The high-banks of Bristol Motor Speedway have produced eight different winners in nine prior NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events. But none of those eventual winning drivers were able to put on as much of a dominant performance as Patrick Emerling did last season.
The Orchard Park, New York, modified veteran, who is the defending winner of the Bush’s Beans 150, jumped to the top of the speed charts in the final stages of the 90-minute practice session on Thursday as he looks to execute a repeat performance.
His fast time around ‘Thunder Valley’ was a lap of 14.733 seconds (130.238 mph) behind the wheel of the No. 07 Buffalo Auto Auction Chevrolet. He was the polesitter for the 150-lap event last year and will look to put together another dominant performance later today.
“We had an awesome car last year, and we wanted to come here this year and do everything the same,” Emerling said following his run. “We just have to execute. (Repeating) would be unlike anything. That is what we are down here to do.”
Justin Bonsignore, who leads the championship standings, enters Bristol fresh off his fifth victory of the season in the Bud “King of Beers” 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Bonsignore posted the second fast time (14.867 seconds/129.064 mph) after leading for a good portion of the session. He is 58-points up on Chase Dowling in the battle for the championship, and has never been to Victory Lane at Bristol.
Rob Summers, who was at the point for some of the session, ended up third. The quick time for Summers was 14.909 seconds around the 0.533-mile oval. He has failed to finish inside the top-10 in three Bristol starts, and has a best result of 19th. His three races at the Tennessee oval have resulted in his No. 64 behind the wall before the drop of the checkered flag.
Chase Dowling was fourth, while Eric Goodale, a former Bristol winner, rounded out the top five. Ronnie Williams was sixth, followed by Timmy Solomito, Burt Myers, Dave Sapienza and Doug Coby.
Calvin Carroll, who was inside the top-10 early, ended 15th, but has withdrawn from the event following a motor issue. During practice, Doug Coby and Tommy Catalano both spun down the backstretch, but were able to continue without damage.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track for qualifying at 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. The Bush’s Beans 150 is scheduled to take the green flag at 6:05 p.m., and will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, August 22, at 7 p.m.
Bush Beans 150 practice results