Bonsignore Continues Riverhead Domination

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Justin Bonsignore celebrates Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway. (NASCAR photo)
Justin Bonsignore celebrates Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway. (NASCAR photo)

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — Another track, another streak for Justin Bonsignore.

The defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion earned his fourth straight victory at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday night in the Miller Lite 200, adding his eighth career win at his home track. He took the lead from Timmy Solomito on a restart with 11 laps to go, and held off Solomito in overtime to score the win.

It was the fifth victory of the season for Bonsignore, and his 25th career in Whelen Modified Tour competition. He’s the only driver in the 64-race history at the track to win four straight, breaking a previous tie with Mike Ewanitsko and Ryan Preece, who both had three. The win also helped Bonsignore close the gap in the championship standings with just three races remaining.

“Anytime we come here, we want to win. We love coming home,” Bonsignore said. “I’ve just been really fortunate with good cars here with Ryan (Stone, crew chief), to be able to win four in a row.”

Bonsignore’s path to victory lane saw him fend-off another local favorite. He started second, but dropped to the bottom of the top five early, and had to spend much of the middle of the race charging back through. Former track champion Tom Rogers Jr. led from laps 32 to 124, driving away from the field before a caution flew just after the halfway point.

Rogers would struggle to keep his podium running spot, while Solomito took control of the race out front on lap 146, and Bonsignore followed by Rogers shortly after. Bonsignore would chase down Solomito as the two cut through lapped traffic, but didn’t quite seem to have the run to try and get around.

But a caution with 16 laps to go changed that.

Bonsignore worked the outside of Solomito on the restart, and was able to clear him for the top spot. He would have to hold his ground as the leader during two final restarts, but was able to accomplish the task.

Solomito would finish second, his best effort of the season, while Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole winner Craig Lutz was third. Kyle Soper, Riverhead’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified points leader, was fourth, followed by Patrick Emerling.

The finish:

Justin Bonsignore, Timmy Solomito, Craig Lutz, Kyle Soper, Patrick Emerling, Chuck Hossfeld, J.B. Fortin, J.R. Bertuccio, Tom Rogers Jr., John Beatty Jr., Matt Swanson, Tommy Catalano, Eric Goodale, Timmy Catalano, Doug Coby, Ron Silk, Chris Young Jr., Wade Cole, Rob Summers, Blake Barney, Mike Rutkoski, Chris Pasteryak, Dave Sapienza, Calvin Carroll, Roger Turbush, Dave Salzarulo, Ken Heagy, Sam Rameau, Melissa Fifield, Gary McDonald.