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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




Emerling finishes Thirteenth in Point Standings

Denise DuPont

Making the move from a local track to a NASCAR touring division is a major step to aspiring young drivers. Each year the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) has new drivers that join the field to step up their race competition level to contend for the one and only “Sunoco Rookie of the Year”. This year there were several contenders for the coveted NASCAR award but the youngest of them in the end captured the honor, nineteen year old Patrick Emerling. Emerling finished the year with 139 points in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings which out-distanced two more experienced drivers from Long Island New York. Bryon Chew, from Mattituck, had 121 points while Patchogue’s Tom Rogers Jr. had 64.

“I had a lot of fun,” Emerling said of his first year. “The competition is just way up there. It’s a lot different from what I did before. I learned so much along the way.”

“Our main goal was to get rookie of the year and do the best that we can. It worked out good for us. We were up against some tough guys like Bryon Chew and Tom Rogers. We ended up going up pretty good. I am proud of my dad, all the team and all the help that we got from Emerling Chevrolet.”

The turn around in Emerling’s first season with the tour came at Bristol Motor Speedway in August when he rallied from two different spins to finish fifth in the Whelen Modified-Whelen Southern Modified Tour combination race. “Probably Bristol is my most memorable moment for this year. We started in the back we ended up running really strong. If we had a caution at the right time we probably could passed and won the thing.”

Emerling came to the Whelen Modified Tour following two years of Modified racing in Upstate New York. He has posted one top-five finish and six top-ten finishes and at the end of the season sits 13th in the overall standings. Emerling also competed in the first four races of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour (NWSMT) season and also earned one “Sunoco Rookie of the Race” Award there.

The NWMT Rookie headed south to Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame for the end of the 2011 racing season Touring Series banquet celebrations. There he received his trophy as he was honored for his accomplishments. “NASCAR really did a good thing with the banquet. It is pretty awesome coming all the way down here. We flew down and now we are flying back tomorrow night. It is pretty awesome to be here with all the touring series.”

Additional Notes on Rookie Racer Patrick Emerling:

What was Emerling’s Most Memorable Moment in 2011?

“My most memorable moment is probably the Bristol race. Starting at the back and charging to the front. I really still wish that they threw a caution at the end of that race. That was my best finish on the tour and it was the race to win.”

“Then the race at Lime Rock (Park), I had a lot of fun. It is too bad that they are not going back there next year.”

What are your potential plans for 2012?

“We are starting out with a new team next year. We will see where we go from there. Maybe we will go for the championship, but we will do the best we can. 2011 was out learning year so we will go out in 2012 and do the best that we can. I look forward the next year it will be both good and cool.”

“We will also see if we can get a truck or ARCA car or something like that next year or a full body car. We will see how it goes.”

  Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: December 13, 2011

©2011 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.