Four-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III has been cleared by his doctor to compete in Wednesday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN).
After being involved in a crash during the tour’s last event at Bowman Gray Stadium (NC), “GB3” was uncertain on when he’d be able to race again.
Brunnhoelzl crashed hard enough to injure his left shoulder and put his aspirations of a fifth tour championship in doubt. But after two weeks of recovery and the go-ahead from his doctor, he is ready to strap in behind the wheel of the No. 28 Modified for Wednesday’s Bush’s Best 150 at Thunder Valley.
“It still reminds me that it’s there,” Brunnhoelzl told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I don’t have a full range of motion back yet, but it’s a lot better.”
Brunnhoelzl has had shoulder surgery three times in the past. However, those three surgeries were all on his right shoulder.
“This was my good one,” he said with a laugh.
The Long Island, New York native said he’s been thinking more and more about life after racing as his injuries keep piling up.
“I’m only 33 years old and now having issues with both shoulders it definitely makes me think about when I’m older and trying to play with my kid,” he said. “That definitely weighs on my mind. It’s kind of hard to say, but I can’t afford to take another injury with my shoulders. Family definitely comes first. More important than racing or anything else, I want to be able to play with my daughter.”
Until that next potential injury comes, Brunnhoelzl will be in his yellow and blue No. 28 Modified, beginning Wednesday at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” He’s still seeking that elusive win at the Last Great Colosseum.
“That would be huge,” Brunnhoelzl said. “Bristol has always been my nemesis. That first year we had a really good run. Since then we’ve struggled. We’d either have good cars and bad luck or bad cars and bad luck. We’re really due for a good, solid finish. I’d love nothing more than to win, but at the same respect with everything else going on I just want to survive it and come out of there in one piece.”
Speed51.com will power Race Central Live on NASCAR Home Tracks all day long from Bristol beginning at 10 a.m. ET.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com