Southern Modified Racing Series – Concord Speedway (NC) – 5/25/18

Last updated: May 29, 2018 at 10:22 am
(Updated throughout the day – Be sure to refresh this page frequently)

Brandon Ward scores a near flawless victory in the 75-lap SMRS feature (Speed51.com photo).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feature Notebook:

Some developments during the pace laps – Tim Brown pulls to pit road and the crew is feverishly looking under the right side of his Modified.  Appears to be a battery change and he accelerates in time for the one to go signal.  Also, Bryan Dauzat has replaced Andy Seuss aboard the No.. 97 and will start from the rear.

Lap 1:  Brandon Ward accelerates to the early lead over Measmer and Myers.
Lap 5:  Ward and Measmer enjoy a two second lead while Myers is fighting off a hungry pack of racers including Putnam, Truex, and Smith.
Lap 10:  Ward and Measmer continue to pace the field.  Brown moves up to sixth.  Caution flies as Truex dramatically slows out of top five position.
Lap 11:  Ward chooses the inside on the ‘cone’ restart with Measmer alongside.  Ward with the advantage into turn one.
Lap 15:  Myers stays with the front two on this restart as Brown marches to fourth after having to start from the back.
Lap 18:  Field currently in single file, but Putnam and Gerstner are right at Brown’s rear nerf bar.
Lap 19:  Gerstner gets into the back of Putnam between turns one and two and stacks up Buzze, Dauzat, and Hutchens.  Everyone able to get going as the race is slowed for the second time.
Lap 20:  Ward gets a good restart but Measmer tries to crossover in a bid for the lead.  Brown pitted under caution as the team appeared to have swapped the left side tires and made major adjustments.
Lap 25:  One-third of the way in, Ward maintains a car length advantage on Measmer, Myers, Smith, and Dauzat.  Buzze slows and comes to pit road.
Lap 30:  Ward and Measmer open up the margin on Myers.  Gerstner takes fifth.
Lap 33:  Myers runs his fastest lap of the race the last time by.  Gerstner running the fastest times of anyone.
Lap 37:  At halfway, Ward and Measmer continue to lead with Myers and Smith gradually catching them.  Brown mired back in eighth.
Lap 42:  Ward’s lead is at four-tenths of a second.  He and Measmer have opened up some ground on Myers and Smith once again.
Lap 47:  Smith making a couple bids for third spot, but unable to complete the pass at this point.
Lap 50:  With 25 to go, Ward leads Measmer, Myers, Smith, Gerstner, Dauzat, Putnam, Brown, and Hutchens.
Lap 55:  Smith trying to find any way around Myers but still unsuccessful.  Ward opens up a couple more car lengths on Measmer.
Lap 57:  Measmer’s car sputters and slows out of second, bringing out the caution.  His car remains under power though.
Lap 58:  Ward’s car falters coming up to speed.  Smith tries to get to the inside and gets tagged sending him toward the inside frontstretch wall.  Smith will need a tow to the pits.  Ward will remain in the lead followed by Myers, Gerstner, Brown, Putnam, Hutchens, Measmer, and Dauzat.
Lap 60:  Ward accelerates to the lead with  Myers right on his tail.  Measmer manevers into the top five.
Lap 65:  With 10 to go, the top five remains the same, but they are separated by 1.3 seconds.  Putnam slows and heads to pit road.
Lap 70:  Measmer searching for a way by Brown for fourth, but unable to complete a pass.
Lap 72:  Gerstner skates up the track which allows Brown to catch him, but top five remains unchanged.
Lap 75:  Myers makes it within a car length, but Ward holds him off for the victory.  Measmer passes Brown with two to go and edges Gerstner at the line for third.

 

Pre-Feature Notebook: 

  • Jeremy Gerstner showed the way in final practice for the Modifieds.
  • Fast qualifier Burt Myers won five SMRS events in 2017, but is winless through the first four races of 2018.
  • Former NASCAR Southern Modified Tour champion Andy Seuss is filling in for under the weather team owner Bryan Dauzat behind the wheel; however, Seuss has not been feeling so well himself but laid down the second fastest lap time in qualifying.

 

Starting Lineup:

1 Tim Brown
2 Bobby Measmer Jr.
3 Burt Myers
4 Andy Seuss
5 Brandon Ward
6 John Smith
7 Gary Putnam
8 Tyler Truex
9 Jeremy Gerstner
10 Tom Buzze
11 Trey Hutchens

 

Time Trial Results: 

1 1 Burt Myers 15.869
2 97 Andy Seuss 15.870
3 83 Tim Brown 15.934
4 17 Bobby Measmer Jr. 15.938
5 19 Brandon Ward 15.974
6 25 John Smith 15.979
7 77 Gary Putnam 16.062
8 66 Tyler Truex 16.067
9 15 Jeremy Gerstner 16.134
10 5 Tom Buzze 16.203
11 14 Trey Hutchens 16.214

 

Car Count: 11 Tour-Type Modifieds are on hand for this evening’s festivities.

 

Entry List: 

1 Burt Myers
5 Tom Buzze
14 Trey Hutchens
15 Jeremy Gerstner
17 Bobby Measmer Jr.
19 Brandon Ward
25 John Smith
66 Tyler Truex
77 Gary Putnam
83 Tim Brown
97 Andy Seuss

 

Qualifying Format:  Single-car time trials will set the lineup for tonight’s 75-lap feature.  Fastest six Modifieds will redraw for their feature starting position.

 

Event Schedule: 

1:30 – 4:25 p.m. – Practice
5:00 p.m. – Qualifying
7:00 p.m. – Feature (SMRS Mods will be the final one of the night)

 

Who to Watch For:  Brandon Ward swept both Concord SMRS races in 2017 and makes his first series start of the season.  Another favorite is certain to be local former track champion Bobby Measmer Jr., who won the 2016 running of this race.  Drivers like John SmithTim BrownJeremy Gerstner, and Burt Myers are no strangers to victory lane either.

 

Title Fight:  Tim Brown, Jeremy Gerstner, and Burt Myers have set themselves ahead as the early title favorites, with Brown and Gerstner each achieving a victory already in the young 2018 season.

 

The Track:  Concord Speedway started off as a dirt track but was paved in the late 1980s.  It now features a unique 1/2-mile tri-oval layout featuring dogleg coming out of turn two.

 

Weather:  The weather in Concord, North Carolina continues to be muggy with high temperatures in the low 80s but only a 30 percent chance of scattered storms.  Temperature will continue to hover around 80 degrees at the expected time of the green flag.

 

Next Series Race:  The Southern Modified Racing Series will have the month of June off before returning to Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, North Carolina on Saturday, July 7.

 

What Won the Race:  Brandon Ward had the track position when it counted in the closing stages to win in his first SMRS appearance of 2018.

 

The Finish:  

1 19 Brandon Ward 75
2 1 Burt Myers 75
3 17 Bobby Measmer Jr. 75
4 15 Jeremy Gerstner 75
5 97 Bryan Dauzat 75
6 14 Trey Hutchens 75
7 83 Tim Brown 74
8 77 Gary Putnam 65
9 25 John Smith 57
10 5 Tom Buzze 24
11 66 Tyler Truex 10

 

The Skinny:  It was a near flawless race for Brandon Ward.  After inheriting third starting position when Tim Brown pulled to pit road on the pace laps, Ward accelerated to the lead on the opening lap and never looked back.  The only close moment came on a lap 58 restart when a chain reaction among the cars lined up behind him sent John Smith into the frontstretch inside wall.  From there, Ward maintained the top spot on his way to victory number one of the 2018 SMRS season.

 

Winning Quote:  “Not only is it the first time we ran this car all year, but the first time we’ve been on this particular tire.”

 

Winning Crew Chief: Will Spaugh

 

Winning Chassis: Fury Race Cars

 

Winning Shocks: Penske

 

Winning Engine: Progressive Racing Engines

 

On the Move:  Jeremy Gerstner picked up five positions from his ninth starting spot to finish fourth.

 

Biggest Loser:  It was an up and down night for Tim Brown, who was scheduled to start from the pole but pitted during the pace laps.  He moved back up to fourth before his Modified ultimately came to a stop on the final lap, relegating him to a seventh place finish.

 

Speed Central: Southern Modified Racing Series at Concord