FIVE THINGS TO WATCH:
BROWN STILL SEARCHING FOR FIRST TITLE
A rainy weekend pushed back the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tourís
opener a week. The 2009 season will now start at Concord (N.C.) Speedway Ė
one of several new venues for the tour in 2009.
As the green flag sets to drop on the fifth season, here are five
things to keep an eye on:
He is the most successful driver in the history of the NASCAR
Whelen Southern Modified Tour who has yet to claim a title. Will 2009 be the
year he finally gets to celebrate a championship? Only time will tell but
based on his performance over the past three seasons, Brown will definitely
be one to watch.
The Winston-Salem, NC driver has finished second three years in a
row in the final points standings and has missed winning a title by an
average of just 20 points per season Ė with his closest finishing being six
points behind Junior Miller in 2006. Brown is in the top three in many
career statistical categories. He is tied for second in career wins (five),
second in career Coors Light Pole Awards (eight) and tied for first in
all-time starts (47).
Brown will be a contender all season long in the NASCAR Whelen Southern
NEW FACES - NEW PLACES
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will hold 16 events in
2009, highlighted by visits to new venues for the southern-based drivers.
Concord Speedway will host its first race on Saturday, March 21 and
the unique track will offer a new set of challenges for the drivers. The
track is a tri-oval that will feature some of the fastest speeds the drivers
will reach all season long.
Myrtle Beach Speedway will also host a NWSMT event over Labor Day
weekend welcoming the Tour for the first time. The track is a big half-mile
facility that will offer plenty of side by side racing.
Bristol Motor Speedway will host a combination event for both the
NASCAR Whelen Southern and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours. The August 19 race
will mark the first time the Modifieds tackle the Bristol high banks.
South Boston will also host the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified
Tour for the first time in 2009. The track, owned by the Mattioli family
that also owns Pocono Raceway, hosted the NASCAR Whelen Modifieds earlier
Since the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour began competition in
2005, the name Myers has been mentioned at every race. Burt and younger
brother Jason are two names fans expect to hear and see at every race and
this year the brothers will once again return to the Tour.
Last season was the first year Burt didnít finish in the top 10 in the final
point standings while Jason finished in the top five for the first time.
Burt holds the record for the most Coors Light Pole Awards on the Tour with
17 and has won five races throughout his career. Jason has one career win
and shares the record for most career starts (47).
CAN THIS BE THE YEAR?
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour has seen the level of
competition improve every year and 2009 appears to be no exception. While
the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has the history and many veterans who have
competed longer on the Tour than some Southern drivers have been alive, the
Southern drivers are ready to challenge the Northern drivers in the
L. W. Miller scored the highest finish at Martinsville by a NWSMT
regular competitor when he finished third in 2007. This year the two Tours
will have two companion events. They will make their annual visit to
Martinsville and a first visit to Bristol Motor Speedway.
CAN LOFTIN REPEAT?
Brian Loftin will attempt to become the first repeat champion of
the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour since Junior Miller won
back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006. Judging by his performance at Caraway
Speedway last year and the fact that the Asheboro, N.C., facility will host
seven races in 2009, he could very well be in command of the point standings
by the time the Tour holds its season-ending event at Caraway in early
Loftin won three of the six races at the speedway last season and
finished no lower than third in the other three races. Loftin said that if a
driver can run well at Caraway and stay out of trouble at the other tracks
you should always have a shot at the championship. Loftin hopes his
domination at Caraway continues this season.
Southers / NASCAR