Heading into Saturday’s season finale at the historic Bowman Gray Stadium (NC), the majority of Modified drivers were seeking a win to round out the year. Meanwhile, Burt Myers was just looking to have a solid run that would propel him to his eighth championship at the track.
At the end of the night, Brandon Ward was able to stake his claim as the best in class while Myers used a top-five finish to put a snowman next to his name in the record books.
Ten-time track champion Tim Brown, who entered the night 79 points back of Myers in the standings, had the upper hand after qualifying, winning the pole while Myers started third. When the green flag waved, Brown took the lead and tried to pull away. James Civali advanced from fifth to second before taking the lead from Brown on lap 26.
Civali looked dominant up front while Myers ran ninth, keeping Brown in his sights. Civali led until a lap 52 restart gave Brandon Ward a pristine opportunity to get around him, which Ward took advantage of as he pulled away with the race lead.
The race didn’t end there though, as Civali fought Bobby Measmer Jr tooth and nail for the second spot, with the two exchanging it often, even tangling together on the backstretch to bring out the caution flag on lap 112.
Ward escaped off the front with the lead, fending off challenges on multiple restarts to take the win in the season-ending Carolina Farm Credit 150.
“I can’t thank these guys enough on this Kevin Powell Motorsports team, they worked hard all year and we thought we could have won some races before now but some bad luck fell our way and the right breaks didn’t,” Ward told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We would have good race cars but draw in the back, but tonight we were able to start on the front row and capitalize on it and get a win.”
Measmer finally claimed the second position on lap 135, only to lose it coming down the stretch to Jonathan Brown.
“We had a pretty good car tonight, but we didn’t need those last three cautions there at the end. We had a good long run car but it just didn’t go our way,” Measmer said. “All in all, it’s a heck of a way to finish our first full-time season over at Bowman Gray; it’s a good way to look at it heading into next year.”
While Ward took home the win, Burt Myers was the one celebrating his eighth title after finishing fourth. Coming into the race, Brown’s chances to catch Myers were slim, but they were alive for much of the race. However, when Brown made his way to pit road on lap 110 it all be sealed the deal for Myers’ eighth championship.
“It feels great; it’s pretty gratifying to realize we are eight-time champions over here,” Myers said. “I feel like I’m in my prime. I’m a Tom Brady fan; if Brady can still win championships at 40 years old, I can too.”
After a rough week at Bristol, including a hard crash during NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice on Wednesday, Myers was happy to end his week on a high note.
“With God, there is no such thing as coincidence, everything happens for a reason, blessing comes in your trials but a lot of times you don’t know that until it is all over,” Myers stated. “I just have to be as obedient as I can and give him the glory in the good times and the bad, what happened at Bristol is just one of those things that happen but you suck it up and do the best you can.”
For a full recap of all the action from the season finale at Bowman Gray, check out Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage here.
-By Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Carolina Farm Credit 150 Unofficial Results
Bowman Gray Stadium (NC) – August 19, 2017
|3||14||Bobby Measmer Jr|
|10||27||Joe Ryan Osborne|