SCORING DISCREPANCY CAUSES SOUTHERN MOD CONTROVERSY by Matthew Dillner
Three Southern Mod-sters Not Happy with NASCAR Decisions
The fans at Bowman Gray Stadium’s NASCAR Whelen Southern Mod Tour show saw the obvious story of the race unfold in front of their eyes as Burt Myers bumped his way by John Smith to win coming out of the final turn for the win. But the hottest topic in the pit-area after the race surrounded a few scoring decisions by NASCAR officials. Three drivers in particular, Tim Brown, Jason Myers and LW Miller, had discussions with Tour officials after the race to vent their displeasure with their on-track positions. All three drivers said that wrong-calls cost them a lot of spots on the track and points in the standings.
Tim Brown (right) talks to LW Miller (center) and Myers patriarch Gary Myers (Left) about the scoring issues after the Advance Auto Parts 199 Southern Mod Tour show. (51 Photos)
Tim Brown most likely had the biggest beef of the night. He escaped a first lap tangle and snuck from his seventh-place starting spot up to third. But under the first caution, NASCAR officials moved Brown back to eighth spot. The Hayes Jewelers team contested the decision, but got nowhere with the ruling so had to race on.
After the race, Brown was handed a video tape, by non-other than rival Burt Myers’ mother. The video, which was shown to NASCAR officials and Speed51.com, clearly showed that putting Brown back to eighth was a mistake. On the video it appeared that NASCAR officials may have mistaken Tim Brown with another blue car, Brian Loftin. They moved Brown to eighth and Loftin up to the third spot.
“It clearly shows on the video that we were not involved in a wreck and we came out third,” said Brown who ended up fourth. “It was on the scorecard and on the board. The race is over. It was on the first lap of the race. What are they going to do? Re-run the race? They put me back to eighth and I ran my tail off to finish fourth at the end of the night. The right thing to do would be to give me third-place points. I could have won the race. They argue with you that they are right and then a fan has a video tape that clearly shows that I am right. So what do you do?
Myers' #4 spun into the infield, then cut through the infield grass before blending into the field under caution.
“I don’t know who made that decision. I showed the main NASCAR guy (Race Director Mark Sudreth) the video and he said to stay right here and he would come back.”
Sudreth and NASCAR officials would not comment on the ruling nor the video-tape, but Brown told Speed51.com that Sudreth spoke to him again after reviewing the tape.
“I showed them the tape and they agreed and the scoring was right on my behalf. Their comment was, ‘if we had left you in third, how do you know you would have finished third?’ Well, we went from eighth to fourth. That’s irrelevant. How do they know if they had left me in third I wouldn’t have won the race?”
Jason Myers was another driver left fuming after the race. He looked to have the good shot at winning the race for the majority of the 199. On lap 164, Earl Baker and Bobby Hutchens got together in turns three and four bringing out the caution flag. When the leaders approached the spun cars, Myers, who was in second at the time, looped it entering turn-three. He then drove across the grass in front of the scoreboard and mixed back into traffic before crossing the start-finish line. NASCAR officials then made the decision to put Myers to the tail of the field. That decision erased a chance at a repeat 199 win for the younger of the Myers' brothers.
“When the caution comes out they say it’s freezing the field but it’s not freezing the
field, it’s race back to the line at a slow pace. If you loose your forward motion you are supposed to line up where you blend in. I blended in behind the 83 (Brown) and 81 (Brian Pack) and put me dead last.
“They said that I cut through the grass. No time have they said that that is a rule over here that you can’t cut through the grass under caution if the track is blocked. I definitely spun after the field is frozen.”
In another scoring snafu, LW Miller sat eighth when the final caution flag flew. During those caution laps, NASCAR allegedly put Zach Brewer and Jason Myers ahead of Miller in the running order resulting in a tenth place finish for the #36 Team.
“Somehow before the green-white-checker finish NASCAR put two cars that were behind me the lap before in front of me,” said Miller. “The 4 (Jason Myers) and 18 (Brewer) told me that they did pass me when NASCAR told them to get in front of me under the caution. It cost me two spots and two spots sounds piddly, but at the end of the year if it comes down to six points it is going to mean the world.”
Points lost were in the forefront of Tim Brown’s mind as his team shut the door of their hauler when packing up for the night. Brown knows just how crucial a few points can be in a season long championship chase.
“I was asking for just third-place points,” said Brown. “Keep the position, keep the money and award two-drivers with third place points. It’s just one spot. For the little money we run for on this tour that can make the difference at the end of the year in points. One finishing spot would have won me the championship last year and if it does this year it will leave even a bigger bad taste in my mouth. It’s over and I am going to try and put it behind me.”
Myers had a meeting with NASCAR after the race but did not get the answer he wanted.
The proper-position problems left a bad taste in several people’s mouth after the Advance Auto Parts 199. What is the solution? A seemingly clear solution was brought up by one team in the pit area… transponders. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Mod Tour has been criticized by some for not having transponders to aid in timing and scoring. While several short track series across America have them, NASCAR has yet to make them a part of the Tour.
Having transponders might have helped clear up some of the scoring discrepancies at the Bowman Gray show. But with the results in the books, Jason Myers sat on the wall in disgust hours after the race. He reflected on the win he saw slip away, not knowing what to think or feel about the situations that transpired.
“I ain’t trying to bad-mouth NASCAR, but I have nobody else to bad-mouth,” added the aggravated Jason Myers. “They screwed Tim Brown, they screwed LW and they screwed me. If they can’t run a show better than that I just assume let the Stadium run the show. You think they’ve been doing this for so long that they could score cars on a quarter-mile flat racetrack. I guess they spend more time watching the race then they do keeping up with it. The guy calling the race says that he’s just doing what the scorer says. The scorers are saying they are lining them up the way the guy calling the race says. Until somebody has enough balls to say that they made the call and stop pointing fingers at everybody this stuff will keep going on every week.
Tim Brown's #83 lost a number of spots at a place where track position is crucial.
“As much as it costs to come over here for two-days for the same money they can’t get somebody that can keep it straight on the racetrack. It’s disappointing.”