When people think of Modified racing in the Southeast one of the names most commonly mentioned is that of Burt Myers. Whether you love him, or love to hate him, you can’t ignore the fact that Burt Myers is one of the best out there.
Myers proved that once again in 2014 by winning the championship in the inaugural season for the KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series. He beat another Southeast superstar, Tim Brown, by 86 points to take the title.
“Any time you can win a championship it’s always great for your team and your sponsors,” said the veteran driver from Walnut Cove, NC. “But it makes it a little bit extra special to be able to do it on a new tour in its first season.”
The six-time Bowman Gray Stadium (NC) champion scored two victories on the KOMA Series campaign. He said that while he would have liked to have won more races throughout the season that those two wins were very important to him and his season.
“The fact that we were able to go to Ace Speedway (NC) in my Bowman Gray car with a built engine and dominate the race and win the race, and then go to Orange County (NC) later in the year with a LFR chassis and a Spec engine and win the race (that was key),” Myers told Speed51 powered by JEGS. “I think that whenever you can take two different cars and get the same result with both cars in victory lane, that’s a testament to how hard you work and how much money you spend.”
Myers has long been a customer of Troyer Chassis, but midway through 2014 he purchased a brand new car from LFR Chassis. He won six races after making the switch to the LFR Chassis. He credited that as turning point for his year.
“The old saying is ‘It’s still just a darned old Modified,'” said Myers. “That’s the old southern saying from when we were little. We know what changes to make. Some cars just react differently to the changes. The LFR car just seemed to react so much better to the changes that I wanted to make.
“I think it definitely was a turning point for our season. Because when we won for the first time in that car we went on a tear and just kept on winning. It’s hard to say that it’s not the turning point.”
The inaugural season for the KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series was plagued with a variety of issues ranging from scoring issues to debatable calls on pit road. Myers looks at those issues to be growing pains for the first year series and expects smoother sailing moving forward.
“If you think about it, any tour, any division, any race track that I’ve raced at has been through those same problems,” he said. “It just seems that with the KOMA tour, you can call it growing pains because it was the first season. I was hearing people say ‘Why do you run this series because this happened?’ If you stayed home every time you felt like you were done wrong you’d never get to go race anywhere. It happens. Nobody likes it, but it’s just something you have to deal with.
“I think it has great potential. Once they get the bugs worked out. All in all I would give the total season a B or maybe B-minus. But that’s probably a good grade for a series in its first year.”
Myers has won a bunch of championships prior to this one, so he had some trouble giving an answer when he asked where the KOMA Series championship ranks among his accomplishments.
But while he may not yet know where this title ranks, he is certain of one thing. He knows he wants to win another one as soon as possible.
“Once you win that first one you want it all,” he said. “It’s not necessarily greed. I don’t know how to explain it other than the first time a shark tastes blood, that’s all it wants. The first time you can win a championship, all you want from there on out is to win races and championships.”
Myers just recently purchased a second LFR Chassis and is in the process of adding another NASCAR Spec engine to his repertoire, so he thinks he has a good chance at repeating as champion at the end of 2015.
“I sure hope so,” he said. “I mean, everybody is always looking for great results, but hopefully we can put together a whole season the way we did the last half of 2014 because our goal is to win everywhere we go.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Regional Editor (Long Island, CT and NJ) -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Feature Photo Credit: Speed51.com