MYERS STRIPPED OF MARTINSVILLE VICTORY
NASCAR disqualifies him for bad gears
Burt Myers won't get to enjoy a landmark victory at Martinsville
Speedway after all.
Myers, who finished first in Saturday's Whelen Modified Tour race,
said he was informed yesterday by NASCAR that he will be disqualified
for a rules infraction involving the gearing on his car.
Myers took the lead with 29 laps left from Ryan Preece, a
17-year-old driver from Kensington , Conn. , who finished second but
apparently will be declared the winner in the Made In America Whelen
Jason Christley, the manager of communications for NASCAR's
developmental series, said that there would be no comment from NASCAR
until an official penalty notice is released today.
Myers said that his car went through a 2½-hour inspection after the
race, and that NASCAR officials took the transmission for further
Myers didn't dispute that he was technically in violation, but said
that his gearing gave him no advantage over the competition and that the
penalty was too severe.
"You can't have a third gear that's too close to fourth gear,"
Myers said, explaining the rule. "There has to be a certain amount of
teeth spread between the two gears.
"The numbers of the teeth aren't exactly what's in the rule book,
but they're far enough away from high gear that mechanically it's not
possible for me to run in third gear all day.
"It was not a competitive advantage. You've got to have a
common-sense curve somewhere.
"I've never heard of them taking a win away from somebody three
days later. Fine me, or take points away or something. But to take the
win away three days later? Here I've gone from $8,000 to the good, and
I'm in last place and lost the points I gained (in the Southern Modified
Tour standings). All over a technicality."
If the victory had remained, Myers, from Walnut Cove, would have
been the first driver from NASCAR's Whelen Southern Modified Tour to win
the annual Martinsville race, which is typically dominated by
northeastern-based Whelen Modified Tour drivers.
No Southern driver has won a NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville
since Johnny Bryant in 1985.