In the first-ever Modified race at Florence Motor Speedway, it was a driver making his Modified debut beating some of the top racers in the south.
Joey Coulter piloted his Coulter Motorsports No. 2 to victory in the Smart Chevrolet 99 for the SMART Modified Tour. The former NASCAR Truck Series winner set fast time in qualifying, but started ninth due to a redraw of the top nine qualifiers. That was not enough to slow down Coulter.
It was his first race ever in a Tour-type Modified, yet he was up to the task thanks to a little coaching from crew chief Randy Renfrow.
“Randy [Renfrow], everybody put together just an awesome car,” said Coulter. “I’ve been working with Randy for 15 years. When I first started going to his house, I didn’t have a driver’s license, yet. This is so cool.”
“We all took off at the beginning, and Randy told me to ride. I told him, man, if I ride anymore, I’m going to have to put it in low gear. I told Randy, just tell me what pace to go and when I need to go, I’ll give you what I got. When he turned me loose, I knew it was the right time to go.”
The SMART Modified Tour field boasted 19 cars, and the second-place finisher was as much of a testament to Coulter’s accomplishment as any of them. Ten-time Bowman Gray Stadium champion Burt Myers claimed the runner-up spot.
Myers is never satisfied with a win, but he was ecstatic with the series’ turnout at a first-time venue outside of North Carolina.
“I’m second. I don’t ever want to be second, I want to win,” said Myers. “But where this group has come in a short couple of months, and for Zacharias and Florence to put on this show. Most of these guys, we’re three hours from home and we got 19 cars. In the south, that’s hard to come by.”
Brian Loftin started on the pole for the race after the redraw. However, he had to rally from a mechanical issue to score a podium finish.
“We had a little bit of mechanical problem. The carburetor wasn’t idling down, so we had to pit for that. We were a lap down and had to keep fighting.”
Fans who missed Saturday’s race can click here to watch an on-demand replay of the Speed51.TV broadcast of the event.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo