George Brunnhoelzl III moved closer to the 2009 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship Friday night with his fourth win of the season in the Lightning Fast 150 at Ace Speedway.
Brunnhoelzl, who started the race second, took the lead from pole sitter Burt Myers on a Lap 26 restart. He held the lead until Myers was able to pass on a restart on lap 72 but he quickly resumed the top spot one lap later and clearly had the best car all night.
“My crew gave me a really good car tonight,” Brunnhoelzl said in Victory Lane. “I was able to get a good run off of the turns and I think that is what made the difference for us tonight.”
Brunnhoelzl remained out front until the final restart of the race on lap 106 after Frank Fleming backed into the Turn 2 wall to bring out the final yellow of the race on Lap 102. Myers once again made a pass to lead a lap before Brunnhoelzl made one final pass for the lead and remained out front the rest of the night. Brunnhoelzl led four times for 124 laps.
Andy Seuss passed Myers on lap 110 and finished second. Seuss, who also sits second in the points standings, knew he had to win and Brunnhoelzl have some problems if wanted to have a shot at the title.
“We had a pretty good car tonight and gave it all we had but George was just a little bit better than we were tonight,” Seuss said. “Now we are just going to go out next week at Caraway and try and end our season with another win.”
Brunnhoelzl heads to the final race of the season next weekend at Caraway Speedway with a 150-point lead over Seuss. With his lead all Brunnhoelzl will have to do to win the 2009 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship is start the race. It will be the first title for the third-generation driver from West Babylon, N.Y.
Myers, who has enjoyed a string of top-five finishes over the last third of the season, settled for third place.
“Man, we keep getting better and better,” Myers said. “We were really good coming off of Turn 2 but we couldn’t get the car to get a good run off of 4, and that is where George and Andy were able to make their moves by us. We are not where we want to be but we are getting there. I would love to end the season with a win for my guys.”
Defending NWSMT champion Brian Loftin was fourth and Jason Myers completed the top five. Gene Pack followed in sixth.
Earlier in the day, Burt Myers won his fourth Coors Light Pole Award of the season and 21st of his career, and broke the track record with his lap of 14.606 seconds.
The race was slowed five times by caution in the make-up race held after rain forced a postponement earlier in the spring.
The Fall Classic will be the season-ending event for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour next Saturday night at Caraway Speedway.
While Brunnhoelzl has the title all but clinched there are several other positions in the top five that could change next weekend in the finale. Seuss leads Burt Myers by just 72 points for second place (2,055-1,983) and Burt Myers leads Loftin by just 35 points for third place (1,983-1,948).