Former Ace Speedway Regular Wows Crowd In Small Field
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver Brian King picked up his first career victory on Friday night in very popular fashion as the Burlington driver picked up his first win before his hometown crowd.
King picked up the lead from defending NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver and defending series champion Junior Miller and never looked back. King scored the victory by a scant 1.219 margin of victory over second-place finisher Tim Brown. Burt Myers was third, followed by the top-five finishers of Jay Foley and Brian Pack.
King was thrilled with the victory as was evident by the number of his supporters cheering him on from his pit crew, team owner Doug Adams and a packed grandstand who watched as he claimed his 95th Modified victory at Ace Speedway, but first on the Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
“This is a dream come true for me,” King said. “This is what I always have dreamed of doing is winning a race at this level. Doug Adams was able to put this team together and get the sponsors we needed to be able to run up front on a consistent basis like this. Now that we’ve won I think it gives us all a great deal of confidence that we can win another race or two and be competitive like we’ve been this year. It’s great to win in front of my hometown crowd, but it was also a lot of pressure because their expectations were so high for me tonight. We’ve all worked really hard all week.
“I was thinking with about 35 laps to go that this race was taking
Brian King knows all about Victory Lane at Ace Speedway and he was there again Friday night. (Robert Everhart Photo)
forever to get over with. I still can’t believe we finally won a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race. This is awesome.”
Brown, naturally, was a bit frustrated with his second straight runner-up finish though he did trim Miller’s championship lead to only 37 points.
“Second-place stinks,” Brown said with a smile. “We sat on the pole but after the draw-redraw we ended up starting seventh and I ended up eating up my tires trying to get back up front. Brian King had a good car and he just beat us. I guess it’s good to be upset at finishing second because we were able to gain a few points on Junior Miller as far as the championship goes.”
Brown won the Bud Pole Award at a speed of 95.301 mph, but started 10th after the draw-redraw put Miller and alongside fellow front row starter Bobby Hutchens. Miller used the luck of the draw to his advantage as he took the lead and was still holding the top spot at the halfway point as the top-five was made up of Frank Fleming, Hutchens, L.W. Miller and Brian Pack.
Perhaps the biggest story of the first half of the race was the move forward by King from his seventh starting position before making a bold move to pass two cars and grab the second position on Lap 80. As King was closing in on Miller’s lead, the first caution of the night was displayed on Lap 95 when Hutchens went for a harmless spin coming off the fourth turn.
13. (3) Frank Fleming, Mount Airy N.C., Chevrolet, 105, Rear End, $485
On the ensuing restart, King quickly began to apply pressure to Miller’s bumper and eventually grabbed the lead on Lap 111. While riding in second, Miller, the current NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship leader got a little cosmetic damage when he made slight contact with the spinning car of Brian Pack.
When all was said and done, there was simply no denying King of his night in the limelight.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to action next Saturday night at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.