.Teams and Drivers,
Submit your FREE profile
 for 2010
   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour


by Denise DuPont

On Saturday, December 10th the NASCAR touring series top competitors were honored at the Charlotte Convention Center Grand Ballroom for their 2016 race efforts. Off the track drivers and teams celebrated and reminisced about 2016. They then took time to share some thoughts on what 2017 would bring.

Notes from NASCAR Whelen Modified championship Awards at Charlotte, North Carolina:

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) 2016 champion

Doug Coby ended this year matching the record of some of the most prestigious modified drivers before him. Coby joined NASCAR Hall of Famers Jerry Cook and Richie Evans, as well as NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mike Stefanik and Tony Hirschman Jr., as the only drivers in NASCAR Modified six-nine year history to win four or more championships. In 2016, Coby captured his third consecutive NWMT championship. It was a tight, competitive year for the modified drivers with the championship on the line right to the final race at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
“2016 was a good season,” stated Coby. “We were really consistent and won five races. I think that the qualifying is what really set us apart this year with the nine poles. Justin (Bonsignore) and Timmy (Solomito) had a lot of wins and good finishes but they did not start as far up as I did. I think being up front really helped us with our race strategy. So we had a good season.”
During his championship speech Coby announced an additional sponsor that will be on board for 2017 – Mayhew Steel Products, Inc.

2016 NWMT Sunoco Rookie of the Year

Matt Swanson finished the season with a ninth place finish at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Swanson finished his year winning thirteen Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors out of seventeen possible races race to secure the rookie honor.
“It is pretty cool once you get here. I have never seen any pictures or anything from the NASCAR modified banquet and it is all starting to be a reality now. We are sitting here at breakfast and watching slides shows form the year. When I received the rookie of the year award I was not sure if I was the youngest driver to receive the award. And I am still not sure. This is something that I can look back on and have the trophy. For the rest of my life I will be able to look at the trophy and have something to look back on and reflect that I was the 2016 rookie of the year on the tour. This is something that is going to stay with me for a really long time.”

2016 NWMT Champion Runner Up

Going into the final race of the NWMT season Justin Bonsignore was second in points and statistically had a chance to secure the 2016 NWMT championship. He drove his heart out and won the race but it was not good enough to advance his points beyond second place. The No. 51 M3 Technology team of Bonsignore, gave it their all and will be a major championship contender in 2017.

Justin Bonsignore
“It was an amazing season for us. It was really nice to contend for wins the second half of the season. Almost every week going toe to toe with Doug (Coby) was great. They have a really good team and giving them a run for their money. I am really proud of our season and proud of our efforts.”

NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour (NWSMT) 2016 champion

Burt Myers ended the year with some tough thoughts as another chapter for the southern tour is ending. Myers won three 2016 southern modified tour races to capture the championship title. He finished his championship year twenty point ahead of second place finisher, George Brunnhoelzl, III. It was a tight, competitive year for the drivers but in the end luck was on Myers side to earn him his second NWSMT Championship.
“Not to slight any other championship that I have had, but there is something special to a NASCAR touring championship. I cannot wait to get my ring from Mike Helton on Saturday night. It is a bitter sweet also because I am a little sad that I am the last champion for the NWSMT as it is today. But I am also proud to be the last champion for the southern tour.” As of right now I am going to have to evaluate my situation this winter – my budget, my resources, and schedules and make a decision for going forward.

2016 NWSMT Sunoco Rookie of the Year

Kyle Bonsignore had the goal to get better every race in 2016 as he began his first full-time season of competition in the NWSMT. Finishing his season with nine top ten finishes in eleven races he finished with a solid seventh in the final championship standing. This was good enough to secure the 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year for the southern tour.
“I am very proud of the team. All the guys worked hard all season long. It was not easy but after a couple of really bad wrecks a couple of the competitors dropped out. It was not the season that we wanted in the end. We wanted better results in the points. But it still was a good accomplishment. I am here to get the trophy and celebrate.”

2016 NWSMT Championship Third Place Finisher

Andy Seuss was second in points going into the last race of the NWSMT season. The No. 11 Northeast Race Cars Ideal Financial Race team continued their streak of bad luck and finished the Charlotte Motor Speedway NWSMT race seventh. It was definitely not what the team wanted and they dropped to a third place standing for the championship bid.
“It was a good year. If cautions had fallen differently we probably would have had more wins but we had a really good long run car. We got our new LFR Chassis in the beginning of the year. It was really good on long runs. On the start it took us a while to figure out what to do for adjustments for the half way so the second half of the race we struggled a little bit.”
“I am pretty proud of our team. We had all top five finishes going into the last four races and we were second in points. Then we hit a bad luck streak where for the last four races we only have one top five finish. Our results were not from lack of speed but because of a couple of wrecks and bad luck situations. It is always tough to come off of a championship season and not to get the next one.”

What are the NASCAR Modified Championship driver’s plans for 2017 race year?

Doug Coby
“We are looking forward to another strong year. The more we win the more that people want us to loose. So we have to keep stepping up our game. Driving smart and making appropriate adjustments. We have been doing that so far and I do not see why we will not continue.”

Burt Myers
“As of right now I am going to have to evaluate my situation this winter – my budget, my resources, and schedules and make a decision for going forward.”

Matt Swanson
“We are not really sure what our plans or 2017 will be for the modified. We have a pro stock ride for a couple of races and hopefully we can get some NEMA Midget races in. We are still picking the waters to find out what is going on with the modified but hopefully we can do the full schedule for the Whelen Tour again.”

Kyle Bonsignore
“We will just go into 2017, I guess we will just run when and where we can..”

Justin Bonsignore
“I do not know what we are doing for 2017 to carry our efforts on and build off of it. We have a new crew chief. He has been a part of our team for a year now. So I am really excited for 2017.”

Andy Seuss
“Plans for next year are up in the air. We know that we are going to compete at least part time and we are looking at options to run fulltime. I had a great opportunity driving for Riggs Racing for David Riggs and then Ideal Racing with Eddie Harvey. I moved south and removed myself from the north so now without a southern tour it is tough.”
“It has me kind of thinking. I have a lot of work down here and things that keep me busy so I am not sure if the whole northern tour is possible at this point. We are going to go at least part of the races and try to win and have fun. Hopefully we will get up north a little bit and have fun. It is going to be a little bit depressing not seeing all the familiar faces we have seen at the southern tracks over the years and the officials. It is a little bit like a family breaking up – sad and disappointing. Hopefully we will be prepared for wins when we do race.”

What are the your thoughts on LFR Chassis?

Doug Coby
“We met with the people at Fury Chassis this week and we are excited to extend our relationship with them. The relationship will be the same as when it was called LFR. Really the same people are still there that we worked with for the most part. They are still building and selling modifieds. As a leading team in the northeast, we are excited to go forward. ”

Andy Seuss
“It is too bad for Rob Fuller he had a big dream. He made some great chassis. And obviously winning both Whelen tour championships is impressive. The business is obviously in good hands with Fury Race Cars, Tony Eury, Jr. and Jeff Fultz. It is a fresh start and can only make them stronger to help out teams such as ourselves.”
Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
: December 10, 2016

2007-2016  © GeeLaw Motorsports/RGeePro/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.   Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without written prior consent