Friday night in Winston-Salem, North Carolina was a special night as Tim Brown made Bowman Gray Stadium history by crossing under the checkered flag for the 74th time in his illustrious career. The win puts Brown at the top of the Bowman Gray all-time wins list, breaking a tie with Junior Miller.
“Holding that Lifetime Achievement award and that 74th trophy in front of all the fans out there is pretty special,” Brown told Speed51.com powered by JEGS after the race. “It’s really neat. I’m so thankful. I’ve been so blessed in so many ways. 74 wins. That’s pretty unbelievable.”
Brown was quick to mention that this accomplishment is not his alone.
“A lot of people think I’m cocky but I’m the first one to give other people credit,” Brown said. “Driving the race car is honestly the easiest part. Working on the thing day in and day out away from their wives and kids shows the dedication that my race team has. I’m so thankful for that. It’s amazing and I’m so blessed.”
Brown took the lead on a restart with about 37 laps to go on the outside from Ronnie Clifton. He had to deal with a couple of restarts, as well as a strong John Smith, but Brown and his blue no. 83 LFR Chassis was just too strong.
“When I was following Ronnie I saw his car was stepping out in the corners,” Brown said. “I was still fine and keeping up with him. I wanted to just be patient. On the restart he spun his tires a little bit and I was hooked up and got by him and was hooked up the rest of the way.”
Brown qualified third earlier in the evening and managed to start there after the redraw. The win was what he wanted the most, so he passed at an opportunity for $6,000 by not taking the qualifying challenge of starting in the rear of the field.
Two drivers out of the top four qualifiers did decided to take the challenge, and they were the Myers Brothers of Burt and Jason. If both of them raced their way from the back up to the top four from the rear of the field they would take home a share of the $6,000 prize money.
Jason Myers was not able to do it, but Burt Myers did complete the challenge. He started 17th of 18 cars with his brother right alongside. He was forced to pit near the halfway mark of the race because he was leaking water, but he rallied his way to a fourth-place finish.
“We didn’t win the battle but we won the war,” Burt Myers said. “It’s not always about the money because the racing we do isn’t for the money. It’s for love and for the passion. The way I look at it, though, is you can still say no and start in the back, so why not say yes?”
Burt Myers had an eventful race on his way to picking up the $6,000 check. He spun out on the backstretch once and also got into the outside wall on a restart, but none of that mattered after the race.
“There were several times during the race I thought we were done,” Myers said. “We bounced off the wall and went through the infield. It was a wild night but hey this feels pretty good right now.”
But this is a night that belonged to Tim Brown. It was a night that many people who are constantly around Bowman Gray Stadium knew would be coming for a while. Brown may have just tied Miller’s record last week, but reaching this mark had been expected of the 44-year-old driver for the past couple of seasons.
However, it didn’t start to become a reality for Brown until just recently. The magnitude of his accomplishment didn’t start to sink in until just recently.
“I haven’t really thought about it that much,” Brown admitted. “I’m just focused on winning poles and winning races. But now that Speed51 and others are calling to talk about it I realize that it’s a much bigger deal than I thought it was.”
While Brown now has the title of “All-Time Wins Leader At Bowman Gray Stadium,” that mark should be considered temporary while Junior Miller continues to race.
“Maybe I’ll get two or three wins this year and make him work a little harder,” Miller said. “We’re not going to lay down. But I’d rather see him get it than anybody else.”
To replay our Trackside Now coverage of all of Friday night’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action from Bowm Gray Stadium, click here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-nwaas-modifieds-more-at-bowman-gray/
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo
Bowman Gray Modifieds 100 Unofficial Results
Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, North Carolina