LOUDON, N.H. – Ryan Newman may have topped the speed charts yet again, but Justin Bonsignore made the most news during Thursday's practice.
Bonsignore posted the second-fastest lap during the 90-minute practice for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, but he wasn't sure he'd be around for Saturday's F.W. Webb 100. An engine issue cut his practice short, despite his blistering lap.
"We were just getting ready to go back out for another run, and I noticed the oil pressure was gone in the oil pressure gauge," said Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y. "Turns out we had a cam bearing slide forward. It's unfortunate. It's a brand new piece, a brand new car."
Bonsignore, the 2010 Tour Rookie of the Year, is just 15th in points after five races. He's been plagued by bad luck, the worst of it coming in the season-opener when his 3rd-place effort was nullified by an illegality in post-race tech.
He surmised that Thursday's practice troubles were just part and parcel of his season to date.
"Everything was starting to sort itself out," Bonsignore said. "We were pretty fast, but we were looking to get a little better. Now we've got to make a decision on what we're going to do – if we're going to go home and get another motor, or we have another motor here. We're in a toss-up right now."
One of the options for Bonsignore is to pack up and head home. He's currently the points leader at his home track of Riverhead Raceway, and he said that he'd rather hold onto that lead than be uncompetitive on race day at New Hampshire.
Newman, who swept the Whelen Modified Tour events at the track last season, led all 33 cars in the session with a quick lap of 29.340 seconds (129.816 mph).