Story By: KYLE SOUZA / JUSTIN BONSIGNORE MOTORSPORTS – HOLTSVILLE, NY – It’s time to begin the 2022 season.
After a shorter offseason compared to past years, Justin Bonsignore and his No. 51 Ken Massa Motorsports team are ready to roll with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season-opener this weekend at New Smyrna Speedway.
The New Smyrna Visitors Bureau 200 will mark the first time the Whelen Modified Tour season begins in Florida, and also will be the first points-paying event to be contested in the Sunshine State.
Bonsignore won the last two series titles and three of the last four. With 31 career wins to his credit, he’s looking forward to trying to add the half-mile to his tour win list, while opening the chase for a fourth championship with a strong run.
“It’s a huge step forward for our series to open our season during Speedweeks at New Smyrna, it’s special,” Bonsignore said. “All of the eyeballs will be on us. It’s an honor to be part of it. We’re just going to take this one race at a time, but our goal each year is to contend for the championship. We want to get off on the right foot. We want to try and win the race, but if we can’t, come home with a good top-five finish and get things rolling for the year.”
The Holtsville, New York, native does have previous experience around New Smyrna as part of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in the Tour-Type Modifieds. The half-mile hosts a nine night racing spectacular which will also include the ARCA Menards Series East, Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Tour-Type Modifieds and more from February 11-19. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event will headline action on Saturday, February 12.
“Never been there with Ryan Stone setting up the car and I’m confident with what Ryan brings to every track,” Bonsignore said. “We’ve had some success in the years we went down to New Smyrna and we used it as testing for our program. I’ve won there before and we are familiar with the track. It’s a long race, multiple pit stops and the Tour drivers… so it will be different but we’re confident.”
The day begins with the only practice session from 2-3:20 p.m., followed by Mayhew Tools pole qualifying at 5:45 p.m. The New Smyrna Visitors Bureau 200 is scheduled to take the green flag at 7:30 p.m.