MYERS BROTHERS IN NEW YORK FOR A SPECIAL REASON by MikeTwist
This Generation of Racers Remembers The Family History
In today’s glitz and glamour of auto racing, it’s easy to forget the early days of the sport among of the expensive modern equipment, extensive media coverage and big names of NASCAR. In fact, nowhere would you expect this to be truer than in New York City for the annual NASCAR Champions Week. You can’t get further from the bullrings of the sport such as Bowman-Gray Stadium in North Carolina than the Big Apple.
Every year, members of the Myers family attend the annual Myers Brothers breakfast in New York City and present the award to a worthy recipient. Last year, they presented it to Kyle and Pattie Petty for their role with the Victory Junction Gang camp for terminally ill children in North Carolina. This year, it went to Wallace for his lifetime of contributions in the sport of auto racing.
Burt and Jason Myers were right there at the formal breakfast to observe the function firsthand.
“This is pretty special,” said Burt Myers. “I guess that you really take it for granted until you come up here and experience this. We’ve been up here three or four times and try to alternate with the family, so that everyone can come up and participate.”
“It’s like Burt said: you take this for granted until you experience it yourself,” said Jason Myers. “We’re just the Myers Brothers, short track racers from the South, and to experience this is big.”
“We’re honored to be here. I think that picture of me and him with that in the background speaks for it all.”
The racing brothers were very satisfied with this year’s recipient of the award.
“For Rusty to win it, I think that’s pretty fitting,” said Burt. “I’ve met with Rusty before and with him going out this year, this is great.”
Next year, the Myers hope that one of them will be back in New York for a different reason. Either driver hopes to be able to come back as the 2006 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified champion.
“That was the plan this year,” said Burt Myers who finished as the runner-up in points to Junior Miller. “I talked Don Hawk and I said that I was going to win the championship so they could fly me up here, but that didn’t work out.”
Yet when one of the most prestigious awards of Champions Week was handed out, it had a definite short track flavor. Rusty Wallace, a graduate of ASA, received the Myers Brothers Award, named for two pioneers of the sport from its short tracks day, from two brothers who compete on the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour, Burt and Jason Myers.
For a moment in New York, the tables seemed to turn. You can’t get much further away from modern day Nextel Cup racing than that.
The Myers Brothers award is handed out annually to a person, or persons, who have made outstanding contributions to stock car racing. It is named for Bobby and Billy Myers, two brothers who competed in NASCAR’s top series in the 1950’s before their tragic deaths. Billy was killed at Darlington during Southern 500 weekend in 1957 and Bobby perished less than six months later in a racing accident at Bowman-Gray Stadium.
According to Burt and Jason Myers, this picture speaks for it all concerning their trip to New York City. (51 Photo)
This year, the two didn’t fly. They drove up to the big city from the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina, got into town around 8pm on Thursday night and walked around taking in the sights.
“We drove up here,” said Burt Myers. “It was a long drive with just the two of us, but it was fun. I love it up here.”
There is no mistaking the Myers brothers for native New Yorkers. Burt Myers even has a message painted on his racecar bragging on “The Dirty South”. On their trip to the big city, did these two fun-loving guys have any big stories to tell?
“Not yet,” said Jason Myers at Friday’s breakfast. “But we haven’t made it home yet either.”
Burt Myers came one spot away from being in New York for a different reason.