Statistically speaking this makes no sense.
The two most dominate drivers in recent history on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Andy Seuss and George Brunnhoelzl, III have never been in a situation like this. Both drivers are down and looking up a giant ladder at their chances of winning this year’s NWSMT championship.
Seuss has tasted victory once this year and has turned in strong runs each week. However, he has only two finishes in the top-five leaving him seventh in the standings heading into the spring break.
“I am not going to say I don’t care, but all you can do is do your job,” said Seuss. “We had some circumstances that didn’t allow us to do our job in a few races and now we are behind in the points.”
Last year Seuss had an average finish of 2.0 before the Caraway summer event which he won. In prior years he was down in the standings, but with this being the year he’s looking to defend the title he has even more eyes on him.
“We are going for wins,” said Seuss. “The pressure of the title is off. It’s off the bucket list. If we win them all then the points should take care of themselves.”
If wins were a game of poker Seuss would want a full house.
“I’ll trade a win at Hickory, which would be cool,” said Seuss. “I’ll trade it in and a Bowman Gray win if I could win at Bristol. That would be the biggest win and that could make our season if we didn’t win the title. Bristol is what Martinsville was years ago.”
Seuss may be down, but he’s not on his back. Brunnhoelzl on the other hand has the bigger mountain to climb. A third-place finish at Langley Speedway (VA) was his first top-10 finish of the season. He currently sits 11th in the NWSMT point standings at the break. His average standing position at this point in full seasons since 2010 is 1.2.
If anyone can make a charge from this far back it’s the four-time champion.
“It’s not out of the question for anybody, but it’s going to be difficult,” said Brunnhoelzl. “To get the largest amount of points you have to win. That’s the only way to make up ground.”
The number of races this year is also lower then it has been in the past. He won a championship in 2012 with only 11 starts like this year’s schedule shows, but he also didn’t run outside the top 10.
“It was good for us to finish at Langley and get things rolling, but to be a champion again is going to be a challenge,” said Brunnhoelzl. “The race count and the car count will make things hard so all we can do is win races.”
The only year since 2009 where the title did not go to Brunnhoelzl or Seuss was 2010. Burt Myers came from 101 points down after three races to win the championship.
After four races this season, Seuss is 24 points behind Myers in the championship standings, while Brunnhoelzl sits 33 points back from the top spot.
– By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Correspondent -Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo