BURT MYERS MUSCLES HIS WAY TO NASCAR SOUTHERN MOD TOUR WIN by Bob Dillner
Lucky Charm Given to Him by His Daughter Works – Foley New Pts Leader
Some drivers are superstitious; some are not. Some drivers say you make your own luck, some drivers’ say they’ll take anything that’s given to them for good luck. NASCAR Southern Modified Tour driver Burt Myers says he falls somewhere in between.
“If a black cat crosses the street in front of me, I’m putting an X on the windshield,” Burt told us. “I’ve got some of those old racing superstitions; no peanuts in the pits, no green and some other things too.”
Sounds fairly superstitious to us so that’s why we’re not surprised that a good luck charm given to him by his daughter, Jade, helped propel him to victory in Saturday night’s NASCAR Southern Modified Tour race at Caraway Speedway (NC).
“We bought her a flower-making kit for Easter and she made me a flower,” explained Myers from victory lane.
“We put it in the race shop and then my momma came over and said that’s supposed to be in the car. That’s the first time it’s been in the car so I had to call her and tell her thank you. Her lucky flower gave us the luck tonight.”
It’s a good thing too because Myers was beginning to think a car that he and team owner Phillip Smith purchased near the end of last year was possessed because the duo had no luck with it until this weekend.
“We were to the point where we were just going to put this car down out of its misery, take the parts from it and put it on something else,” said Burt. “It’s only got like seven races on it. I’ve probably got more man-hours in this car than any other car I ever ran. Hopefully this overcomes all of the trouble we’ve been having. I think we might have finally broken her in good tonight.”
That he did. Myers looked to have a fast car throughout the early stages of the 150-lap event around the half-mile speedplant. He started seventh and got trapped behind Advance Auto Parts driver Junior Miller for some time while battling for fifth. Miller, who eventually finished sixth, pitted on lap 53 since his car was pushing in the corners. Myers almost followed him.
“On the pitstop where Junior (Miller) came in, I was a half-a-second away from letting my foot off the brakes and rolling into the pits,” admitted Burt. “We were going to come in and tighten the car up more. Then I told them, ‘Junior is coming in, now that’s one less car I have to pass so let’s stay out.’ The racetrack was oiled up and had speedy-dry all over it. And it worked out for us. That was close, though.”
After a red-flag period halfway through the race, Myers #1 was a rocketship. He was able to pass cars with relative ease, that is, until he came up on Jay Foley, who had led from the drop of the green. Foley was using a lot of racetrack as his car began to fade and as the two went into turn one on lap-95, the two hit, Myers slipped underneath and the rest is history.
“I thought I made a good move on him. He checked up a little sooner than I thought he was going to and I hit him a little bit,” said Myers. “Luckily he didn’t wreck and I drove past him; that’s basically what happened.”
“It was good, hard racing,” described Foley, who finished second. “We were just a little bit off tonight. We don’t know if the stagger was just a little off or what, but that’s what let Burt catch me and then take off from me. The car was too good the first part of the race and I knew that was going to be trouble at the end. I just had to take care of her the best that I could and I’m still tickled to come out of here second again."
Burt Myers won race #2 of the SMT. (51 Photos)
With the event at Ace Speedway washed out last week, Foley is now second in points by virtue of his two second-place finishes in the first two events at Caraway.
“Last two year’s I’ve been lapped here, so two seconds in a row… I’ll take that,” said Foley with a smile. “Makes me a pretty good lead in the points so I’m looking forward to coming back next week and going for the win.”
The lucky flower given to him by his daugher, Jade, was attatched to a roll-bar. (51 Photos)
And when he does, he will most likely have to contend with Jay Hedgecock. Once again his #41 was among the fastest cars on the track, but similar to the first race where an engine went sour, his machine was bit by mechanical failure. But this one was awkward in nature.
“The safety switch for when the throttle hangs wide-open… fell in half,” said Hedgecock, who was the pole-sitter and was running second when it broke. “I kept jiggling it and I got the car in the pits. They took the windshield out, cut the wires and spliced them back together so the ignition would come back on. The car was as good as it was the first night (when the engine blew while he was leading). It’s just a shame that a two-dollar piece put me out of another race.”
Jay Foley finished second, again, at Caraway. He's also your SMT point leader. (51 Photos)
But it did make things a tad bit easier for young Burt Myers, who was honored in collecting a win in just the second-ever NASCAR Southern Modified Tour event. In fact, he’s the first southerner to go down in the record books as a winner on the SMT since Ted Christopher (from Connecticut) won the first race two weeks ago.
“I told somebody earlier the way everything has been going and the way we’ve been running lately, we need to win one soon,” said Myers, a former Southern Modified Tour champ. “Three or four years ago I was one of the top cars to beat down here every week, last couple years we kinda faded back. So, to come out here and win this NASCAR race tonight is pretty special; I’m as tickled as I’ve been in a long time.”
Myers has a chance to see if the monkey is really off his back and go for back-to-back wins when the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour visits Caraway Speedway again this Saturday for race #3 on the schedule. And be rest-assured, that flower will still be in the car.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: We will have more on the race and everyone involved in it early in the week on Speed51.com)