DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will head to a familiar place to return to action Friday following the annual spring break period with the Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law 150 in an Independence Day special at Caraway Speedway.
After nearly three months between events, the familiar grounds of the .455-mile oval provide the perfect setting to work out the cobwebs, especially for those drivers that have been inactive during the break. Caraway has played host to five times as many races as any other track in southern tour history.
One of those idle competitors has quite a history at Caraway as well. George Brunnhoelzl III has recorded 10 wins at the venerable oval in rural Sophia, North Carolina, the current Whelen Southern Modified Tour record. He’s also won the July 4th weekend event in each of the two previous seasons, as well as in 2009.
To make it three in a row, Brunnhoelzl will likely have to contend with Andy Seuss, who has won the last three overall races at Caraway. Seuss captured the checkered flag in the last two 2013 Caraway events followed by the 2014 opener there on March 9. A fourth consecutive Caraway triumph by Seuss would match Brunnhoelzl’s career record of 10 total.
During the first four events of the season in the spring, Seuss rolled to the Caraway win as well as a second winner’s trophy at South Boston Speedway on April 5. JR Bertuccio earned his first career victory on March 15 at Southern National Motorsports Park and Brunnhoelzl took the checkered flag in the most recent event on April 12 at Langley Speedway
Seuss brings a slim five-point advantage over Brunnhoelzl in the season standings to Caraway, where four of the remaining 10 events on the schedule will be contested.
The Race: The Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law 150 is the fifth race on the 2014 schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, now in its 10th season. It will be the 50th running of the tour at Caraway Speedway.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining three spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (68.25 miles) with a five minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75.
The Track: Caraway Speedway is a .455-mile banked asphalt oval located in rural Sophia, North Carolina. The facility opened in 1966 with a dirt racing surface and was paved in 1972. Caraway, which features NASCAR Whelen All-American Series-sanctioned events on Saturday nights throughout the racing season, has hosted more NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events than any other track in the tour’s history.
Race Winners: There have been 11 different winners across the 49 previous Whelen Southern Modified Tour events at Caraway, led by George Brunnhoelzl III with 10.
Pole Winners: Seven different drivers have earned Coors Light Pole Awards at Caraway since the inaugural event in 2005. Burt Myers leads that contingent with 13. George Brunnhoelzl III holds the track qualifying record at 15.648 seconds and 104.678 mph, set on April 21, 2012.
Caraway Race Notes
Caraway Milestone: Saturday’s Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law 150 will be the 50th NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event at Caraway Speedway. In 10 years of southern tour competition, no other track has held more than nine races. Friday’s event will actually be the third attempt at the 50th all-time Caraway event after two spring rainouts.
Long Layoff: Thanks to a rainout at Caraway on April 19, the current stretch of inactivity became the second-longest in Whelen Southern Modified Tour history. The southern tour last raced on April 12 at Virginia’s Langley Speedway, so 83 days will pass between then and this week’s Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law 150. In the now 10 years of Whelen Southern Modified Tour competition, the only dark stretch on the schedule longer than that was 112 days from April 12-Aug. 2, 2008.
Myers Bros. Find Success During Tour Break: In keeping with tradition, Burt and Jason Myers are once again finding success at Bowman Gray Stadium. Burt won the track’s season-opening modified feature on April 26, and with three subsequent victories, he has a 29-point lead in the standings in an effort to secure what would be his seventh track championship. Despite a rocky start to the Bowman Gray season, Jason has posted three victories and is up to fifth in points. Fellow Whelen Southern Modified Tour competitor Danny Bohn also ranks fourth in points going into the modified division’s next event on July 12.
Seuss to Run New Hampshire: Current Whelen Southern Modified Tour points leader and nine-time Caraway winner, Andy Seuss will head to his home state for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events on July 11-12 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Seuss, originally from Hampstead, will pilot his family-owned No. 70 Chevrolet in both the non-points Whelen All-Star Shootout on Friday and the New Hampshire 100 on Saturday.
Home Tracks: Bassett Leads North Carolina
Dillon Bassett is applying his success in the late model division at Caraway Speedway in an effort to capture the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series North Carolina state championship this season. Through the week ending on June 22, Bassett had compiled 413 points between Tar Heel State ovals Caraway, East Carolina Speedway, Hickory Motor Speedway and Southern National Motorsports Park. Bassett’s points total was 49 ahead of second place driver Burt Myers, a Bowman Gray Stadium modified and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour competitor.
Last Time Out: Langley
The fourth race of the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season took place on Saturday, April 12 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. Here are some highlights from the Courtyard by Marriott/Pepsi 150:
- George Brunnhoelzl III grabbed the lead on Lap 84 and held on through two highly-contested late-race restarts to secure his first victory at the track.
- Ryan Preece earned the Coors Light Pole Award in his fourth-straight Whelen Southern Modified Tour appearance and led 59 laps before a fifth-place result.
- Second-year driver David Calabrese (third) and rookies Bobby Measmer Jr. (seventh) and Joe Ryan Osborne (eighth) all established career-best finishes.
Next Time Out: Bowman Gray
Following this week’s race at Caraway Speedway, the second half of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule will begin in earnest with the 10th Annual Strutmasters.com 199 at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 2. Northern invader Ryan Preece was the winner a year ago at the famed quarter-mile oval in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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