NWMT • September 28, 2016
Bonsignore Seeks To Slow Coby Once Again
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 27, 2016) — Justin Bonsignore’s second-half surge continued last weekend and now the Holtsville, New York, driver has the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship in his sights as the tour heads into the penultimate event on the schedule, the NAPA Fall Final 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway, in Stafford, Connecticut, on Sunday, October 2.
Bonsignore’s first career win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend cut deeper into three-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby’s lead atop the standings. Coby, of Milford, Connecticut, entered Loudon with a 20-point advantage; now, his lead over Bonsignore sits at just 13 markers with two races remaining.
In the eight races since the first race of the season at NHMS in July, Bonsignore has posted seven top-five finishes, including one podium finish. All three of his wins this season have come during the torrid stretch, and he hasn’t finished worse than third in more than a month.
Don’t expect Stafford to slow Bonsignore’s march, either. In three races at the Connecticut half-mile this season, Bonsignore has three top fives.
Race: NAPA Fall Final 150
Place: Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, Connecticut
When: Sunday, October 2
Time: 3:15 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .500-mile slightly-banked asphalt oval
2015 Winner: Doug Coby
2015 Pole Sitter: Doug Coby
Event Schedule: Saturday, October 1 – Garage opens: 8 a.m.; Practice: 10:45-11:20 a.m.; 12-12:45 p.m.; Qualifying: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, October 2 — Garage opens: 8:30 a.m.; Driver Autograph Session: 11 a.m.-12 p.m.; NAPA Fall Final 150: 3:15 p.m.
Event Hashtag: #NAPAFallFinal
The Race: The NAPA Fall Final 150 is the 16th of 17 championship points events in the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season. It is the fourth and final race of the season at Stafford Motor Speedway.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field per the official entry blank is 31 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (75 miles).
The Track: Stafford Motor Speedway has hosted 121 Whelen Modified Tour races in its history, second only to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. A half-mile, slightly-banked oval, Stafford originated as a horse racing track in the 1870s. After seven decades as a horse track, the dirt oval started holding automobile races following World War II. Stafford became a NASCAR-sanctioned track in 1959 and was paved for the first time in 1967.
Race Winners: There have been 32 different race winners across 121 races at Stafford all-time, led by Mike Stefanik’s 20 career victories. Three-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby is the defending winner of this race.
Pole Winners: There have been 43 different pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik’s 17. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ryan Preece holds the tour’s track qualifying record at 17.924 seconds (100.424 mph), set during the 2012 Spring Sizzler.
NAPA Fall Final 150 Notes:
No Place Like Home: Three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and current point leader Doug Coby of Milford, Connecticut, has had more than his fair share of success at Stafford — a track where he started his NASCAR Whelen All-American Series career. Coby has nine career wins at Stafford, and he’s twice won three in a row at the track. He won the Fall Final last season and backed that up by winning both the pole and the race in the first two Tour events at Stafford this season. Coby also won the first three events at Stafford in the 2012 season.
Looking For A Rebound: Timmy Solomito, of Islip, New York, lost a little ground in the championship race at Loudon last week. Solomito finished a career-best ninth at NHMS, but with Bonsignore and Coby finishing on the podium, Solomito dropped to 42 points behind Coby for the championship lead. Though he remains third in the standings. Solomito has had mixed results in his career at Stafford — he finished fourth in the first race there this season, but he has only six top 10s in 13 career races at the track.
Championship Mettle: Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, posted one of his two top fives this season in the tour’s first visit to Stafford in the spring with a third-place run in the famed Boehler-owned No. 3 Ole Blue. For his career, Pennink has 12 top fives and 22 top 10s in 36 career starts at Stafford, where he recently clinched his second consecutive NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified division track championship.
Rookie Uprising: Rookie Matt Swanson heads into Stafford off one of the most impressive performances of his young career — a fifth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend. The Acton, Massachusetts, driver sits 10th in the current Whelen Modified Tour standings with five top 10s in 15 races. Swanson’s best career finish to date was third in the second visit of the season to Connecticut's Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Winning: Doug Coby, Timmy Solomito and Justin Bonsignore are the only Whelen Modified Tour drivers with multiple wins this season, with Coby and Solomito having Tour-leading four wins through the first 15 races. Bonsignore has three wins, including the most recent race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Ron Silk, Bobby Santos III, Jimmy Blewett and Eric Goodale won the other events on the schedule.
NASCAR Home Tracks: Stafford a busy place for NAPA Fall Final
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series joins the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in full force this weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway. Rowan Pennink leads the track’s SK Modified division into the final event of the season, while the SK Lights, Late Models, Limited Late Models and DARE Stocks are also on the schedule for feature events.
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