June 15th, 2018
Matt Swanson Returns To His Top 10 Ways In Thompson 125
A www.hometracks.nascar.com release w/ MSR Headline addition
THOMPSON, Conn. — Justin Bonsignore didn’t look to have the fastest car for much of the Thompson 125, but when it was time to crown the winner, he found his way to the front.
The Holtsville, New York, driver scored his third victory of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, using a late caution to get out front of the field on pit road.
The win was his 15th career, his seventh on the Thompson high-banks, and it helped to continue an early-season roll that has him at the top of the championship standings with five of 16 races into the record books.
“The (pit crew) guys won us that race, they got us out in front of Doug (Coby),” Bonsignore said. “Track position is so important, if we didn’t get it, I don’t think we would have won as easily as we did. If you can roll the top here, and have good drive-off, you can just roll away from the guys on the bottom.”
A pit stop during the first of two cautions on lap 92 for fresh Hoosier rubber saw Bonsignore enter the pits running fourth, but when he left, he was looking at clear track in front of him. On the restart, Bonsignore drove away from Coby, who led a race-high 82 laps, but that wasn’t the only challenge he faced in the final circuits.
After another quick yellow flag, Bonsignore had to fight-off a charge by Rowan Pennink, who was all over the back bumper of the No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc., Chevrolet looking to spoil Bonsignore’s success. In the end, Pennink was forced to settle for second.
Coby was third, followed by defending race winner Ryan Preece, who finished fourth. Preece chased the back bumper of Coby’s car through lapped traffic for much of the middle portion of the race battling for the lead, but lost crucial track position on pit road, and wasn’t able to rebound. Dave Sapienza rounded out the top five.
Timmy Solomito was sixth, followed by Craig Lutz, Rob Summers, Chase Dowling and Matt Swanson.
Bonsignore led 43 laps, and holds a 19-point advantage in the championship standings over Chase Dowling, while Craig Lutz is third, 29 points back.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, on June 23.
April 9th, 2018
Matt Swanson Kicks Off Whelen Modified Tour Season With Fifth At Icebreaker 150 At Thompson
A www.racedayct.com article
THOMPSON – With a part-time schedule planned for 2018, Matt Swanson kicked off his 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour campaign Sunday in a positive way with a fifth place finish in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway.
Swanson skipped the season opening Whelen Modified Tour event at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway on March 17.
Picking his way through the field, Swanson took the green flag 21st, survived the melee of cautions, pitted just prior to the halfway mark before getting through some late race aggressive action to finish fifth.
“Missing the first race I wasn’t really sure what to expect here at Thompson but this Starrett Tools Ford was very good today,” Swanson said. “All the guys at SPAFCO, my father, my brothers, all the crew guys, prepared me a great race car and I was glad to prove it for them.”
“You always expect a little contact at the end of a Tour race here, today, there was a little extra contact. We were able to keep all four wheels on it, we’re rolling it through tech and we’re putting it in the trailer.”
Swanson used an early pit stop for adjustments and one tire that paid dividends.
“We felt we could gain putting a new tire on,” Swanson said. “We pitted early with a couple other cars. We had a back up plan if the cautions didn’t fall the right way, but they did. We were able to come in, put three tires on and the car held it self the rest of the race. It handled as well at the end of the race as it did when we bolted on three tires.”
Swanson’s team returns to action with the series in the NAPA Spring Sizzler April 29 at Stafford Motor Speedway.
April 8th, 2018
Matt Swanson Finishes 5th In 2018 Tour Debut
BY KYLE SOUZA HOMETRACKS.NASCAR.COM w/ Matt Swanson Racing headline
THOMPSON, Conn. — Even though he finished third in the championship standings last year, Justin Bonsignore struggled for much of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.
As a result, over the latest offseason, his Kenneth Massa Motorsports team decided they needed to make a change. The team switched to LFR Chassis and brought Ryan Stone on board as crew chief, in what Bonsignore called a complete “reboot.”
Sunday, in the 44th annual Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Bonsignore took his new combination to the winner’s circle in just their second effort as a team. The victory was the 13th of his Whelen Modified Tour career, and his sixth on the .625-mile high-banked oval, making him the active leader in victories at the track.
“It was tough,” Bonsignore said of his struggles throughout last year. “The 2017 season humbled me a lot as a person, as a race car driver, it was just a really tough season. To come back and have a really good car at Myrtle Beach, and come here and have luck go our way today and get a win, it’s a really good feeling.”
Even though he carried the checkered flag, his return didn’t come without an array of close calls. On Lap 1, Bonsignore locked the brakes up going into Turn 3, and nearly made contact with defending race winner Rowan Pennink. In the final laps, the Holtsville, New York, driver found himself chasing Jon McKennedy looking to capture Thompson magic once again.
Coming down for a restart with five laps to go, McKennedy’s No. 7 Accell Construction Chevrolet ran out of fuel in Turn 3. Bonsignore inherited the lead for the final restart, but had to hold off a furious charge by Ronnie Williams on a green-white-checkered finish. Williams, who won his first career pole earlier in the day, was involved in a last-lap wreck, while Bonsignore went around and captured the checkered flag.
“We had a really good car,” Bonsignore said. “I’ll take the luck any day of the week. I knew Ronnie was going to be anxious. We have all been there, looking for our first win. I got a good launch on the restart. I really just love winning at Thompson.”
Craig Lutz put together an impressive final stint of the race to charge through the field and finish second, while Pennink, in his first race back since offseason back surgery, finished third.
Ryan Preece and Matt Swanson completed the top five.
Doug Coby rebounded from two wrecks and finished sixth, followed by Rob Summers, Chase Dowling, Bobby Santos and Timmy Solomito. Williams ended up 19th and McKennedy 20th.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track for the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 29
January 23rd, 2017
Starrett Announces 2017 Sponsorship Program
Athol, MA – The L.S. Starrett Co. announced today that it will expand its motorsports marketing program by continuing support of the newly combined NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Under the banner of Starrett Racing, the company will be the primary sponsor of the Flamingo Motorsports #16 with driver Timmy Solomito. In addition to sponsoring the 16 car, Starrett Racing will also support the future of the sport through a driver development program as the primary sponsor of the Matt Swanson Racing #89 and driver Matt Swanson. “Starrett is very pleased to expand our racing program in 2017 to include two high-quality teams. Flamingo Motorsports is a proven, championship and race winning team that fought in the 2016 points battle to the end. Matt Swanson is a really great young driver that has won championships and who is progressing quickly through the racing ranks and was the Rookie of the Year in 2016. At Starrett, we believe in striving for excellence and continuous improvement. We see these two relationships as meeting those goals and we expect to be winning races and championships now and well into the future. We are really looking forward to having Timmy, Matt and their teams represent our company,” explained Jim Taylor, Starrett’s VP of Operations.
“We are thrilled to have Starrett on board as our primary sponsor, “said Eric Sanderson of Flamingo Motorsports. “ We have the right cars, the right driver, the right crew chief, and now we have the right sponsor. This is going to be a great year of racing and we are going to do everything necessary to win the championship.” Flamingo last won the NWMT championship in 2013 with driver Ryan Preece and also won with Mike Stefanik in 2006. It’s a bit of a stretch, but Stefanik also plays into the history of the 89 team, having won championships in 2001 and 2002 driving for Art Barry. Ken Barry is the crew chief on the 89 and has been a big part of bringing Swanson along in his development. “By the end of the season we were consistently running in the top ten and pushing the top five. Finishing 4th at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway last September was a big achievement for such a young driver. Winning Rookie of the Year and finishing 9th in the points were really feathers in Matt’s cap,” Ken said.
It may be the “off-season”, but preparations are well underway for 2017. Timmy Solomito is looking forward to racing speedweeks at New Smyrna and having his first indoor TQ experience at Atlantic City later this month. “It’s been great to spend more time with family, but we have been really busy getting the cars ready for the season. I’m ready to strap in and excited to get to racing for this championship. We have the full package and showed that we can win races last year. With Starrett on board we are looking forward to taking it to the next level this season.”
Matt Swanson is looking forward to the season for a lot of reasons. “We made a lot of progress last year and it really helped getting to go to the tracks for the second time. Most of the tracks we ran I had never turned a lap on. By the end of the season I was feeling comfortable and was able to give Ken better feedback on the cars. We should be able to consistently run well this year. I’m really grateful for Starrett’s support and look forward to representing them. Starrett tools are the best measuring tools on the market and we use them to build our cars. They are made in America, right here in Massachusetts, and I’m proud to have them on our race car.”
Starrett sponsored the Bob Garbarino owned Mystic Missile and driver Jimmy Blewett throughout the 2016 campaign. The #V4 finished 4th in the owners championship and won the Stafford 150 in August. “We really appreciated getting introduced to this series by Bob and his team. We were thrilled to win a race and to have our company represented by such professional and experienced people as the Mystic Missile team. We loved working with Jimmy and living the excitement that ‘Showtime’ brings to every race. Jimmy is going to be devoting more time to his family this season and to getting his nephew, John Blewett, started in his modified career. He plans to run select Tour races and we hope to help him in that endeavor. We admire and support his decision to focus on his family,” said BJ Guerin, Motorsports and Education Specialist at Starrett.
You can find more information at www.starrett.com, www.flamingomotorsports.com, www.mattswansonracing.com, or follow on Facebook or Twitter @starretttools, @TheNatural99, and @MSwanson40