PIT BOX: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Upstate New York at Oswego

Oswego Speedway welcomes the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour back to Upstate New York for the first time since 2019 this Saturday (June 12).

This week’s race marks the fifth race of 2021 and first of two stops at the ⅝-mile track this year, but Saturday night’s Steel Palace 150 could offer a significant shakeup in the points standings. Six-time tour champion and Riverhead Raceway winner Doug Coby will not compete this weekend despite sitting third in points, only five points behind current points leader Patrick Emerling.

RACE INFO: Race Center for this week

The heat for the top spot of the tour is quickly heating up as Emerling leads Justin Bonsignore, last week’s winner at Jennerstown Speedway, by a single point. Bonsignore is also the most recent Oswego winner in a modified, earning the checkered flag in the 2019 Toyota Mod Classic.

Action in Oswego is sure to reach a fever pitch, though, with some familiar names returning to the circuit this weekend.

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

Steel Palace 150


With his JTG-Daugherty Racing No. 37 team opting out of the NASCAR All-Star Race weekend, Ryan Preece will hop behind the wheel of the No. 6 Chevrolet owned by Ed Partridge in an attempt to score his second Oswego victory, having won there previously in 2017.

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Matt Hirschman will also make his season debut this weekend in the No. 60 car for Roy Hall. Hirschman has three career tour wins, the last of which came at Oswego in 2018.

But all eyes will be on Justin Bonsignore, who led 81 of 150 laps en route to victory lane the last time the modifieds hit Oswego Speedway. In four starts at the storied facility, Bonsignore’s record is astounding with finishes of third, sixth, second and first.

His next-best competition would have been Doug Coby, who also has four starts and finishes of first, fourth, third and sixth. Instead, Chase Dowling will hop into the No. 10 Ford to make his season debut in his place. Dowling has three Oswego starts under his belt, netting finishes of eighth, 12th and ninth since 2016.

Points leader Patrick Emerling, who won at Stafford Motor Speedway to close the month of April, enters with a history of scattered performances at Oswego. Half of his four starts have resulted in top-10 finishes of fifth and seventh, but the other two have ended in mediocre runs with finishes of 18th and 14th. His point lead may be in peril knowing Bonsignore’s more impressive resume at Oswego.

Eric Goodale took home the checkered flag at the season-opening race at Martinsville Speedway but comes into the event fourth in points. Oswego has treated the Riverhead, New York native well with two fifth-place finishes and a seventh-place effort in his last three starts.



Race Steel Palace 150
Date Saturday, June 12, 2021
Track Oswego Speedway
Layout 0.675-mile oval
Location Oswego, New York
Start time 7:30 p.m. ET
Laps 150
Miles 101.25
Tickets OswegoSpeedway.com
TV channel NBCSN (Delayed: Sunday, June 20, 10 a.m. ET)
Live stream TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold


CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Steel Palace 150 is 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 Steel Palace 150. 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.


$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 roll over to the next event and will continue to roll over 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.