Several Drivers Want To Pick Up A Win Before Tour’s Spring Break
The spring portion of the schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will come to a close this weekend when the best modified drivers in the Southeastern United States converge in scenic Southern Virginia this Saturday afternoon.
For the second consecutive season, South Boston Speedway will host the 600-horsepowered chariots with a new addition for the fans this year. Fans will be able to watch both the modifieds and K&N Pro Series East Tour this Saturday.
Andy Seuss (No. 47 Q Racing Oil/Rockingham Boats Dodge) is coming off one of his most successful weekends of his career, leading every lap to win the Spring Classic 150 at Caraway Speedway two weeks ago.
The Hampstead, N.H., native also comes to South Boston as the defending race winner of the South Boston 150 and will certainly be one of the favorites when the green flag falls at approximately 4:30 p.m.
Seuss’ finish helped vault him into second place in the points standings, just nine points behind early leader Tim Brown (326-317).
Brown (No. 83 Hayes Jewelers Chevrolet) has returned full time to the tour this season and is just one of four drivers to finish in the top 10 in both races so far in 2010. Brown, who came one half a car length from winning the season opener, has averaged a fourth-place finish in his starts.
“We have had some good runs, but I want to win races and we are still working hard to get back to Victory Lane,” Brown said.
James Civali (No. 79 Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac) is no stranger to modified racing and is competing full time this season for the first time on the Southern tour.
Civali has had one of the fastest cars on the track — finishing third at Caraway and winning the Coors Light Pole at Atlanta.
“We had a very good car at Caraway and we were just a tick off on our setup,” Civali said. “We are getting better every week and as long as we keep working hard to dial in the car, that first win is going to come pretty soon.”
One driver who expected to have a great start to the season, but hasn’t collected the finishes he expected, is Burt Myers. Burt Myers (No. 1 Capital Bank Ford) won his 11th career Coors Light Pole Award at Caraway, but after he was passed by Seuss on the first lap, the Walnut Cove, N.C., driver was never a serious contender for the win and finished sixth.
Myers finished a disappointing 17th at Atlanta, but recovered to get a top-10 at Caraway and now sits back in 10th place in the points standings.
“We need to have a good run and I would love to put my Capital Bank Ford in Victory Lane at South Boston,” Myers said. “I know it is going to take a great qualifying run to be up front, but if we can get the job done in qualifying, I think we can keep our car up front and be there at the end to try and pick up a win.”
The tour will take its annual ‘Spring Break’ after the South Boston 150 and return to action the first week of July at Caraway Speedway.
Seuss Ready To Contend Again For Points Championship News & Notes This Season
Last year Andy Seuss enjoyed the best season of his young NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
career. The Hampstead, N.H., driver won four times and finished second in the season-ending championship points standings.
After coming so close last year and having some bad luck hit him and his team at the worst possible times in 2009, one might think Seuss enters 2010 with a feeling that he is owed one or he might have been down a little this off season thinking about “what if?” Not Seuss.
“I didn’t get upset about last year at all,” Seuss said. “When we started doing this, we all said that we want to have fun and that is what we have tried to do ever since we started racing modifieds.”
Seuss added that while he didn’t get the championship, he still had a career year.
“I am very proud of what this team accomplished last season,” he added. “I am fortunate enough to get to drive for a team that has won championships and they know how to put a great car under me every time we go on the track.”
Seuss, unfortunately, lost his primary sponsor during the off season when management decided to go in a new marketing direction, but that hasn’t slowed him down so far this season.
If not for a few mechanical problems and just being at the wrong place at the wrong time in a few events last season, Seuss could very well be the defending champion of the series, but he chooses to dwell on the positives of last season and how he and his team have already begun their quest to put their No. 47 Q Racing Oil/Rockingham Boats/MUA Dodge one position higher in the final points standings come October after the season-ending race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“One thing we focused on in the off season is to focus and improve on things that cost us the championship last year,” Seuss added. “We are really working hard on being consistent every week and our last race at Caraway was what we want to do every race.
“We unloaded the car at Caraway and had about as close to a perfect weekend that you can have in a
Whelen Southern Modified car. We were fastest in practice, and led the entire race from Lap 1. The only
thing wrong the whole weekend was I overdrove the car in qualifying and messed up a little.”
Seuss also added that a full season working with Riggs Racing and the crew has only improved their communication and that could spell trouble for the rest of the competitors.
“They won championships with Junior Milller and his driving style is different than mine and we have worked together enough now to know how to better communicate and the car is always 100% ready when we get to the track,” Seuss said. “As long as the driver does his job each week there is no reason why we can’t challenge every week and run up front.”
Seuss also is excited about visiting new tracks like Langley and CMS later this season.
“I really appreciate NASCAR working hard to give us new tracks to race on and I look forward to trying them out later this season,” he added. “The series has really grown in six short years and I look forward to hopefully being able to represent NASCAR as a champion.”
SPEED To Televise Southern Modified Race At South Boston Speedway
A new level of excitement will be felt by the entire NWSMT field this weekend at the South Boston 150.
SPEED will be on-site to film the 150-lap event and will broadcast the race on a tape-delayed basis. This will be the second of two events to be broadcast from South Boston as the K&N Pro Series East race will also be recorded for broadcast.
Last season, the Southern division raced on television at the combination race at Bristol Motor Speedway
with the Whelen Modified Tour. Veteran series competitor Zach Brewer is just one of the many drivers who are thankful to NASCAR and SPEED for getting more modified races televised throughout the country.
“I know I speak for many competitors who want to thank both NASCAR and SPEED for making this happen,” Brewer said. “In today’s tough economy, we need to give our sponsors as much value as we can and being able to go to a sponsor and tell them a race is being televised nationwide really helps us out. I think this will be a win-win for everyone involved.”
Next Race: South Boston 150
The Place: South Boston Speedway, South Boston, Va.
The Date: Saturday, April 3
The Time: 4:30 p.m. ET (approx.)
Track Layout: .400-mile paved
Race Purse: $28,090
2009 Winner: Andy Seuss
2009 Pole: George Brunnhoelzl III
Schedule: Saturday, April 3: Practice 8:25-8:55 a.m.; Final Practice 9:50-10:20 a.m.; Time Trials: 12:20 p.m.
NEWS & NOTES
The Race … The South Boston 150 will be the third of 10 races on the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule. This will also be the only time this season the tour will team up with the K&N Pro Series East.
The Procedure … Starting positions 1-23 will be set from time trials. The remaining three will be filled through the provisional process. The race is 150 laps (60 miles).
The Redraw … Fastest qualifier will draw to determine redraw of top 6, 8, or 10 cars.
The Track … The .400-mile track at South Boston Speedway is a semi-banked oval located in Southern Virginia just across the border from North Carolina. The track features narrow straightaways and tight turns.
The Schedule … The 150-lap NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race will be the first race on the 2010 schedule to be televised on SPEED. Drivers will practice and qualify this Saturday morning. The first practice will begin at 8:25 a.m. and the final practice will start at 9:50 a.m. Qualifying is slated for 12:20 p.m. The race is scheduled to take the green flag at approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday after the K&N Pro Series East race. A drivers’ autograph session scheduled for 1:45 p.m. at the track.
Race Recap: Seuss Picks Up Another Caraway Win, Moves Up In Points
Andy Seuss knew he had a good car as soon as he hit the track for practice on Saturday afternoon at
Caraway Speedway. Despite rain washing out qualifying on Saturday and forcing the drivers to qualify and race on Sunday, the Hampstead, N.H., competitor still had a big reason to celebrate.
Seuss passed Burt Myers on the first lap and held off a hard-charging L.W. Miller to pick up his first win of the season.
Miller, the 2007 tour champion, made several attempts to get by Seuss, but the Dushore, Pa., driver ran out of laps and picked up his first podium finish of the season.
James Civali, won the season-opening Coors Light Pole Award at Atlanta Motor Speedway, finished an impressive third with 2008 champion Brian Loftin fourth. Zach Brewer completed the top five in the Spring Classic 150.
The race was slowed by caution just four times for 22 laps, with the only multi-car incident occurring on Lap 96 when Brewer and Jason Myers made contact on the backstretch, sending Myers into the outside wall. After Myers hit the wall, he turned into the inside wall and made hard contact with the inside retaining wall, forcing a 15 minute red flag to repair the barrier.
Myers was okay after the accident and is expected to compete at South Boston Speedway this Saturday.
Civali advanced four positions during the race which garnered him the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award. Miller used his runner-up finish to win the Featherlite Move of the Race Award. Greg Butcher rebounded from his last-place finish at Atlanta to finish 16th in the Spring Classic 150, earning him Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors.
Up Next: Caraway
After the tour takes its customary spring break for the next couple of months, the Southern modified drivers will return to Caraway Speedway on Friday, July 2 in Asheboro, N.C. The .455-mile oval has hosted 30 races in NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour history — the most of any venue.
The track has often been the key to winning the championship. Brian Loftin has been the most successful driver there, winning seven times. He had four wins and two runner-up finishes during his2008 championship season.
Likewise, L.W. Miller has six wins and four of those came in his 2007 title run. Junior Miller established early dominance with five wins in 2005 and 2006. He took home the Tour championship each of those seasons.
And George Brunnhoelzl won there three times last year, including the season finale, as he claimed the
crown. The Tour will travel to Caraway two more times this season: July 2 and Aug. 28. Andy Seuss won the first race there on March 14.
Burt Myers has won 11 of his record 21 Coors Light Pole Awards at Caraway. But only once (April 9, 2005) has he been able to turn that into a win. George Brunnhoelzl III, the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, is the defending race winner. He used that win to start his
strong second-half run to secure his first NASCAR championship last year and also won the season-ending Fall Classic there last October.