NWSMT: Wire to Wire; Andy Seuss Dominates On Way to South Boston Triumph

Jacob Seelman Asphalt Modifieds, Featured, NASCAR, Southeast 0 Comments

April 5, 2014 — report by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Race Chaser Online — Speed51.com/Brenda Meserve photo — SOUTH BOSTON, VA — Saturday was a good day to be Andy Seuss in the NASCAR WHELEN Modified Tour.

Seuss dominated the South Boston 150 at South Boston Speedway, leading wire-to-wire in the 150 lap event to score his 17th career NWSMT victory, and second of 2014, in his 83rd Tour start. Seuss also became the first driver in Tour history to repeat at South Boston, scoring his second victory at the track after winning the inaugural Tour event at the Virginia bullring in 2009.

“Well, they told me to treat the tires like I didn’t like em, and I saved our stuff for a lot of the race because we could just cruise out front,” an ecstatic Seuss said in victory lane. “You always wanna save as much as you can with that 28 car (Brunnhoelzl) behind you, but I just went out and had fun there at the end.”

“We just missed a little bit at Southern National; I would have liked this to be three in a row, but it just feels great being on top of the world today. We had a great car in 2009 and this car was just like that one today, it was just on rails. So proud of these guys, and hope we can keep it going.”

Brunnhoelzl attempted to close on Seuss over the final handful of laps but ultimately had to settle for second at the checkered flag.

“This was a fun race,” Brunnhoelzl quipped following the event. “We had a minor mishap and had to start shotgun; we definitely passed the most cars today, but we just needed one more.”

“It’s definitely a good points day finishing second, but we gotta get a couple of wins here, hopefully we can get one here coming up.”

Polesitter Danny Bohn had a solid day, coming home third, with Luke Fleming and J.R. Bertuccio completing the top five finishers.

Kyle Ebersole finished tenth after contact from J.R. Bertuccio sent him out of the groove and off the pace in the final laps. Ebersole banged wheels with Bertuccio on the cool-down lap to express his frustration after he had run inside the top five almost the entire race.

On the start, it was Bohn who led the field to the green flag, but outside-polesitter Seuss would immediately set the pace, snatching the lead from the top lane on the opening lap and checking out on the field during the opening stint.

The field would go green for the first 45 laps behind Seuss, but the driver making the most noise was Brunnhoelzl as he marched from the tail of the field after unapproved adjustments following qualifying to climb to seventh before the first caution flew at Lap 45 for debris on the frontstretch from the machine of Mike Norman.

On the restart, Seuss again checked out on the field as Bohn and Bertuccio scrambled behind him for second. Further back in the field, Brunnhoelzl attempted to continue his march through the field, but could climb no further than seventh when the caution flew for the halfway break at Lap 75.

At the break, it was Seuss, Bohn, and Bertuccio the top three as the field came to the attention of their pit crews, and when the green flag flew to start the second half, Bertuccio, looking to make it two wins in a row, passed Bohn for second at Lap 79 and began to give chase to race leader Seuss.

Meanwhile, the wily veterans in the back of the field began to flex their muscles as Brunnhoelzl moved inside the top five at Lap 85 as Spencer Davis and David Calabrese got together just ahead of him and Burt Myers, after changing an engine and starting at the rear, rallied to eighth place by the time the field crossed Lap 100.

A caution at Lap 111 would change the entire complexion of the race, however, when the lapped car of Thomas Stinson slammed the inside wall after contact with J.R. Bertuccio. A.J. Winstead and Calabrese also spun during the exchange.

On the restart, Seuss powered away to a full second advantage, but Ebersole and defending champion Brunnhoelzl were not ready to lay over as he powered up to third, dispatching polesitter Bohn and Bertuccio before the fourth caution flew at Lap 134 for Bryan Dauzat’s spin, setting up a 10 lap dash to the finish between Seuss, Ebersole and Brunnhoelzl.

That dash would be shortened even further though, as on the restart, a five-car melee between rookie contender Spencer Davis, Calabrese, Winstead, Dauzat and Norman drew the red flag to clean up the backstretch and set the stage for a seven lap sprint to the checkered flag.

From there, Brunnhoelezl gave Seuss the shove he needed to pull clear on the final restart, but the four-time champion did not have enough to run his former teammate down to challenge for the victory.

With the win, Seuss snatched the points lead away from Bertuccio and now leads Bertuccio by 8 points with Brunnhoelzl still third in the standings, just 10 markers out of the lead.

The NASCAR WHELEN Southern Modified Tour returns to action in one week’s time at Langley Speedway for the running of the Langley 150 on Saturday, April 12th. The race will be the first visit of two that the Southern Modifieds will make to Langley in 2014.

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