Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman made a last-lap pass of Justin Bonsignore to win the inaugural Whelen All-Star Shootout.
Bonsignore got around Newman in turn one, but the Indiana driver had a full head of steam down the back-straightaway to get by the No. 51 for the victory.
“Once he (Bonsignore) slid by, we knew we were gonna get him sometime,” Newman said after the victory. “I didn’t know if I was gonna have someone pushing me or gonna shove me into turn three way faster than I wanted to on how it was gonna turn out to be, but it turned out good.”
Bonsignore wasn’t originally scheduled to run the non-points event until one team withdrew and the team decided otherwise to race it and nearly won.
“We locked onto the No. 7’s bumper on that last green-white-checkered and we were able to get out in front of Mike (Stefanik),” Bonsignore said. “We really haven’t been in position to win a race up here yet. I figured the best way to not to tear up a bunch of cars would be to try to take the lead cutting into one.”
All 20 drivers who participated in Friday’s Whelen All-Star Shootout will also race in tomorrow’s points-paying Sunoco 100 at Loudon.
“We need to race these cars again tomorrow,” Bonsignore added. “All-in-all a good day. We weren’t even supposed to run this event. We had somebody withdrew and asked to be invited back in and we’ll take a good second.”
Friday’s Whelen All-Star Shootout also served as a good tune-up for Saturday’s Sunoco 100.
“We learned a lot for tomorrow and hopefully we have a good day again,” Bonsignore said of Saturday’s race.
The green flag for Saturday’s Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco 100 will drop at 1 p.m. ET.
Whelen All-Star Shootout Top 10
1. #7 Ryan Newman
2. #51 Justin Bonsignore
3. #1 Mike Stefanik
4. #6 Ron Silk
5. #44 Bobby Santos
6. #16 Ryan Preece
7. #12 Chuck Hossfeld
8. #15 Todd Szegedy
9. #13 Ted Christopher
10. #21 J.R. Bertuccio