reynolds Auto Wrkg Chevrolet   (Mike Smeriglio III)
209
running
7
4
Patrick Emerling
Sahlen's   (Jennifer Emerling)
Chevrolet
209
running
8
24
Eric Goodale
GAF Roofing   (Edgar Goodale)
Chevrolet
209
running
9
6
Tom Rogers, Jr.
SGS Stoneworks
Chevrolet
209
running
10
8
Tommy Catalano
Catalano Motorsports   (Amy Catalano)
Chevrolet
209
running
11
16
Jimmy Blewett
Gershow Recycling / Blewett Scrap   (Joseph Bertuccio)
Chevrolet
209
running
12
10
Chris Pasteryak
Dawley's Collision & Custom   (Charles Pasteryak)
Chevrolet
209
running
13
23
Woody Pitkat
Horton Avenue Materials LLC   (Danny Watts Jr.)
Chevrolet
209
running
14
21
Frank Vigliarolo, Jr.
Sapienza Racing   (Judy Thilberg)
Dodge
209
running
15
13
George Brunnhoelzl III
Dunleavy's Truck & Trailer   (Eddie Harvey)
Chevrolet
209
running
16
18
Kyle Ellwood
Performance Engines / 1812 Auto Body   (Linda Rodenbaugh)
Chevrolet
207
running
17
27
Wade Cole
Performance Engines / 1812 Auto Body   (Wade Cole)
Ford
205
running
18 19 3 Matt Swanson
SYP Industries   (Jan Boehler)
Chevrolet 198 running
19 20 34 J.B. Fortin *
Golden Jalapenos Cafe   (Nicole Fortin)
Chevrolet 197 running
20 17 14 Blake Barney
Atlantic Sprinkler   (Richard Barney)
Chevrolet 195 crash
21 9 88 Mike Rutkoski *
Buzz Chew Motorsports   (Buzz Chew)
Chevrolet 146 handling
22 3 49 Chris Young *
Goodie Racing   (Chris Young)
Chevrolet 140 suspension
23 7 06 Sam Rameau *
Racechoice.com   (Randy Rameau)
Chevrolet 104 running
24 25 45 Timmy Catalano *
Catalano Motorsports   (Dave Catalano)
Chevrolet 99 crash
25 11 84 John Fortin
Johns Fuel Oil Inc / Triangle Pub   (Nicole Fortin)
Chevrolet 97 crash
26 22 64 Rob Summers
Lumiere / Dell Electric / Rocky's Plumbing   (Mike Murphy)
Chevrolet 75 running
27 26 18 Ken Heagy
Buoy One Seafood   (Robert Pollifrone)
Ford 19 crash
28 28 25 Calvin Carroll
Power with Prestige / Cruising w / Betty   (Joe Carroll)
Chevrolet 19 crash