“Flyin” Brian Nester leads nearly every statistical category in the ICAR Modified Southern Tour, but a championship had always alluded him.
That all changed on a beautiful fall night in Winchester Speedway.
Nester drove from eighth to first and held off a charge from his competitors on a lap-43 restart to claim a victory in Saturday’s “Run for the Gun” 50 at Winchester, earning his first-career ICAR Modified Southern Tour championship in the process.
Nester and his team were forced to overcome a myriad of issues and an attrition-filled race to take the title.
“This feels great,” said Nester. “We had some hard times today. The clutch went out, then we had more clutch problems in practice. Starting eighth, I never thought I would get to the front, but the car was really good.
“To win a championship means a lot, too. I’ve been racing for years, never really ran for a championship. We kind of got caught up in the points early in the year, won some races, and then decided to run all of them. We came out on top.”
The caution flag fell four times on the evening, including a red-flag with seven laps remaining after a four-car pileup coming to the restart. Nester then encountered more trouble when the ensuing restart was aborted.
“It’s bad enough when there’s seven to go, let alone having to sit there under a red flag and think about it,” said Nester. “Thankfully, I made it.”
Kyle Purvis would end the night in second, wishing the race had seen a long green-flag run.
“The car was pretty good,” said Purvis. “We kind of got held up there on the one restart, and at the end we just needed the race to go green instead of all those cautions. We were a lot better on the long green runs.”
Despite failing to reach victory lane, Purvis took solace in his team’s performance.
“We had a good car,” said Purvis. “It would’ve been nice to beat Brian, but we had a good run, so we’ll take it and move on.”
Danny Jackson worked his way through the field to end a tumultuous season with a third-place performance.
“It was a really good night,” said Jackson. “We’ve had a little bit of a rough season. We broke a motor here (at Winchester) last month doing the same thing – coming from the back to the front – so it’s actually a blessing just to be here on the frontstretch with everything in one piece and ready to go for next year.”
Tyler Nuckles and Bob Sibila took advantage of their competitors woes to finish out the top five, with Doug Moff, Kevin Doran, Travis Stepp, James Krueger and Bud Adams rounding out the top 10.
The 50-lap feature proved challenging for the modified drivers. Multiple competitors found themselves out early with mechanical woes, including Chad Poole, Josh Nester and Winchester 400 pole-sitter Terry Fisher, Jr.
Many drivers that didn’t face mechanical issues saw themselves taken out in wrecks. Following a hard crash from Damon Breedlove with seven laps remaining, a stack-up on the restart led to multiple drivers stalled on-track with massive damage, including Adams, who was running fourth at the time.
While his competitors all struggled with issues, Nester held on to score a career-defining championship.
“We build our own race cars now and sell them, and one of our race cars won the Northern points, too,” said Nester. “This is big, really big for us.”
An on-demand replay of Saturday’s Winchester 400 action can be found here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-winchester-400-saturday-at-winchester-speedway-101015/
51TV is live on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET with pay-per-view coverage of the 44th Running of the Winchester 400, which can be purchased by clicking here: http://speed51.com/51livetv-events/
-By Aaron Bearden, Speed51.com Contributor – Twitter: @AaronBearden93
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
ICAR Top Speed Modifieds Run for the Gun 50
Winchester Speedway, Winchester, Indiana
|23||28||Terry Fisher Jr.|