Setting The Scene: Whelen Modified Tour Bush’s Beans 150 At Bristol Motor Speedway

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Ryan Preece celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Bush's Beans 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway last year (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Preece celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Bush’s Beans 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway last year (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Bristol Motor Speedway remains one of the most unique tracks in NASCAR and just as the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series teams and fans look forward to the scheduled stops at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, so, too, do those in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ranks.

Adding even more intrigue to the Bush’s Beans 150 on Wednesday night at Bristol is the fact it’s the annual combination race, which will pit both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour teams against each other.

The midweek race on the high-banked half-mile is something of a wild card on the schedule, just as restrictor plate races are for the national series. Drivers like Frank Fleming and J.R. Bertuccio have joined alongside names like Ryan Newman, Mike Stefanik and Ryan Preece to win Modified races at Bristol.

Making the 150-lap race both unpredictable and one that can either enhance or destroy championship aspirations.

Over the last two races, Doug Coby of Milford, Connecticut, has seen his lead atop the Whelen Modified Tour standings be whittled down to just 15 points over Justin Bonsignore, the Holtsville, New York, driver who won the Tour’s most recent stop at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway Motorsports Park. Timmy Solomito of Islip, New York, is third, just 20 points behind Bonsignore. None of the top three drivers in the standings has ever won at Bristol.

On the Whelen Southern Modified Tour, the championship title is shaping up as a dogfight between the three drivers who have accounted for all of the wins through the season’s first six starts.

Burt Myers, of Walnut Cove, North Carolina, has three wins this season and leads defending series champion Andy Seuss by 17 points. Multi-time series champion George Brunnhoelzl III is another eight points back in third. Between them, the three have four Bristol wins on their career resumes, with Seuss having won the event last season.

RACE: Bush’s Beans 150
PLACE: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 17
TIME: 6:05 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: .533-mile banked concrete oval
2015 WINNER: Ryan Preece (North); Andy Seuss (South)
2015 POLE WINNER: Woody Pitkat
EVENT SCHEDULE: Wednesday, August 17 – Practice: 10:30-11:25 a.m., 12:30-1:15 p.m.; Qualifying: 3 p.m.; Driver Autograph Session: 4:45 p.m.; Bush’s Beans 150: 6:05 p.m.
TWITTER: @BMSupdates
EVENT HASHTAG: #BushsBeans150


The Procedure: The starting field is 36 cars, including provisionals. The first 30 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining six spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (79.95 miles). The race will have a five-minute midway break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75 and the tire change rule is four tires, any position.

The Race: The Bush’s Beans 150 is the 11th of 17 championship points events in the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season. The race is also the seventh of 11 events on the 2016 Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule. It is the only stop for either tour at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Track: Nicknamed the “World’s Fastest Half Mile,” Bristol Motor Speedway is a high-banked concrete oval. The track opened in 1961 as an even half-mile with 22 degrees of banking in the turns. It now features progressive banking approaching 30 degrees through the corners and a distance of .533 miles.

Race Winners: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman has two wins at Bristol and is the only driver with multiple-wins in the seven-year history of the event, while George Brunnhoelzl III has two wins among southern drivers. Donny Lia won the inaugural event in 2009. All seven overall event wins have gone to northern competitors.

Pole Winners: There have been six different pole winners in seven races at Bristol. Justin Bonsignore has two career poles at the track, while Woody Pitkat set the track qualifying record of 130.940 mph in this race last year.

Bush’s Beans 150 Notes
Summer Stride: Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, New York, has hit his mid-season form after winning theBudweiser King of Beers 150, the most recent event on the northen tour, at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Bonsignore’s seven top-five finishes are the most of any driver this season. He has four top fives in his last five races to sit within 15 points of championship leader Doug Coby with seven races remaining. Bonsignore is the only driver with multiple career poles at Bristol, with two.

Myers Rolling: Multi-time Bowman Gray Stadium Modified champion Burt Myers has been the model of consistency this season on the Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Myers has three wins through six races and has yet to finish outside the top five in any of his starts. The 2010 series champion, has two wins this season at Caraway Speedway and another at his home track of Bowman Gray and only has one finish worse than third through the first two-thirds of the year. Myers has one win and four top fives in his seven career starts at Bristol.

Four-Time: Four-time Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III has 27 career wins, including two this season at Concord (N.C.) Speedway and South Boston (Va.) Speedway. He finished fourth at Bristol in 2013 to kick off his championship charge that season, using that effort to kick off a stretch of six straight top fives to close out the season with the title. Brunnhoelzl has one career win at Bristol, which came at the end of four consecutive wins during the 2012 season that helped him earn the championship title that year.

Needing Better Luck: Whelen Modified Tour point leader Doug Coby has 20 career wins across five different tracks, but the three-time series champion has never won at Bristol. Now would be a good time to turn his fortunes around at the track. After seeing his point lead cut virtually in half over the last two races, the three-time winner in 2016 would like to pad his cushion for the season’s stretch run. Bristol, though, will be a challenge, as Coby has just one top-10 finish and an average finishing position of 13.8, with his worst finish being 22nd a year ago, in his five career starts at Bristol.

Winning: Doug Coby and Timmy Solomito are the only Whelen Modified Tour drivers with multiple wins this season, with three wins apiece. Ron Silk, Bobby Santos III and Blewett won the other events on the schedule. Santos also won the non-points Whelen All-Star Shootout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month, and he is the defending winner of the Budweiser King of Beers 150. On the Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Myers has three wins, Brunnhoelzl has two and Andy Seuss has one — and all three drivers sit inside the top three in the series standings.

New Crew Chief: LFR Chassis will be back in action in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Bristol Motor Speedway, as Todd Szegedy and Rob Fuller Motorsports team up for the Bush’s Beans 150. Tony Eury, Jr. will make his crew chief debut in the Modified Tour this week.


  1. Really wish this race was televised live.

  2. Agree with it being live on Tv… Wish this race was off the schedule! Our guys running in Tennessee ? It’s a joke . Add another race in the northeast ! Race is alwyays boring and it’s so far away . How many mod fans are there like 100 tops ? It’s gross that they even go there . NASCAR sucks period ! My advice get away from nascar and get TRi-track series going ! Combine the 2 … Just do something !

  3. I agree. Same day TV coverage a must for this event.

  4. Sharpie Fan says

    There used to be a TV listings page on Nascar Home Tracks and can’t even find that.
    I guess they don’t really want us to watch it.

  5. Sharpie there is.I have to blunder into it everytime i try to find it.But it’s there.

  6. It will be on NBC Sports Aug 26th at 9pm. Thompson will air at 8pm. If you go to Home Tracks, scroll all the way down to bottom right. Then click on the female TV reporter picture. The whole TV schedule will come up.

  7. Really tape delay ! That really blows . It’s NBC SPORTS. All a joke . NASCAR holds all the mod teams hostage. Oldest series In nascar ! Who cares …. Love watching from a computer . Wish speed channel was still around . And why doesn’t fans choice cover it ? Not much we can do about it . Hope all 246 fans there enjoy the race ….

  8. Guys, there is no way NBC Sports is going to televise a Modified race live at 6pm on a weekday in the middle of their Olympic coverage. Even Cup and Xfinity have had some broadcasts moved over to USA Network the past couple of weeks because of the Olympics.

  9. Sharpie Fan says

    Thanks NH Mark. Bookmarked that page.

  10. FX1 is broadcasting truck race live. Just saying… Bristol was empty for the Cup race in April. I’m not expecting much better this week. They really need to go back to the old layout. Bruton keeps talking about it.

    Preece heading to Lancaster on Saturday for the ROC show.

  11. Mod Man- youre being a bit ridiculous. The race is always boring? c’mon man. And you cant complain about the lack of tv coverage for this race… they prob went to a delayed showing because in recent years they couldnt go 5 laps without a caution. It’s always great to have these races in front of the big leaguers. It’s a glorious sight to see them on that track despite the number of people attending.

  12. Guys, I’m “old school”. Been following modifieds since 1976 !!! Its great to see them on the “big stage” at Bristol, but given the costs associated with the travel & motel expenses (for both the cars, crews and spectators), its just about cost-prohibitive !! The modifieds thrived here in New Jersey (Wall Stadium, Atlantic City Speedway, New Egypt Speedway) back when I started, and they continue to do so in New York and New England. Unfortunately, New Jersey only has 1 asphalt track left, Wall Stadium. Boy, I wish it was the 70’s again !!!!

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