NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 2021 Special Prize Winners

More than 65 drivers took the green flag in at least one NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race in 2021. In the end, Justin Bonsignore won his third championship in the series, becoming the fourth driver in circuit history to accomplish this feat. .

Bonsignore also won three other special awards for his efforts during the season. Likewise, two other pilots finished 2021 with hardware.

Below are the special prize winners for the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.

RELATED: Celebration of the 2021 modified circuit championship

Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award: Justin Bonsignore

Bonsignore wins the Pole Season award

The Holtsville, New York native may have won just twice this year en route to the series championship, but Bonsignore has taken the lead more often than any of his rivals.

Bonsignore won the Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award five times in 2021, tying his total from 2018 when he also won the series title.

His pole at Jennerstown Speedway on Memorial Day weekend ended with his 136 out of 150 laps and checkered flag. The other four poles ended in third, third, second and 24th (DNF, mechanical failure).

Bonsignore took his career tally to 19 poles, placing him 12th on the all-time list for the series.

Mayhew Tools, founded in 1856, is the oldest manufacturer of punches and chisels in the United States, expanding its extensive line of professional-grade American products to include levers, tires, cable ties and more. In 2020, the company expanded its product line to a full line of bits and dual drive and socket sets.

Serving the industrial, automotive, hardware and construction industries, Mayhew’s premium hand tools are sold worldwide through an extensive network of distributors. Mayhew Tools began sponsoring the Whelen Modified Tour pole award in 2019 and has continued the partnership since. Mayhew also sponsors six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby.

Beyond Bonsignore, Ryan Preece won two pole awards in 2021, while Matt Swanson, Max McLaughlin, Jon McKennedy, Matt Hirschman, Ron Silk, Tom Rogers Jr. and Anthony Nocella each won one.

Phil Kurze Mid-Race Leader presented by Josten’s: Justin Bonsignore

Bonsignore also won a special award in honor of former Whelen Engineering Motorsport Vice President Phil Kurze.

The late Kurze, who was recently honored at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC with a plaque at the Whelen Hall of Champions, was a strong supporter of short track racing. He helped elevate the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour before his passing in 2018.

This year’s prize, awarded to the driver who led at the halfway point of the most races, went to Bonsignore. He was leading halfway through four of the 14 events in the 2021 season, with only Preece (twice) joining him on the list of drivers who have done so more than once.

Josten’s, the official supplier of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Trophy, Daytona 500 Championship Ring, Indy 500 Championship Ring and more, stands as the most trusted partner in celebrating important moments and is a proud supporter of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Hoosier Tire Lap Leader Award: Justin Bonsignore (Owner: Ken Massa)

Justin Bonsignore, driver of the # 51 Coastal Fiber LLC Chevrolet, during the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200 for the Whelen Modified Tour at Martinsville Raceway in Martinsville, Virginia on April 8, 2021 (Adam Glanzman / NASCAR)

Justin Bonsignore, driver of the # 51 Coastal Fiber LLC Chevrolet, during the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200 for the Whelen Modified Tour at Martinsville Raceway in Martinsville, Virginia on April 8, 2021 (Adam Glanzman / NASCAR)

Hoosier Tire provides race tires for ground modifications each year on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, and it also sponsors the Hoosier Tire Lap Leader Award.

Presented to the owner of the driver’s car who has led the most laps in a race the most times during the season, the award honors the team that was the dominant force at the front of the field.

In 2021, it was Bonsignore. Driving the No. 51 Chevrolet from Ken Massa Motorsports / Phoenix Communications, Bonsignore has led 643 laps this season, including at least one in 11 of 14 races.

He led the most laps in three races, edging out Matt Hirschman and Preece, who did so in two events.

Most Improved Hoosier Tire Award: Dylan Slepian

Chevrolet # 70 Eastport Feeds driver Dylan Slepian during qualifying for the Miller Lite 200 for the Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway on September 18, 2021 in Riverhead, New York.  (Adam Glanzman / NASCAR)

Chevrolet # 70 Eastport Feeds driver Dylan Slepian during qualifying for the Miller Lite 200 for the Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway on September 18, 2021 in Riverhead, New York. (Adam Glanzman / NASCAR)

Hoosier Tire also provides the Most Improved Prize for each NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event, including the End-of-Season Special Prize. In 2021, Dylan Slepian took home the honors.

The Dix Hills, New York native has competed in three races during the season and has finished in the top 10 twice, both at his home track, Riverhead Raceway.

In the only other event he raced, Slepian finished 11th at Riverhead in September. His ninth, ninth and eleventh standings were the best three of his career on the Whelen Modified Tour.

Slepian, a regular at the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series in Riverhead, also finished second in the weekly points championship standings this year.

Hoosier Tire Hard Charger Award and Whelen Engineering Race Award Winner: Patrick Emerling

Emerling wins the Whelen Winner Award

Emerling wins the Whelen Winner Award

Patrick Emerling didn’t get the championship year he wanted in 2021, but he collected his fair share of gear in 14 races.

For his success, Emerling won both the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger and the Whelen Engineering Winner of the Race Awards for the season.

The Hard Charger Prize is awarded to the driver who advances the most positions during a race. The playoff prize is awarded to the driver who wins the prize in the most races compared to his competitors throughout the season.

This year, Emerling was at the top of his game, winning the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway three times, the tour debut at New York International (Lancaster) Speedway and the three-event final at Riverhead Raceway.

With his three wins – tied for most in the series in 2021 – Emerling also won the Whelen Engineering Winner of the Race award.

Outside of Emerling, current NASCAR Cup Series driver and 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece also won three races in 2021. The tiebreaker was the driver who finished better in the championship standings, and Emerling, as an Orchard Park, New York, native was the finalist for Bonsignore.

Behind Emerling and Preece, Bonsignore, Coby and Ron Silk won twice in 2021. Eric Goodale and Matt Hirschman had single wins.


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