HAMPTON, Va. - Kyle Bonsignore’s scored his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in almost five years on Saturday night at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia.
The Bay Shore, New York native entered the night with a 58-race winless streak on the Modified Tour. During the time in between Bonsignore’s first victory (Stafford Motor Speedway in September of 2018) and his triumph Saturday, his cousin Justin Bonsignore won 19 races and three Modified Tour championships.
That’s why Justin Bonsignore rushed to his cousin’s car in Victory Lane and said “it’s about time” as he congratulated Kyle.
“It’s been a really long drought,” Kyle Bonsignore said. “It’s really hard to keep coming back, but you keep coming back for nights like this.”
Bonsignore noted his win Saturday at Langley was ironically similar to his victory at Stafford all those years ago. He won his first Tour race after leading the final five laps, and only the final five laps. He pulled off the same feat Saturday in dramatic fashion, stealing the lead from Austin Beers with five to go and beating his rival in a dash to the finish.
Beers, who recorded the best lap in practice and earned the pole in qualifying, led the first 145 circuits of the 150-lap race. But Bonsignore’s speed was evident, too, as he spent the entirety of the event lurking behind Beers in second.
Beers and Bonsignore both knew the latter had the faster car. After Bonsignore made the pass, Beers fought hard to take back the spot before settling for the runner-up result.
“I knew he was going to do everything he could to get back to my bumper, and I would have done the same thing to him,” Bonsignore said of Beers. “I immediately went into defensive mode. Our car was really good off the corner, and here that’s everything, so he couldn’t get a good enough run through the corner and off. So as long as I could hold him off on entry, I knew I could pull away from him enough on the straightaway to not have to worry about him as much.
“I probably was over-driving it those last few laps trying to keep him behind me. If I would have just done what I was doing, I probably would have pulled away. But there was just a few laps to go, so I did whatever I had to do.”
Beers confirmed he did everything he could to get back to Bonsignore, but he had no intentions of making any kind of move that might cause an accident. He said Bonsignore took the lead clean, and that he was going to race clean in return.
Bonsignore’s win at Langley is the new high point of a 2023 season that has seen the team succeed in many ways. His average finish of 10.3 thus far this year is tied for his second best average for a season in his career. He has seven top-10 finishes in 12 races, including a fourth-place effort at New York’s Riverhead Raceway in June.
Though this triumph had been elusive over the last few years, the win Bonsignore earned Saturday was not a fluke. He was second quick in practice and fourth in qualifying. He was the only driver who was able to keep pace with Beers before asserting his clear advantage in the closing laps.
Beers, who has a pair of Modified Tour wins in 2023 as he hangs on to third place in the championship points battle, notched his seventh top-five finish of the season Saturday.
Justin Bonsignore finished third ahead of Ron Silk in fourth and Kyle Ebersole in fifth.
Tyler Rypkema, Jake Johnson, Max McLaughlin, Craig Lutz and Anthony Nocella rounded out the top 10.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action next week at New York’s Oswego Speedway on September 2.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Langley Speedway – Langley, VA
CheckeredFlag.com 150 – August 26, 2023
1. Kyle Bonsignore
2. Austin Beers
3. Justin Bonsignore
4. Ron Silk
5. Kyle Ebersole
6. Tyler Rypkema
7. Jake Johnson
8. Max McLaughlin
9. Craig Lutz
10. Anthony Nocella
11. Tim Connolly
12. John-Michael Shenette
13. Ken Heagy
14. Gary McDonald
15. Melissa Fifield