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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The cradle of southern NASCAR Modified racing and one of NASCAR’s longest running family names will be well represented at Daytona International Speedway Tuesday.
Brothers Jason and Burt Myers, both of Walnut Cove, N.C., are entered in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour portion of the UNOH Battle At The Beach Tuesday. Jason has a locked-in starting spot for the main event while Burt will have to race his way into the show.
The first-year Speedweeks event takes place on a .4-mile oval on the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway. Two days of racing begin Feb. 18 with a 150-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model feature. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours take over the track for 150-lap features on Feb. 19. All divisions will compete in full slates of preliminary events.
While their teams are independent from one another, the brothers compete on the same dual schedule. They race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on Saturdays at the famed Bowman Gray Stadium. The flat quarter-mile paved oval in Winston-Salem, N.C. begins its 65th year of NASCAR-sanctioned racing in 2013. The brothers also race full-time in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
By virtue of a tour win at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., last September, Jason Myers won his locked-in starting spot for Tuesday’s UNOH Battle At The Beach Modified feature. Burt Myers, the tour’s 2010 champion, had an injury shortened 2012 season and will have to race his way into the big show. Both are eager to race at Daytona.
Jason will compete in his Southern Modified Tour car, while Burt brings the car he races weekly at Bowman Gray.
“The main track to compare the Daytona track to is Bowman Gray Stadium,” Jason said. “Daytona’s turns will be a little tighter and the straightaways will be a little longer. We’re excited about our potential. We think we have a real good set-up. We know we can compete on a flat track.”
Burt is ready to earn his starting spot and run up front.
“Not being locked in won’t change the way I approach the race,” he said. “We’ll go all out. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m not going to Daytona to try to make the show. I’m going to Daytona to try to win it.”
Jason is changing his stable of race cars, and he thinks his tour car is his best ride for the Battle. His 2012 Bowman Gray car is being converted to crate engine power to race on Fridays at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C. He’ll have a new Troyer chassis to race at Bowman Gray this year.
Burt is bringing his stadium car because his expects to drive the Daytona track like he does at Bowman Gray.
“The corners are tighter and the straightaways will be twice as long at Daytona,” he said in comparison to Bowman Gray. “You’ll need to have enough gear to come off the corner but not too much at the end of the straightaway. You’ll see the good cars up front at the end of the day regardless.”
Jason Myers had a career-best runner-up finish to Tim Brown in Bowman Gray’s 2012 NASCAR Modified division point race. He has 10 career wins there, along with two NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour wins. He placed third in 2012 tour points.
Burt Myers is a five-time Bowman Gray track champion and 2010 tour champion. He has 50 career feature wins and placed fifth in 2012 track points at Bowman Gray. He has eight tour wins and placed 10th in 2012 tour points after missing a race due to a shop accident.
The brothers are making the most of their time in central Florida, including quality family time. Burt, his wife Kim, and their children were touring the Orlando area theme parks on Thursday. Jason, his wife Jenny and daughters arrived in central Florida Thursday evening with plans to visit the Walt Disney attractions Saturday and Sunday. Following the UNOH Battle At The Beach, the brothers plan to race at the newly NASCAR-sanctioned New Smyrna Speedway Wednesday and Friday night. With their teams, they plan to enjoy the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday.
The Myers family NASCAR racing heritage dates back to Daytona-beach racing in the mid-1950s. Jason and Burt’s grandfathers Billy and Bobby Myers raced on the old Daytona road course on the beach. In the 1956 event Billy finished second to Tom Flock in a 78-car field while Bobby finished 46th. Billy had a third-place finish in a NASCAR Convertible Division beach race in 1957.
Billy’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record covering 84 starts from 1951-58 included two wins, 18 top fives, 34 top 10s and one pole with a best finish of sixth in series points. He also won two NASCAR Convertible Division races driving for Petty Engineering 1957-58. He died of a heart attack while racing at Bowman Gray on April 12, 1958. Bobby’s NASCAR Sprint Cup career spanned 1951-57 with a best finish of seventh in 15 starts. He was fatally injured at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Sept. 2, 1957. A son of Bobby, Danny “Chocolate” Myers, is synonymous as crewman for the late seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion Dale Earnhardt. Gary Myers, a son of Billy, is father to Jason and Burt. Gary had a 46-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career 1974-78, with a best finish of 11th on three occasions. He competed in a Daytona 500 qualifying race and posted a 25th-place finish in 1976. Gary’s brother Randy made his racing career in promotion and administration. He made one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Rockingham, N.C. where he finished 20th. The National Motorsports Press Association’s annual Myers Brothers Award for significant contributions to stock-car racing is named for Billy and Bobby Myers.
Jason as a “locked-in” NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver must still compete in the heat races to determine his starting position for the race.
All three UNOH Battle At The Beach features will be carried live on SPEED and the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio while all practice and qualifying sessions will feature live streaming video at www.nascarhometracks.com.
For more information, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Grandstand and garage admission can be secured via the website or by calling 1-888-PITSHOP.