Ryan Newman Repeats at Bristol

Collects Another Win In NASCAR Whelen Modified Combo Race

by Jason Christley, NASCAR August 24, 2011 – 8:05pm

BRISTOL, Tenn. – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman drove away with the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday.

Newman successfully defending his 2010 Bristol win and registered his fourth career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory overall.

Wednesday’s triumph came in Newman’s first start on the tour after he was disqualified from a win in July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.

“This is a little bit of a redemption for us, to come out here and redeem ourselves a little bit in respect to people’s opinions after Loudon,” Newman said.

Newman led twice for a race-high 109 laps. After one top-10 effort in his first four Modified races, Newman has won each of his last four official starts.

“It was just a really fun race,” Newman said. “The yellow flags at the start kind of slowed everybody’s thoughts, but getting back to green flag racing, I thought we saw some really good racing. It was a lot of fun.”

Justin Bonsignore finished second in the annual combination race between the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. The pole winner in 2010 at Bristol, Bonsignore has earned top-five finishes in three of his last four outings this year and is up to a season-best 10th in the standings.

“I’m just a go-kart racer – where you flat-foot it – and this is similar,” Bonsignore said of his fondness for racing at Bristol. “It just fits my driving style. I like it, and it’s a lot of fun. I’ve been looking forward to coming back since last year and I can’t wait to go back next year. Maybe we should get two races here.”

Todd Szegedy rallied from an eventful day for third place. An engine change relegated him to the rear to start, and he was caught in multiple on-track incidents that preceded a spark plug wire falling off. He then came back from a lap down for his fifth podium finish in the last seven races.

James Civali and Patrick Emerling rounded out the top five. It marked the first top-five finish of Emerling’s rookie season and the best finish of the year for Civali.

Eric Beers was sixth, followed by Ron Silk, Frank Fleming, Andy Seuss and Eric Goodale.

Fleming was the top finishing NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver and will be credited with a win on the tour. It is his first career victory.

The race, which aired live on SPEED, saw four lead changes among three drivers and was slowed by caution nine times for 51 laps. It was the third edition of the combo race at the ‘World’s Fastest Half Mile.’

Silk stretched his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points lead to 41 over Rowan Pennink, who finished 21st overall. Szegedy is third, 16 points behind Pennink. George Brunnhoelzl III, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour points leader, finished 29th overall and his lead is 110 over John Smith and 123 over L.W. Miller. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will return to the track in just two days at Caraway Speedway on Friday, Aug. 26. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour gets back on track with the inaugural event at Delaware (Ont.) Speedway on Sept. 4.

Ryan Newman won for the second straight year in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour/NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour combination race at Bristol Motor Speedway.