Justin Bonsignore, driver of #51 Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet with the fastest time during practice during the Miller Lite 200 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway in Riverhead, New York on May 15, 2021. (Kathryn Riley/NASCAR)
Justin Bonsignore, driver of #51 Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet with the fastest time during practice during the Miller Lite 200 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway in Riverhead, New York on May 15, 2021. (Kathryn Riley/NASCAR)

LOOKING BACK: Justin Bonsignore breaks track record at Riverhead Raceway

HOLTSVILLE, N.Y. — On Saturday, May 15, at Riverhead Raceway, Justin Bonsignore led 175 laps and finished third in the Miller Lite 200. The third-place finish broke a streak of four consecutive Riverhead wins for the two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion — but the solid finish helped him gain some crucial ground in the point standings in chase of a third title.

However, Bonsignore didn’t leave the night without some hardware. He scored his 15th career Mayhew Tools pole in qualifying with a lap of 11.431 seconds (78.733 mph). That lap was fast enough to earn Bonsignore the track record in Whelen Modified Tour action at the quarter-mile oval. During qualifying, the top eight cars broke the track record, led by Bonsignore. A combination of a bit of repaving at the track, and a different tire compound, helped increase the speed for the ground-pounding Modifieds around the New York bullring.

 “Breaking the track record at my home track is special after all of the success we have had there lately,” Bonsignore said. “I always enjoy going home and being back in front of the hometown fans. We had a solid run.”

The old track record was held by Chuck Steuer, who posted a lap speed of 77.969 mph in 2000, en route to a ninth-place finish in the Miller Lite 200. Bonsignore will have a chance to break his own record in the next Whelen Modified Tour race at Riverhead Raceway on June 19.