WINCHESTER — It’s been four years since the Whelen Modified Tour raced at Monadnock Speedway, but Justin Bonsignore picked up right where he left off.
A winner at Monadnock in 2013 and ’14, Bonsignore made a strong late-race pass of Ron Silk to win Sunday’s rescheduled Advanced Gas Distributors Inc. Wade Cole Memorial 200 at the quarter-mile high banks before an appreciative, socially distanced crowd in Winchester.
It was Bonsignore’s third win in five races on the season and his sixth in the last 10 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events dating back to last Aug. 31.
With a one-second lead over Silk coming to the finish line, Bonsignore, 32, of Holtsville, N.Y., pulled off a deliberate slide across the finish line in celebration. It was his 29th career modified tour win.
Jon McKennedy won the Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award in qualifying and led the first 61 laps before Silk, who was fastest in practice and qualified third, got past him. Bonsignore tracked him down and the two swapped the top spot before Bonsignore took it for good with 25 laps remaining.
Bonsignore’s 29th career tour win moved him back into a tie with six-time champion Doug Coby, who finished third, for sixth on the all-time wins list.
The victory pushed Bonsignore’s championship points lead back up to 16 over Coby. After winning the first two races of the season, back-to-back fifth-place runs had chipped away at the Long Island driver’s lead.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly altered the 2020 Whelen Modified schedule, Monadnock was a late addition to the schedule. But the return to the quarter-mile for the first time since 2016 was a welcome addition for Bonsignore who, after the race talked about how much he missed racing at Monadnock.
The race was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon due to rain.
Anthony Nocella finished fourth and Ronnie Williams fifth.
Matt Hirschman, Woody Pitkat, Sam Rameau, McKennedy and Craig Lutz completed the top 10. Lutz and McKennedy are tied for third in points, 30 points back of Bonsignore.
The tour will have a quick turnaround, racing at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut Wednesday.
The race will be televised on NBCSN today at 3 p.m.