Whelen Motorsports

NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour News & Notes: Caraway

NWSMT • July 01, 2013

• Schedule Resumes At Caraway
• Points Leader Brunnhoelzl Ready To Return

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2013) – Spring Break is over, and George Brunnhoelzl III couldn’t be more happy.

Unofficially referred to as "Spring Break," the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule traditionally does not include May and June race dates. The calendar has now turned to July, and it’s time to go back racing with the Daggett Schuler Attorneys At Law/Rusty Harpe Memorial 150 on Friday, July 5 at Caraway Speedway in rural, Asheboro, N.C.

The resumption of the Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule at Caraway this week is welcomed news for Brunnhoelzl. Not only has he won five of the previous eight events at the .455-mile oval, but unlike many of his southern tour competitors, he hasn’t raced at all during the 11-week schedule break.

"We’re definitely ready to get back racing," Brunnhoelzl said. "It’s tough when you’re on that long of a break. You kind of lose – not so much momentum – but when you’re going [regularly] everything goes smoother.

"It’s almost like starting again with the first race of the year."

Getting back racing, specifically at Caraway, provides Brunnhoelzl with a comfort level. With nine wins at the track through the years, including the southern tour’s last event on April 20 prior to the break, he looks forward to picking back up where they left off.

"It’s always a bit easier to go to a track where we've had a lot of experience - we race there quite a bit - so that makes it a little bit easier for the first race back," Brunnhoelzl said.

During the break in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule, a number of tour drivers compete weekly in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at Bowman Gray Stadium, but Brunnhoelzl has decided to focus solely on a third straight southern tour title instead of duking out on out Saturday nights at the famed quarter-mile.

"Our main goal – as I’m sure it is with most all of the guys on the tour – is to go after the tour championship," Brunnhoelzl said. "Going to Bowman Gray is totally different. It's a similar car, but everything else is different about it.

"If we could benefit from running Bowman Gray to help our tour effort, then it would be something we would do."

Brunnhoelzl is indeed well-positioned for yet another title run. As the Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule kicks back in for the final eight events of the season, Brunnhoelzl brings an 18-point advantage in his quest for a fourth championship. He won two of the four races prior to the break, including that ninth career Caraway triumph.

RACE: Daggett Schuler Attorneys At Law/Rusty Harpe Memorial 150
PLACE: Caraway Speedway, Asheboro, N.C.
DATE: Friday, July 5
TIME: 9:30 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: .455-mile semi-banked asphalt oval
2012 POLE SITTER/WINNER: George Brunnhoelzl III
EVENT SCHEDULE: Practice 4-4:20 p.m., Final Practice 4:25-4:45 p.m., Qualifying 6:30 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 7 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Renee Hackett, 336-629-5803, carawayspeedway@embarqmail.com
TRACK TWITTER: @CarawaySpeedway

The Race: The Daggett Schuler Attorneys At Law/Rusty Harpe Memorial 150 is the fifth race of the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and the third of five tour events at Caraway Speedway.

The Procedure: The maximum starting field will be 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 starting positions will be based on two-lap time trials and the remaining three will be filled through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (68.25 miles) with a 10 minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75.

The Track: Caraway Speedway has played host to 45 events in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour history, dating back to the tour’s first race on March 26, 2005. Caraway was originally opened in 1966 as a dirt track. The track was paved in 1972 and became NASCAR-sanctioned shortly after. The track was owned and operated by Russell and Valastra Hackett from 1977 to 2010. Operations were turned over to Darren and Renee Hackett prior to the 2011 season. There is 13 degrees of banking in the turns and the straightaways are banked at nine degrees. The track has a capacity of 6,800 spectators.

The Records: The one-lap qualifying record for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour is 15.648 seconds (104.678 mph), set by George Brunnhoelzl III on April 21, 2012. The 150-lap race record is held by Junior Miller at 44 minutes, 31 seconds was set on Sept. 9, 2006 for an average speed of 90.977 mph.

Does Time Heal All Wounds?: In the last NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event at Caraway Speedway prior to the break, Tim Brown was plenty miffed at the way George Brunnhoelzl III had raced him in the race’s green-white-checkered flag finish. Brown, who gained the lead on the first lap of the race and held it up until the very end, exhibited his displeasure of Brunnhoelzl’s bump-and-run move coming to the checkered flag by wrecking Brunnhoelzl on the cool-down lap. This week we’ll see whether cooler heads will prevail after 11 weeks between events.

Burt Myers Looks to End Caraway Drought: Burt Myers will look to carry his early summer momentum as the points leader in weekly competition at Bowman Gray Stadium over to Caraway this week and end a long-running drought in Whelen Southern Modified Tour action. Myers won the second-ever southern tour event at the track in 2005, but it’s been 41 starts since then without a return trip to Caraway Victory Lane. His southern tour résumé since that last Caraway victory certainly hasn’t lacked of success, however, as he’s won eight times at six different tracks since then. Perhaps Myers will be able to look to his brother, Jason, for inspiration as Jason was able to earn his first career Caraway victory in the 2013 opener.

Loftin, Seuss Also Look to Challenge Brunnhoelzl: With nine career wins at Caraway, including five of the Whelen Southern Modified Tour’s last eight appearances there, Brunnhoelzl is the most accomplished driver in southern tour history at the venerable track. But you can count Brian Loftin and Andy Seuss among his top competition when the southern tour returns there this week. Loftin has eight wins of his own at Caraway – the latest in 2012 – while Seuss has six career triumphs at the track. All six of Seuss’ wins came in a 15-race span from 2008-11, but he’ll look to end an eight-race drought this week.

HOME TRACKS: McCaskill Paces Tarheel State
Through the latest NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points update on June 26, Deac McCaskill led in North Carolina state points by a slim four tallies on Tommy Lemons Jr. McCaskill and Lemons compete at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C., while Lemons has made one start at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro. In the featured Late Model division at Caraway, Ryan Wilson leads the way, two points ahead of Dan Moore.

Prior to the annual Spring Break, the last NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race was contested at Caraway Speedway on April 20. Here are some of the highlights from the Spring Fling 150:
· George Brunnhoelzl III captured the Coors Light Pole Award, but didn’t lead a lap until the green-white-checkered finish when he out-dueled Tim Brown for the victory.
· Brown took the lead on the first lap of the race and held it through 154 circuits.
· Kyle Ebersole crossed the finish line third for the third race in a row.
· Brunnhoelzl left the track with an 18-point lead on Ebersole in the season standings.

NEXT TIME OUT: Bowman Gray
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will make its annual stop at historic Bowman Gray Stadium for the Bowman Gray 199 presented by Q104.1 New Country on Saturday, Aug. 3 in Winston-Salem, N.C. George Brunnhoelzl III earned his first Bowman Gray victory in last year’s event en route to his third Whelen Southern Modified Tour title.