After a couple of tough luck races Andy Seuss finally has a reason to celebrate.
Seuss was able to get past Rich Kuiken Jr. on Lap 122 and held on to win the Myrtle Beach 150 Saturday night at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Seuss, who qualified second and started on the pole after the post-qualifying redraw, fell back early in the race as his strategy was to save his tires as much as possible.
The Hampstead, N.H. driver, who last took the checkered flag at Lanier (Ga.) Speedway in April, crossed the finish line ahead of George Brunnhoelzl III. Buddy Emory finished third for his first podium finish of the season. L.W. Miller was fourth and Gene Pack fifth.
“I tell you what Myrtle Beach is a tough track to get around,” said Seuss. “Your tires go away so fast here and it is all about tire management. I can’t say enough about my crew and how hard they worked today.”
Seuss was quickly passed by Gene Pack on Lap 1. Pack, who was raised along the Grand Strand throughout his childhood and youth years, delighted a large group of family and friends who came out to support him by leading the first 58 laps of the race.
“I knew I was running a little too hard early in the race but I wanted to lead some laps here tonight for my family,” said Pack who built early leads by as much as half a lap. “I knew when my tires would go away I would fall back. I am just happy to get another top-five finish.”
Brunnhoelzl III was able to get past Pack on Lap 59 and remained out front until he was passed by L.W. Miller on Lap 79. Brunnhoelzl passed Miller on Lap 85 and remained out front until Lap 90 when Seuss was able to get by on the restart.
Seuss paced the field for the next 12 laps until Rich Kuiken Jr., who was the last car to pit for tires on Lap 89, took over the top spot to lead laps for the first time this season. Kuiken and Seuss traded the lead a pair of times before Seuss was finally able to get by for good.
The only challenge Seuss had was on a restart in Lap 133 after Burt Myers and Greg Butcher brought out the final caution flag of the race when Myers made heavy contact with the outside wall along the front stretch.
“I gave it everything I had on the final restart but we just didn’t have enough tires left to challenge Andy,” Brunnhoelzl said. “We were a second-place car and we held our own in the points with this finish so we’ll take and try to go to Caraway next week and get a win.”
It was also a good night for the defending Sunoco Rookie of the Year Buddy Emory. Emory, who had endured some tough finishes recently, scored his best finish of the season at one of the most challenging tracks on this year’s schedule.
“I tell you one thing I learned a little bit about tire management tonight,” Emory added. “I have never driven a race where you only use about three-fourths throttle for most of the race because the tires went away. This track just chewed them up.”
Brunnhhoelzl, who earlier in the day won his fifth Coors Light Pole Award of the season, was able to maintain his 76-point lead over Seuss after the ninth race of the season.
The race was slowed five times for caution with the only multi-car incident between Myers and Butcher on Lap 129. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to Caraway Speedway next Saturday night, Sept. 12, for the Caraway 150.
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour-NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified 150 Results
At Myrtle Beach Speedway
Myrtle Beach, SC
Lap length: 0.53 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Dodge, 150 laps, 68.997 mph, $2,000.
2. (4) George Brunnhoelzl III, West Babylon, N.Y., Ford, 150, $1,850.
3. (6) Buddy Emory, Petersburg, VA., Chevrolet, 150, $1,425.
4. (10) L.W. Miller, Dushore, PA., Pontiac, 150, $1,400.
5. (2) Gene Pack, Walkertown, N.C., Chevrolet, 150, $1,050.
6. (8) Brian Loftin, Lexington, N.C., Chevrolet, 150, $900.
7. (9) John Smith, Mount Airy, N.C., Chevrolet, 150, $800.
8. (12) Rich Kuiken Jr., Staffordsville, N.J., Chevrolet, 150, $740.
9. (7) Greg Butcher, Mocksville, N.C., Chevrolet, 150, $640.
10. (13) Tommy Neal, Walkertown, NC, Chevrolet, 147, $700.
11. (3) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 128, $575.
12. (11) Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Chevrolet, 79, engine, $550.
13. (5) Frank Fleming, Mount Airy, N.C., Pontiac, 28, engine, $535.
Time of Race: 1 hour 9 minutes 8 seconds
Margin of Victory: 1.990 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: G.Brunnhoelzl III (95.918 mph, 19.892 seconds)
Caution Flags: 5 for 24 laps.
Lead Changes: 8 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: G. Pack 1-58; G. Brunnhoelzl III 59-78; L. Miller 79-84; G. Brunnhoelzl III
85-89; A. Seuss 90-102; 103-119; A. Seuss 120; 121; A. Seuss 122-150.
Standings: 1. G. Brunnhoelzl III, 1505; 2. A. Seuss, 1429; 3. B. Loftin, 1371; 4. L.
Miller, 1342; 5. B. Myers, 1308; 6. F. Fleming, 1262; 7. J. Myers, 1221; 8. G. Pack,
1208; 9. J. Smith, 1202; 10. B. Emory, 1184.