Lutz Wins, Bonsignore Takes Whelen Modified Crown

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Lutz Wins, Bonsignore
Justin Bonsignore celebrates his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship Sunday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

THOMPSON, Conn. — Twice in four years, Justin Bonsignore won the season finale at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, and had his victory lane celebration cut short when he had to move aside for the crowning of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion.

Sunday, they made way for Bonsignore.

The 32-year-old from Holtsville, N.Y., waited for Sunoco World Series 150 winner Craig Lutz to wrap up before celebrating his second tour championship in three years.

Bonsignore finished fourth behind Lutz, Jon McKennedy and Ron Silk.

It was his ninth top-five finish in nine races in the abbreviated season that included three victories. He entered the final weekend needing to finish second to clinch the title.

After winning three of the last four races at Thompson, but watching Doug Coby crowned the champion at the end of the night — including last year’s bittersweet race win — Bonsignore looked to take both the race and the championship.

Bonsingore won the title in 2018 and finished eight points behind Coby last year. He’d finished in the top three in points in six of the last seven seasons.

Coby won the Mayhew Tools Pole Award Saturday but had his race cut short by a lap-97 accident and finished 22nd.

Justin’s cousin, Kyle Bonsignore, finished fifth.

Sam Rameau was sixth, followed by Woody Pitkat, Calvin Carroll, Patrick Emerling and Tyler Rypkema.

Rypkema collected his fifth top 10 of the season and the 23-year-old from Oswego, N.Y., earned the Sunoco Rookie the Year Award.