Homer: Patrick Emerling Wins Whelen Mod Tour Nu-Way Auto Parts 150 At Lancaster Speedway

Patrick Emerling (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

The hometown fans at Lancaster Speedway got to see one of their own celebrate in the first trip ever to the track for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. held off two-time series champion Justin Bonsignore to win the Whelen Modified Tour Nu-Way Auto Parts 150 Saturday at Lancaster Speedway.

“I’m just thankful for being out here,” Emerling said. “I was like a kid in a candy store all day, having a Whelen Modified Tour race at one of my hometown tracks here in Western, N.Y. Absolutely incredible.”

Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y., was second and Max McLaughlin of Mooresville, N.C. third.

“It sucks to lose to a guy you’re battling for points, but hometown guy at his home track with this crowd,” said Bonsignore, who came into the event leading the series standings by 10 points over Emerling.

It was the third career series victory for Emerling and his second in 2021. He also won the NAPA Spring Sizzler 150 in April at Stafford Speedway. His other series victory came at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in 2017.

Bonsignore went by pole-sitter Jon McKennedy for the lead on lap 90. But a slip up the track with 31 laps remaining for Bonsignore allowed Emerling to move into the lead.

“I just got the right front up in the marbles trying to lap somebody and he got by me,” Bonsignore said.

A late caution set up a last lap showdown. Bonsignore got to the outside of Emerling through the final corner to set up a side-by-side drag race to the checkered flag.

“We were just holding the bottom,” Emerling said. “I was going to hold the bottom. If you’re on the bottom you have control. That’s what I did. I wasn’t going to let him get underneath. I opened the door up top there and he got a decent run. … Hats off to Justin, he’s a tough guy to beat.”

Said Bonsignore: “I knew he was going to block off of [turn] two and I just tried to get to his outside. We drag raced on the drag strip. Just a little short.”


  1. wmass01013 says

    I think LANCASTER is very HAPPY THEY ARE ONLY 1 OF 4 SHORT TRACK OPERATORS that wanted the WMT, Did you see how packed the track was? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm next POLL??

  2. It’s a long ride home from Lancaster for the 10 team. An owner that may have been able to race for the win spending the entire race mostly irrelevant after the broken shifter trying to rebound from the prior bad outing will certainly be a little cranky about the missed opportunity.
    Too bad about the wreck at the end especially for Silk. That was the cream of the crop all right there to fight it down to the checkers..
    Some guy on social media was trashing the track as a dump but it looked pretty good on the big screen especially with the electric atmosphere. All credit to the owners and NASCAR for pulling off an almost perfect show from the intro’s to the fire works on and off the track. Whomever produced that streamcast with the announcing, vibrant colors and camera angles is a master of his or her craft. Took a little getting used to seeing them drag race past the stands thinking they should be following the tire marks but they turn left instead.
    Every time there is a driver poll here Bonsignor seems to be the odd man out. It’s perplexing considering all the winning he’s done and the quality of the 51 team that is so consistent finishing races and delivering top results. In defeat he was his usual engaging self. He did sight the poor pit stop but that was OK it did happen, it was atypical and they owned it as a team. Otherwise he was gracious to everyone from the track owners, the crowd and especially Emerling. He pulled the string at the end when he could have done to Emerling what he did to Hirschman last year but elected to take the high road……..literally. And almost pulled it off.
    Hirschman gets 17 grand for winning at Star in a loaded Tri Track race and this show was big time pure and simple. In between Stafford had a successful open event and the northern tier modifieds got to race in front of a big crowd up in Maine that was also stream cast. It was a heck-of-a-week for modified racing fans with good to great crowds in attendance and every lap of every race available to every fan no matter where they were via streaming outlets.
    These are the best of times for Northeastern short track racing in my view. After what you saw last night are you still sure you want to kick NASCAR to the curb hoping it will sort itself out and somehow racing will be better? You’re not thinking this through.

  3. wmass01013 says

    It’s a old weathered race track, i am sure the facilities are not HIGH GRADE, the track has been on the verge of closing several times the last few yrs with Like Waterford and Thompson Now being leased by different people who come and go, but obviously this Mikey Myers wanted A WMT race AND HE HIT A HOMERUN from my view, too bad Sapienza IS STILL pouting about J TOWN

  4. Was on the road headed west so did not get a chance to see any of the race. How many cars attended? Thought there were 22?

    wmass, just an idea why don’t you lease Thompson and bring the tour in. Then after you front the 75k and pay the rest of the associated cost for the race let us know how you make out. You believe in the product but will you invest in it?

  5. If there were 22 cars, how many were tour regulars and how many home track guys?

  6. Happy for Lancaster Promoters and Staff to have a great crowd. Last 5 laps was good, the rest not so much

  7. The Atomic Punk says

    It was nice to see a Mod on a track where you could see a pass on the outside.

  8. Mike Myers promoted this event from the moment it was announced. Mike and his team put the work in and they were rewarded with a huge crowd and a fantastic race. That is two great finishes in back to back races for the tour. The top three drivers all took the time to acknowledged the huge crowd. Lancaster did indeed hit a home run. I have a feeling a return trip next July will be in order. Let’s keep the good times rolling at Stafford.

  9. Jimmy King says

    Don’t forget that the ROC series ran in front of a very large crowd on Friday at Spencer with a 24 car field; as well as Mahoning Valley on Saturday also with a 24 car field. Great weekend for asphalt modifieds all around. Congratulations to Emerling on an an amazing weekend double!

  10. wmass01013 says

    Because EARL, i am not in the promoting and track leasing business!! If you HATE NASCAR and the WMT so much, don’t watch, don’t go but why keep hating as much as you do? I do believe in the product as the BEST Modified racing around, but i also like all the other series as well, i watched MRS from Wiscasset and enjoyed that 17 car Mod race, i watched Tri-Track from Star with 40 plus cars last Saturday and enjoyed, Not all races are Great, Not all series make good calls in races.
    Now as far as Thompson is concerned while I have Noo Idea of the financial situation of the Hoenigs, they still OWN Thompson Earl, of the 148 WMT races there since 1985, Thats when the WMT began Earl. i would say ball park i have attended 100-110 of them and while NOT All of the races were PACKED like Lancaster was last night, i would say most were VERY well attended crowd wise while ALWAYS CHARGING the Most $$$ of any WMT track to get in so i must admit i do laugh when anyone talks about the bottom line of a WMT race.
    Let me ask you this EARL if the WMT was such a bad thing cost wise since 1985 then why have there been 148 losing $$ RACES at Thompson and 133 Losing $$ races at Stafford?

  11. Earl wrote, “If there were 22 cars, how many were tour regulars and how many home track guys?”

    You don’t know the answer to that question? You don’t know who are the Tour regulars and who would be home track racers?

    That explains so much.

  12. Earl wrote, “Was on the road headed west so did not get a chance to see any of the race. How many cars attended? Thought there were 22?”

    Earl, if you can post these questions, you can get the answers yourself. Are you an idiot or just behave like one?

  13. Bummer for Woody, he took a hit in points.

  14. Doesn’t look like the invaders were at any disadvantage since they outperformed most that regularly run Lancaster. Jankowiak was a huge non-factor. Expected more from Hoss. Results were not surprising at all, a typical Tour race.

  15. Well, there were issues with the timing system, or just the broadcasting of LIVE TIMING from the NWMT Race Center. Made me think of Sapienza.

    Interestingly, results were posted up in a couple hours, COMPLETE results, including standings.

    That was shocking. After a season of having to wait several days fo results to be compiled and posted, this was just shocking.

  16. I’m going to miss Earl. Arizona bound unless the plan has changed. Hopefully he will join me in the Barkalounger section with subscriptions to FloRacing, Speed51, PPV at Riverhead, NBC Sports Gold and whatever new thing that comes along that provides race coverage.
    True we home gamers have lived in the shadows in the past as ugly step children but our numbers are growing and we’re coming out of the shadows. Yes we that buy tickets virtually are fans too and will not be denied our rightful place among the racing fan base.
    Well that and I still think it’s a good idea to keep we old farts off the road late at night after we’ve been breathing exhaust fumes and having a couple cold ones.

  17. Jimmy King says
    August 1, 2021 at 2:06 pm
    Don’t forget that the ROC series ran in front of a very large crowd on Friday at Spencer with a 24 car field; as well as Mahoning Valley on Saturday also with a 24 car field. Great weekend for asphalt modifieds all around. Congratulations to Emerling on an an amazing weekend double!

    I most certainly have not forgotten those venues and thanks for mentioning them. Riverhead and Waterford as well who had a great night of racing with a strong SK modified field of cars. ROC country delivered that banner crowd at Lancaster that frankly put we in the supposed heart of modified country in Connecticut and Long Island to shame.
    What I’m relating to is accessibility to the larger audience and that would be via streaming. Put it on line via any service provider and I’ll buy it. I don’t think I’m the only one.

  18. Rich Gourley says

    It was very encouraging to see how well the western NY fans showed up. There is a long and storied history of modified racing in that area. Hope this turn into an annual event.

    How about that fireworks display after the race, that cost someone a pretty penny

  19. Hey dadumbdumb, no picks for Lancaster? What’s the matter, tired of getting spanked?

    Idiot? Naaaaaa. Look in the mirror and you will see one every time you do 😭 👶.

  20. You are quoting statistics from when the tour was having their hay day back in the good old days. Different times, different rules, different economic conditions.

    I don’t hate the tour, NASCAR just needs to get their act together with their financial package if they want to attract more venues.

    Have you watched any cup races lately? Seen many empty seats? There’s a ton and have you wondered why? All about economics.

  21. Doug, short trip to see how things are progressing on the new homestead. 6 hour flight give or take. And don’t worry, if you think for one minute I will leave this forum that ain’t happenin.

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