Story By: KYLE SOUZA / JDV PRODUCTIONS – JENNERSTOWN, PA – Justin Bonsignore and Doug Coby are no strangers to running at the front of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour field.
The two of them have combined to win eight of the last nine championships on NASCAR’s oldest touring series — and on Saturday night — they fought hard in the final two laps to decide the winner of the Jennerstown Salutes 150 presented by DGV on Memorial Day weekend.
In a chaotic, close finish, Bonsignore held off Coby by a mere car length to win the fourth race of the Whelen Modified Tour season and the only stop at Pennsylvania’s Jennerstown Speedway for this year. Coby chased the back bumper of Bonsignore’s No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc. machine around the .522-mile oval over the final 50 laps, and closed to the bumper when they took the white flag.
Through turns one and two on the final lap, Coby got a run, while Bonsignore slid sideways down the beginning of the backstretch. By the time they entered turn three, Coby was looking outside Bonsignore — but couldn’t quite draw even. They crossed the line with Bonsignore beating Coby, followed by Craig Lutz, Woody Pitkat and Patrick Emerling. It was the 30th career win for Bonsignore, his second at Jennerstown, and first of the season.
Bonsignore was carrying the name of Air Force Staff Sergeant David A. Wieger, who passed away in war in 2007, on his No. 51 Kenneth Massa Motorsports machine. In Victory Lane, the Holtsville, New York, native donated the race winning trophy to the Wieger family, who were in attendance. All Whelen Modified Tour cars carried a roof decal with the name of a fallen hero as part of Saturday’s race event at Jennerstown, and multiple of the families attended what was a bit of a wet and brisk night. The race was a partnership between JDV Production — led by Josh Vanada — NASCAR — and Operation Vet NOW Inc. (OVN).
“My guys nailed the pit stop during the race but the driver almost gave it away at the end,” Bonsignore said. “It’s great to get back to Victory Lane. We were bummed here at Jennerstown last year, we won the first race, but felt like we gave the second race away. Big thanks to the fans for coming out and sticking today out with us. The best part of today was honoring David Wieger, and getting this car to Victory Lane.”
Bonsignore won the Mayhew Tools pole award in qualifying, his 16th of his career, second consecutive this season and third consecutive at Jennerstown. He led the field to the green with Coby to his outside, and dominated the first half of the race. However, it was another Bonsignore — his cousin Kyle — who rolled to the top spot before a caution slowed the action.
Justin Bonsignore’s pit crew got the job done — getting him out ahead of Kyle — as Justin drove around Patrick Emerling to the lead and never looked back. Coby ran inside the top-five for the duration of the race and finished a solid second, coming off a recent victory at Riverhead Raceway on May 15.
Lutz, who won at Jennerstown in August of 2020, was followed by Pitkat, who went a lap down early and earned the lucky dog, recovering for a solid top-five effort. Patrick Emerling, who took over the Whelen Modified Tour points lead with 10 races remaining, finished the top-five.
Jon McKennedy was sixth, followed by Kyle Bonsignore, J.B. Fortin, Tommy Catalano and Dave Sapienza. The only major mishap of the race came when Ron Silk and Tyler Rypkema made contact with 94 laps complete, both spun, and the incident collected Eric Goodale, who entered the series points leader. All three drivers failed to finish the race.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at Oswego Speedway for the first of two visits to the New York oval on Saturday, June 12 — in a race that will also be promoted by JDV Productions. Saturday’s event at Jennerstown was the first of three promoted by JDV, led by Josh Vanada, for the 2021 Whelen Modified Tour season.
RACE RESULTS: JENNERSTOWN SALUTES 150 PRESENTED BY DGV:
- Justin Bonsignore
- Doug Coby
- Craig Lutz
- Woody Pitkat
- Patrick Emerling
- Jon McKennedy
- Kyle Bonsignore
- JB Fortin
- Tommy Catalano
- Dave Sapienza
- Max McLaughlin
- Anthony Nocella
- Timmy Solomito
- Timmy Catalano
- Walter Sutcliffe Jr.
- Melissa Fifield
- Scott Wylie
- Eric Goodale
- Ron Silk
- Tyler Rypkema