Crews and fans look on during the Laurel Highlands 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Jennerstown Speedway in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania and wins on Saturday, August 22, 2020. (Nate Smallwood/NASCAR)
Crews and fans look on during the Laurel Highlands 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Jennerstown Speedway in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania on Saturday, August 22, 2020. (Nate Smallwood/NASCAR)

PIT BOX: Wide-open race on tap for Jennerstown Speedway

Jennerstown Speedway returned to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule last year for the first time in 15 years, and immediately proved to be the wild card track on the slate.

Not only were there two different winners, eight different drivers scored a top five and 15 different drivers walked away from the Pennsylvania track with at least one top 10.

Eric Goodale and Patrick Emerling head to the fourth race of the 2021 season tie atop the championship standings, but averaged a 14.5 finish at Jennerstown last year with a best run of 12th by Emerling in the second race.

What does that all mean for Saturday night’s Jennerstown Salutes 150 presented by DGV? The first of two trips to western Pennsylvania could further shake up an already unpredictable championship race.

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The race will take on special significance as part of Memorial Day weekend. In special partnership with Operation Vet NOW Inc., event-promoter JDV Productions will honor those lost serving the country in war, while also keeping in mind those who are currently serving, or suffering from effects from war, including but not limited to PTSD, TBI, mental health, and combat and transition stress issues.

The race will include special appearances by Gold Star Family members and each NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour cars will each carry the name of a veteran lost in war.

RELATED: Justin Bonsignore To Carry Fallen Service Member Staff Sergeant David Wieger’s Name at Jennerstown Speedway

Fans can attend the race (buy tickets) as well as watch the race live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.


Jennerstown Salutes 150 presented by DGV

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Just two drivers – Craig Lutz and Justin Bonsignore — walked away from Jennerstown with a pair of top five finishes. Fittingly, each visited Victory Lane. Bonsignore lead all 133 laps in the opener, crossing the finish line 1.1776 seconds ahead of runner-up Lutz. Bonsignore led the first 110 laps of the return before Lutz got past him. Bonsignore faded to fifth, and Lutz held off Dave Sapienza in a late sprint to the finish.

Jennerstownsalutes150logofinal

Fast forward to the return to the track, and the two drivers responsible for winning nine of the 14 races from Aug. 31, 2019, through last year have yet to break through this season.

Lutz has had tough luck this year, and will look to Jennerstown to get that turned around. Bonsignore watched a win at his home track, Riverhead Raceway, slip away to Doug Coby in the closing laps.

Just 14 points separate Goodale and Emerling from sixth-place Tommy Catalano.

Among that group is Kyle Bonsignore and Coby. On the outside looking in are a trio of expected championship contenders in Jon McKennedy (eighth, 26 points back), Ron Silk (10th, 34 points out) and Lutz (12th, 44 points behind). Silk was sixth in the 2020 opener and then notably elected to skip the return trip. He wound up rebounding from a slow start to the season with top three runs in the final five races.

That

RACING REFERENCE:

RACE FACTS

RACE Jennerstown Salutes 150 presented by DGV
PLACE Jennerstown Speedway in Jennerstown, Pa.
DATE Saturday, May 29, 2021
TIME 7:15 p.m. ET
TV/LIVE STREAM TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold (live) / NBCSN – (Thursday, June 3, 5 p.m. ET)
TRACK LAYOUT 0.522-mile paved oval
LAPS 150
MILES 78.3
EVENT SCHEDULE Saturday, May 29 — Garage opens: 1:15 p.m. ET; Practice: 3:30-4:30 p.m.; Qualifying: 5:45 p.m.; Jennerstown Salutes 150 presented by DGV: 7:15 p.m.
TWITTER @NASCARRoots, @jtownspeedway, @_TrackPass

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CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Jennerstown Salutes 150 presented by DGV is limited to limited to 28 starters including provisionals. The field will be set by qualifying (1-22) and provisional process per the entry blank (23-28) for the Jennerstown Salutes 150 presented by DGV. In the event that qualifying as stated on the entry blank does not take place for any unforeseen circumstance, the field will be set in accordance with the 2021 NASCAR Touring Series Rule Book.

QUALIFYING: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: The maximum tire allotment available for this event is eleven (11) tires per team. All tires used for qualifying and the race must be purchased at the track and scanned by Hoosier, unless otherwise approved in advance by the Series Director. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. All qualifying tires must remain in impound until released by NASCAR Officials. The remaining tire allotment may be used for practice and/or change tires during the event.

The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position.

QUALIFYING AND SPECIAL AWARDS

$400 Phil Kurze Halfway Leader Award presented by Josten’s per event award to the race leader at the halfway point of the event, regardless if the race is running under green or yellow.

$600 Hoosier Tire “Lap Leader” per event award to the eligible car owner whose driver leads the most laps in each event. In the event of a tie, the award will go to the highest finishing car in the event.

$500 Hoosier Tire “Hard Charger” per event award to the highest finishing eligible driver who advances the most positions during the course of the race. In the case of a tie, the highest finishing driver will receive the award.

$500 Hoosier Tire “Most Improved” per event award to the eligible new team/organization whose driver improves the most positions during the course of the race. In the event of a tie, the award will go to the highest finishing car in the event. If money is not awarded during this event, funds will rollover to the next event and will continue to rollover until an eligible new team/organization claims the money.

$1,000 Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole per event award to the driver with the fastest qualifying time eligible to participate under the Manufacturers’ Prize Money Conditions.

$550 Sunoco Spec Fuel award divided: 1st-$300 5th-$150 10th-$100.

$3,500 Whelen Engineering “Winner of the Race” award to the winning driver.

Whelen Non-Starter award will be paid to the first 15 competitors throughout the season who pass inspection, practice, attempt to qualify, but fail to make the feature event.