DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – official series release — Brenda Meserve/NASCAR photo —
After controlling Victory Lane recently at Caraway Speedway, the owners of the past four NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championships experienced a rough start to their season. They’ll look to turn their fortune around Saturday when the tour returns to Caraway for the Charles Kepley Memorial 150.
Four-time champion George Brunnhoelzl III led a race-high 74 laps in the season-opener at Caraway on March 15 before mechanical problems ended his day on Lap 111. Defending tour champion Andy Seuss was involved in a Lap 13 accident that ended an attempt to defend his race win from a year ago.
The two drivers have combined to win seven races at Caraway over the past two seasons and an impressive 21 of the past 32 visits the track. It marked just the second time in a combined 82 starts they both finished outside the top-10 in the same race. The only other time that happened was on July 7, 2007.
Both will be chasing Eric Goodale, who became the second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular to come down South and win the season opener. Goodale joined Ted Christopher, who accomplished the feat three other times – twice at Caraway.
Goodale was able to make a pass by Jason Myers on a restart on Lap 124 and held off a late charge by the pole sitter to score his first southern win. The Long Island driver will be joined in the field by 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece.
The Race: The Charles Kepley Memorial 150 at Caraway Speedway will be the second of 11 races of the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship season. This is the tour’s 55th visit to the historic oval, and the second of three this year.
The Procedure: The starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials while the remaining three starting spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (68.25 miles) and teams have an opportunity to pit and change one tire during the event.
The Track: Caraway is a .455-mile banked asphalt oval located in rural Sophia, North Carolina. The facility opened in 1966 with a dirt racing surface and was paved in 1972. Caraway, which features NASCAR Whelen All-American Series-sanctioned events on Saturday nights throughout the racing season, has played host more NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events than any other track in the tour’s history.
The Records: Jason Myers set a track record two weeks ago during qualifying for the Spring Classic 150. He set a mark of 15.563 seconds (105.250 mph) on March 15, 2015.
Charles Kepley Memorial 150 Notes
Race Honoring Memory Of Late Modified Promoter: This race is named after the late Charles Kepley who organized the first North-South Shootout that is still held annually more than a decade after Kepley brought the idea to life. The event is now contested every fall at Caraway Speedway.
Record To Be Broken Again?: Last time out at Caraway, the old track record was broken by the top four drivers in qualifying. Jason Myers won his first career pole in his 124th tour start with a fast time of 15.563 seconds (105.250 mph). Also topping the old mark were George Brunnhoelzl III, who held the old record since 2012, Ryan Preece and Kyle Ebersole.
Calabrese, Measmer Jr. Open Season Strong: David Calabrese and Bobby Measmer Jr. both opened the season strong with solid top-five finishes in the Spring Classic. Calabrese finished fourth for his fourth top-five finish in 25 career starts, while Measmer celebrated his first-ever top-five in 15 starts coming home fifth.
Smith Back Running Strong: One feel good story from opening weekend was the strong run by John Smith who came home third. Smith, who missed last season on the tour after suffering a broken wrist that required numerous surgeries, brought a brand new car to the track and enjoyed success his first time driving it. The Mt. Airy, North Carolina, native has finished third in his last three starts at Caraway dating back to 2013.
Home Tracks: Little Looks To Continue Winning Ways
Mack Little III won the most recent Limited Late Model feature held at the track during the Spring Classic weekend. Little will be back this Saturday as a full slate of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action is scheduled in addition to the Charles Kepley Memorial 150. The local division schedule is highlighted by twin 40-lap features for the Late Model Stocks and a 30-lap race for Little and the Limited Late Models. Three other support divisions are also slated for competition on the schedule.