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

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communication)

Ryan Preece in action last week at Thompson Speedway (Photo Michael Ivins/NASCAR)

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.

Series 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.
Track Twitter: @BMSupdates
Event Hashtag: #BushsBeans150

Fast Facts

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.


  1. OK all you Whelen Modified Tour experts. Someone must have gone to Bristol. Those high banks. What’s it like. Man they must rip around there. How about some interesting anecdotes from past modified races at Bristol.

  2. darealgoodfella says

    I go to Bristol.

    It’s amazing.

    It’s LOUD.

    Been going for years and years. High priority race.

    The Mods are incredible on the concrete high banking. Entry and exit is breathtaking.

  3. Been there 3 time. Very cool to see the mods race there but the racing is usually not as good because they go so fast it hard to race close together. Every year they also get screwed by the weather and the races get shortened by NASCAR.

  4. Very boring and slow
    I have a cup section at bristol

  5. darealgoodfella says

    There tends to be plenty of yellow flags. Lack of experience on this track and the speed is probably a contributing factor.

    Slow cars like the 01 are also very detrimental at Bristol. There is no apron to run on, so the back markers have to run in the low groove, so the real race cars have to constantly move up and down to get around the slower cars. Without these moving pylons, the race would be much more exciting.

    With the way the cars have been running lately, this could be an epic Bristol race. Just depends on the wrecking. Some Bristol races have been disasters. Then again, the TV coverage seems to keep the stupid in check.

  6. Thanks for the first hand accounts.
    So do you drive there or fly. What is the crowd like. Do the locals have modifieds and do any enter the race and how do they do? Is this a big deal at Bristol or is like a bunch of Yankees visit and nobody seems to care. Do you you support a race so far away and do you think it’s good for the series?

  7. Is there any T V coverage

  8. Muddbus461 says

    Huge entry list….Melissa may get a top 25

  9. darealgoodfella says

    TV coverage… NBCSN will show the Bristol race on Aug 26 @ 3 PM. Latest info that is.

    No crowd, place is empty for the Mod race, fills in for the trucks.

    What’s a “local”? Check the entry list, that will tell you. Same cast of characters. That there are no crowds for the mods at Bristol explains why the southern mod tour is no more.

    It’s a great track for the mods, they are crazy fast. The wide tires, low CG, banking and concrete, adds up to a perfect combination of car and track.

  10. The first 3 or 4 years was really good, Followed by a few years of wreckfests. Hoping for the best tomorrow. No Newman?? Only one Myer brother. No Tim Brown. Southerners not much of a force. Underdogs have prevailed at Bristol. Could see a first time winner tomorrow.

    Then we can all watch who spun Preece on Thursday night when the Thompson race airs on NBC Sports. My DVR is already set.

  11. Do u know what time Thomson race is on

  12. Thanks for the fans perspective.
    Bristol, I don’t get it. Love the track, love the banking, no bad seats but my God why? I look at a map and it’s a long, long way to haul a car and crew. Is it the TV? They get paid for that. You say the place in mostly empty so why bother? There must be a reason cause they keep going back.
    A couple weeks ago Stafford was rocking. Isn’t that the goal? To have people at the race. Little help please.

  13. darealgoodfella says

    What’s with the NASCAR website? Very late with the upcoming race info. Used to be out a week before the race, now, lucky if it there the day before the race.

  14. darealgoodfella says

    I’m calling Brendon Bock for Bristol. If they get the car set, I think this kid will eat it up.

  15. Bob, 7 PM

    Wed., Aug 9 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour NBCSN Thompson Thur., Aug. 17 7 p.m.
    Wed., Aug 16 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour NBCSN Bristol Sat., Aug. 26 3 p.m.

  16. Thompson airs 7pm on Thursday. I saw one report that said Bock wasn’t going to Bristol. I don’t know myself.

    I also saw that Justin Allgaier was interested in finding a mod ride for a race to try it out. Presumably Loudon. That would be cool to see.

  17. darealgoodfella says

    Hmmmm…. vewy intawesting. Bock is on the entry list, so that’s why I made that call. I think he’d really like Bristol.

    Please, no ringers, or otherwise at Loudon. They never did any good anyways. Please, don’t bring up Newman.

  18. Loose Bristol and go with Martinsville on a Saturday night under the lights. 200 laps, turn em loose, would be a great race with what I believe would be a very good car count.

  19. Ok let’s start a pool, how many laps before Melissa goes a lap down. I pick 6…….

  20. Does anyone know where I can find the drivers rosters for bristol and the mts race at mondnock this Saturday?

  21. I’m with Humphry,Martinsville is a great mod track.Doable drive down and back if mods headline the show.

  22. Drivers list for mods at Bristol ‘NASCAR home tracks’. Do not see anything for mts manadnock

  23. Bristol is cool but the mods always seem to get short changed . If you are working on the car there it always seems to be a blur as the day flies by Then next thing you know it’s over . IMHO I would rather go to Richmond I think the mods are at their best on that track .

  24. Thank Zelda for the info

  25. Thanks Tim I thought I was just missing It.

  26. Liz Cherokee says

    on August 15, 2017 at 9:21 pm humphry says: “Ok let’s start a pool, how many laps before Melissa goes a lap down. I pick 6…….”

    That’s not very nice. You must be a misogynist. No sangria for you!

    OK, now let’s start a pool on who has won the last three consecutive Whelen Modified Tour Most Popular Driver Awards. I pick Melissa… WINNER! LIZ WINS!!!

  27. darealgoodfella says

    Practice is live here:

    I didn’t go because weather was too risky, and the weather after today looks worse.

  28. Chicks in racing are a bit like unicorns. Special. It’s uncool to attack chicks that race and unicorns. There are plenty of cars off the pace in every sort of racing. Yes it’s sexist to always support the chicks but that’s the way it is for me anyway. Fifield is 18th in points and supports the series by making all the races and qualifying. So what’s the issue?

  29. darealgoodfella says

    Liz, don’t be too upset. I think humphry is using statistics from the last Bristol race, where the 01 went a lap down in just a couple laps.

    Good luck!!!

  30. Doug are you freaking kidding me? I love unicorns, my daughters favorite animal. I love chicks that drive race cars, key word DRIVE.

    And Liz, I hate sangria, I am a Jack Daniels man. Most popular driver, that’s a joke!

  31. darealgoodfella says

    How along before Colbee wrecks?

  32. darealgoodfella says

    Liz, the 01 was thrown out for not making the minimum speed. She lasted only 33 laps.

  33. Liz Cherokee says

    dareal, you might want to fact check that statement. Can you also please mention any other drivers who were also posted for mimimum speed issues. I’m well aware that Bristol is Melissa’s worst track, but I sure see improvement. You should open your eyes my friend… #misogyny

    humpie, on occasion I enjoy drink some Jack Daniels… I even like a little Jack Fire in my Angry Orchard when I’m in cider mode. However, this year when Melissa wins her fourth consecutive Whelen Modified Tour Most Popular Driver Award, it will be Moët Rose Nectar Imperial! Maybe you should try some yourself… #RenaissanceMan

    Bottoms up boys!

  34. darealgoodfella says

    Liz, the 01 was flagged or what ever at 33 laps for not maintaining the minimum speed. That’s what I saw reported. Not sure why she ended up with more laps than that, and the reason for the final demise was reported as a mechanical issue. Looks like she only made it 58 laps, 92 laps down. I don’t see how you can blame a track for that. The improvement that is needed should be realized in a couple hours… it’s been seasons.

  35. Liz Cherokee says

    dareal, you were wrong. You also failed to report other drivers who were also posted for minimum speed issues, That coupled with your earlier commentary makes you… I hate to say this, but, it makes you a misogynist! I’m so very disappointed in you, but I might let you make it up to me at the Cement Palace in a few weeks…

  36. darealgoodfella says

    So what if other drivers were also posted for failing to make the minimum speed, what does that have to do with the 01 not making the minimum speed? Hey Liz, the 01 couldn’t make the minimum speed.

    The 01 is your favorite, just thought I’d make sure you were aware.

    Sorry, I don’t fall for those playing the faux victim card.

  37. Misogynist relates more to very strong feelings bordering on hatred. I think sexist might be more appropriate. Treating the chick different but certainly not hating. Sexist pig always makes a nice statement without being too offensive. An oldie but a goodie for sure but if you are buddies not a dead end.

  38. Congenial sexist. That works to.

  39. darealgoodfella says

    Liz, what do you think of Dougie referring to your BFF as a “chick”?

    I’m signed up to go to the Concrete Palace.

  40. Liz Cherokee says

    You boys have no shame! It’s going to take me years to teach you all how to be properly chivalrous… Ugh!

    I’m hoping I can still watch all of you chasing the dream on the slick track at Seekonk Grand Prix from my top floor perch ah the Hampton Inn. I heard your favorite track might have moved for the new Chick-fil-A, so we’ll have to see when I get there. A few drinks and I might have to head down there and school you on a few things…

    Bottoms up boys!

  41. Hey I admit to being a congenial sexist. I root for the chicks in racing no matter what. If you Dareal have no problem being called a misogynist or “someone, usually a man, who hates women or believes that men are much better than women” far be it from me to change that label. Heck I don’t know you maybe you do hate women. You don’t seem to hate this Liz chick whom we could all learn something from by not taking any of this too seriously. She’s s a great writer, is informed and always blends in a creative chuckle that helps make the medicine she’s prescribing a little easier to swallow.
    After going over Fifields finishes she seems to have a lot of mechanical issues. Unless she has a all women crew, the guys may share a bit of the blame for poor finishes as well.

  42. darealgoodfella says

    Well, Liz, good luck at the ‘Konk. The 01 made it only 87 laps of a 150 lap event last year. It’s tiny track, close confines, lots of up close and personal racing. Not Mel’s favorite racing conditions.

  43. Liz Cherokee says

    So dareal, you are now saying that in your expert testimony on these message boards that Melissa and Doug Coby have similarities in their racing styles… See how my eternal optimism turned your negative remark into a positive thought? I should make you drink to that!
    Even if Melissa doesn’t finish well at Seekonk I’ll enjoy my trip to Seekonk–the racing there is great and I like being able to walk around the whole track too. I sure hope the points battle between Ole Blue Curaçao and Stolimoto goes down to the wire.

  44. darealgoodfella says

    No, I am not saying they have similar racing styles. They both eschew traffic, which is NOT saying they have the same racing styles.

    It could be said they have opposite racing styles. The 2 uses a flux capacitor to get out in front and stay out in front, evading traffic, while the 01 feigns mechanical and electrical issues to get out of the race early. That would establish the 01 and 2 as having very different, perhaps profoundly opposite driving styles.

  45. Fast Eddie says

    Until Seekonk next week, modified fans have a choice of two from the “other tours” this weekend. Which would you prefer, the MTS at Monadnock Speedway in NH, or the VMRS at Beech Ridge Speedway in Maine? And is your preference a logistics choice (whichever is closer) or a competition choice?

  46. wmass01013 says

    To me both are a joke, not saying some good drivers but both series and just making more trouble than good!

  47. Fast Eddie says

    Kinda harsh wmass. Granted, none of the three are as good as the TriTrack events, but they all have their good and bad points, more good than bad in my opinion. I’ve been to 3 MTS and 3 VMRS races this year and saw some good racing at all of them. Plenty of side by side action as well. The biggest downside I saw was car quantity; 20 – 23 cars.

  48. What are the newer modified tours doing. They’re controlling their own destiny I’ve been told. Each seems to have loyal followings. The track loves them cause they don’t have to be limited to the WMT shows. These guys blow in, the track charges a lot more and probably makes more money. In fact special races and tour series may be the future of local racing. It should be watering down the product but so far the crowds I’ve seen have been good and the WMT crowd at Stafford was great. So what’s the problem? Shouldn’t more modified races equal more happiness for modified lovers?

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