Emerling Scores First Whelen Modified Tour Victory In Bush's Beans 150
Patrick Emerling had the fastest car in practice, the fastest car in qualifying and the fastest car in the Bush's Beans 150 on Wednesday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The result - his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory - left the driver from Orchard Park, New York nearly at a loss for words.
"To win at Bristol, it just takes the words right out of your mouth," said Emerling, who led 148 of the 150 laps in the No. 07 Chevrolet. "Definitely our best win ever. Definitely. Finally, we've got a win on the Whelen tour. It's an absolute dream come true."
Emerling held off four-time series champion Doug Coby over the final 32 laps. The victory came in his sixth career start at Bristol and 78th in the Whelen Modified Tour.
Coby finished 1.239 seconds back for his best finish in seven career Whelen Modified Tour starts at Bristol.
"If I were Kyle Busch, I'd be (angry) about finishing second, but I'm ecstatic," Coby said. "This has not been my best speedway. We've had some top-five runs two out of the last three years before this but I think we had a winning car tonight.
"Patrick was great all weekend but we made the right changes to start the race and we made the right changes at the break and we got a second out of it."
Fluid from the engine of defending race winner Eric Goodale brought out the caution that set up the final restart with 32 laps to go.
The bottom line in the corners was the preferred groove Wednesday because of the resin grip strip applied to the surface before the race. Emerling hugged the bottom on the restart and his car appeared to wiggle loose the first few times over where the fluid had been cleaned up. That helped Coby close the gap enough to make it interesting but he could not get around Emerling.
Bristol had been kind to Emerling before Wednesday. In five previous Whelen Modified Tour starts on the track, he had come away with top-10 finishes in four.
"We had a good car last year and we just kind of kept everything the same and showed up identical," said Emerling, who finished fourth in 2016. "The (resin) kind of maybe helped me in a sense. A couple tracks we run up in western New York, they use that. We kind of had a good idea of what to do to adjust to it."
The race was slowed by five cautions and stopped twice for clean-up after wrecks.
Justin Bonsignore finished third followed by Chase Dowling and Ryan Preece. Series points leader Timmy Solomito finished 15th. On Lap 68, he broadsided Bobby Santos Jr. after Santos was sent spinning by a bump from Goodale. Goodale was running in the top 10 when he experienced engine trouble late in the race.