Hailing from Long Island and eventually settling in North Carolina while cutting his teeth in Modified racing along the way, there are very few tracks where George Brunnhoelzl III has not raced a Tour-type Modified. One track he has yet to check off his bucket list is the Massachusetts bullring of Seekonk Speedway, but that will soon change.
After getting his first laps on track at “The Cement Palace” last Friday, the driver known as GB3 is ready to throw his name into the mix for the Haunted Hundred, the final round of the 2019 Tri-Track Open Modified Series this Saturday, October 26.
“I have never been there before to race. I haven’t even turned any laps before last Friday when I came up to test. I had never seen the place. Man, it is different,” Brunnhoelzl told Speed51. “I had watched videos and gotten an idea in my head of what it’s like, but it is totally different, different than any other race track. You still have to have a good car, but it is a lot more on the driver just to control the throttle, and it can change your whole lap. It will be a challenge, but a lot of fun.”
The former NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion will head into battle with the help of some old friends from both the north and south.
“It’s Josh Nichols’ No. 34 and Island International which has been a sponsor of mine for a long time. They’re going to be on the car, their shop is actually right across the street from Seekonk,” Brunnhoelzl explained. “With them right there, we’ve talked about me running Seekonk for a long time; it just hasn’t worked out scheduling wise. We talked a few months ago, knew this was coming up, sat down, and said, ‘Let’s do it.’ Came up here and tested, and I’m very glad we did.”
To help expedite the studying process for Seekonk, Brunnhoelzl was able to get help from one of Seekonk’s best full-fender drivers in recent years.
“I got some good pointers from David Darling, who runs the Pro Stocks there and won a bunch of titles. He helped me figure out the groove and even got on the radio to coach me while I was in the car. That was a big help, but once I get around other cars, and then start racing them, that’s a whole different thing.”
In addition to Seekonk’s own challenges, the four-time champion of the now-defunct NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour is looking forward to mixing it up with the all-star cast that is the Tri-Track Modifieds.
“The Tri-Track Series has amazing drivers from all different tours who come together to run it. It gets tremendous car counts. It will be fun, challenging; it goes back to old time short track racing from the heats to the purse. I can’t wait for it.”
With upwards of 35 to 40 entrants expected and a field being capped at 26 or 27 drivers set by heat races and a B-main, GB3 knows that he will have to be on the top of his game. Despite running a scattered racing schedule the past three years, Brunnhoelzl feels that if he gets in a good position from the start of the day, he has as good a chance as the usual favorites like Matt Hirschman, Ron Silk, and Ronnie Williams.
“I don’t have much experience there, but going back to the past history of the track and seeing old broadcasts, it doesn’t appear to be much of a crash fest. Really, I just want to get a good draw for the heat race, be able to start towards the front, save the tires, and wait for the right time.”
While race fans from all across the Northeast and even beyond are expected at Seekonk Speedway this Saturday, those who cannot attend won’t miss a lap. Speed51 will be on hand for a pay-per-view broadcast of all the day’s racing. Live video tickets can be purchased today by visiting www.speed51.com/hauntedhundred.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51