Column By: BRITTANY NUTILE / RPW – THOMPSON, CT – Justin Bonsignore scored his first victory of the 2018 season at the 44th annual Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Bonsignore went winless in 2017.
Ronnie Williams captured the pole on Sunday. It was his first pole on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Williams and Coby led the field to the green.
Going into the first lap, a few cars get locked up, the Pennink, Coby, Williams , and Emerling put out the first caution. On lap 6 Coby gets the lead and McKennedy gets a huge run and gets the 2nd spot right behind Coby. Coby started to pull away slightly. had single file for over 10 laps when the 57 of Andy Seuss had fallen back and had a tire going and spun when the tire let go to bring out the 2nd caution.
The restart on lap 21, Coby gets the lead and takes off grabbing a huge lead in front of the rest of the field. A multi-car accident brings out the 3rd caution with Kyle Bonsignore and Patrick Emerling. Coby led the restart on lap 30, Dowling had a good run getting up to 2nd place. Dowling trying to get the lead away from Coby, Solomito also in the mix for the lead. Dowling takes the lead on lap 37 but, Coby and Solomito are right behind him. Lap 58 a caution comes out for the 95 of Kyle Soper who spun hitting the wall in turn 2. On the restart, there was a battle for the lead against Dowling in the 15 and Solomito in the 16. Solomito gets the lead away from Dowling and the 51 of Justin Bonsignore comes into the picture for the lead. On lap 66 Dowling takes the lead away from Solomito. Another caution comes out for multiple cars of Goodale, Coby, and Santos.
On the restart, Solomito takes the lead with a battle behind against Pennink and Lutz. After going to pit road and getting tires, Jimmy Blewett comes racing up the field and moves up to 3rd and then battles for the 2nd position. On lap 100 Jimmy Blewett takes the lead. At lap 112 there was a caution for the 25 of Calvin Carroll who spins by himself. The leaders go on to pit road and Dowling gets back to the lead with McKennedy in 2nd. On the restart, Dowling jumps the restart, had to start at the rear of the field. On the restart, to lap 125 McKennedy gets the lead with Bonsignore right on his bumper. The next caution comes out for Solomito spinning on the backstretch. With 18 to go Mckennedy takes the lead, while Bonsignore and Swanson battle behind him. The next caution turns into a red flag after a few cars get together and Blewett ends up on his side against the wall and slowly rolls over to the roof of his car. Goodale and Seuss were involved in the wreck as well. McKennedy gets a good jump at the restart but Bonsignore hangs with the McKennedy and tries to get the lead away from him. Ron Silk spins but doesn’t bring out a caution. The next restart McKennedy slows in turn 3 and 4 and runs out of gas with 4 laps to go. Justin Bonsignore is your new leader with Ronnie Williams right behind him. With now having a green-white-checkered finish, Bonsignore had a good restart but, Williams got too big of a run and gets into the wall and Bonsignore will win the Icebreaker 150 on a checkered/caution flag.
After the race Justin said that last year here at Thompson was a struggle to win, 2017 was a humble season when he won a lot of races in 2016, he had to focus and regroup and coming into this season with a win is a very good sign for Justin. He has a new crew chief that he does a good relationship with even only being a duo for a few months together. Very excited to get this win, has been a while since his last win and looking forward to this season.
There was plenty of racing action on Sunday. Derek Griffith took down the win in the PASS North Super Late Model race. Keith Rocco continued where he left off from last season as he won the Sunoco Modified Race. Will Wall won the season opener in the Late Model division. Shawn Monahan won the Limited Sportsman race and Eric Bourgeois won the Mini Stock race.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to