Andy Seuss knew going into Sunday afternoon’s Spring Classic 150 at Caraway Speedway that he had a fast car. He was fastest in practice, and qualified near the front. Thankfully, for him, he was able to back that up in the race.
Seuss passed pole-sitter Burt Myers on the first lap and clung to that lead the rest of the day. He led all 150 laps to earn his seventh career NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour win and third at Caraway.
James Civali finished third with Brian Loftin and Zach Brewer completing the top five.
“I have had some success here (Caraway) but the credit really goes to this team,” Seuss said. “They have had a lot of success before me. We drew the outside pole position and I didn’t want to be out there so I worked to get by Burt.”
Although Seuss led the race from start to finish—a career first for him—he didn’t plan on running up front all day long.
“You don’t really want to lead all 150 at Caraway just because of the way the tires go away here,” he added. “I had to get the jump on Burt when I had the chance and these guys gave me a rocket ship to drive.”
Seuss drove his No. 47 Q Racing Oil/Rockingham Boats Dodge past Myers and sailed through the first third of the race before the first caution flag of the race flew on Lap 46 when Brad Robbins spun on the backstretch.
Myers held onto the second spot in his No. 1 Capital Bank/Patterson’s Brand Chili Ford until L.W. Miller made a charge to the inside and took the position away on Lap 93. Miller closed in on Seuss, but could never find the right groove to attempt a pass.
“The outside lane never came in,” Miller said. “I tried to sneak up top to try it and I would lose ground.”
Although Miller felt the outside lane wasn’t going to help, the driver of the No. 36 John Baker Plumbing and Utilities Pontiac thought he still might have had a chance late in the race.
Miller was closing in on Seuss when the final of four caution flags for the day flew on Lap 132 after Bryan Dauzat and Brad Robbins both spun in Turn 2.
“On hot tires my car was better than his, but on cold tires he was better,” Miller said. “If we wouldn’t have had that last caution with about 15 laps to go I think we could have had a chance to get by him.”
Civali appeared to have one of the fastest cars late in the race, but simply didn’t have enough time to mount a charge for the leaders.
“We had a great car but we are still just a tick off where we need to be,” Civali said. “We are going to keep working hard to get this car dialed in and when we do, I think the wins are going to come.”
Myers, who won his record 22 career Coors Light Pole earlier in the day in qualifying with a time of 16.005 seconds (102.343 mph), finished sixth. Tim Brown, John Smith, Gene Pack and Grady Jeffreys rounded out the top 10.
Miller used his runner-up finish to win Featherlite Most Improved Driver of the race, and Greg Butcher collected the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award.
Civali earned the Coca-Cola Move of the Race award by improving his finishing position the most—four spots—from where he started the race.
Jason Myers was the only car to suffer significant damage in the race when he made contact with the outside wall on the backstretch and turned hard into an infield guardrail which brought out the red flag for 14 minutes. Despite the heavy contact, Myers sustained no injuries in the incident.
Brown used his top-10 finish to assume a nine-point lead over Seuss in the point standings after the first two races of the season (326-317). Civali sits in third place, just two points behind Seuss. Frank Fleming and Brewer complete the top five.
The tour returns to action with the South Boston 150 at South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Va. on Saturday, April 3. The event will be a doubleheader with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
Whelen Southern Modified Tour-Spring Classic 150 Results
At Caraway Speedway
Lap length: 0.455 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (2) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, NH, Dodge, 150 laps, 78.876 mph, $2,000.
2. (4) L.W. MIller, Dushore, PA, Pontiac, 150, $1,800.
3. (7) James Civali, Meriden, CT, Chevrolet, 150, $1,425.
4. (3) Brian Loftin, Lexington, NC, Chevrolet, 150, $1,050.
5. (8) Zach Brewer, Winston-Salem, NC, Chevrolet, 150, $1,000.
6. (1) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, NC, Ford, 150, $1,200.
7. (6) Tim Brown, Cana, VA, Chevrolet, 150, $750.
8. (9) John Smith, Mount Airy, NC, Chevrolet, 150, $690.
9. (10) Gene Pack, North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Chevrolet, 150, $590.
10. (11) Lee Jeffreys, Winston-Salem, NC, Chevrolet, 150, $550.
11. (12) Brandon Hire, Winston-Salem, NC, Chevrolet, 150, $525.
12. (5) Frank Fleming, Mt. Airy, NC, Ford, 150, $500.
13. (15) Gary Putnam, Concord, NC, Chevrolet, 149, $485.
14. (16) Bryan Dauzat, Alexandria, LA, Chevrolet, 148, $460.
15. (14) Brad Robbins, Winston-Salem, NC, Chevrolet, 147, $445.
16. (19) Greg Butcher, Mocksville, NC, Chevrolet, 146, $530.
17. (13) Buddy Emory, Petersburg, VA, Chevrolet, 132, accident, $420.
18. (18) Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, NC, Ford, 95, accident, $410.
19. (17) Mike Norman, Lewisville, NC, Ford, 10, clutch, $400.
Time of Race: 0 hours 51 minutes 55 seconds
Margin of Victory: 1.476 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: B.Myers (102.343 mph, 16.005 seconds)
Caution Flags: 4 for 22 laps.
Lead Changes: 0 among 1 drivers.
Lap Leaders: A. Seuss 1-150.
Standings: 1. T. Brown, 326; 2. A. Seuss, 317; 3. J. Civali, 315; 4. F. Fleming, 297; 5. Z. Brewer, 297; 6. L. Miller, 291; 7. B. Hire, 290; 8. J. Smith, 280; 9. B. Loftin, 275;10. B. Myers, 262.