CONCORD, N.C. — Recap and audio by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Getty Images for NASCAR photo — Burt Myers is just impeccable at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Myers, the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, surged to the outside of four-time series titlist George Brunnhoelzl III on lap 83 — just moments before a caution flag flew — and then held the top spot the rest of the way, surviving a green-white-checkered finish to claim his fourth win of the 2014 season and his second straight at Charlotte in Thursday night’s UNOH Southern Slam 150.
The victory was Myers’ third win overall on the frontstretch quarter-mile and 15th career NWSMT victory.
“Twenty years of racing at Bowman-Gray doesn’t hurt here,” Myers quipped in Victory Lane. “I took to the place automatically when we first came here back in 2010. To end the season on a high note and a victory, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Myers was even impressed himself with the move that got him the lead and ultimately, the victory.
“We made a big move on the outside tonight — that’s something that’s been hard to do here in the past. Overall, I think the racing was better than it’s ever been here. I enjoyed myself but I don’t know; I guess Charlotte Motor Speedway just likes me,” Myers laughed.
J.R. Bertuccio nudged Brunnhoelzl aside for second coming to the white flag, with Brunnhoelzl holding on to third at the finish in a race that went four laps beyond its scheduled distance.
Kyle Ebersole came home fourth and Andy Seuss completed the top five, claiming his first career NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship by 14 points in the process.
The 27-year-old Hampstead, New Hampshire driver finished in the top five in tour championship points in each of the previous six NWSMT seasons, and finished as the title runner-up in 2009 and 2011. This season, however, Seuss won three times and recorded 12 top fives in 14 races. He won the season opener and led the championship points from race three of the season all the way to the end of the road.
“This means the world to me and to this team,” Seuss said after claiming the championship trophy. “It was heartbreaking earlier this week when we lost David Riggs, but we put a car together, and I kept telling the team ‘We just need a solid race; we just need a solid race’. I never thought about the points once tonight, just stayed out of trouble and here we are. It means a lot to be the only guys in four years to dethrone George — that’s really special to this team.”
Seuss also proposed to his girlfriend Jenn Demarco in victory lane after claiming the title hardware. Of course, she said yes.
“That was a pretty special deal. I hadn’t told anybody. Me and my mother texted about it, we haven’t actually spoken about it,” Seuss said. “I wanted it to be an extra special day with the championship. I didn’t know what I was going to do had I not won the championship,” he added. “Luckily it all worked out.”
Chaos began on the opening lap, when Jason Myers went for a half-spin through the grass in turn one and sent multiple cars scrambling to avoid him including Bud McIntyre, Thomas Stinson and Dalton Baldwin. McIntyre tried to rejoin the field but got stuck in infield grass in his attempt.
A second dramatic caution broke out on lap 24 when debris was spotted just as A.J. Winstead and Bobby Measmer Jr. tangled, causing significant left-front suspension damage to Measmer’s machine and causing Measmer to take a few jabs at Winstead’s machine under the caution.
Just prior to the halfway break, Preece pulled to the pit area with heavy smoke coming from the front end of his machine, a broken brake rotor ending his chances of a redeeming victory on the Charlotte quarter-mile on lap 64.
“This is gonna be a tough one to swallow,” a disappointed Preece said in the garage area. “We had a great car tonight; this track just always seems to bite us somehow. Last year it was the motor and this year it was the brakes. It’s just the story of our year.”
Following a caution right at halfway for the spinning car of Zach Brewer, three additional cautions flew in the second half of the event — including a yellow with two laps to go for Gary Putnam’s spin after contact with Bertuccio that set up the decisive final restart.
With the championship in hand, Seuss says he has big plans moving forward.
“Eddie told me if we won this thing he was taking me Cup racing,” Seuss joked in the media center. “No, we’ll be back to defend the title though; that’s at least the plan at this point. We’ve still got the North/South Shootout at Caraway too that we’re planning on running, so we’re not done by any means in 2014 as much as we’re looking ahead to next year.”
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour now looks towards the 2015 season, but first will convene one final time for the NASCAR Touring Series Awards in the Grand Ballroom of the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Saturday, December 12.
Audio with race winner Burt Myers:
Audio with series champion Andy Seuss:
Audio with series Rookie of the Year Spencer Davis:
Post-race audio with Ryan Preece: