51 Leftovers: North South Shootout
Myers Scores, Hossfeld Junked, Fultz's Emotion, Blaney and more
By Matthew Dillner, Jason "Stix" Buckley, Elgin Traylor & Allison Fulson
Chuck Hossfeld's car sits in turn-three after a hard crash. (51 Sports Photo)
HOSSFELD BANGED UP IN CRASH BUT IS OK, CAR IS NOT

Chuck Hossfeld broke the track record in qualifying and was looking to be a favorite in the race.  The young New York driver’s confidence and drive to win his first North South Shootout was squashed with a spectacular crash while battling for the lead with Matt Hirschman early in the race.  Hossfeld’s car hit the wall hard at the fastest part of the track, coming out of Concord Speedway’s dog-leg. 

A few days after the crash, Speed51.com caught up with Hossfeld to get his side of the incident.

“I talked with Matty before the race and he said he wasn’t going to press hard and we’d just ride,” said Hossfeld.  “I started on the pole and he got by me on the outside. I gave him room. The next restart put me on the outside and I just figured the outside was the preferred line because he had just passed me on the outside. Man, he just came up like I wasn’t there. I don’t know why or care why.

“It’s the hardest crash I’ve ever had. It destroyed my racecar including the motor. A team in my position it’s just a terrible crush for me. That is my own car. It really did a number on the car. I’ve got it all stripped and am going to bring it to Troyer. It definitely needs a front clip and maybe I’ll be lucky and save the middle of it. I don’t know because it’s pretty bad. The motor is already being worked on .We’re not letting the grass grow under our feet. We are going to work hard and come back stronger than ever.

The crash not only destroyed Chuck’s #22 car, it also roughed up the veteran driver.

“I’m lucky I wasn’t hurt to be honest with you. I was banged up. Saturday night I was fine and they all said wait until tomorrow and you’ll be sore. Man is that true. I couldn’t get over how beat up I felt.  I felt like I fought Mike Tyson and lost like I obviously would. I am finally starting to feel better.”

Matt Hirschman and other’s gave their take on the crash. We have that video posted on Speed51video.com. Click here to view that video

THE SOUTH RISES AGAIN AS MYERS TAKES SECOND-STRAIGHT NORTH SOUTH SHOOTOUT

A walk through the pits at Saturday’s John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout at Concord Motorsport Park (NC) would show you just how serious Modified racers are about their rivalry between the North and the South.  Although there are a few drivers who compete in both regions, everyone typically represents their home turf when it comes to this race.

For the second year in a row, the South rose again as Burt Myers took the win in the Modified Civil War and the crown for the “Dirty South” and proved once again that Modifieds are still a force in the South.  Myers took the checkered flag after leading the several laps with Northerner, Rowan Pennink in his rear-view mirror.

“I wouldn’t say that I was worried with him right on me,” said Myers.  “But I knew that if I could get enough laps and get enough cushion that I could adjust my line to allow for the tightness that the car had.   Once I got out in front of him just a little bit, I could change my line getting into turn three and then get a better shot off of four.  After I got that little cushion we were pretty much good to go.”

After doubting his car a little bit, Myers made successful pit stops and well-played, strategic moves on track to get his car to victory lane at the back-to-back North-South Shootouts.

“It probably won’t sink in until tomorrow,” commented Myers right after the race.  “But this is unbelievable.  You doubt how good your car is and you doubt how things are going to work out but everything seemed to play in our hands tonight.  To be able to come in the pits and the guys get me out front and keep me out front, I’m almost speechless.”

STORYBOOK SLM ENDING HAS FULTZ AND ON-LOOKERS IN TEARS

Leading up to the Shootout, Jeff Fultz and his family had to deal with one of the hardest moments of their lives. They lost their son Johnny in an automobile accident. A few days later, Fultz was at the place that made him feel most comfortable, the racetrack.  Just competing at the track was considered a feat to some, but Fultz put a great ending to the North South Shootout weekend by taking the emotional win in the Inaugural CRA Super Series 125.

“When I strapped in tonight it was something a little different. It was very emotional,” admitted Fultz after the race. 

When the veteran Super Late Model driver pulled into victory-lane, he was greeted by an endless see of fans, supporters and fellow competitors. The handshakes and hugs continued for a while and then an teary-eyed Fultz climbed from his car the victor. While the moment was something some in the Short Track World won’t soon forget, Fultz said that the support he has received is something he will never forget.

“I can’t thank everyone enough,” said Fultz.  “All the press and all the people for their support this week. It’s been a real tough week. You don’t realize how close people are in this deal until something like this happens. People like Wayne Anderson and Freddie Query called me this week. They’ve always been my rivals.  You really see who your friends are. The support from the top to the bottom has been awesome. It’s amazing how all of these people care. That means more to me than any race I’ve ever won. I just have to thank all of those people from the bottom of my heart."

The weekend was a great success for Fultz and his racing teams.

“I love to win races. A lot of times you don’t want to pull in under these circumstances. We came here with three cars. Me, Cassius Clark and Jonathan (Hicken). We ran three cars here and all qualified in the top-ten.  We got the pole with Cassius. Our whole goal everywhere we go is to win. We did just that. Cassius finished third. Butch Hilton came on board with us this weekend to help us out and oversee the team to take me out of that role."

PELTIER’S PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF

Preston Peltier won six races at Concord Speedway this season in his Pro Late Model car.  When the CRA Super Series announced that they would being hosting a Super Late Model event Peltier was licking his chops.  He had not run a Super Late Model race at Concord since the 2007 Mason Dixon Meltdown. 
However, a wild day on Thursday left Peltier with a banged up car. Peltier returned to the track on Friday and made it out to qualify in a backup car.  It was the same Pro Late Model that he had won so many races with at Concord this season. 

Despite being underpowered and overcoming a another wreck, this one in the race, the local standout worked his way to the front and scored a fourth-place finish.  A timely caution might have aided him into a top three spot, but still a top -five with a banged up back-up car is not too shabby.
Peltier ends the season with eight wins, counting his two PASS South victories, and said he will be back in 2010.

NO-SHOWS AND ALL-SHOWS

“Showtime” Jimmy Blewett was a no-show for the first time at the North South Shootout.

With Blewett’s absence, “TC” Ted Christopher and Jamie “The Jet” Tomaino are now the only Modified drivers to have raced in all seven editions of the North South Shootout.

RYAN BLANEY HAS A SO-SO DAY AT CONCORD IN SUPER LATE MODEL FEATURE

After the final race in the 2009 PASS South points season, Ryan Blaney’s team stripped down his #10 Super Late Model to try and figure out where his speed and handling went as the end of his season wasn’t as successful as the beginning.  There was a point to where Blaney wasn’t even going to race in the North-South Shootout Super Late Model feature, but the team got the car back together, which netted a sixth-place finish for Blaney.

Timing in sixth, Blaney had to race his way to a solid starting spot.  He was able to win his heat race, but was still working on getting the car a bit better for the feature.

“In the heat race, I was just trying to work on making it through the dog-leg,” explained Blaney.  “That’s what we ended up struggled with the next night, so it was definitely an issue.  We thought we would have had it really good for Saturday night, but it was just a little too free in the dog-leg and we couldn’t get through there nearly as quick as everyone else.”

In the heat race, Blaney worked around the handling of his car and the pit strategy to have a solid finish, even if it wasn’t exactly what he wanted.

“If we were good we weren’t going to take tires,” said Blaney.  “But it was pretty hard to pass, so we just couldn’t get track position.  So, at about lap 80 we came in and took tires and we came back out about around 12th.  When we went back green, I drove right up to sixth and I thought we were going to just keep coming, but that’s when it just stalled out and got way too loose again.  All in all, it was a pretty good race though.  I had some fun with [Chase] Elliott there at the end, racing with him, so overall it was a pretty good night.”

BIG WEEK FOR THE SOUTHERN MOD CHAMP

After the North South Shootout, George Brunnhoelzl III will put away his driver’s suit for the season.  He will pick up a suit of another kind.  The third-generation driver will be duded out in a tuxedo for the NASCAR Touring Series Champions Gala in Concord, NC and for his wedding shortly after.

“I pick up the tux on Thursday. We’ve got a big week ahead. We have the championship week and a lot of fun going on mixed in with a lot of media and the car being on display. I’m really looking forward to the banquet. I’ll be in a tux twice in two weeks.

"I am getting married two weeks after the banquet so I am looking forward to that. Heather has been my good luck charm. I proposed to her down in the Bahamas right before Lanier last year. We went to Lanier and sat on the pole and won the race. Ever since then it’s been great and now we win the Championship and are getting married."

DEVIN JONES ENDS WEEKEND EARLY WITH THE RETURN OF THE FLU

Back in October, Super Late Model rookie Devin Jones had to skip a race or two in the PASS South season due to an illness.  Jones was one of the many in the racing community that caught the H1N1 Swine Flu bug, which sidelined the racer while he recovered from the illness.  However, Jones returned to the seat of his car for the series’ finale at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC), thinking he was well enough to take to the track and finish out the season.

Jones headed to Concord Speedway (NC) on the North-South Shootout practice day on Thursday, and ended up being one of the top six drivers on the speed charts.  His weekend seemed to be starting off on the right foot, but Jones was a no show for Friday’s qualifying day and Saturday’s race day.

Tim Jones, Devin’s father, told Speed51.com on Friday that his son started feeling ill once again and his temperature shot up to over 100 degrees, forcing him back out of the race car, fearing the return of the H1N1 Swine Flu virus.  Thankfully, it turned out that Devin had a case of the standard flu, and is already back on the road to recovery. 

COVERING THE COVERAGE

Video
You can check out several video features we did throughout the North South Shootout weekend by checking out www.Speed51video.com

Videos Include:
NSS Leftovers - Hirschman Hossfeld Incident
NSS Leftovers - Jamie Tomaino
NSS Leftovers - Mods
NSS Leftovers - CRA Super Late Models
NSS Leftovers - Fultz and Gresham on SLM's at Shootout
NSS Leftovers - Max Gresham and Measmer
2009 Little Shootout Pedal Car Race Feature
Tim Brown Talks Shootout and plans for 2010
Burt Myers Wins Second Straight NSS
Jeff Fultz Overcomes Loss of Son for Shootout Win
Matt Hirschman Wins SK Feature
Eric Goodale on First Time at Concord

Radio
For the first time ever, Speed51.com and RaceTalkRadio.com brought you live play-by-play coverage of the event. Relive the magic and post-race interviews... click here to listen.

Fatboy Shootout at Victory Lane Karting - We broadcast our Speed51 Radio show from VLK with a ton of Short Track news, guests and fun.  click here to listen

Web
We also had Speed51.com Trackside Now coverage of the event.
Friday Trackside Now - Practice and Quals  click here
Saturday Trackside Now - Raceday  click here

Hop on MotorsportsLounge.com or the Speed51.com Facebook. Lets us know what you thought about the coverage.

Dirty South Two-timed the North South Shootout  (51/ Russ Calabrese Photo)
An emotion-filled Jeff Fultz climbs out of his racecar in victory lane.   (51/ Russ Calabrese Photo)
Peltier (26) had a crazy weekend but still put up a good finishing result.  (51/ Russ Calabrese Photo)
Ryan Blaney (10) battles Bobby Measmer.  (51/ Russ Calabrese Photo)
Brunnhoelzl had a fast car all weekend at Concord. .  (51Sports Photo)
The 51 team worked hard all weekend to bring the best coverage they could of the North South Shootout. That included the SPEED television cameras .  (51/ Russ Calabrese Photo)