NOTEBOOK: Tommy Baldwin Racing rides momentum into Monadnock

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On the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, there is no team hotter than Tommy Baldwin Racing.

The team is unbeaten in its last three Tour starts, with Doug Coby collecting victories at New York’s Riverhead Raceway and New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway before rookie Mike Christopher Jr. earned his first Tour triumph with a win in the most recent race at Pennsylvania’s Jennerstown Speedway.

The team will ride that momentum into Saturday’s Duel at the Dog 200 at Monadnock Speedway, which will be available to watch live on FloRacing at 8:30 p.m. ET.

For the first time this year, the team will field two entries. Coby returns to take the reins of the No. 7NY, while Jimmy Blewett returns to the team to drive the No. 1NY.

“I‘m certainly happy to be back in the car,” Coby said. “Tommy Baldwin has two opportunities to win Saturday, with my car and Jimmy Blewett driving the No. 1 for him. It‘s a chance to extend the streak.

“Monadnock is an awesome little technical track, where you have to be smart, smooth and consistent and repeat that and do it over and over again for the whole race. It seems like as the race goes on, you can move around and use different parts of the track to get the car to turn. It‘s a fun place.”

Coby has made seven previous starts with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Monadnock, earning a victory during the 2015 season. In his six other starts at the quarter-mile bullring, he has finished second twice.

Blewett has made two Tour starts at Monadnock, earning a best finish of third during the 2016 season while driving the No. 4 Mystic Missile.

Tommy Baldwin Racing currently leads the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour owner standings by a whopping 33 points ahead of the No. 16 team of driver standings leader Ron Silk.

If things continue to go positively for Tommy Baldwin Racing, then that 33-point advantage will be even bigger by the end of Saturday’s Duel at the Dog 200.

Tickets for Saturday’s Duel at the Dog 200 are available by visiting JDVProductions.com. Tickets are also available for the JDV Experience, an all-inclusive premium ticket package for each of the JDV Production events on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule that includes premium seating and a private autograph session.

Can Bonsignore turn his season around?

Justin Bonsignore, driver of the #51 Phoenix Communications, Inc., during practice for the Inaugural Granite State Derby presented by USA Insulation for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, New Hampshire on May 21, 2022. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)
Justin Bonsignore, driver of the #51 Phoenix Communications, Inc., during practice for the Inaugural Granite State Derby presented by USA Insulation for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, New Hampshire on May 21, 2022. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

Justin Bonsignore badly needs something positive to happen Saturday at Monadnock.

Other than a victory in the second race of the season at Richmond Raceway in April, things have not gone as planned for the defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion.

Bonsignore has struggled with reliability and speed nearly everywhere and has only managed a best finish of eighth in the three races since his Richmond victory.

With all that in mind, a trip to Monadnock could be the cure for what ails him.

In eight Tour starts at the track, Bonsignore has won three times and has never finished outside of the top 10. He has led 236 laps at the quarter-mile oval, second only to Ryan Preece.

Bonsignore is the most recent winner at Monadnock when the Tour last visited the New Hampshire track in 2020. A win this weekend could help Bonsignore get reset in his hunt for a fourth Tour title.

He is currently seventh in the Tour standings, 39 points out of the championship lead.

Local contenders join the fray

A pair of stout local contenders are joining the field for Saturday’s Duel at the Dog 200 at Monadnock Speedway.

Brian Robie and Todd Patnode will look to defend their home turf against the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour invaders Saturday night, and based on their records, they likely have a decent shot at doing just that.

Robie captured track championships at Monadnock, Claremont Motorsports Park and Hudson Speedway during the 2020 season, which allowed him to claim the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series New Hampshire state championship in the process.

“As far as expectations, we are keeping it simple, looking for a clean race and a top-10 finish,” Robie said. “I need to thank our crew for their unwavering support with these unexpected schedule evolutions and adapting to another new series.”

Patnode is entering the race driving for Cory Plummer. Patnode, the defending NHSTRA Modified champion at Monadnock, has eight championships on Monadnock’s high banks.

If you‘re looking for someone with local experience in the field, Patnode likely has more than anyone else. He‘s been racing Modifieds and Pro Stocks at the track for decades.

Notes:

  • Four drivers entered the Duel at the Dog 200 are within five points of each other at the top of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings. Ron Silk holds a slim three-point advantage on Tommy Catalano, with Jon McKennedy four points back and Eric Goodale five points back.

  • The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 200-lap feature isn’t the only race on the schedule Saturday at Monadnock. They’re joined by the Granite State Pro Stock Series, which will contest a 75-lap feature. The track’s NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series – Pure Stocks, Late Model Sportsman, Mini Stocks – will also be in action. A special Street Stock event is also on the card.

  • Matt Hirschman, who has led more than 200 laps in Tour competition this year, is back for his third race of the season this Saturday night. He has visited Victory Lane at Monadnock already this season, earning a win at the track on April 30 in a non-NASCAR event.

  • Saturday’s race is the second of three events that make up the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup. By virtue of his win in the first race at Lee USA Speedway, Doug Coby leads the standings entering the Duel at the Dog 200. The program includes more than $15,000 in posted bonuses.