The Chrome Horn News



    The Advance Auto Parts 199 at Bowman Gray Stadium is one race that is marked in bold print on every calendar in every garage area and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver’s date book.
    Bowman Gray Stadium is the oldest track under NASCAR sanction and the facility in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C., has built an incredible reputation that draws in more than 15,000 fans per race during the season. The main attraction for those fans is watching the weekly Modified division race around a quarter-mile track that’s infield is the football field for Winston-Salem State University.
    Bowman Gray Stadium and its staff have truly shown that NASCAR local short track racing is still alive and well.
    In last year’s Advance Auto Parts 199, two of Bowman Gray’s most popular drivers – brothers Burt and Jason Myers – had a night where their fortunes were at two far extremes in the annual Whelen Southern Modified Tour stop.
    Burt Myers headed into the race with one of the fastest cars based on practice and qualifying, but his night was ended less than five seconds into the race when he was bumped from behind and sent into the first turn wall with significant damage. Jason Myers, on the other hand, took the lead on lap 158 and never looked back en route to the biggest win of his career.
    “That was my biggest win and the reason for that was the fact it was a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race,” Jason Myers said. “I’d already had a few wins at Bowman Gray and a couple of other tracks, but to actually win a Tour race was pretty special. It also meant a lot because of all the history behind Bowman Gray, as well as the history of my family racing at that track through the years.”
    The modifieds have been racing at Bowman Gray for almost 60 years – dating back to 1949 – and throughout that time someone with the last name of Myers was likely racing at the Stadium.
    “My brother and I grew up watching our dad (Gary) race at Bowman Gray when we were little and obviously, Burt and I are racing there now,” said Jason Myers, a native of Walnut Cove, N.C. “Before dad there was my grandfather Billy and his brother Bobby, who both raced at Bowman Gray when the track first opened. My grandfather won the (1952) championship and 16 races. My grandfather Billy won three championships at Bowman Gray (1951, ‘53 and ‘55) and 22 races. It was in 1952 when my great uncle Bobby won the championship and he went on to win 16 times at the Stadium.
    “It was in 1958 when my grandfather passed away when he was racing at Bowman Gray. He had a heart attack while leading the race. … So our family goes back quite a few years at Bowman Gray.”
    Jason Myers admits the emotions of winning his first Whelen Southern Modified Tour race before his hometown fans and family was something he will never forget.
    “It really hit me when Burt got to Victory Lane and gave me a hug,” Jason Myers said. “To see the look in his eyes was something I’ll never forget, and it really hit me as to how big a win it was for me. That was definitely the most exciting time for me in my racing career.”
    Burt Myers agrees with the assessment of his younger brother.
    “I was just as excited for Jason as I would have been to win it myself,” Burt Myers said. “The last 10 laps, I was asking over the radio to see how Jason was doing. I was just really ecstatic for him because Jason has had a lot of bad luck. For him to break through last year and win that race really meant a lot to me because he is my brother and he was driving my dad’s car and both of our cars come out of the same shop.
    “It was a little emotional for me just because Jason hasn’t been as fortunate with his racing as I have been. I was just tickled to death to see Jason win that race because of how much I know it meant for him.”
    While Jason Myers will be gunning for his second straight victory on Saturday night in the Advance Auto Parts 199, Burt Myers just wants a reversal of fortune from his disappointing first lap crash from a year ago.
    “Anytime you don’t finish the first lap because of a wreck is pretty frustrating,” Burt Myers said. “I don’t think it was intentional as much as it was another driver making an error. It was just disheartening because I thought we had a great shot of winning that race.
    “I don’t mean to sound cocky, but I think we’re going to have a very good shot of winning this race Saturday night.”

Fast Facts

What: Advance Auto Parts 199
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
Race: # 6 of 12
Where: Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, N.C.
When: 8:45 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 4
Track layout: .25-mile oval
Distance: 199 Laps, 49.75 miles.
Posted Awards: $24,272
2006 winner: Jason Myers
2006 polesitter: Burt Myers
Records: Qualifying, Burt Myers, 13.812 (65.161 mph), Aug. 5, 2006
Pre-race schedule: Friday, Aug. 3 – Practice, 5:30 p.m. Qualifying, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 – Practice, 8:45 p.m. Race, 8:45 p.m.
Note: All times subject to change.

NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Top 10: 1. L.W. Miller, 801; 2. Junior Miller, 780; 3. Burt Myers, 773; 4. Tim Brown, 725; 5. Jason Myers, 691; 6. Brian King, 679; 7. Bobby Hutchens, 655; 8. George Brunnhoelzl, 648; 9. Brian Pack, 639; 10. Frank Fleming, 637.


Source  Jason Mitchell/NASCAR WSMT PR
Posted:  August 1, 2007

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