NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver George Brunnhoelzl III took
another large step toward earning his first championship by winning the
Caraway 150 Saturday night.
Brunnhoelzl, who entered Caraway Speedway with a 76-point lead on
Andy Seuss in the season standings, made the decisive pass for the lead on
Lap 85 and held on through a green-white-checker finish to register his
third win of the season by .974 seconds over Burt Myers.
After Myers crossed the line second, Frank Fleming, Jason Myers and
John Smith followed to complete the top five.
“I had a great car tonight and I got to thank all the guys on the
team for giving me a great car,” Brunnhoelzl said. “It is the first time I
have had a car that actually got better the harder I drove it.”
Brunnhoelzl qualified his No. 28 Oval Speed Ford on the outside of
the front row and started the race ninth after the redraw. Frank Fleming put
his No. 40 Jerry Hunt Auto Sales Pontiac up front when he started from the
point after the redraw.
Fleming, John Smith and Burt Myers led the field for the first 56
laps under green when the first of five yellow flags were given to the
Fleming maintained his lead on the restart but after L.W. Miller
and Buddy Emory got together on lap 63 to bring out the second caution,
Myers was able to pass Fleming on the restart. Although happy with his
top-three finish after two consecutive bad finishes due to an accident and
motor woes, Fleming felt he had a car capable of winning the race.
“These guys keep getting me on the restarts,” Fleming added. “I
have to find a way to get our gearing right so we can handle these guys on
Myers, who won his series-record 19 career Coors Light Pole Award
earlier in the day, also was happy with his runner-up finish. He led from
laps 68 to 84 before Brunnhoelzl made a daring pass on the outside and
remained out front the rest of the night.
“I told the guys under that last caution that we were really good
and we are getting back to where we can race for wins again,” Myers said.
Brunnhoelzl added he felt that opportunity to pass Myers on lap 85
might be the only chance he was going to get against the veteran driver.
“I knew that might be the only shot I had so I took it and he and I
raced for the lead real clean and didn’t touch each other,” Brunnhoelzl
said. “My car just drove so well I felt like I could make the pass on the
Gene Pack, Thomas Stinson, Buddy Emory, Josh Nichols and Jim Willis
rounded out the top 10.
Seuss, who entered the night in second-place in the point
standings, eventually finished 14th – five laps down – after being forced to
pit numerous times with mid-race ignition problems.
It was also not a good night for the defending NWSMT champion Brian
Loftin. Loftin and Brian Nichols made contact while the drivers were running
sixth and eighth collectively sending Loftin into the Turn 1 wall backwards
making hard contact. Loftin, who entered the night in third-place in the
standings, attempted to stay in the race but parked his car several laps
later due to the damage.
As a result of problems with Seuss and Loftin during the race,
Brunnhoelzl was able to extend his lead in the championship standings to 135
points on Seuss with four events remaining on the schedule.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will return to Caraway
next Saturday, Sept. 19 for the 11th race of the season.
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour-Caraway 150
Saturday At Caraway Speedway, Asheboro, NC
Lap length: 0.45 miles
position in parentheses)
1. (9) George Brunnhoelzl III, West Babylon, N.Y., Ford, 152
laps, 76.615 mph, $2,000.
2. (4) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 152, $1,500.
3. (1) Frank Fleming, Mount Airy, N.C., Pontiac , 152,
4. (5) Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 152, $1,050.
5. (3) John Smith, Mount Airy, N.C., Chevrolet, 152, $1,000.
6. (11) Gene Pack, Walkertown , N.C. , Chevrolet, 152, $850.
7. (12) Thomas Stinson, Richmond , VA. , Chevrolet, 152, $750.
8. (2) Buddy Emory, Petersburg , VA. , Chevrolet, 151, $690.
9. (7) Josh Nichols, Cleveland , N.C. , Chevrolet, 150, $590.
10. (16) Jim Willis, Holly Springs , NC, Chevrolet, 149, electrical, $550.
11. (14) Tommy Neal, Walkertown , NC , Chevrolet, 149, $525.
12. (15) Rich Kuiken Jr., Staffordsville , N.J. , Chevrolet, 148, $500.
13. (13) Bryan Dauzat, Midland , NC , Chevrolet, 147, $485.
14. (10) Andy Seuss, Hampstead , N.H. , Dodge, 145, $460.
15. (6) Brian Loftin, Lexington , N.C. , Chevrolet, 79,
16. (8) L.W. Miller, Dushore , PA. , Pontiac, 63, accident,
Burt Myers, Time: 15.966 Seconds
Speed: 101.466 mph
Time of Race: 53 mins, 34 secs
Average Speed: 76.615 mph Margin
of Victory: 0.974 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 56-61 (#34
spins in Turn 4); 63-67 (Car #36 & #02 got
together in Turn 4); 70-74 (#23 & #34 got
together in Turn 4); 79-83 (#34, #97, & #44 spin
in Turn 3); 145-149 (#21 spins in Turn 2). 5
for 26 laps.
Lap Leaders: Frank Fleming
1-67, Burt Myers 68-84, George Brunnhoelzl III
Total Laps Led: George
Brunnhoelzl III 68, Frank Fleming 67, Burt Myers
17. 2 changes involving 3 drivers.
COCA-COLA MOVE OF THE RACE: George
Brunnhoelzl III, 28 Oval Speed/ Fibrwrap/PT Ford
COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Burt
Myers, 1 Capital Bank Ford
FEATHERLITE "MOST IMPROVED DRIVER:
Frank Fleming, 40 Jerry Hunt Auto Sales/Pro
Health Center Pontiac
Standings: 1. G. Brunnhoelzl III,
1685; 2. A. Seuss, 1550; 3. B. Loftin, 1489; 4. B. Myers, 1478; 5. L.
Miller, 1457; 6. F. Fleming, 1427; 7. J. Myers, 1381; 8. G. Pack, 1358; 9.
J. Smith, 1357; 10. B. Emory, 1326.