2015 has been very kind to Burt Myers. The six-time Bowman Gray Stadium track champion came home to post a win in the Hayes Jewelers 200 to start the season off at the Madhouse. Myers came into the event having already pocketed one win on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and in the KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series.
“It’s been a great start to the year,” said Myers. “It’s uplifting for our team and our sponsors to be this successful early.”
For Myers it was the seventh time he’s won the first race of the year at Bowman Gray, which is second only to Junior Miller with eight.
“I loved watching this race when daddy was running it year ago,” said Burt Myers. “You really have to be patient and have a good setup. It was hard to do that at times tonight. We always roll out of Walnut Cove wanting to be one-two and we did that tonight as a team. ”
Burt Myers trumped his brother Jason Myers who set fast time for this race last week before the rains pushed the event back a week. Jason Myers led early before Burt got around him.
“I am still trying to figure out how Burt got the lead,” explained Jason. “The whole field didn’t take the green on the lap when he got around me. He was in front of me when the caution came out, but the whole field didn’t take the green. It’s not hard to score a race, but here I guess it is. We got something to work with as this car was real good tonight.”
After Burt Myers got the lead he had no real challenges until a lap car spun and came back on track right in front of him. It just happened to be his rival Junior Miller. After a 40 lap battle Burt Myers got his nose under the No. 69 ride and got the spot only to get a shot from Miller on both ends of the race track. The capacity crowd roared as the two locked horns before Myers drove away.
“This is a predicament I am in,” said Myers about the stretch with Miller. “I was riding and not trying to push the issue. Then I had to make a move. We got by him.”
Miller looked good before he lost his lap as he hung tough with the leaders and was up into the top six prior to that. Some people might have written him off after a few winless seasons, but he made lot of noise last year by pocketing two wins and keeping his record for most career wins in tacked.
“We had a good car before we just burned the tires off it,” said Miller. “We know how to make it better and we will do that for next week. Burt gave me a shot so I gave him one back. We hung with him for a while so we know we are close.”
Colors Edge Big Money Coming Next Week
The Color Edge Challenge is set to make the 100-lap Modified races a bit more interesting. The top four qualifiers will have the option to draw like the rest of the field or take the rear and race for the money. Those drivers who battle back to the top four will split prize pool. There will be $3,000 on the line each week and if no one wins then they will roll the money over to the next race.
Changes and Decisions
LFR Chassis cars are fixing to have a big summer at The Stadium as the top contenders all have their pieces. Burt Myers and Jason Myers didn’t run them on opening night, but both plan to have them in the mix before the summer.
Tim Brown has already made the switch and might have been right there with the battle for the win had it not been for an electrical issue. Brown came home fourth in his LFR ride.
“We were saving and something went wrong in the motor with electrical stuff,” said Brown. “The car was good. We’ll work on it and be fine. The good thing about LFR is they are right here in our back yard. We can pick up parts and have things all ready on Monday.”
Regarding the finish, Brown would race a wheel barrel if he had to beat his rivals.
“I’m not happy with it,” he said. “The dang Myers brothers won the Hayes Jewelers 200 again. I have work to do. ”
National Champion Starts 2015 With Win
The only thing that was different for AJ Sanders was the car number. The 2014 NASCAR Whelen All American series National Champion in the Division IV class once again took a victory at Bowman Gray.
Sanders switched to car No. 24 for the season, but so far that’s not done a thing to his performance in the Stadium Stock ranks. He bested his field as there were 34 total cars over two feature events.
Major Historical Night Coming
Later this season Bowman Gray Stadium (NC) could host their 1000th night of racing if they don’t have a series of rainouts. Not many tracks can say that they have run 1000 times, but Bowman Gray and its staff have been on top of their games in the numbers department for many years.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com