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'Part 2 - 2010 NWSMT' by Richie Grodski

The 2010 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour's schedule dropped to 10 races
from 2009's 14 race schedule. Gone were Concord Motorsports Park, Myrtle Beach Speedway, Lanier National Speedway, Martinsville Speedway (combo WMT event)
and Ace Speedway. Caraway Speedway also went from 6 races to 3 races in 2010. Added to 2010 were Atlanta Motor Speedway, Langley Speedway, Tri-County
Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Martinsville combo race was moved
to Bristol Motor Speedway's event. Talk about mixing the schedule up! Overall, 37
different drivers competed in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour in 2010 with only 11 drivers making every race. Racing was tight throughout the entire season and the final
race of the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the race to see. Going onto the
final race, 3 drivers had a shot at the point championship and with a strange chain of
racing incidents, the 3rd place point holder, #1 Burt Myers, walked away with the
2010 championship. Let's hope 2011 will be just as competitive.

What can you say about the 2010 Whelen Southern Modified Champ. Myers also won the Bowman Gray track championship in 2010. The #1 Capital Bank team had 2 wins, 7 top 5's and 9 top 10's in the 10 race WSMT season. Although lingering behind the #1 spot most of the year, Burt came from 3rd in points to grab the championship at Charlotte due to accidents involving the first and second place point holders. Burt's 2 wins came at the last 2 races on the schedule at Tri-County Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. At his home track, Bowman Gray, Myers led the most laps in the tour event but ended up finishing 2nd to #36 L.W. Miller. Burt is usually fast anywhere he races and isn't afraid to run anyone hard. The #1 Capital Bank team even traveled north to run the first and last WMT races at Thompson Speedway in 2010. Burt finished 14th in both races. Watch for Myers in 2011. I do think he will turn it up a notch and I hope to see him enter a few more WMT events.

Second place point finisher was the John Baker Plumbing & Utilities #36 of L.W.
Miller. L.W. finished the season with 1 win, 5 top 5's and 9 top 10's. After a 14th
place finish starting the season, Miller upped his game by grabbing 3 2nds and a win
in the next 4 races. L.W. has 11 wins in the Southern Tour, since racing in the series,
and is always in the thick of things. Miller had a shot at winning the 2010 championship
till a tangle in the season finale dropped him to 2nd in points. In his 5 years racing the Southern Tour, L.W. has 1 championship (2007), 1 2nd (2010), 2 3rds and a 10th in the season ending points. If Miller had bettered his 14th place finish at the season opener
to a top 10, he would have probably been crowned the 2010 champion. Luck is a
part of the game as is skill and preparation. Fortunately, skill and preparation will
keep Miller at the top of the points every year.

The third place point finisher was the #79 Hill Enterprises of James Civali. James
had won 2 races and had 6 top 5's and 8 top 10's. Civali's first win came at South
Boston Speedway and his second win came at Bristol Speedways combo WMT
event. James has driven SK type modifieds and also a modified on the Whelen
North Tour over the years of his career, which has only added to his skill in driving.
In his first year driving the Hill Enterprises #79 on a full tour schedule, James did
what he had to do, and that's race to win. Always in contention, Civali showed that
the #79 is a force to be reckoned with. Now that the first year of this team/driver
is over, count on James to be a contender in the championship point race next year,
and the years to follow.

The Q Racing Oil/Rockingham Boats/MUA #40 of Andy Seuss grabbed 4th in points
for 2010. Andy ended the season with 2 wins, 6 top 5's and 8 top 10's. Andy is a
racer's racer. He competed in the full Southern Tour, 4 Modified Racing Series' events, winning a race at Oxford Plains Speedway, and 6 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
events. Andy's only bad finish in 2010 was at the season ending Charlotte Motor
Speedway with an 18th place. With a 5th and 2nd in the points the last 2 years, Andy
seemed due for a Tour Championship. Seuss has pretty impressive stats for a driver
only on the southern tour full time for 3 years. This is another team to watch for a future
championship. The Riggs Racing team is a well prepared team and with Andy
behind the wheel, it seems a perfect combination. Keep an eye on this smooth
driver in 2011, he will always be in the front for sure.

Fifth place point finisher, Tutterow Surveying / Rick's Home Repair #25 of John
Smith had a decent season with 1 win, 6 top 5's and 9 top 10's. John's win came at
the July race at Caraway Speedway in a wild green/white/checkered over #36 L.W.
Miller. Smith ran quite well with 1 2nd, 2 3rds, 1 4th and 1 5th, his bad finishes hurt him. Consistency was John's omen. This was John's 3rd year running the full tour schedule
and each year he has progressed with much better finishes, including his very first win
in the series. John has come a long way since winning 2 races at Bowman Gray and Rookie of the Year in 2001. It is not an easy task coming from a flat 1/4 mile track to race on the Whelen Southern Tour, but John has adapted quite well. I can only see Smith stepping it up next year and bettering his already impressive record. Turn a few top 10's into top 5's, and you are in the top 3. Nice run in 2010, good luck next year.

Rounding out the Top 10 were:
Zach Brewer - great finish for 1st full year on tour
Jason Myers - only 1 tour win since tours inception but more will come
Frank Fleming - 25 years driving mods, over 50 modified wins, none on tour, well due
Brandon Hire - first full year on tour, great future ahead
Gene Pack - older statesman of the tour

That's it for this round. Next week will be 'Part 3 - 2010 MRS'.
Have a great week.


Source: Richie Grodski/TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: December 1, 2010

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