The road to a 10th Bowman Gray Modified championship for Burt Myers featured many ups and downs, and that was only in the final race.
Myers entered the season-ending Carolina Farm Credit 150 with a seven point lead over Tim Brown. James Civali was some 27 points behind coming into the final with a long shot at winning the title.
Myers, who has been accustom to points racing in the season finale, had to run up front as his advantage in the standings was not enough to play it safe.
Early on in the race Myers was playing it safe, and on a restart he almost ended up on the guard rail on the backstretch after contact with Brandon Ward. Myers was able to keep going without any major harm.
“I just about went out of here on that deal,” Myers said. “I probably should thank Bassett Wheels because twice I should have killed the right front and I didn’t.”
At a few points early in the race, Myers found himself trailing Tim Brown by a single point; however, Myers moved in front of Brown who was swept up in a wreck late in the race, giving control to Myers in the championship fight.
“Holly cow!” Myers said. “Can you believe it? This is a blessing, the Lord has blessed us. Without a tire change, we probably had the best car. The strategy was so different tonight because of the points. I have been coming here all my life and some people say I only want to win races, I don’t care about championships. Once you win one that changes your mind. It’s unbelievable.”
Myers wasn’t in the clear after Brown went out. He had a hard-charging James Civali on his heels, and he was left with a decision inside his car. Civali had an outside chance at the title at that point, but Myers could control things with a good finish.
“When the 83 (Brown) when out I kinda had to decide. Do I want to win this race or do I want to win this championship? I made my mind up and I let him go after he hit me. That was the move that clinched the championship.”
The 10 titles ties Myers with Tim Brown, as the two Stadium veterans now control 20 track championships at Bowman Gray.
“Several years ago I was three behind Tim and we got closer and closer,” Myers said. “To be honest, I am honored to be tied with Tim. He will go down as one of the legends here and who knows who will get to 11 first.”
For Burt Myers, it was also his fourth straight track title and seventh of the decade.
Speed51.com spoke to Tim Brown who confirmed the car was banged up from a previous on-track incident with Johnathan Brown.
“It bent the spindle,” Brown said. “The car wasn’t as good as it was earlier in the race. After that I don’t know what happened on the deal that took us out of contention.”
When asked about the championship Brown vented his frustration and motivation in one line.
“It sucks!” he exclaimed.
When Bowman Gray opens next spring for the first race, two drivers will be chasing an 11th title. By our brief research, we can’t think of any other place where that will be happening.
“It’s Bowman Gray,” Myers said. “Tonight was one of the best races of the year. We are going to enjoy the moment and the championship, but it’s pretty cool to be a part of history.”
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com - 51 Correspondent - Twitter: @elgintraylor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com