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George Brunnhoelzl III, who started the 2011 season with a pair of wins to get the early points lead, has piloted his No. 09 Phoenix Pre-owned/Triad Auto Sales Chevrolet to the front and he would like nothing more than to pick up another win before the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour takes its annual spring break after the Caraway 150 this weekend.
Brunnhoelzl has four career wins at Caraway Speedway but he will be challenged by a handful of drivers in his quest to make it two in a row at the .455-mile oval. Leading the challenge will be Andy Seuss. Seuss picked up a pair of wins at Caraway in 2010 leading wire-to-wire in both.
The Hampstead, N.H. driver will try to give his new team a win in the No. 44 Crane & Rigging/Kooks Custom Headers Chevrolet. Also ready to return to Victory Lane is James Civali, L.W. Miller and Tim Brown.
Civali won last year at Bristol Motor Speedway for his most recent victory while Miller finished first at Bowman Gray Stadium last August and Brown won the first southern tour race held at Langley Speedway last September.
Brunnhoelzl will be one of six previous race winners at Caraway expected to race this weekend. The other drivers are L.W. Miller (6), Andy Seuss (4), Ted Christopher (3), Tim Brown (2) and John Smith.
Here is a quick ‘By the Numbers’ look at Caraway.
.160 – In seconds, the closest margin of victory at Caraway since the first tour race held at the track. On Oct. 24, 2009, in a race Brunnhoelzl only had to start to clinch the championship, he held off John Smith in an exciting final lap dash to the finish line.
5 – The number of drivers who have won back-to-back races in the history of the tour. After Ted Christopher’s win at South Boston last Sunday, the Plainville, Conn. driver will attempt to make it six drivers who have accomplished the feat.
2– The number of drivers, (L.W. Miller and Brian Loftin) who won races at the track during a nine-race stretch between March 24, 2007 and August 22, 2008.
19 – How many top-five finishes Brian Loftin has at Caraway to lead all drivers on the tour. Of the 19 top-five showings, seven of them resulted in Loftin taking home the checkered flag.
5 – The number of most consecutive wins at Caraway. L.W. Miller accomplished this from Sept. 23, 2006, to Sept. 8, 2007.
3 – The number of wire-to-wire wins at Caraway. Andy Seuss led every lap twice in 2010 (March 14, Aug. 28) and Junior Miller dominated on June 30, 2006.
|The Race:||Caraway 150|
|Place:||Caraway Speedway, Asheboro, N.C.|
|Date:||Saturday, April 23, 2011|
|Time:||8 p.m. ET|
|Track Layout:||.455-mile banked, paved oval|
|2010 Winner:||New Event This Season|
|2010 Polesitter:||New Event This Season|
|Event Schedule:||Saturday: Practice 3-3:45 p.m., Qualifying 5:15 p.m.|
|Track PR Contact:||Renee Hackett (336) 629-5803; firstname.lastname@example.org|
|NASCAR IMC Contact:||Tim Southers (386) 235-3634; email@example.com|
There will be a noticeable absence by a tour regular at Caraway. 2010 champion Burt Myers, suffered an injury in a practice accident in a non-NASCAR sanctioned event on April 15. Myers suffered injuries that forced him to miss his first start since 2008 when he missed the final two races of the year.
“I want to thank all the competitors and fans who have given support to me and my family during this time,” Myers said. “I am down right now but definitely not out. We will be back as good as ever and I want to thank my crew and Lee Jeffreys for keeping our No. 1 Capital Bank/Patterson’s Hot Dog Chili Ford on the track and in contention in the car owner’s points.”
The records … Qualifying: George Brunnhoelzl III, April 11, 2009, 103.987 mph, 15.752 sec.; Race: Junior Miller, Sept. 9, 2006, 90.977 mph, 44 minutes 31 seconds.
Home sweet home … This will be the 34th NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Caraway, which is considered the home track for the tour.
Looking for a win … Several drivers are still looking for their first win on the tour. Leading the candidates who could break through for their first win are: Zach Brewer, who collected his career-best second-place finish at Hickory on April 2; Frank Fleming, who is tied with Jason Myers for the most starts in the history of the tour (74) and has a career-best second-place finish at Caraway in 2009.
Time off … This weekend’s Caraway 150 closes a period of four races in five weeks. The tour will have the next 10 weeks off before returning to Caraway on July 1.
Super Sub … Lee Jeffreys stepped into the No. 1 Capital Bank/Patterson’s Brand Hot Dog Chili Ford and finished a respectable eighth in the South Boston 150. Jeffreys also led two laps Sunday for the first time since he led 157 laps of the 199-lap race at Bowman Gray Stadium on Aug. 5, 2006.
Last Week’s Event
Ted Christopher proved qualifying can be overrated last Sunday at South Boston Speedway. Despite starting 17th after rain washed out qualifying on Saturday, Christopher plowed his way through the field and got into the top six by Lap 20 and eventually got past Zach Brewer for the lead on Lap 99. Christopher was able to stay out front and hold George Brunnhoelzl III at bay in second to pick up his fifth NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour victory.
Despite falling to third place in the final rundown, Zach Brewer picked up his second-consecutive podium finish and led a race-high 66 laps in the South Boston 150. Tim Brown rebounded from a disappointing finish at Hickory Motor Speedway on April 2 to finish fourth and win the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award. John Smith completed the top five.
Up Next: Caraway 150
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will return to action at Caraway Speedway on Friday, July 1. The race will be the third of six scheduled at Caraway in 2010. The track will also host the tour on Aug. 26 in a special Friday night showas well as a race on Sept. 17 and the make-up date from the March 26 rain out on Oct. 1.