BRAGGING RIGHTS IN "THE BIG ONE" AT CONCORD
Southern Modified Driver Looking for Third North South
12 years now, the North-South Shootout has been the
race that brings together the best in Modified
racing from the two hotbeds of ground-pounding
action. Only two of those 12 years has the winner of
the race been a resident from the south, and both of
those times the winner's name was Burt Myers.
With the return of the race to Concord Speedway
(NC), Myers is hoping to put the south back on top
for the first time in five years when the checkered
flag waves for the 13th Annual John Blewett III
North-South Shootout for the Dunleavy Truck &
Trailer Repair Tour-Type Modifieds on November 7.
"I was really excited to hear about it getting moved
back to Concord," said Myers. "Not only is that one
of the best race tracks that Modifieds have ever
been on, it's a fun race track. I think it's more
exciting for the fans, it's a unique race and of
course we run well there so there's a lot of
positives going into it. Earlier this year we won
the KOMA race there, too. So yeah, I'm really
looking forward to it."
Myers last won the race when it was held at Concord
in 2009. He also stood in victory lane at the track
during the 2008 version of the North-South Shootout,
but since his back-to-back wins he hasn't been able
to defend the home turf against the invaders.
Although he wouldn't admit that there's a rivalry
between drivers from the two regions, he admitted
that there are a whole lot of bragging rights on the
"We all have a mutual respect for each other," Myers
stated. "It's an apple and an orange, but it's all
fruit. That's the best way to put it. Their
circumstances are a little bit different than ours
and they have a couple rules that are a little bit
different and their budgets are extended because of
the area that they're in. We respect each other,
though. We know that they work hard and they know
that we work hard.
"Whenever you see a southern guy win and he gets out
and says, 'that's one for the south' and then the
northern guy wins and he brags about being from the
north. There's definitely something there, it's more
bragging rights than a rivalry I think."
For Myers and the rest of the southern competitors,
the race isn't just about bragging rights; it's also
their biggest race of the year. Unlike the
competitors from the north who have a number of
other "big money events" throughout the season, the
southern stars have this one "big one" with $10,000
on the line.
"Down here we race 40-45 races a year, but they're
either weekly races or KOMA races or NASCAR tour
races, so we really don't have what you call a big
money race," said Myers. "You hear of Hirschman
winning a big money race or Hossfeld winning a big
money race, we don't have those down here. For us,
this is our big one. This is our big race."
Since the announcement earlier this year about the
event's return to Concord, drivers from both the
north and south have given their stamp of approval
citing how fun the track is to race on. But why is
it so fun for Modified racers?
"You're on the edge and it's just a really fast
track," Myers explained. "You've got to have
confidence in your car and confidence in yourself.
The way you drive the track is different from
anywhere you've ever raced. To try to describe it to
somebody that's never been there is virtually
impossible. You have to see it to believe it and you
have to see it to understand it.
"If you see an aerial view of Concord and you tell a
man that you nail the gas up in one and you hold it
wide open until you get to three, it's hard to
believe that because of the way the track is laid
out. It really is one of my favorite track."
Myers, who is accustomed to chasing points whether
it be weekly at Bowman Gray Stadium (NC) or on the
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and KOMA Unwind
Modified Madness Series, looks at the non-points
race as a "stress-free atmosphere." With no points
on the line, the only thing that matters is winning,
and that's what Myers likes to do best.
"We go to win regardless. When I got to a race I go
to win and if you don't win you say, 'Okay, we had a
decent points night.' In the situation like the
North-South Shootout, you just go to win. The main
thing you're worried about if you don't win is
having a good enough finish to cover some of the
expenses. But we're not in it to make money. We're
in it to put trophies on the shelf."
Unlike the tight bullring at Bowman Gray Stadium,
the Concord Speedway tri-oval is a race track that
doesn't normally reward drivers using the chrome
horn on the front of their Modifieds. Myers says
that there are very few spots on the race track
where it is safe to make contact without both
drivers paying a major price.
"At a race track like Concord you can shove a little
bit but it's kind of like when they go to Daytona,
you can only shove so much," he explained. "You've
got to respect the other guys out there and expect
them to respect you.
"At Concord if you hit the wall there's no knocking
the spindle off, a lot of the time you're knocking
the clip off. Guys understand that and it's somewhat
like Bristol, you don't want a lot of contact, but
on the other hand there are certain places where you
can use the bumper just a little bit. If you've got
a fast car and you know how to get around there, a
lot of time you don't have to do that."
Whether or not Myers will put himself in a position
that may require the use of the chrome horn is to be
determined, but one thing for certain is that the
hard-nosed racer is just excited to be going back to
Concord for the biggest Modified race of the year.
"I love the layout. I love the pit stops not
counting caution laps. I just love the race period.
It has gained some of its luster back now that it's
back at Concord."
Entry forms for the $10,000-to-win John Blewett III
Dunleavy's Truck and Trailer Repair Tour-Type
Modified North-South Shootout event, as well as the
$5,000-to-win Mr. Rooter SK Modified event, are
currently available by visiting
Practice day kicks off the 13th Annual North-South
Shootout on Thursday, November 5. Additional
practice and qualifying will take place on Friday,
November 6, with the North-South Shootout main
events taking the green flag on Saturday, November
7. The features will consist of a 125-lap race for
the Pro All-Stars Series South Super Late Models, a
60-lap event for the Southeast Trucks, 75-laps for
the Limited Late Models, the Mr. Rooter 50 for the
SK Modifieds and the John Blewett III Memorial 125
for the Dunleavy's Truck and Trailer Repair
For those who can't make it to the North South
Shootout, a live pay-per-view broadcast will be
available on Speed51.com. A two-day video ticket can
be purchased for $34.99 or each day can be purchased
separately. For more information on the live 51 TV
broadcast, visit www.speed51.com.
For more on the 13th Annual North-South Shootout,
51 Sports / North-South Shootout
October 30, 2015