BRISTOL, Tenn. — Bristol Motor Speedway’s recent polish job had NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers chattering throughout the day Wednesday in advance of the Bush’s Beans 150 combination race between the modified stars of the north and south.
One of those was recent Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park winner Justin Bonsignore, who has quietly risen to second in the championship chase behind Doug Coby and is seeking his first-career win on the concrete high banks.
However, unlike in previous years where Bristol has seen multi-groove racing for the mighty modified, Bonsignore believes this year’s event will likely have little of that.
“I think it’s going to be all about track position,” Bonsignore said. “Unless for some reason the groove widens back out, it will be — as of right now it doesn’t look like it’s going to. The initial start itself will be interesting. My gut says it’s going to be a single-file bottom race. I don’t think anyone knows, when you do something for the first time there is a lot of wondering and questions to be answered.”
“It might not be the best race tonight for the modifieds. We just carry too much corner speed to be bumping and running guys in the corners. Hopefully, though, it’ll widen back out and we can put on a good show.”
Bonsignore’s best career finish at Bristol is second, scored in 2011, and he also has two poles at the 0.533-mile oval.
He qualified second on Wednesday afternoon, and explained that he compares the feel of this year’s Bristol to the feel of an indoor midget or TQ midget race.
“We definitely want to get a win at Bristol because we’ve been close a few times, but it’s not going to be easy to do here tonight. The track surface has everybody guessing what’s going to take place come race time. Nobody went near the bottom in first practice, and then after the trucks went down there it really gripped up for us in final practice.”
“It kinda reminds me of indoor racing, with the (coke) syrup laid down. Typically in a syrup race, the syrup kinda pulls back up and moves around a little bit, so we don’t know what’s gonna come of it but we’ll give it a go and see where we end up.”
Bonsignore also spoke on his recent win at Thompson and what he believes his chances are to capture the season championship as well, and an extended cut of the interview can be found below.
The Bush’s Beans 150 goes green at 6 p.m., with live updates on Twitter @RaceChaserNews.
Listen in to Race Chaser Online’s exclusive interview with Justin Bonsignore below:
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Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
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