LEAVING NASHVILLE....HERE COMES
GREENVILLE-PICKENS by Brian Hawks
Hop onto I-40 for the longest
trip on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule. The Music City
Motorplex in Nashville, TN. As it appeared to be a very uneventful weekend,
things took a turn toward the end of practice on Saturday. Brian Loftin and
Earl Baker made slight
contact and Baker went sailing into the wall. Earl was ok, but had sheet
metal damage, he would be okay for qualifying. Toward the end of practice,
Brandon Ward brought his Rayco Safety #42 in for an engine miss. The team
discovered that had big problems and advised NASCAR they would take a
provisional. They would began removing the engine of the 42 machine.
As the sun went down it was time for the 19 modifieds that
showed up to Music City to show their fast times. The track announcer was
calling out track times, and confusing many team members while trying to
figure out how they did. NASCAR also let Gene Pack, Jason Myers and Bobby
Hutchins without time. They had to take an extra two laps to make their
times. Chuck Hossfeld also was clocked running 3-tenths faster than NASCAR
had showed, nothing was done. Burt Myers won his second Bud Pole of the 2007
season but would have to start the next day off in the 9th position after
Sunday morning, Southern Modified teams poured into the Music
City Motorplex for day two of the event. Cars had to be on the track by 12
noon to get racing action started. Brandon Ward and his 42 team were still
trying to get the new engine together, and still having technical problems
while others teams headed onto the track. As a last minute move, the new
engine was fired after several attempts after a smoking problem.
The Green flag dropped in Nashville and the 19 teams headed
into turn one. Tim Brown and Andy Suess lead early, but Wesley Swartout took
off around lap 30 to over a straight away lead over the pack. And after a
weekend full of bad luck, Brandon Ward made his way from the 19th position
into 3rd position in the first 60 laps of the event. Around lap 75 LW Miller
in his Baker Motorsports #36 was black flagged for smoking and fluid leaks.
LW lost power steering early on in the event. NASCAR pulled the black flag
back after two laps and let Miller contiune on.
Several cars hit pit road with problem. Brian Pack had a
right front flat tire and made brake problems before he could get to pit
road. After a strong run up to the 4th position, Gene Pack had steering
problems and lost positions on pit road. But on lap 125 LW Miller and Chuck
Hossfeld made contact sending Hossfeld into the backstretch wall. NASCAR did
not throw the yellow, but the Tour spotted the car and before the yellow was
posted, The Southern Modified field slowed for caution. 125 laps of green
flag laps on the tires and no pit stops were allowed without penalty on the
Tour. Several cars headed down pit road to accept the penatly to throw on a
new right rear tire to be the first car a lap down. Only 7 cars were on the
lead lap at this time.
As Tim Brown and Andy Suess had been battling back and forth
for the lead, they got read for a
showdown with only 20 laps to go. A hard battle took place with Andy Suess
taking over that top spot until Lap 149 when the 79 of Chuck Hossfeld made
hard contact with the L&R Transmissions #23 of Brian Loftin. Loftin slammed
into the turn 3 wall with very heavy contact.
This setup a Green/White Checkers finish. Andy Suess had the
top spot over Tim Brown. LW Miller was in the third position and Brandon
Ward was in fourth. On the start, Tim Brown's car slowed and LW Miller and
Brandon Ward dove to the inside. Tim would fall to 6th place with some sort
of electrical problems and LW would try to catch Andy for the win. Andy held
off LW for his first ever win in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
LW Miller, Brandon Ward, Junior Miller and Brian King rounded out the top 5.
After the race, while Andy was trying to celebrate his
victory, Bobby Loftin the owner of the 23 machine decided to discuss things
with Chuck Hossfeld. He threw a punch at Hossfeld and landed. Hossfeld then
swung back and hit Bobby Loftin. As officials and crew members were trying
to hold everyone back. Brian "Jimmy Superfly" Loftin came running down pit
road and hopped onto the top of the 79 machine's hood. NASCAR would call
both teams into the trailer after the event. The 23 team will not return to
action in Greenville as the car has been totaled. The team will recieve
penelties from NASCAR as the 79 team will not. You can read other stories on
the altercation on the internet, but watch yourself reading one-sided mess.
As this story needs to be dropped, that's all the information I will provide
in this weeks article.