Justin Bonsignor in Victory Lane at Oswego Speedway. (NASCAR photo)
OSWEGO, NY – In a season inconsistent by Justin Bonsignor’s standards, Saturday’s Toyota Bud Mod Classic 150 at Oswego Speedway was more festive than starving for three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champ.
A decision to stay out during a late warning when boss Doug pitted a rookie to the front of the field, where he had to fend off challenges on old tires from his cousins Kyle Bonsignor, Craig Lutz and Chuck Hosfield to bring in his third. Season victory.
Knowing that Coby had one of the fastest cars, Bonsignore wanted to do something different that would give him a chance to win, but admitted he was tired to hold off Hossefeld and the field during the closing laps.
“I don’t know if Doug just got tired of winning,” Bonsignor said. “I faked I was coming to a pit road and getting the lead was a gift. Chucky was really good there at the end. He was actually going to set me up tonight, but he ended up racing.
“We’ve been kind of like a bunch of brothers who’ve been giving each other a lot of bullshit lately, so that’s good medicine to solve this I think.”
Although he is now tied to Coby in this year’s winning column, early misfortune prevented Bonsignore from taking complete control of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings.
Bonsignore’s win at Richmond Raceway was sandwiched between two finishes outside the top 20 at New Smyrna Speedway and Riverhead Raceway. Since the last race, Bonsignore has finished outside the top ten only once.
Although he did benefit from clean air at the end, Bonsignore never thought his second career win at Oswego was safe, especially with Hossfeld working his way across the field to make a late charge.
This was Hossfeld’s modified second round of NASCAR Whelen only in 2022, but he made it memorable by reaching for Bonsignore’s rear bumper and using every bit of the track to try to pass it before settling in for second.
Hossfeld’s win on Saturday was his first in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour since 2008. Despite getting close to one point, Hossfeld praised everyone involved in Operation Joe Bertuccio Sr. for giving him such a great car.
“We got some time off, which is tough for the driver,” Hosfield said. “Car owner Joe [Bertuccio Sr.] didn’t even come [on Saturday]. He goes to a wedding and tells us to have fun, but what a great team. I am proud of everyone who participated.”
Hossfeld split Gershow Recycling Modified No. 2 with Bertuccio’s son, JR, in five races this year. Ahead of Saturday’s race in Oswego, Hosfield gave the car its best performance of the year in Richmond, finishing third behind Bonsignor and Tommy Catalano.
With another strong performance under his belt, Hossfeld thinks he is close to breaking a 14-year winless drought for Bertuccio, who he plans to celebrate once he returns to the store.
“I’m going to give [Bertuccio] Husfield said. “He’s not the kind to hug either, but he would be proud. He should be proud of all the people who work so hard.”
Bonsignore was grateful that Hossfeld sped him cleanly to the checkered flag, but also expressed relief at finally returning to Victory Lane after several problems hampered him in his quest to claim a third consecutive NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title.
Although Bonsignore still has some ground to offset against Ron Silk and Jon McKennedy, he remains optimistic about his chances of overtaking both during the final weeks of the regular season as long as he and his team find the consistency they’ve been looking for.
“We’ve been struggling,” Bonsignor said. “We’re sticking to a high standard and it’s been a choppy summer. We put some issues in the summer behind us and we haven’t had the speed or consistency in the week. We’ve got it on really well tonight. We haven’t run out of points yet, so we’ll go to Riverhead and see what happens.”
Lutz and Kyle Bonsenor finished third and fourth respectively with Matt Hirschman continuing his perfect streak in the top five in 2022 with a lead in fifth.
McKennedy, Kobe, Bobby Santos III, Eric Goodall and Andrew Krause completed the top ten.