OSWEGO — Justin Bonsignore knew it was going to take a few checkered flags if he wanted to climb his way back into the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship battle.
With five races to go, Bonsignore proved on Saturday that he isn’t out of it yet. He scored his fourth victory of the season in the Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s at Oswego Speedway, earning the $12,000 victory as part of the track’s annual Classic Weekend.
It was the 24th career win in Whelen Modified Tour competition for Bonsignore and his first at the “Steel Palace.”
“It’s unbelievable. There is a lot of history at this track,” he said. “I’ve wanted to win here every time we have come here.”
For the first 64 laps, he chased the back bumper of pole-sitter Rob Summers. He passed Summers on lap 65, and led through until a caution at lap 99, when Tyler Rypkema spun. Then, his Phoenix Communications crew went to work. They got him out at the front of the cars that pitted and took fresh tires, but he had to restart third, behind Patrick Emerling and Tommy Catalano.
It didn’t take him long to get back to the top spot. Before the field exited turn 2, he was the leader once again.
Bonsignore held off defending race winner Matt Hirschman at the finish.
Following Hirschman were former Whelen Modified Tour champion Ron Silk, Craig Lutz, and Bobby Santos III.
Doug Coby was sixth, followed by Eric Goodale, Timmy Solomito, Chase Dowling, and Catalano.
Coby leads Bonsignore by 37 points in the tour standings, with Silk 44 behind with four races remaining in the championship points schedule.
The Toyota Mod Classic 150 will air on NBCSN on Thursday at 6 p.m.
The tour returns to action at New York’s Riverhead Raceway on Saturday.