DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Andy Seuss enters Thursday night’s Southern Slam 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with two numbers in mind: four, as in securing his fourth race win of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season, and one, as he looks to earn his first tour championship.
Statistically, Seuss will have some noteworthy figures to share during his championship season, but there will be one number that might possibly outshine all of them: 160,000.
That’s the number of miles his mom and dad, Bobbi and Steve Seuss – have traveled to support their son’s participation in the tour since his first start in 2006.
Seuss is originally from Hampstead, New Hampshire and although he lives in North Carolina now fulltime, his parents still make the estimated 1,700-mile roundtrip to each race.
“I have never really thought about it but that number is pretty crazy if you think about it for a moment,” Seuss said. “I really appreciate the support of my parents and brother, Stevie, sister Shelly and my entire family.”
Seuss enters Thursday night’s season finale with a 17-point advantage over George Brunnhoelzl III and needs to finish 12th or better to win his first NASCAR championship.
Burt Myers, the only two-time winner of the Southern Slam 150, is third in the points but he and Brunnhoelzl both suffered blows to their championship hopes last week with Myers recording a DNF caused by mechanical issues and Brunnhoelzl involved in a late-race accident at Caraway Speedway.
Both drivers will need to win the race and have Seuss finish back in the field to have a chance a securing another title.
NASCAR Next driver Ryan Preece returns to the tour for the third time this season. The defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion started from the pole in last year’s event at Charlotte.
The Race: The Southern Slam is the 14th race on the 2014 schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, now in its 10th season. It will be the fifth time the series has competed on the .25-mile track along the front stretch at Charlotte Motor 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 teams having an opportunity to pit and change one tire during the event.
The Track: Built in 1960, the 1.5-mile track has hosted NASCAR events ever since its opening. The track was designed and built by Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. The track has gone through various upgrades through the years and a state-or-the-art lighting system was installed in 1992, allowing Charlotte Motor Speedway to be the first modern superspeedway to host night auto racing. The Whelen Southern Modifieds compete on the quarter-mile track constructed along the front stretch of the speedway.
Race Winners: Burt Myers won the inaugural event at the track in 2010 and again last season. Brunnhoelzl is the only other active driver to win at the track capturing a checkered flag in 2012.
Pole Winners: Three different drivers have earned Coors Light Pole Awards at Charlotte since the inaugural event in 2010. Brunnhoelzl leads that contingent with two. Preece and Myers have the other pole awards. Brunnhoelzl holds the track qualifying record at 14.727 seconds and 61.112 mph, set on October 11, 2012.
Charlotte Race Notes
Davis Moves Closer To Rookie of the Year Award: Spencer Davis finished sixth last week at Caraway to earn rookie of the race honors at Caraway and add to his lead in the overall standings. Davis now leads second-place Joe Ryan Osborne by five points (118-113) with Bobby Measmer Jr., third at 110 points.
It’s A Family Affair At Charlotte: Luke Fleming, who has competed all season with his uncle and former tour driver Frank Fleming as his crew chief, will race with his father, Chris, for the first time in a tour race this Thursday in Charlotte. Chris has made two career tour starts with a top-10 finish in 2007.
Jason Myers Still Looking for First Win of Season: Jason Myers is the lone full-time driver who scored a win in 2013 who has yet to visit Victory Lane in 2014. Myers’ last win came in the 2013 season opener at Caraway.
Last Time Out: Caraway
The 13th race of the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season took place on Oct. 4 at Caraway Speedway. Here are some highlights from the Prestoria Farms 150:
• Danny Bohn became the fifth driver this season to pick up multiple wins, joining Andy Seuss (3), Burt Myers (3), George Brunnhoelzl III (2) and J.R. Bertuccio (2).
• Bohn earned the Coors Light Pole Award for the fourth time this season, and fifth of his career.
• Spencer Davis led all rookies with a sixth place finish to win Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors. Daniel Speeney followed in eighth with Bobby Measmer Jr. in 10 and Joe Ryan Osborne 15.
Next Time Out: NASCAR Night Of Champions
Before the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to action next spring, there is one major event on the offseason schedule. The Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion will be crowned as part of the NASCAR Night of Champions, which will include ceremonies for the seven NASCAR touring series on Saturday, Dec. 13 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.