BRIAN LOFTIN HONORED AS 2008 NASCAR WHELEN SOUTHERN
MODIFIED TOUR CHAMPION ON FRIDAY NIGHT
It was a night where dreams finally came true for 31 year-old driver
Brian Loftin as the Lexington, N.C. native was honored as the 2008
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion.
Loftin, the driver of the No. 23 L&R Transmissions/QMF Solutions
Chevrolet as well as his family-owned team was recognized on Friday
night at Benton Convention Center in downtown Winston-Salem , N.C.
Loftin won this yearís Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship
by a mere 30 points over Tim Brown. In doing so he joins Junior Miller
(2005-2006) and L.W. Miller (2007) as only the third driver to win a
Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship in only the fourth year under
the NASCAR banner.
ďEvery year all the teams get together like we are now to celebrate
the end of the season,Ē Loftin said. ďSome teams, just like mine, are
celebrating a year of success while some teams are celebrating the fact
that the year is over with. At the start of the season, my team and I
sat down and decided weíd run for the Whelen Southern Modified Tour
championship. Iím glad we made that decision and know we have the
championship in our hands. There are not a lot of people that can say
they won a NASCAR championship and thatís something nobody can ever take
away from me. Iím just looking forward to get next season underway and
see if we can make it a repeat.Ē
Bobby Loftin, Brianís father, was on hand to receive the 2008
championship car owner award while Mike Adams earned the championship
crew chief award.
The Top-20 drivers in the final point standings were called onto
the stage on Friday night to be recognized for their efforts throughout
the course of the 2008 season.
Several special NASCAR awards were handed out during the banquet.
Veteran driver Bobby Hutchens received the 2008 Whelen Southern Modified
Tourís Most Popular Driver award. Andy Seuss was awarded the seasonís
Featherlite Most Improved Driver award as well as the Driver Achievement
award. John Smith earned the POWERade Power Move of the Race.
Tim Brown won the seasonís Coors Light Pole Award while George
Brunnhoelzl Jr. picked up top honors for the Sportsmanship award. The
Hoosier Tire award was presented to Brian Loftin.
In one of the biggest NASCAR awards of the evening, 19 year-old
Rich Kuiken Jr. was officially named as the 2008 Whelen Southern
Modified Tour Rookie-of-the-Year.
There were also several special awards that were presented by the
Southern Modified Ladies Racing Auxiliary. Two longtime Whelen Southern
Modified Tour officials were recognized for their efforts as Lynn Miller
received the Bud Hutchens Excellence in Motorsports Award while Boyce
Lineberger was called to the stage to accept the Kenny Minter Memorial
Determination award. Scott Rigney received the Bubba Beck Perserverance
award while Jody Utt was named the Mechanic of the Year.
FOX Sports commentator and legendary journalist Dick Berggren was
Friday nightís Master of Ceremonies, bringing in a wealth of past racing
experience dating back to his early days as a modified driver in the
Other special dignitaries on hand on Friday were Phil Kurze, the
Vice-President of Motorsports for Whelen Engineering. Hank Thomas with
Sunoco was in attendance to hand out the 2008 Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year
Special guests from NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach , Fla.
included: George Silbermann, the Managing Director of Racing Operations;
Ed Cox, the Whelen Southern Modified Tour Director; and Meghan Miley,
Touring Series Marketing Manager.
Representing NASCAR from the Concord, N.C.-based Research and
Development Center were: Richard Buck, Director of Touring Series; and
Jerry Cook, Competition Administrator.
In one of the biggest announcements of the night, it was revealed
that the Whelen Southern Modified Tour will make its inaugural visit to
South Boston ( Va. ) Speedway in 2009.