A Story By RaceDayCT.com
Since 2011 Patrick Emerling has been looking to find his way to victory lane with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Wednesday it was a long trip from his Orchard Park, N.Y., but the 24-year old Emerling finally got that win he’s been searching and did it in one of the series’ marquee events. Emerling won the Whelen Modified Tour Bush’s Beans 150 Wednesday at Bristol (Tenn.) Speedway.
It capped off an almost perfect day in Tennessee for Emerling, who also led practice for the series and won the pole for the event. He led 148 of 150 laps during the race.
“It’s just a dream come true,” Emerling said. “It’s incredible. We only run a handful of the Whelen Tour races and to come down here and win practice, catch the pole and lead every single lap, it’s an incredible feeling for us as a team.”
Doug Coby of Milford was second, his third consecutive second place finish in series action. Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y. was third. Chase Dowling of Roxbury and Ryan Preece of Berlin rounded out the top-five respectively. Ronnie Williams of Tolland,, making his first career start at Bristol, was eighth. Emerling was making his 78th career series start dating back to 2011. He ran full-time with the series from 2011 to 2015.
He ran six events in 2016. Wednesday’s start at Bristol was his third series start this year. He was fifth in the second event of the season, the Icebreaker 150 on April 9 at Thompson Speedway. He also started the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15. A 15th place finish for series points leader Timmy Solomito made for a serious tightening of the action near the top of the standings. Rowan Pennink finished seventh and now sits two points behind Solomito. Preece is nine points out of the lead in third, though Preece will miss the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 23.
Coby, looking for his fourth consecutive series title, moved to fourth in the standings, just 17 points behind Solomito. Coby was seventh in the series standings, 42 points off the lead, after an 11th place finish at NHMS on July 15. Since then he had recorded second place finishes at Stafford Speedway(Aug. 4) and Thompson Speedway (Aug. 12) before Wednesday’s runner-up finish at Bristol. He moved to sixth in the standings after the event at Stafford. He came into Wednesday’s event at Bristol fourth in the standings, 30 points off the lead.
Bonsignore sits 19 points behind Solomito at fifth in the standings.