For a driver who likes to win races and does so often, it's weird to say that winning was the last thing on Burt Myers' mind Saturday night at Bowman Gray Stadium. However, that was the case as Myers entered the night needing only a top 10 finish to lock up his ninth career championship in the Modified division at "The Madhouse."
Myers’ night was low key as he raced up to third before fading to run in a traffic-free spot while clicking off the laps needed to win the title. A few close calls along the way weren't shocking, but in the end a sixth-place finish was enough for him to win the season-long war at the Winston-Salem, North Carolina oval.
“I could run with the 22 (Jonathan Brown) and the 83 (Tim Brown), but I didn’t need to tonight,” Myers told Speed51.com. “I just needed to run in a comfortable position and wrap this championship up.”
Title number nine moves Burt Myers to second on the all-time champions list at Bowman Gray Stadium, leaving him just one behind Tim Brown who has 10.
“It’s hard to believe,” Myers added. “I used to come here and sit in the stands, where my kids sit now and you hear about the wins and champions. I have been truly blessed to win this many races and championships.”
To put into perspective how tight the championship battle was this year you simply have to look at the numbers. Burt Myers finished with 18 top-five finishes, as did Tim Brown. For both drivers, that’s the most top-five finishes they've ever recorded while chasing points for over 20 years at Bowman Gray. Jonathan Brown (no relation to Tim) finished with 19 top-five finishes but couldn’t overcome two DNF’s.
“We all had two DNF’s,” said Jason Myers, brother of Burt Myers. “Burt had just one and an off night where he was in a wreck and finished 11th. That’s the finish that won him the title.”
Tim Brown, Jonathan Brown and Burt Myers all won five races this season, making those other finishes that much more important.
“You really have to step up you game here at The Stadium," Burt said. “We knew the 22 (Jonathan Brown) was going to be fast this year and Tim (Brown) is always fast. We know from experience that those guys who lost the title won’t be just sitting on the couch this winter. They are going to step up their game and we have to make sure we don’t miss a beat.”
For the Myers family, it’s now 13 championships and 187 career wins at Bowman Gray Stadium.
In addition to winning another track championship, Burt will likely win the NASCAR Whelen All-American series North Carolina state title as well. However, in the past the track champion has lost the title at the state level as points are tallied differently.
If the NWAAS title holds up then Myers will have 21 career championships, which does not include other track titles in the southeast.
Moving forward, the goal next year will be to score a 10th career championship tie and put his name next to Tim Brown's in the record books.
Myers Family History at BGS
Championships - 13
Burt Myers - 9
Billy Myers - 3
Bobby Myers - 1
Wins - 187 total
Burt Myers - 78
Gary Myers - 38
Jason Myers - 33
Billy Myers - 22
Bobby Myers - 16
Career Titles for Burt Myers
9 - Bowman Gray Stadium
4 - NWAAS North Carolina State Titles (2010, 2011, 2017, 2018*)
2 - NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour (2010, 2016)
2 - Koma Modified Championship (2014, 2015)
2 - ASA Modifieds (2006, 2007)
1 - Southern Modified Racing Series (2016)
1 - SMART Tour (2002)
*Pending final points
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correpsondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com