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ASHEBORO, N.C. (Oct. 22, 2011) – It was déjà vu for George Brunnhoelzl III, Saturday night at Caraway Speedway. Just like he did when he won his first NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship in 2009 – he won it in style.
Brunnhoelzl started from the outside of the front row and led every lap en route to clinching his championship winning in the Caraway 150 season-ending event.
Brunnhoelzl took the lead from his pole-sitter and Ideal Racing teammate Andy Seuss on the first lap and was never threatened as he picked up his fifth win of the season and 11th of his career.
“We definitely had a great car tonight and this season,” said Brunnhoelzl in Victory Lane after winning the race and championship. “The driver definitely gets the recognition, but it is all about the guys behind the scenes. This sport is definitely not a one-man operation.”
Another repeat for Brunnhoelzl in his No. 09 Phoenix Pre-owned/Triad Auto Sales Chevrolet was picking up his fifth win of the season – something he did back during his first championship season in ’09 as well.
“Dad (crew chief George Brunnhoelzl Jr.) puts the set up I like underneath the car and without (car owner) Howard and Betsy (Harvey) I wouldn’t be up here at all,” Brunnhoelzl added. “This was a total team effort this season.”
Burt Myers picked up his best finish of the season in second place with rookie Daniel Hemric finishing with his first-ever top-three finish. Andy Seuss was fourth and Brian Loftin completed the top five.
Although he didn’t pick up the win he had hoped for to close out the season, Myers was pleased with the outcome of his season in his No. 1 Capital Bank/Your Name Here Ford.
“This is close to a win for us down here at Caraway,” Myers said. “With this being our home track you have to run well here. From my injury earlier this year and having to miss a couple of races, for these guys to keep working hard and get us home third in the owner standings says a lot about this team.”
Rookie Daniel Hemric enjoyed his best career finish when he came home third for his first top-three finish in a handful of starts in the No. 79 Hill Enterprises/21 Means 21 Pontiac.
“We made huge strides in our performance from the last race here to tonight,” Hemric said. “I can’t thank Roger, Sandra and David Hill enough for this opportunity to drive their car.”
Jason Myers completed his most consistent season on the tour with a sixth-place finish with Tim Brown rebounding from a spin to finish seventh.
2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Austin Pack was eighth with Brandon Ward ninth and L.W. Miller completing the top 10.
Hemric swept almost all the contingency awards as he took home the Coca-Cola Move of the Race, Featherlite Most Improved Driver and the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award as the highest finishing rookie driver.
Seuss won his third Coors Light Pole Award of the season in qualifying earlier in the day as he was going after his third consecutive win at Caraway Speedway after winning at the track on Aug. 26 and Oct. 1.
Brunnhoelzl entered the night with a comfortable lead in the standings only needing to take the green flag to secure the title.
Brunnhoelzl finished unofficially with 2,411 points while Seuss finished second in the standings with 2,231. Myers is third with 2,103 and Tim Brown and John Smith complete the top five with 2,067 and 2,043 points, respectively.
George Brunnhoelzl III celebrates winning his second NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship with his and crew chief, George Brunnhoelzl Jr. Sara D. Davis/Getty Images for NASCAR