DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Over the last six NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races, no one has been able to post better results than Ryan Preece. The Berlin, Connecticut, driver has four wins, a runner-up and a fourth and it has allowed him to claw his way right back into the fight for the championship. Even though he missed a race at Virginia’s Langley Speedway in May to get married, Preece sits only 19 points from the points lead with seven championship races left on the 2017 schedule.
His recent run of success in NASCAR also included his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing at Iowa Speedway on July 29. As Preece enters the third Whelen Modified Tour race in 12 days, he is hoping to continue his recent success on the tricky high-banks of Bristol Motor Speedway. In his career at “Thunder Valley,” Preece has six top 10 finishes in seven starts, including a victory in the rain-shortened race in 2015.
Tour points leader Timmy Solomito enters the race with a 10-point advantage on Rowan Pennink, but if he wants to maintain the top spot, he will need to come away from Bristol in one piece. His best career finish at the track is eighth, but last season, he was involved in a wreck and finished 26 laps down in 18th. He joins Preece as the only multiple-time winners so far this season on the Tour.
Defending Bristol race winner Eric Goodale enters the race looking to go back-to-back and knock some points off his deficit to the top of the championship standings. Goodale enters the race fifth in the points off an eighth-place finish at Thompson last Wednesday behind the wheel of his No. 58.
The Bristol race marks the third event in 12 days for Whelen Modified Tour teams. Following the mid-week stop in Tennessee, the series will have a 10-day break before visiting Massachusetts and the Seekonk Speedway on August 26.
|Race:||Bush’s Beans 150|
|Place:||Bristol (Tenn.) Speedway|
|Time:||6 p.m. ET|
|2016 Winner:||Eric Goodale|
|2016 Pole Winner:||Todd Szegedy|
|Track Layout:||.533-mile banked concrete oval|
|Event Schedule:||Final Practice: 12:30-2 p.m., Qualifying: 3:15 p.m., Driver Autograph Session: 4:45 p.m., Bush’s Beans 150: 6 p.m.|
|NASCAR IMC Contact:||Jason Christley, (386)-547-2469, firstname.lastname@example.org|
The Race: The Bush’s Beans 150 is the 10th of 16 races on the 2017 unified NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship points schedule. It is the first and only appearance at Bristol Motor Speedway for this season.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field for the race is 36 cars, including any provisionals. The first 30 positions in the race will be awarded through the qualifying process, while six provisionals will also be available through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (79.95 miles) and will have a five minute break on or about lap 75.
The Track: Nicknamed as the “World’s Fastest Half Mile,” Bristol Motor Speedway is a 0.533-mile high-banked concrete oval. The track also holds two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races each season. On Wednesday night, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will also hold their annual Bristol night race.
Race Winners: Seven different drivers have visited Victory Lane in Whelen Modified Tour action at Bristol. Ryan Newman (2) is the only multiple-time overall winner. Seven other drivers are tied with one overall victory. Eric Goodale is the defending overall race winner. This is the first year of the unified tour racing at Bristol; in the past, the highest finishing driver in the Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tour have been awarded a victory.
Pole Winners: There have been six different Coors Light Pole award winners at Bristol in the eight races. Qualifying was rained-out for the inaugural event back in 2009. Justin Bonsignore has two career overall poles, while five other drivers are tied with just one career pole.
Bush’s Beans 150 Notes:
Coby Crawling Back: Four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby found himself in a large hole in the point standings when the season got underway. He left the first four races of the season with only one top 10 finish and has since been trying to dig himself out since. However, in his last five races, things have turned the opposite way for the Milford, Connecticut, driver. The reigning champion has five top five finishes in the last six starts, including a second-place finish in last Wednesday’s Bud 150 at Thompson. Coby has climbed to fourth in the championship standings, just 30 points from the lead with seven races left to go. If he wants to continue the climb towards a fourth straight title, he will need to escape the Bristol high-banks with a solid finish. In his six career starts there, Coby has two top five finishes, but also two DNFs.
Dowling Pairs With Harvey: Chase Dowling will be taking his talents to Bristol Motor Speedway behind the wheel for a new team on Wednesday night. Former Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship car owner Eddie Harvey has paired with Dowling and LFR Chassis’ Rob Fuller to put Dowling behind the wheel of his No. 11 in the Bush’s Beans 150. In two career starts at “Thunder Valley,” Dowling has a best finish of seventh while driving for Cheryl Tomaino in 2015. In five races this season, Dowling has a best finish of fifth driving for Fuller.
Silk Teams With Stuart: Continuing a streak of mid-season shakeups on the Whelen Modified Tour, 2003 series champion Todd Szegedy decided to part ways with Kevin Stuart Motorsports following the Stafford 150 on August 4. Although Jeff Rocco drove the car last Wednesday at Thompson, the team has tabbed former series champion Ron Silk to drive the car for most of the remainder of the season. Silk has just four starts on the tour this season, but has one victory to his resume at Bristol, along with an average finish of ninth in seven career starts. Silk has competed in all of the Tour’s prior trips to the 0.533-mile oval.
Winning: Ryan Preece (four) and Timmy Solomito (three) are the only two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers with multiple wins so far this season. Rowan Pennink and Bobby Santos both have one victory to theri credit as well. Coby, Justin Bonsignore, and Ron Silk are among active drivers who won last season, but have yet to grace Victory Lane in 2017.
Wednesday Doubleheader: The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s Bush’s Beans 150 will serve as the first of two races at Bristol on Wednesday night. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will also join in on the action with a 200 lap race. The Trucks have just three races remaining before the playoffs begin.