BRISTOL, Tenn. — Patrick Emerling backed up his strong showing in practice by scoring his third-career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour pole in qualifying on Wednesday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Emerling took his No. 07 Buffalo Auto Auction Chevrolet to the top of the scoreboard yet again at the 0.533-mile concrete oval, posting a time of 14.517 seconds (132.176 mph) and earning the lead starting position for the Bush’s Beans 150.
The pole was Emerling’s first in two years on the Tour, with his last pole before Wednesday coming at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Aug. 12, 2015.
“We had an awesome car last year (at Bristol), and we basically came back here with the same setup and the car was really comfortable,” said Emerling. “We made some adjustments, tuned it into the race track and it had a lot of speed. On that pole run, I figured we would be able to put down a good lap and sure enough, it was good enough.”
“It’s really awesome for us to be able to put down a run like this. These are the best guys that modified racing has to offer, and for this to only be our third race (on the Tour) this year and to be this competitive against them is a huge statement, in my book.”
Emerling also noted the importance of winning the pole at a venue with the level of prestige that Bristol carries.
“This is one of the biggest races of the season for us. I’ve always liked this track and it’s super special to be able to win a pole … anything here, really. Nothing compares to Bristol, race track-wise, when it comes to modified racing. It’s a place that’s all its own and that makes having success here huge for us.”
In his first appearance driving for legendary southern modified car owner Eddie Harvey, 19-year-old Chase Dowling found the front row, qualifying second-fastest after a time of 14.542 seconds (131.949 mph) in the No. 11 Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair Chevrolet.
Dowling has been primarily competing in the SK Modified division at Stafford Motor Speedway this season, scoring four wins aboard the Adam Skowyra-owned No. 50. Wednesday night will mark his sixth Tour start of the year.
Rookie of the Year contender Ronnie Williams was third-quick (14.578/130.882) in the No. 21 Gershow Recycling Chevrolet, followed by Justin Bonsignore and defending Bristol winner Eric Goodale.
Bobby Santos, Ryan Preece, points leader Timmy Solomito, three-time defending series champion Doug Coby and Dave Sapienza completed the top 10 and will fill out the first five rows on the grid.
After a crash that wiped out his family-owned No. 1 in practice, Burt Myers did not post a time in qualifying.
However, Myers confirmed to Race Chaser Online that Ed and Connie Partridge have rolled out Ryan Preece’s backup car, which is set up for an upcoming test, to allow him to start-and-park in Wednesday night’s race.
The Bush’s Beans 150 is scheduled to take the green flag at 6:05 p.m. ET.
Full qualifying results can be viewed on the next page…