The Chrome Horn News


Fit To Be Tied'

    Members of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour media ranked the top 10 drivers for 2007 in a preseason poll. The result was a tie between Junior Miller and Tim Brown for first place. The two also received the same number of first-place votes.
    The fact that both drivers are expected to be championship contenders isn’t surprising considering that both were in title contention until the final five minutes of the 2006 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season finale at Southern National Raceway Park in Kenly, N.C. In the closing laps, the scenario was simple: Each driver had to finish in front of the other to win the title. Brown led the first 83 laps until getting caught up in lapped traffic, which allowed Miller to pass by and take the win — and ultimately the championship.
    “To be ranked tied with Junior Miller as to who the media thinks will win this year’s championship is pretty cool,” Brown said. “It’s a lot better than people expecting me to finish somewhere like fifth. I think the people that voted in the poll simply looked at both Junior and myself and based it on our past racing performances.
    “It’s a privilege to me for people to be predicting that I’m going to win the championship this year because Junior Miller is always the man to beat. I just want to race hard and be competitive. I want to do a good job not only for my team and sponsors, but I really want to do a good job for NASCAR.”
   Miller laughed when told he was told he was ranked in a tie with Brown in the preseason media poll, but cautioned there were a lot of other top drivers that shouldn’t be counted out.
   “You can never count out Tim Brown, L.W. Miller as well as (brothers) Burt and Jason Myers,” Miller said. “Those are probably the top four cars beside my team. Then again there are a lot of guys out there than can sneak up and beat you anytime. That’s what makes it so fun — you never know who is going to win when it comes to the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.”
   In the poll, which was voted on by the media that covers the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Burt Myers finished third, followed by L.W. Miller in fourth and Jason Myers in fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Brian Loftin (sixth), Brian Pack (seventh), Bobby Hutchens (eighth), Jay Hedgecock (ninth) and Brian King (10th). Drivers getting honorable mention were Gene Pack, Jay Foley, Michael Clifton, Frank Fleming and Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year contender Brandon Ward.
   Preseason questions will start getting replaced with answers as the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour kicks off its 2007 season Saturday night at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. Whelen Modified Tour regular Ted Christopher will be among the drivers and full field of drivers to watch as he tries to win his third straight NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season-opener.
   Miller scored three of his six victories in 2006 at Caraway, so the 55 year-old Walnut Cove, N.C. resident should be in contention as well.
   “Caraway is probably one of my favorite tracks and I’m ready to get the season started there,” Miller said. “I can’t wait to try and win another race this Saturday night.”
   Brown is not only looking forward to the season-opener at Caraway but also towards being a strong contender in this year’s NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship race.
   “I can’t wait to get this season started because all I do for a living is work on race cars,” said Brown, a fabricator for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series multi-car team at Ginn Racing. “I don’t race because it’s my hobby. I race because this NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour is a big business to me. Hopefully I’ll be able to apply all that I’ve learned in the offseason and apply to my racing this year. I want to be competitive at every single race this year but I really want to win some races too.
   “If I’m in contention every single race, we’ll just let the points fall where they may. I know I can’t beat myself and expect to win the championship if we have mechanical problems. I also know there are a lot of things out there that are out of my control.”


WEEKEND SCHEDULE: Friday, March 23: Noon-5 p.m. — Technical Inspection/No on-track activity. Sat, March 24: 11 a.m. — Registration begins; Noon — Haulers Enter; 4-4:45 p.m. — Practice; 6:30 p.m. — Qualifying (two laps); 8 p.m. — Whelen Southern Modified Tour 150.

ROOKIE RACE: The 2007 season marks the first time that the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour has had a Rookie-of-the-Year award. Sponsored by Sunoco, the top finishing rookie in each race will be awarded a $100 bonus. The driver who wins the overall 2007 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Rookie-of-the-Year award will receive a $1,250 bonus.


Source  Jason Mitchell/ WSMT PR
Posted:  March 22, 2007

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