When you look at the record books you will see that JR Bertuccio is the first driver since James Civali in 2010 to capture his first and second career wins on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour in the same season.
This an important stat as it shows that Bertuccio is one of the many new faces that are putting life in the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour by becoming a contender to win each and every week.
2013 saw the Centereach, NY driver finish 10th in the season long point standings after logging a pair of top five finishes. In 2014 he has two wins, one at Southern National and the highest southern driver at Bristol gave him credit for another. He’s third in points with five finishes inside the top five in seven starts.
“My guys are great,” said Bertuccio. “The dedication is amazing. John Cushing is my crew chief, he’s done a lot to keep us going. My car chief, Mike Bologna, didn’t see his girlfriend all week as we were getting ready for Bristol. That’s what it takes. You have to have a gang of guys who want to do it and will put in the hours.”
Bertuccio pointed to the dedication and getting the right pieces together as key ingredients into becoming a weekly contender on the Southern Tour.
“It’s not like we didn’t have good equipment,” said Bertuccio. “We had good stuff, but we were down on power. So this year we got a new Troyer Chassis, PT (Performance Technology) motors and (a) Rahmoc motor for the bigger tracks and now it’s showing off.”
The 33-year-old from Long Island is now a regular on the Southern Modified Tour and it’s a place where he’s found a home behind the wheel.
“The southern tour is a great series,” said Bertuccio. “I ran the northern tour for a while and we didn’t really have too much success up there. These guys down here are a great group of guy who you can race with. We don’t bang wheels or tear things up. Sure every now and then it will happen, but it’s nice to come home with a full race car each week. It’s a better division for me down here.”
For now Bertuccio is a weekly contender, but by season’s end he could be in the championship hunt. He’ll go for win number-three this Saturday night at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia. Speed51.com will power the NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live coverage of the event Saturday beginning at 12pm ET.
– By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Operations Manager. Photo credit: Speed51.com