The memories of a recent last-lap tangle were on the minds of both Burt Myers and George Brunnhoelzl, III in the closing laps of Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event at Southern National Motorsports Park, but those flashbacks weren’t enough to keep Myers from a dominating victory.
Just three weeks after Myers bumped Brunnhoelzl from the lead on the last lap at Virginia’s Langley Speedway, Brunnhoelzl gave Myers a few taps from behind in the closing laps of Saturday’s Southern National 150, but wasn’t able to mount enough of a challenge to make a move. The two banged bumpers several times, but Myers was able to scoot away in the final circuits to keep his No. 1 out front for all 150 laps at the North Carolina track for his third NWSMT victory in his last four starts.
“I knew (Brunnhoelzl) was giving me some shots, but I knew if I could just hold my ground and do the things I needed to do, it was going to be up to him to beat me,” Myers told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “The main thing I was trying to do was not beat myself. Thank the Lord it worked out the way it did.”
After winning the Coors Light Pole in qualifying earlier in the day, Myers set the pace for the first 100 laps of the event before the first yellow flag fell. A quick pit stop for a new right-rear tire kept Myers ahead of the field on the ensuing restart.
Brunnhoelzl, who had to repair much of his car after the August 30 crash with Myers at Langley, stalked Myers for the first 100 laps until the pit stop as well as the final 25. Brunnhoelzl gave Myers several taps in the center of the corner in the closing stages in a duel for the victory.
When Brunnhoelzl got to Myers’ bumper in the final laps, did the past history between the two cross Brunnhoelzl’s mind?
“There definitely was (thought of the Langley incident), but it really wasn’t the time,” said Brunnhoelzl. “I could get him a little too early in the corner to do anything. I just did the best with what I had and stored it in the memory bank.”
Now with three wins in his last four NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour starts with his new LFR Chassis racecar and spec engine combination, Myers has proven to have the car to beat in the second half of the 2014 season.
“This LFR chassis, it is a great car, don’t get me wrong, but we’ve hit a package with this thing where we’ve had to just barely touch it,” said Myers. “We’re just making minor adjustments on it. These guys getting me out first on the pit stop is probably what won me the race. I think we had the best car, but track position was key after the pit stop because we weren’t the best car right after we put on the tire. It took it a bit to come in, but with the track position I was able to hold where I was right to the end when I could get a little lead on (Brunnhoelzl).”
Brunnhoelzl crossed the line second, ahead of last week’s winner at South Boston (VA) Kyle Ebersole. David Calabrese finished fourth and rookie Joe Ryan Osborne was fifth.
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour point leader Andy Seuss dropped from the top five early on and never recovered. Seuss finished eighth, which shortened his point advantage on Brunnhoelzl to 18 points with three events remaining on the schedule.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will be at North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway the next two Saturdays, September 27 and October 4 before finishing the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9.
Click here to replay the Speed51.com-powered NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live coverage from Southern National.
– By Matt Kentfield, Speed51.com Executive Director – Twitter: @MattKentfield. Photo credit: Speed51.com
Southern National 150
|2||28||George Brunnhoelzl, III||150|
|5||15||Joe Ryan Osborne||150|
|12||51||Bobby Measmer, Jr.||149|