April 12, 2014 — By Jason Cunningham, NASCAR — Mark Rogers/NASCARHomeTracks.com photo — HAMPTON, Va. — He’s back, boys. And in style, too.
George Brunnhoelzl III added another track to his ever-growing NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour (NWSMT) résumé, claiming the Courtyard by Marriott/Pepsi 150 Saturday night at Langley Speedway. Langley becomes the 11th different track the four-time NWSMT champion has won at.
Brunnhoelzl led the final 67 laps after passing points leader Andy Seuss, and survived a green-white-checkered finish for his first win of the season. Twice in the previous three races this year, Brunnhoelzl finished second to Seuss. The victory also extended Brunnhoelzl’s tour record for career wins to 21.
Brunnhoelzl led a race-high 69 laps. The victory ended the second-longest winless drought of his career at nine races, and drew him to within five points of championship the leader Seuss after four of 15 scheduled races.
“This was one of the tracks that we hadn’t won at, so it’s great to finally end up in Victory Lane here,” Brunnhoelzl said. “We’ve struggled for a few years here. Last year we had a good car (finished second), this year we had a great car.”
Seuss came home second and David Calabrese was a career-best third. Luke Fleming and Ryan Preece rounded out the top five.
Burt Myers was sixth, followed by rookies Bobby Measmer Jr. and Joe Ryan Osborne, Jason Myers and Gary Putnam. Measmer established a career-best finish while Osborne tied his previous personal mark.
Seuss took the lead on Lap 62 from Preece, who won the Coors Light Pole Award with a track record lap earlier in the day, but could not hold off Brunnhoelzl, who took the lead on Lap 84 and never looked back.
Brunnhoelzl and Seuss have now finished 1-2 in six of the last eight Whelen Southern Modified Tour races dating to last year, with Seuss in front the five instances before Saturday.
“George had an awesome car,” Seuss said. “He got the lead early, wanted to set the pace, so those guys earned it. We were right there, we were real close. In the end I think it came down to track position – we were equally as good.”
For Calabrese, Saturday was a career night. His best previous finish in 13 starts was 11th, recorded on two occasions. In the Courtyard by Marriott/Pepsi 150, he started in the last row on the grid in 15th.
“I waited and waited for everyone to burn their stuff up, and I just drove on past everybody and ended up third,” Calabrese said.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will be back in action Saturday, April 19 with the Bunny Hop 150 at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C.