The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Martinsville Speedway (VA) is one of the biggest shows on the schedule. It's a tricky track to get around, as evidences by the 18 caution periods in this past Sunday's race. So you'd expect that the more experienced veterans of the Tour, or a young driver with plenty of outside experience, would monopolize the highest finishing positions.
For the most part, that was true in Sunday's race. Bobby Santos, III has won plenty of features on the Modified Tour and in various USAC divisions, and he finished first. Former Tour champion Todd Szegedy and one of the most accomplished drivers who has ever sat in a Modified, Mike Stefanik, also finished in the top four. But the runner-up in the race? Well, that was a rookie on the Tour - New York's Justin Bonsignore.
Bonsignore stayed out of trouble and
That performance earned Justin Bonsignore this week's Speed51.com Pro Shocks "Shock of the Week" award.
Not all of our voters even knew who Bonsignore was, but he still earned the majority of votes.
"Justin Bonsignore's runner up finish at Martinsville in the Modified series is my pick for this week...I want to know more about this guy!" wrote one of our voters.
Also receiving votes this week were:
Bub Bilodeau (SLM) - Not all surprises are good ones.
The short track community was shocked on Saturday night and Sunday morning when they first heard the news that three-time Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) champion and occasional PASS North competitor Bub Bilodeau had lost his life. Shortly after finishing Saturday night's feature race, Bilodeau returned to his pit area and fell ill. He had an apparent heart attack and despite the best efforts of the track safety crew, soon passed away.
A track official described Bilodeau as "our Dale Earnhardt" and nobody familiar with the Beech Ridge scene would disagree with that statement.
Andy Loden (PASS South) - For the second race in a row, Andy Loden won in PASS South Super Late Model competition. This latest victory came last Friday night at Ace Speedway (NC) and led to this vote being cast:
"Andy Loden gets my vote. 2 wins in a row?!?! Against, arguably, the best Super Late Model tour going right now. Pretty incredible. From wrecking his car in practice at the derby, to laying the smack down on some of the south's top talent in PASS South, Loden has definitely come a long way. You'd be hard pressed to find a SLM fan that hasn't heard of this guy now, and that alone is shocking - considering he's only been a fulltime SLM driver for a little over 6 months. So much for not being a household name."
Craig Goess (ARCA) - Legends car graduate Craig Goess hit the big time on Saturday with his victory in the ARCA Racing Series event at Pocono Raceway.
Donny Lia (Mods) - Not many people even knew that Donny Lia was going to fill in for Wayne Anderson in the Modified feature at Riverhead Raceway (NY) on Saturday night. But when Anderson needed a sub after a recent heart attack, who better to fill his seat than fellow Long Islander and two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Lia? Who better indeed - Lia came from deep in the field to win the race on Saturday night - shocking many who didn't expect to find his name on the boxscore - much less than on the top of the list.
Ross Kenseth (ASA MW) - Ross Kenseth scored his first ASA Midwest Tour victory on Sunday at Elko Speedway (MN). The second generation driver has now won on two of the biggest short track tours out there this year - the ASA Midwest Tour and the CRA Super Series before the calendar has even turned to July!
James Civali and Tim Brown (Mods) - Connecticut native James Civali headed on down south to race in the Madhouse that is Bowman-Gray Stadium (NC) this past Saturday night. He didn't wait long to make a splash there. Civali made contact with Bowman Gray staple Tim Brown. Brown spun around and then waited to get even. While being lapped, Brown stuffed Civali into the fence. Later on, off the track things got really fun.
That led to the two getting an honorable mention thanks to this vote from one of our panelists:
"Tim Brown v. James Civali - Who would have thought that Civali would go into the Madhouse and take on the 8-time champ Tim Brown."
Modified Racing - The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Martinsville Speedway was a shocker...and not in a good way.
We received this vote from one of our panelists -
"[My vote is for] the Martinsville Mod Race - 18 cautions,119 laps of yellow out of 200. That is a WOW for sure."
Mother Nature - One of our voters, undoubtedly unhappy about the rash of rained out races last weekend across the land, simply returned his ballot with one word on it - rain.
For his “Shock” of a performance, Justin Bonsignore will receive a product gift certificate from Pro Shocks, the short-track leader in racing shock technology and performance. Based in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Pro Shocks has helped drivers on both dirt and asphalt perform better for more than 25 years.
Pro Shocks is proud to have the largest and most knowledgeable technical staff in the racing shock industry. For more information about Pro Shocks, log onto www.proshocks.com or call 770-995-6300.