Third Straight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Crown; Bonsignore Wins At Thompson
THOMPSON, Conn. (Oct. 16, 2016) – It took 10 seasons, bouncing between full and part-time rides, for Doug Coby to get his second career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory.
Since then, though, the Milford, Connecticut, driver has compiled a resume that puts him among the elite Modified drivers of all-time.
Coby drove his No. 2 Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano Construction Chevrolet to a sixth-place finish in Sunday’s Sunoco World Series 150 presented by XtraMart at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to cap off his fourth career championship. He finished 12 points ahead of race winner Justin Bonsignore to claim the trophy.
In the process, Coby joined NASCAR Hall of Famers Jerry Cook and Richie Evans, as well as NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mike Stefanik and Tony Hirschman Jr., as the only drivers in NASCAR Modified 69-year history to win four or more championships.
He also became the first driver in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour era, which began in 1985, to win three straight titles. All three have come since he teamed up with car owner Mike Smeriglio III. Over the last six seasons, Coby has collected 21 wins. In the two years he didn’t win the championship, he was fifth in 2011 and second in 2013.
Coby won five times this season, to seventh all-time on the tour’s win list. He entered the finale with a 20-point cushion on Bonsignore and needed to only finish 17th or better to wrap up the title.
Bonsignore qualified seventh and drove his No. 3 Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet to the lead past Coors Light Pole Award winner Timmy Solomito with 21 laps remaining. But Coby, who started second had drifted as far back as 14th, picked off enough positions in the closing laps to secure the crown.
Sunday was Bonsignore’s fourth win of the season.
Former tour champion and current NASCAR XFINITY Series regular Ryan Preece finished second at Thompson, followed by Jimmy Blewett, Donny Lia and Solomito.
After Coby, Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Matt Swanson and Dave Sapienze rounded out the top 10. Swanson began the weekend having already clinched Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.
Solomito finished third in the championship standings, while Lia was fourth, one point ahead of Max Zachem.
The Sunoco World Series 150 presented by XtraMart will air on NBCSN on Friday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. ET.
Coby, Bonsignore, Swanson and other top performers from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be honored on Saturday, Dec. 10 in Charlotte for the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards celebration. The event will be held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame at the Charlotte Convention Center for the seventh consecutive year.
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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Sunoco World Series “150” pres by XTRAMART Results
At Thompson International Speedway
Lap length: 0.625 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (7) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 150 laps, 83.046 mph.
2. (11) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
3. (10) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Dodge, 150.
4. (12) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
5. (1) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 150.
6. (2) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
7. (3) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
8. (5) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
9. (17) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
10. (15) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
11. (21) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
12. (20) Jeff Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
13. (19) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
14. (8) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 149.
15. (9) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 148.
16. (26) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 148.
17. (22) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 146.
18. (13) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 143.
19. (25) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 124, handling.
20. (24) Walter Sutcliffe Jr., East Haven, Conn., Chevrolet, 119, handling.
21. (4) Rob Summers, Manchester, CT, Chevrolet, 108, steering.
22. (14) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 101, engine.
23. (18) Kyle Ellwood, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 81, carburetor.
24. (27) Gary Byington, Unionville, Conn., Chevrolet, 75, handling.
25. (16) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 45, accident.
26. (23) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet, 39, accident.
27. (6) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 25, engine.
Time of Race: 1 hour 7 minutes 44 seconds
Margin of Victory: 1.241 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: T.Solomito (120.689 mph, 18.643 seconds)
Caution Flags: 6 for 31 laps.
Lead Changes: 5 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Solomito 1-50; D. Coby 51; T. Solomito 52-73; W. Cole 74-76; T. Solomito
77-129; J. Bonsignore 130-150.
Standings: 1. D. Coby, 684; 2. J. Bonsignore, 672; 3. T. Solomito, 638; 4. D. Lia, 577; 5. M. Zachem, 576; 6. J. Blewett, 574; 7. E. Goodale, 570; 8. R. Silk, 565; 9. M. Swanson, 543; 10. C. Dowling, 543.
Sources: NASCAR IMC