Burt Myers has quite the flare for the dramatic lately in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
Six days after winning his first race of the 2014 season with a last-corner bump of George Brunnhoelzl, III, Myers edged out leader Andy Seuss from the outside lane on a green-white-checkered restart and held on for a second-straight victory Friday night at North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway.
Seuss inherited the lead when pole sitter George Brunnhoelzl, III dropped out of the race with a broken rear end after leading the first 142 laps. Brunnhoelzl stopped on the track to bring out the night’s final yellow flag that set up a final duel between Seuss and Myers that put one driver in victory lane and the other disappointed with the outcome.
“We both went at the same time,” said Myers of the final restart. “I heard him gas up and we were both spinning tires. I was just getting better traction than he was. Either way I still cleared him into (turn three). I don’t know man, right now I’m just so excited to be back in victory lane at Caraway.”
Seuss, however, had another view of the final restart.
“He jumped it,” said Seuss, who finished second. “We were both so bad on tires. I beat up my tires and I was doing whatever I could to keep up with (Brunnhoelzl). They were the class of the field. Then (Myers) jumped it. NASCAR asked me to do the restarts good. NASCAR asks a lot out of me and I’m not getting a lot back.”
Brunnhoelzl was on the bad end of the last-lap contact with Myers last week at Langley. His crew replaced much of the right-side suspension, door bars, rear end and body work on the No. 28 car in the days leading up to Friday’s event at Caraway. He was in line for what would have been his 11th career win at Caraway until it went up in smoke late in the race.
“I smelled gear lube for a little while and knew something was going on,” said Brunnhoelzl. “The car was just unbelievable. It’s just a waiting game; you smell it, but you hope for the best. Then I started seeing smoke and it just blew the gears out of it.
“The guys really thrashed to get the car ready. We were so disgusted after Langley that we didn’t even unload the car until Tuesday. We didn’t know what the future held. There were a lot of questionable calls. Then we decided to fix it. My 62-year-old father worked all hours of the night, the guys pitched in and we even managed to do a little pit practice and it paid off tonight.”
For Myers, it was his first win at Caraway since April 9, 2005. His crew was sure to let him know it had been that long.
“A guy who helps me wrote it on my dry-erase board ‘3545.’ He said, ‘You figure out what that is.’ After that day, I said, ‘What is that?’ He said, ‘That’s how many days it’s been since you won at Caraway.’ So he can get back down there and erase that board, baby.”
The win completes a back-to-back win streak that has Myers back on top of his game on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
“I think we’ve really got something to run now. Not that we didn’t have great equipment, we were just missing something. We’ve been missing something for about five years now. I think we got out of the box trying to chase our tail. We’ve got this LFR Chassis and me and my wife bit the bullet to get this spec motor and the thing has been hot every time it’s been out.”
Kyle Ebersole rallied late in the race to score a third-place finish behind Myers and Seuss. David Calabrese finished fourth in a backup car after his primary was crashed in a KOMA Modified event this past Monday at Ace. Danny Bohn finished fifth.
Seuss’ second-place finish, combined with the trouble for Brunnhoelzl, extended Seuss’ point lead with five NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events remaining on the schedule. Seuss added nine points to his lead and now leads Brunnhoelzl by 23 markers.
The next NWSMT event is next Saturday, September 13 at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway.
Click here to replay the Speed51.com-powered NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live coverage from Caraway.
– By Matt Kentfield, Speed51.com Executive Director – Twitter: @MattKentfield. Photo credits: Brenda Meserve / Speed51.com