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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour



Wins season finale to claim Whelen Southern Modified crown

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour 2010 championship was decided at Charlotte Motor Speedway during race week events. Going into the Thursday, October 14th race there were five drivers competing for the southern championship. In the end Burt Myers beat the odds and won not only the 150 lap event on the quarter mile track but also secured the NSWMT Championship.

Going into the last race of the year, James Civali was leading the points for the championship run and two points behind him was Andy Seuss. Race incidents took them both out of point chase. Third place championship contender LW Miller was also involved in race incidents but was able to recover and finish the race sixth.

With the point chase dealing a major twist of fate to the leading contenders, Burt Myers long shot got shorter. The bad luck of James Civali and Andy Seuss ended up turning to good luck for Burt Myers. “The funny thing is, is that it is one of those seasons that everything fell just about right. Even at our lowest lows, something would turn around to put us back up at the top. What can I say everything just turned out in our favor.”

During practice Burt Myers did not have the best of cars. His crew worked to make changes to get the car the way that he wanted it for racing. Myers led all but one lap so he almost met his goal. “Our goal tonight was just to come in and to lead every lap and to lead the race. I knew that as the race progressed and the #47 and #79 had problems and the #36 was behind me that it was coming down to our championship to loose. I just tried to hit my marks and do all the right things all night long. I said it a hundred times, all week you try not to think about it and you try not to make a plan in your mind. And all week long I just asked the lord to bless me with the peace to handle anything that came tonight. And he blessed me with a Championship and a win.”

This year there were times when it seemed that a race win or the championship were all controlled by the luck of the draw. Burt Myers pulled number one on the re-draw so he started the race on the poll. Starting on the pole Myers was able to lead the race for all but one lap. “I am not going to lie,” said Myers about his luck. “Drawing the pole helped for track position. But I think that regardless we had a good enough car to win a race. I think that that showed tonight. It just shows the strength of the team and the adversity of what we had to overcome with the car not being good.”

Burt Myers, his family and crew were all smiles as the stood in Victory lane for the race and championship victory celebrations. “I knew with the #47 and #79 were out of the race that it was going to come down to me and the #36. The longer we ran the tighter we got. I really had to run the car right in the center and down on the bottom. And that was allowing him (LW Miller) to pull right up to me. I still had a little bit left. I was trying to say all that I could and to keep the lead that I had. When he started to put the pressure on me I tried to put the pace up a pit. I think that he got hung up on the outside a little bit. I did say it but I might have turned him around.”

Second place finisher, Tim Brown thought that after practice that he had the best car on the track ready for a win. After qualifying completed and racing began Brown was not as positive about his car. “We did not have quite as good a car as I thought that we had in practice. I guess when the coolness came the track just tightened up. Our car was really tight in the middle so I could not get off the corner. We were just too tight in the middle and just got beat. But it is a good way to finish off the season for this new team.”

A second place finish was not a win but it was a solid finish for the Tommy Lythgoe team of Tim Brown. “The team is happy and I am happy just to be able to drive somebody else’s car and not have to worry about owning it and having to pay the bills. All and all it was a good night. I am pleased.”

Zach Brewer came across the finish line to complete the race in third. He raced hard for a win for an injured friend. But a third was a solid finish for Brewer who had been distracted all week. “It has just been a long week for us. My buddy Shane who use to run the Busch cars, trucks and stuff. He was in a major accident this week I have been in Indy all week just spending time with him. We said a lot of prayers this week. I am just happy to come home in third for him. Everything that we did today was for him. We are just happy to be here today and to be in a race car. That is where I belong and we just need to be away from him a little bit. We will probably hop in the car and go see him tomorrow. I cannot wait to tell him.”

John Smith went into the race with a possible chance to win the championship. He drove hard and managed to avoid incidents that took out fellow competitors. “It was a wild one but we survived. I do not know where we ended up in points but we got a fourth place finish. I think we finished fourth in points and having a fourth place finish we had a good year. It is a little disappointing. It should have been a little bit better. If the Tri-County deal had turned out the way that it should have we would have a shot at the championship. But I guess that is all water under the bridge. You cannot do anything about that. We will do the best we can next year and try again.” Finishing the race in a fourth Smith was able complete the series fifth in points not fourth, but it was still a good year.

Young Daniel Hemric finished with a fifth place finish. He was not in the race for the point chase but driving for the win when he got caught up in one of the incidents that took out point leaders. “We are happy with how it ended up. I felt that we had a better car than a fifth place car for Hillbilly Racing, Roger Hill, everybody here and the whole team. We had a really good car all day long again. Like I said I am a little disappointed with finishing fifth. The way that we got caught up in somebody else’s wreck up there in the middle of the race. We cannot complain. All and all we had a good day. I want to thank everybody for all their help and support.”

So in the end the Whelen Southern Tour Championship was won by Burt Myers. Burt had the long shot at the win going into the race but he took it. With the twist of fate for the point leaders Burt Myers benefited with a win and championship.

Race Notes from Charlotte Motor Speedway:

Does Charlotte Motor Speedway’s inner track remind you of any other track the series has run?

Burt Myers
“The track itself I like it. Atlanta we were really bad and we kept making adjustments. And we were fastest in practice and in the last practice. But today we just could not get the handle on the car. Right before qualifying we changed four shocks and four springs. And we said that we are just going to start from scratch and let us throw it at it and see what it does.”

John Smith
“It is exciting when you cannot get away from anybody and everybody is pretty equal. When you cannot get away from anybody and everyone is bumper to bumper the whole race. It was a good show for the fans but nerve racking for the driver. When you try to run for points at this place and stay out of trouble. And a lot of them got into trouble. We survived it so it was a good deal.”

Zach Brewer
“I like the track I love coming here. I have been on the big track and the little track. I love run both of them. The fans are great here. It is what racing is all about. This is the home track of every racing for NASCAR. This is where I am proud to be part of it. This is where it all goes. This is where it is happening and to share the love that everybody has had today.”

Daniel Hemric
“The race track was a blast. Growing up here in Kannapolis and running as many laps around here as anybody it shows with everybody and the team on the track the whole day. The car and myself we were pretty dialed in from the start. We are disappointed with a fifth place finish but the way my night turned out it is not too bad.”

Did you consider running the Northern Modified Tour in 2010?

Burt Myers
“We evaluated it after we went to the ice breaker at Thompson at the beginning of the year. And we said we will see how we stack up on the Southern Tour. And we will see how we stack up on the Northern Tour. Needless to say if we came out of Thompson with a win we may try to contend for the championship. We try to run every race that we can run and everywhere where we can run. We will just have to play it by ear but it sure would be nice to go up this weekend and win that race at Thompson too.”

Will your dad be excited about the Championship win?

Burt Myers
“My dad has been in racing his whole live. He was selling popcorn and coca-cola in the stands when he was just in his early years when his dad was still racing at Bowman Gray in the early 50’s. So I am sure as we get home and reflect on what we have done it is going to be really special for my whole family”.

Did you use Tire Management in this race?

Burt Myers
“It is one of those deals that you do not know exactly how much you need to save. It is a track that we have not run on yet. I tried to run a good smooth pace all night long. I knew that if I could stay out front that they were going to have to move me to get by me so that
was what I tried to do.”
“In the modifieds when your car is not working like you want it to work you are going to use more brakes. If you have to use the brakes to make the car do something that it will not do on its own. Our car was working pretty good. With Tim on that last restart he pinched me down and got into my nerf bar a little bit when we came up onto the corner. Every restart I tried to make sure I was up on to the flat part before we accelerated because I knew if I had to accelerate into the transition that I would turn sideways. And Tim actually went a little bit early that made me have to go a little bit early. And I came through the transition and got a little sideways. I think that was what allowed him to beat me to the corner. But if it was going to be anything like the previous restart, I wasn’t really worried about it. He can’t stick on the inside on a restart and I was on the outside. I just tried to get my marls and do the right things all night.”

Your Thoughts on the Racing Incidents tonight:

Burt Myers
“Racing at Bowman Gray Stadium is a double edge sword. Because it gets you in a short track mentality that you are not allowed to take to other tracks. But when you come to a track like this you have to use it a little bit so maybe the training of running at Bowman Gray Stadium for ten years help me win this championship at Charlotte tonight.”

What are you plans for next year?

Tim Brown
“I have gotta build(a car) to drive for them for next year. They are happy. I won the last race that I drove for them and that was their first win. And now a second is their second best ever finish”.
“We will now tear apart the cars and rebuild them for next year. We will be good. Things will be fine next year. We will contend for the Championship (NWSMT) next year. I promise.”

  Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: October 15, 2010

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