DOWN TO THE
BROWN STRETCHES FUEL FOR ACE VICTORY
on fumes in more than one sense, Tim Brown had just
enough fuel to reach the finish line first.
Victory lane was another matter altogether.
His winning car had to be pushed there, rolling
toward the waiting celebration after barely
completing the 125-lap KOMA Unwind Modified Madness
Series feature Monday at Ace Speedway.
Rural Hall's Brown climbed out red-faced and
exhausted a stomach virus had sapped his strength
and wrecked his sleep after overcoming Burt Myers
in a decisive showdown during the closing stages,
then bolting away on a final restart and
simultaneously conserving every drop of gas in the
tank of his No. 02 car.
I was cutting my car off under caution and trying
to save fuel, he said. If I hadn't have done it,
we would've run out of gas and wouldn't have won the
race, because it was blubbering up the backstretch.
Other contenders were ensnared by that issue in what
became a wild, caution-plagued ordeal of a main
event that covered more than two hours on Ace's
traditional Labor Day lineup.
Myers' No. 1 ran out of fuel on the last lap,
falling from fourth position to ninth while
shaking his car in a vain attempt to remedy the
situation as Brown delivered his third series
victory of the season in the touring circuit's sixth
Six laps earlier, Jason Myers, Zach Brewer and Mike
Norman were forced into the pits with their cars
running out of gas. It was a rarity at Ace, a
four-tenths mile track on which fuel practically
never plays a factor.
The culprit? A rash of 10 caution periods that
continually interrupted the green-flag racing and
stretched the event longer, with the excessive
caution laps ultimately draining some cars dry that
weren't packed to the limit with gas prior to the
Brown, a suspension specialist for Michael Waltrip
Racing, said he spent the anxious ending borrowing a
page from NASCAR's elite levels, killing his car's
power during caution laps and swerving on the
speedway's straightaways in an all-out saving
I work for a (Sprint) Cup team and that's the kind
of stuff we do under caution, he said. If it
wasn't for me saving fuel and cutting it off, we'd
have run out.
Wallburg's Jonathan Brown placed second. He was
unable to match Tim Brown on the race's 10th and
final double-file restart. Concord's Johnny Sutton
finished third, followed by Walnut Cove's Jason
Myers, who for fourth place. King's Dan Speeney came
in fifth among the 18-car field.
After Tim Brown out-muscled Burt Myers on a restart
with six laps remaining the climax of the marathon
race his No. 02 authoritatively broke free from
Jonathan Brown's No. 21 car on the last restart with
three laps to go.
That's why they call him, The Rocket,' I guess,
Jonathan Brown said, referring to Tim Brown's
nickname. That 02, when he got ready to go, he
mashed it to the floor and he took off.
Burt Myers, who won here in June, led on two
occasions for a total of 76 laps and seemed poised
to secure a sweep of the KOMA Unwind Modifieds' two
visits to Ace this season.
He was inside and Brown was outside on the front row
on the impactful lap 119 restart, with six laps
left. They made side-by-side contact in turn two.
Myers' car pushed Brown's car high and wide to
maintain first position. Then a half-lap later,
Brown returned the contact in turn four, shoving
Myers' car aside and grabbing the front spot.
I was doing everything I could to win, Brown said,
motioning toward the parts of the track where he and
Myers locked horns. He run me up the race track
down there for the win, and I run him up the race
track down here for the win.
So to each his own. That's good hard racing. And to
me, that's the best two drivers on this circuit
going at it for the win.
Jason Myers, the fastest qualifier with a lap of
14.759 seconds, led the feature's opening 29 laps, a
rough period of considerably slow going as the
caution-filled theme became rooted early.
Burt Myers took control for the first time during
the next 49 laps, as the hot afternoon sun gave way
to nightfall. Johnny Sutton then paced laps 80-91
after his crew handled his mandatory pit stop
quickly when the lead pack chose to pit.
Scott Hall won the "Modified Light" division. A
division for cars with less horsepower than the
"tour type" mods.
Jeremy Mayfield, the fallen former Sprint Cup
driver, finished 83 laps down in 16th. He retired
his car due to an overheating problem.
Burlington's Gary Young Jr., an Ace regular and one
of the speedway's top Modifieds competitor, placed
13th. He was 10 laps off the pace.
KOMA Unwind Modifieds (125 laps): Tim Brown,
Jonathan Brown, Johnny Sutton, Jason Myers, Dan
Speeney, Zach Brewer, Spencer Davis, Bobby
Sheffield, Burt Myers, Mike Norman, Scott Hall, Matt
Wentz, Gary Young Jr., Brent Wentz, David Calabreese,
Jeremy Mayfield, Jimmy Wallace, Danny Propst.
KOMA Unwind Modifieds qualifying: Jason Myers
14.759, Burt Myers 14.816, Tim Brown 14.844,
Jonathan Brown 14.902, Bobby Sheffield 15.023, Zach
Brewer 15.045, Johnny Sutton 15.100, Jeremy Mayfield
15.114, Spencer Davis 15.217, Dan Speeney 15.242,
Scott Hall 15.267, Mike Norman 15.300, Gary Young
Jr. 15.434, Danny Propst 15.463, David Calabreese
15.585, Matt Wentz 15.707, Jimmy Wallace 15.819,
Brent Wentz 16.291.
Source: Adam Smith / Times-News