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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour




John Smith worked his way past L.W. Miller on a green-white-checkered finish to win the Firecracker 150 in NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour action at Caraway Speedway.

Smith, who started alongside leader Miller on the final restart, was able to get the lead and held on for his first win in his 44th career start on the tour. Smith also became the fourth different winner in as many races this season on the NWSMT.

For Smith, driving his No. 25 Tutterow Surveying/Rick’s Home Improvement Chevrolet out of Mount Airy, N.C, it was a night he will never forget.

“I’ve got to thank the boys on this team,” Smith said. “I messed up missing the drivers meeting … but we had a good car and I want to thank James Civali and L.W. both for racing me real clean. I can’t put into words what this means for me and my team and car owner Grady Tutterow.”

Last October, Smith nearly collected his first win on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour at Caraway but was unable to make the late pass. He wouldn’t be denied a second time.

The second-place Miller dominated much of the night, leading by as many as 10 car lengths at one point, but Bryan Dauzat made contact with the outside retaining wall in Turn 2 on Lap 144 to set up the thrilling finish by Smith. Miller, who wrestled the lead away from Zach Brewer on the race’s first lap and looked to be on the way to his 11th career victory. He led all but five laps on the .455-mile oval.

Smith was able to get the jump on Miller at the final restart and made it last until he saw the checkered flag wave on lap 154.

“It was just clean, hard racing,” Smith said. “I wanted to win this (race) real bad. I have the best sponsor, best guy in the world. I don’t have my daddy anymore and he is like my other daddy, he has been really good to me.”

Miller has now finished runner-up in three consecutive NWSMT races in his No. 36 John Baker Plumbing & Utilities Pontiac.

“We had the best car all night long and should have won that race,” Miller said after the race. “Hats off to the (No.) 25, he did a great job."

James Civali followed Smith and Miller across the line for a finish of third. Jason Myers and Burt Myers logged fourth and fifth-place finishes, respectively.

From a big picture perspective, Civali was happy at the end of the race with his third-place showing and was able to maintain his lead in the standings. Civali leads Miller by 24 points (670-646).

“The car was a little tight through the center and we expected it to free up,” Civali said. “I am happy for John Smith. I know it was a big win for him and we had a good point’s night. We were off just a little bit, but we will get ready for Bowman Gray next.”

The race was slowed eight times by caution, with the only multi-car incident occurring on Lap 93 that involved one of the championship contenders.

Zack Brewer, who had his No. 11 Phoenix Pre-owned/Triad Auto Sales Chevrolet in the top five the entire race, lost his brakes and tried to get down out of the way on the frontstretch but couldn’t get back to pit road. Miller made contact with Brandon Hire and triggered a six-car incident in Turn 1.

“I hate we had that trouble with our brakes, we had a chance to move up in the points but we are still in the top five,” Brewer said. “I just lost my brakes and was trying to get stopped but there was no way, the (brake) pedal was all the way to the floor.”

Andy Seuss finished sixth, followed by Josh Nichols, Gene Pack, Johnny Sutton and Gary Putnam.

Earlier in the day, Burt Myers collected the Coors Light Pole Award for the second straight race at Caraway and extended his overall tour record to 23 poles.

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to the track on Aug. 7 for the Strutmasters.com 199 at Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.
  NASCAR Race Number 4
Unofficial Race Results For The The Firecracker 150 - 07/02/2010
Caraway Speedway - Asheboro, NC - 0.455-mile paved oval

Total Race Length: 112 K - 154L - 70 M Purse: $28,090

  Fin / Str / Car / Driver
  1. 13  25 John Smith
  2.   2  36 L.W. Miller
  3.   3  79 James Civali
  4.   4    4 Jason Myers
  5.   9    1 Burt Myers
  6. 10  47 Andy Seuss
  7.   6    2 Josh Nichols
  8. 14  31 Gene Pack
  9. 15  10 Johnny Sutton
10. 17  77 Gary Putnam
11. 11  44 Brandon Hire
12. 20  81 Austin Pack
13. 16  48 Brad Robbins
14. 21    0 Greg Butcher
15. 18  97 Bryan Dauzat
16.   8  23 Brian Loftin
17. 12  02 Buddy Emory
18. 19  12 Mike Norman
19.   1  11 Zach Brewer
20.   5    8 Jonathan Kievman
21.   7  40 Frank Fleming

Fastest Qualifier: Burt Myers, Time: 15.821 Seconds, Speed: 103.533 mph
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 3 mins, 41 secs Average Speed: 66.017 mph Margin of Victory: .010 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 2-4 ((#40 car stalls on the track)); 23-26 ((#12 spins in Turn 2)); 53-57 ((#0 Spins in Turn 2)); 71-75 ((#97 Spins in Turn 2)); 87-90 (#81 Spins in Turn 2) ); 93-101 ((#11, #44, #81, #48, #0, #12 accident in Turn 1)); 122-125 ((#44 Spins on backstretch)); 143-151 ((#97 Hits Turn 2 wall)). 8 for 43 laps.
Lap Leaders: L.W. Miller 1-4, Zach Brewer 5, L.W. Miller 6-26, Zach Brewer 27, L.W. Miller 28-151, John Smith 152-154.
Total Laps Led: L.W. Miller 149, John Smith 3, Zach Brewer 2. 5 changes involving 3 drivers.

COCA COLA MOVE OF THE RACE AWARD : John Smith, 25 Tutterrow Surverying/Rick's Home Improvement Chevrolet
COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Burt Myers, 1 Capital Bank/Patterson's Brand Chili Ford
FEATHERLITE MOST IMPROVED DRIVER AWARD: Brandon Hire, 44 Crane & Rigging,Linebach Machinery Chevrolet
SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Gary Putnam *, 77 Stock Car Steel Chevrolet
* Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender

Top 10 Driver Points: James Civali 670, L.W. Miller 646, Andy Seuss 637, John Smith 611, Zach Brewer 563, Burt Myers 559, Jason Myers 542, Frank Fleming 527, Brian Loftin 524, Brandon Hire 514

Next Race: Strutmaster.com 199 - Bowman Gray Stadium

  Source: Timothy Southers / NASCAR
Posted: July 3, 2010

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