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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When the rain started to fall on Sept. 21 in Kenly, N.C., the complexion of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season changed a little.
After getting practice and qualifying completed on Sept. 21 at Southern National Motorsports Park, the weather took a turn for the worse causing the race to be postponed until Saturday, Oct. 5. Points leader and defending tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III was fastest in practice while Burt Myers had the edge in qualifying and claimed the Coors Light Pole Award.
The schedule shift gives competitors a tight schedule that has three events in a span of 13 days to close out the 2013 campaign which is a tall order at any level of racing. Teams, now, may have to take a little different tack in their preparation and race strategy.
Caraway Speedway near Asheboro, N.C., the site of the Zooland 150 on Saturday, Sept. 28, has been ruled, as of late, by Brunnhoelzl, but former teammate and current rival Andy Seuss has shown signs of re-establishing his dominance at the track. Seuss won the last Caraway event on Sept. 8 in convincing style and had perhaps the best car on the track in the July event there. Nevertheless, Brunnhoelzl has a pair of wins there this season including one in that July race that included a late-race tangle with Seuss.
Seuss sits in fifth in the standings – 45 points behind Brunnhoelzl. With just three races remaining, that is quite a bit of ground to make up. However, should Brunnhoelzl become preoccupied with Seuss, then the winner in that scenario could be Kyle Ebersole, who at 20 points behind the leader, is well within striking distance. Not to be forgotten are veterans Myers and Tim Brown, who both are between Ebersole and Seuss on the standings board.
Following the Zooland 150 and make-up date at Southern National, the season will conclude on Thursday, Oct. 10 with the UNOH Southern Slam 150 on the quarter-mile track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
Brunnhoelzl is in search of his third consecutive tour crown and fourth overall. Ebersole is in the championship conversation for the first time while Myers won the title in thrilling fashion in 2010. Brown is a three-time runner-up for the championship and Seuss has finished second on two occasions.
As the season heads down the homestretch, the battle for the 2013 Southern Modified title is shaping up nicely and the little shift in the schedule could make it more exciting.
|PLACE:||Caraway Speedway, Asheboro, N.C.|
|DATE:||Saturday, Sept. 28|
|TIME:||8:45 p.m. ET|
|TRACK LAYOUT:||.455-mile asphalt oval|
|2012 WINNER:||Danny Bohn|
|2012 POLESITTER:||George Brunnhoelzl III|
|EVENT SCHEDULE:||Practice 2:35-2:55 p.m., Final Practice 3-3:20 p.m., Qualifying 4:45 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 6:15 p.m.|
|TRACK CONTACT:||Renee Hackett, (336) 629-5803, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG:||#Zooland150|
|NASCAR CONTACT:||Shon Sbarra, 704-309-5493, email@example.com; Twitter: @ShonSbarra|
The Race: The Zooland 150 will mark the 10th event of the 12-race 2013 regular season schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and the fifth time the tour visits Caraway this season.
The Procedure: The starting field is set for 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 starting positions will be based on two-lap time trials while the remaining three will be filled through the provisional process. The 150-lap race will have a 10-minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75.
The Track: Caraway Speedway has played host to 47 events in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour’s history, dating back to the tour’s first race on March 26, 2005. Caraway Speedway was originally opened in 1966 as a dirt track. The track was paved in 1972 and became NASCAR-sanctioned shortly after. The track was owned and operated by Russell and Valastra Hackett from 1977 to 2010. Operations were turned over to Darren and Renee Hackett prior to the 2011 season. There is 13 degrees of banking in the turns and the straightaways are banked at nine degrees. The track has a capacity of 6,800 spectators.
The Records: The one-lap qualifying record for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour is 15.648 seconds (104.678 mph), set by George Brunnhoelzl III on April 21, 2012. The 150-lap race record is held by Junior Miller at 44 minutes, 31 seconds was set on Sept. 9, 2006 for an average speed of 90.977 mph.
CARAWAY ZOOLAND 150 RACE NOTES:
Strange Sequence: The Sept. 21 postponement of the Southern National Motorsports Park event has created a different order of events. Burt Myers has already won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Oct. 5 rescheduled race with the Sept. 28 Caraway race still to be competed.
Oh, Give Me A Home: With 47 Southern Modified Tour events at Caraway in the books since the beginning of the 2005 season, there are seemingly no secrets left for George Brunnhoelzl III and Andy Seuss. The two former teammates have combined to win nine of the last 12 races at the track. Brunnhoelzl has the lion’s share of those with six, but Seuss won the last time out at Caraway on Sept. 8.
Oh, Give Me A Home, Part II: Both Brunnhoelzl and Seuss have 34 career starts at Caraway and the results are pretty similar. Brunnhoelzl has 10 wins to Seuss’ seven while Brunnhoelzl has led a total of 1,143 laps to 1,137 for Seuss.
HOME TRACKS: McCaskill Claims Tar Heel State Crown
With a strong season at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C., Deac McCaskill earned the North Carolina NASCAR state championsip. Fellow late model competitor Tommy Lemmons Jr. ranked second followed by a quartet of Bowman Gray and Whelen Southern Modified Tour drivers – Burt Myers, Jason Myers, Tim Brown and John Smith. In the Caraway late model stock feature division through Sept. 18, Ryan Wilson leads Dan Moore by just 10 points.
LAST TIME OUT: Caraway
Seuss picked up his sixth NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour win at the .455-mile oval – but his first since Oct. 2011 – in dominating fashion in the Caraway 150. Seuss led a race-high 125 laps and out-distanced runner-up Brunnhoelzl by .833 seconds to claim his 13th win in 77 career tour starts.
NEXT TIME OUT: Southern National Motorsports Park
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will run its 11th race of the season Saturday, Oct. 5 at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C. The event was originally scheduled for Sept. 21, but was postponed due to rain. Practice and qualifying were completed on the original date and Burt Myers will start from the pole and will attempt to earn his third-straight victory at the track.