When your family owns and operates the industry’s leading pit equipment company, being solid on pit road during races is pretty important. For George Brunnhoelzl, III, some swift pit work Saturday night at Caraway Speedway earned the four-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion a 12th victory at the North Carolina bullring.
Brunnhoelzl’s team, utilizing Brunnhoelzl-brand jacks and other pit equipment, got their driver out of the pits ahead of polesitter and early leader Andy Seuss on a lap 85 pit stop. From there, Brunnhoelzl did the rest.
Brunnhoelzl overtook David Calabrese on lap 90 and never looked back en route to his 23rd career NWSMT victory and 12th at Caraway.
“It was a great night. The car was great all night,” said Brunnhoelzl in victory lane. “The guys sealed the deal. We came in (the pits) in second and came out first by a long shot. The guys kicked ass on the pit stop. They work had, they practice. This is what it’s all about.”
Seuss led the first 84 laps from the pole, only to lose the lead to Brunnhoelzl on the pit stop. Calabrese elected not to pit with most of the other lead-lap cars at the time, so he restarted first ahead of Brunnhoelzl on lap 90, but it was the four-time champ that took the lead he would not relinquish.
The closest anyone else came for the remaining laps was Jason Myers, who restarted second on lap 142 and edged out a slight lead through turns one and two on the restart, but Brunnhoelzl powered by off turn four to hold the lead to the checkered flag.
“The restarts got a little bit crazy there at the end,” said Brunnhoelzl. “The leader’s supposed to set the pace, but everyone’s getting run into from behind and it just jockeys everything around. He did everything he was supposed to do and got a great restart. It took a couple laps to get going, but once we got going, I was only running 75-percent. It was awesome.”
Myers finished second and took the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour point lead from his brother Burt, who suffered damage after colliding with Frank Fleming on pit road that cost him several laps’ worth of repairs.
“I was up on the wheel for 150 laps. I gave it all I had.,” said Jason Myers. “We had a good car after the pit stop. I knew as soon as the race started, that’s what we were banking on, just making the right adjustments on the pit stop. We could’ve been a little bit better. We were just way too free at the start of the race. We might have went a little too far on the pit stop. When you turn it sideways in the corner, you’re done. That’s what we were doing the first half of the race.”
New York native Eric Goodale, who won the season’s first Caraway Speedway race, finished third with Kyle Ebersole fourth. Joe Ryan Osborne, making his first start of the 2015 season in his first foray in the David Hill-prepared No. 79 Modified, finished fifth.
Andy Seuss, who set fast time in qualifying earlier in the day at Caraway, was involved in a spin caused by contact with J.R. Bertuccio on lap 114. Seuss wound up seventh and Bertuccio 10th. Speed51.com will have more on the dust-up between Seuss and Bertuccio later in the week.
The 51 Network on Speed51.com will have full race highlights from the Caraway Speedway NWSMT event Monday afternoon.
The next NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race comes at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on August 1.
Click here to replay the NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live powered by Speed51.com coverage.
– By Matt Kentfield, Speed51.com Executive Director – Twitter: @mattkentfield
– Photo credit: Speed51.com