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September 9, 2023

Back in the fight: Justin Bonsignore dominates Winchester Fair at Monadnock Speedway

WINCHESTER, New Hampshire – One weekend ago, Justin Bonsignore was involved in a crash at Oswego Speedway that could have ended his dreams of winning a fourth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

Fast forward to Saturday’s Winchester Fair at Monadnock Speedway and he’s right back in the fight.

Bonsignore dominated the 150-lap Winchester Fair event that served as the finale of JDV Productions’ Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup, allowing him to close the gap to Ron Silk in the battle for the series championship.

“We needed this after last week,” said Bonsignore, who suffered a broken thumb on his left hand in that crash at Oswego. “I made a big mistake last week and put myself in a bad spot racing for a championship.”

Bonsignore started from the pole Saturday at Monadnock and was never seriously challenged throughout the 150-lap event, but there was plenty of drama behind him.

Most if it involved his championship rival Silk.

Just as the field completed lap one at the quarter-mile bullring, Jacob Perry clipped the left-rear of Silk’s No. 16. The contact turned Silk around in front of the field and Perry’s No. 21 Modified climbed over the left-front tire of Silk’s car as several other drivers piled into the crash.

Silk continued on and quickly went to the pits, somehow emerging just in time to stay on the lead lap.

However, moments after the green flag waved for the restart, more trouble found Silk as a left-rear tire went flat, causing him to spin and bring out another caution. His crew was able to bolt on a new tire, but Silk’s car was never the same and he finished two laps down in 12th.

“We’re back in it. It looks like he (Silk) might have had a bad night tonight,” Bonsignore said after his 39th career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory. “You just can’t give up in these things. Four more to go. It’s going to be a dog fight.”

While Bonsignore was able to celebrate a win after 150 hard fought laps at Monadnock, Doug Coby and team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. also had plenty of reasons to be happy after claiming the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup championship.

The accomplishmnet for Coby and Baldwin comes just weeks after Baldwin announced that his Tommy Baldwin Racing team would be parked while he undergoes cancer treatments.

For Baldwin and Coby, the opportunity to race for the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup and the $5,000 bonus that comes with it was too good to pass up.

A fifth-place finish by Coby was just enough for Baldwin’s team to claim the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup ahead of Bonsignore and Austin Beers, who finished second on Saturday evening.

“Just to be here with our family and Tommy battling cancer, I mean he’s a warrior,” Coby said. “He told us from the beginning he was going to fight through this and he’s been courageous enough to share his battle and everything on social media, which is pretty uncommon.

“To be here as the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup champions just means a lot. We missed two races and kind of threw our season up in the air, but we’ve got a great group of guys and Tommy really wanted to be here to do this.”

Following Bonsignore and Beers was Sam Rameau, who earned a career-best finish in third. Kyle Bonsignore was fourth ahead of Coby, followed by Anthony Nocella, Jake Johnson, Brian Robie, Craig Lutz and Matt Kimball.

The battle for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship continues next Saturday night when the series returns to New York’s Riverhead Raceway for the running of the Eddie Partridge 256. The event will be streamed live on FloRacing starting at 8 p.m. ET.