LEXINGTON, N.C. — As if Eddie Harvey’s Ideal Racing team wasn’t already busy enough, their offseason just got a whole lot busier.
Harvey confirmed Friday morning that he will be teaming up with two champions of the former NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour — two-time title winner Burt Myers and 2008 titlist Brian Loftin — for a potent two-car squadron during the 2018 season.
Both cars will run part-time schedules with the Tour, and Harvey said that several events will see both cars in action.
In addition, Harvey revealed that he has acquired the No. 1 from NASCAR, so that Myers will be able to utilize his long-time number during the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races that he runs under the Ideal Racing banner for next season.
It’s an equation that all adds up to success, fun and a whole lot of potential for trophies, said Harvey.
“I couldn’t ask for much more than what we’re going to have next season,” Harvey told Race Chaser Online. “All the stars aligned and everything came together just like we hoped it would. This is about as perfect a pairing as you could ask for.”
As far as the Myers half of the pairing, things came together about two laps into open practice for the Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in October, when he and Harvey teamed up for the final Tour race of the season and things began to click.
“About two laps into practice at Thompson, Burt was on the radio going, ‘Okay, what can we do about Turkey Derby?’ so we started kicking that around, and then we started kicking around the idea of going to New Smyrna (for Speedweeks) and then before we had even finished loading the car at the race track we were all asking what we needed to do to make this deal permanent,” he laughed.
Harvey says he and Myers plan to run between eight and 10 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races together next season, working around Myers’ commitments to the sponsors that support him annually at Bowman-Gray Stadium.
“Bowman-Gray is where Burt’s sponsors come aboard every year, because he’s such a big name over there, and we understand that and we obviously respect that,” said Harvey. “So he’s committed to that, but before the Stadium (season) gets started we’ll be running the Tour races we can and then after the Stadium concludes their run we’ll compete in the remainder of the Tour races as well.”
“That also includes whatever Tour races are here in the South as well; we’re committed to those events also.”
The winner of both the 2010 and 2016 championships in the former NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Myers has a career record of 19 wins, 77 top-fives, 117 top-10s and 30 poles in 139 races — most of them competing against Harvey’s cars.
But Myers said Friday his excitement is palpable, knowing that he now has the opportunity to pool his resources and knowledge with that of Harvey, who is a four-time NASCAR modified champion owner.
“The cool thing is that the situation we’re in here in the South limits the NASCAR modified races that I can run, so the opportunity to team up with Eddie and be able to take advantage of more of those opportunities and more of those races is fun for me,” said Myers. “The fact that he runs the same chassis (LFR Chassis) and the same type of motor that I do makes it pretty much a perfect fit.”
Myers added that having the No. 1 as he transitions to Ideal Racing makes it that much more special.
“I was good either way, honestly,” Myers admitted. “I knew he might take a second car to some of these races with Brian Loftin and said it might make sense to put a (No.) 1 on the other car. You can imagine I’m okay with how that all worked out.”
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