MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Rette Jones Racing confirmed Monday that three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore will contest the ARCA Menards Series season-opener on Feb. 17 with the organization.
Bonsignore will drive the team’s No. 30 Ford Mustang in the traditional 200-mile event at Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway.
Already with a career in the NASCAR modified ranks that boasts 40 wins, the 36-year-old Bonsignore will wheel a stock car at the World Center of Racing for the first time.
Bonsignore picked up his first Tour championship in 2018 and followed it up with back-to-back title runs in 2020 and 2021.
Over 17 years of competing on NASCAR’s oldest touring series, Bonsignore has amassed 118 top-five and 154 top-10 finishes. His 40 victories are good enough for fourth all-time on the series win list, just two behind the late Ted Christopher for third.
Bonsignore also has 30 career Tour pole awards – also fourth on the all-time list. In the last six years with crew chief Ryan Stone, Bonsignore has earned 28 of his 40 checkered flags on the Tour.
The New York native started his career young, in go-karts, then jumped to compete at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway. From there, his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour opportunity started with Ken Massa Motorsports full-time in the No. 51 in 2010.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to drive for Rette Jones Racing,” Bonsignore said. “They have a really strong program, and that should help with my learning curve into the ARCA Menards Series.
“I can learn from Mark (Rette, crew chief and co-car-owner) and all of his experiences to understand the small details that go into superspeedway style racing,” he added. “I feel really confident going into the race that I have a team that is capable of contending for the win – it will just be about getting myself up to speed and comfortable to go out there and get the job done.”
The Holtsville, N.Y. native participated in the preseason ARCA Menards Series test at the 2.5-mile superspeedway last month with Fast Track Racing. The two-day session proved beneficial for Bonsignore in familiarizing himself with an ARCA car and the track’s characteristics.
Bonsignore hopes to apply what he learned in January during his ARCA debut weekend.
“The test laps in January with Andy Hillenburg and his Fast Track Enterprises team as part of the Road to Daytona program were important,” Bonsignore said. “I needed to run the test to be approved to compete in the ARCA race, but Andy [Hillenburg] and I spoke about the opportunity to maybe run the race, and he shared some crucial insight with me during the test.
“He ran through multiple different scenarios and possibilities that could take place and that was important to me,” continued Bonsignore. “Andy and his team were great to work with. They are a great asset to the ARCA Menards Series, and I can’t thank them enough for everything they did to help me get up to speed.”
For former ARCA champion crew chief and co-team owner Mark Rette, the opportunity to put Bonsignore behind the wheel of his No. 30 Ford Mustang is a privilege.
“We are so thrilled about this opportunity with Justin for Daytona,” said Rette, whose team finished 11th in last year’s ARCA race at Daytona with rookie Frankie Muniz at the helm. “Justin is incredibly focused on making the most of this opportunity, and we believe we are bringing him a Ford Mustang that he can not only contend with for a top-10 finish but challenge for a win.
“Justin is the complete package for a driver, and we have worked with many drivers since our tenure began with Rette Jones Racing in 2016,” Rette added. “He will take care of the car throughout the race but press the attack when the checkered flag is on the line. Even though we did not participate in the test, I was staying in touch with a lot of people who were there, and they all believe Justin can jump in our No. 30 Rette Jones Racing Ford Mustang and surprise a lot of people.”
For Bonsignore, the 80-lap preamble to the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener will be one of the biggest races of his career.
“If this isn’t the biggest race of my career, it’s definitely up there,” Bonsignore said. “The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is my home and forever will be. But, to make a start at Daytona Int’l Speedway … it’s something every kid in racing dreams of, and I’m lucky enough to be able to live out my dream.”
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