Three Wide Ride: Patrick Emerling Wins Modified Whelen All-Star Shootout At NHMS

Patrick Emerling celebrates victory in the Whelen All-Star Shootout Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT?

LOUDON, N.H. – When it comes to on track drama throughout features and eye opening finishes, the NASCAR Whelen Modified rarely disappoints when the series hits the track at New Hamshire Motor Speedway. 

Friday though the series packed more drama into 35 laps of competition than most series’ running at the facility could squeeze from 300 laps. 

After a plethora of passes for the lead over a minimal amount of time, the checkered flag flew on the Whelen Modified Tour’s exhibition Whelen All-Star Shootout with a three-wide battle coming to the start/finish line. 

In the end it was Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. using a final lap pass for the lead to win the 35-lap Whelen All-Star Shootout.

Bobby Santos III of Franklin, Mass. was second and Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y. third. 

“We were just good enough,” Emerling said. “… That’s definitely a close one here. You don’t see too many three-wide’s here like that.”

It was the first career victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Emerling. 

“I think we were pretty close here the past couple years,” Emerling said. “A lot of top-five’s, second place, third place, fourth place finishes. We’ve just been working on getting faster. … We always race solid. … We’ll see if we can carry this momentum to tomorrow [in the Eastern Propane & Oil 100].

“Awesome day for us. I knew when we unloaded off the trailer we were going to have an awesome car here.”

Santos held the lead at the white flag with Emerling second and Bonsignore third. Emerling got a solid run down the backstretch on the final lap and avoided a block by Santos to get under him into turn three. 

“Earlier on in the run there I was playing around with getting stuck on the bottom there,” Emerling said. “If you do it just right you’re able to make up quite a bit of ground coming into the bottom. We just kind of had the car to do it there. We were pretty free, I couldn’t run up top at all. So that was my only chance there.” 

After Emerling got by him through turn three, Santos looked to complete the crossover through turn four, coming back under Emerling through the final corner. Bonsignore was behind Emerling coming off of turn four, but darted low off the final corner and got under Santos on the frontstretch, sending the three cars three-wide to the checkered. 

“We were feeling out the car the whole race there,” Emerling said. “I knew what I was going to do on the last lap. [Santos] took it easy on me. This wasn’t the 100-lapper so. I think a lot of guys were conservative too. We don’t want to wreck out cars for the race tomorrow. … I was saving up for the bottom shot there. We were able to make it stick and we came out of the corner halfway decent. It was pretty close. I wasn’t sure if he had me or not.”

Said Santos: “I’ve been in that situation multiple times and been lucky enough to be the winner. This time I wasn’t, which is a bummer. [Emerling] made the right move. He went to the bottom to make the pass. I had a couple different options and I guess I made the wrong decision.” 

Bonsignore was hoping to take advantage of the leaders battling through the final corner. 

“I played it pretty safe down the backstretch and saw them go down to the apron and I wasn’t sure where they’d end up,” Bonsignore said. “I kind of anticipated [Santos] to try and stay on the outside of [Emerling] through the middle of [turns] three and four and I thought maybe they’d make a little bit of contact and get up out of the groove and I could roll the bottom groove and beat them back to the line, but it didn’t work. I had a huge run off of [turn] four. … I was greedy and went for it myself and made it a little exciting.” 

Santos is the two-time defending champion of the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 and has won three of the last four Whelen Modified Tour points events at the track dating back to 2017. Friday he was making his first start in the Sapienza Racing ride in place the injured regular driver Dave Sapienza. 

“This was good for me today,” Santos said. “It’s my first time sitting in that car. Just working with [crew chief] Tommy Grasso and Dave Sapienza and this whole team, today was just good to learn everybody and learn my information to Tommy so that he can make the right adjustments for me. Obviously he gave me what I needed today, he gave me a good car.” 

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  1. CONGRATS to Patrick, and the #07 team on winning the All Star Shootout at NHMS. Great job.

  2. Why did Emerling thank Fuller after the race? Was that a LFR car?

  3. Fuller made physical changes to that chassis plus gave him the setup to run.

  4. Ok so I’m confused. Is the car a Troyer car? If so does this mean the entire LFR supremacy is just Fuller’s special sauce that can be applied to any car? Is what he “changed” legal? Somethings up here. Just me, you obviously have a inside contact here if what you said is true. Can you respond to this please? If all the Troyer cars are now going to catch the LFR cars this would make for some great racing for the fans for sure.

  5. Funny Facebook post by Ken Massa on the Whelen Modified Tour fan page. He found a great photo and posts “not sure who to give credit to.” Seems Ken struggles on who to give credit to quite often these days!

  6. I guess at this point in time it seems strange to have Troyer cars set up by LFR. This is the reality going forward isn’t it? Who else you gonna call?
    It’s a good question on what exactly are the design differences of consequence between the LFR and Troyer TA3 chassis? Is it all about set up and not so much original design or does design matter. We’ll get an inkling today won’t we watching Emerling and Summers.

  7. Dave does it upset you how good Ken Massa’s team is? What upsets you about him thanking fury? Triggered much…get over it and enjoy the racing

  8. Emerging was in a Troyes car. What I noticed was some additional support bars( stiffen up the front clip) and Fuller had him put in his coil binding setup.. ( Emerling never cool bound before). Interesting to see Fuller walking around the pits here in Loudon talking to all the Troyes and LFR crew chiefs. I would caution people not to expect a radical change for some finishes. Talking to quite a few drivers that switch to LFR and they say the car drives better but it’s taking them some time to adjust to a new driving style.

  9. Just me, thank you. That is some great insight information. Do we know if what Fuller is doing to these cars is illegal? Here’s another question for you how long is it been since LFR has not won at Loudoun? Seems like the Troyer cars are running a lot better these days. The 51 distances themselves from Fuller and LFR and the results are diminishing. LFR combined forces with Troyer and all the Troyer cars are definitely running better. Do you see this or is this my imagination? Could it be just set ups that make these cars better? Or is it a design advantage? Thank you again.

  10. Fuller is not doing anything illegal, if he was, NASCAR would have oune it via all the inspections these cars go through
    Fuller is not making any major changes to the Troyer chassis at this point in time
    He spending his focus in 3 areas.
    1. Getting Troyer Manufacturing up and running and producing parts needed for both the Troyer and LFR brand
    2. Working with and listening to the Troyer owners on what support and issues they have to make them run more competitive
    3. Getting the GenII LFR into production

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