It was just one lap - but Tim Brown of Tobaccoville hopes it will set the stage for his 2016 season at Bowman Gray Stadium.
In the Friday night qualifying session for Saturday’s Hayes Jewelers 200 for the Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series, Brown turned a lap in 12.965 seconds. The blistering time was the fastest ever at the Stadium, breaking the previous record set by Brown in 2008.
And it wasn’t even the best that Brown thinks he could do.
“We ran a lot faster than that in practice. Obviously if you saw that qualifying lap, I about wrecked it off of turn four and still broke the record,” said Brown. “I had to get off the gas and cram the brakes on.”
“These things have so much power when they’re hooked up like that,” said Brown. “It wanted to hold, but it broke the front loose and it headed for the fence. I had to cram the brakes on, get off the gas, and then set it down.”
Brown’s feat of speed was due to a hard-working crew and a new car that he’s piloting for the 2016 season. So the #83 team is hopeful that their dominance in qualifying sessions will translate to a dominant season.
Of course, Brown is starting that season off right. The qualifying lap earned Brown the pole for the Hayes Jewelers 200, putting him in the prime place for the biggest race of the season on opening night at the Madhouse.
“We’ve still got to fine tune it some. The race tomorrow is a long distance race - it’s 200 laps. The pole is just a one-lap shootout,” said Brown. “But we’re really pleased with it. I think it will go a couple tenths quicker than what I just did.”
But in cars as powerful as the Modifieds, sometimes extra power brings with it a new set of issues.
"The car is fast and makes a lot of grip. Grip makes heat, so you’ve got to be careful with the tires,” said Brown. “I hope I can get out there and set the pace, save the tires, and win this thing. If my car burns the tires up, I’ll pit – it’s that simple. I’m going to do whatever I’ve got to do to win.”
Jason Myers of Walnut Cove qualified the second-fastest, turning an impressive 12.980 himself. Danny Bohn of Huntersville was third fastest, with John Smith of Mount Airy qualifying fourth.
The top ten qualifiers have locked in their positions tonight. There will be a second round of qualifying before the race on Saturday night. Drivers will have the option of throwing out their time tonight and requalifying during that session. Then the remaining positions (11-24) will be determined strictly by qualifying times with the faster cars up front.
With the double-file restart rule and 200 laps, there will be plenty of opportunities for those who didn’t qualify well tonight to make up position. And of course there will be plenty of trials where the top cars have to defend their turf.
Tommy Neal of Lexington was the fastest qualifier for the Yates Grading & Paving Sportsman Series, turning in a time of 14.140. Now that the field is set, the Sportsman cars will redraw for starting position Saturday night.
Gates open at 6:00 for practice, the second round of qualifying begins at 7:10, and the first race begins at 8:00 PM on Saturday night, April 30. Ticket prices, directions, and more information can be found online at www.bowmangrayracing.com or by calling (336) 723-1819.
-Bowman Gray Stadium Press Release. Photo credit: Eric Hylton
Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series
Qualifying for the Hayes Jewelers 200
RANK QUALIFYING CAR DRIVER HOMETOWN
1 12.965 83 Tim Brown Tobaccoville, NC
2 12.980 4 Jason Myers Walnut Cove, NC
3 13.093 65 Danny Bohn Huntersville, NC
4 13.103 53 John Smith Mount Airy, NC
5 13.162 1 Burt Myers Walnut Cove, NC
6 13.185 11 Junior Miller Winston-Salem, NC
7 13.215 77 Lee Jeffreys Winston-Salem, NC
8 13.223 15 Jeremy Gerstner Wesley Chapel, FL
9 13.265 66 Ronnie Clifton Walkertown, NC
10 13.268 5 Randy Butner Pfafftown, NC
11 13.291 16 Chris Fleming Mount Airy, NC
12 13.295 04 Brandon Ward Winston-Salem, NC
13 13.335 40 Brad Robbins Winston-Salem, NC
14 13.387 2 Joseph Brown Lewisville, NC
15 13.399 27 Joe Ryan Osborne Kannapolis,NC
16 13.478 18 Daniel Yates Lexington, NC
17 13.605 76 Scott Gordon Lewisville, NC
18 13.608 44 Daniel Beeson Kernersville, NC
19 13.668 12 Mike Norman Lewisville, NC
20 13.714 87 Mike Speeney King, NC
21 13.839 50 Michael Clifton Walkertown, NC
22 13.860 79 David Calabrese Toms River, NJ
23 13.932 71 Dean Ward Winston-Salem, NC
Yates Grading & Paving Sportsman Series
Qualifying for Opening Night 40-lap race
RANK QUALIFYING CAR DRIVER HOMETOWN
1 14.140 21 Tommy Neal Rural Hall, NC
2 14.677 4 John Holleman Winston-Salem, NC
3 14.763 81 Zack Clifton Belews Creek, NC
4 14.844 0 Michael Adams Yadkinville, NC
5 14.879 31 Mike Robertson Winston-Salem, NC
6 14.909 07 Kevin Neal? Winston-Salem, NC
7 14.937 26 Michael Tilley Winston-Salem, NC
2 14.989 55 Zack Ore Winston-Salem, NC
8 15.211 3 Jeff Garrison Clemmons, NC
9 15.211 70 Noah Triplett Lexington, NC
10 15.215 68 Robbie Brewer Winston-Salem, NC
11 15.276 12 Justin Taylor King, NC
12 15.295 72 Bryant Robertson Lexington, NC
13 15.320 7 Dylan Ward Winston-Salem, NC
3 15.339 28 Billy Gregg Lexington, NC
14 15.431 11 Wayne Hill Winston-Salem, NC
15 15.468 22 Robert Lawson Winston-Salem, NC
16 15.493 13 Jordan Fleming Mount Airy, NC
17 15.572 51 Rob Knabel Tobaccoville, NC