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Whelen Tour To Hold Race At Caraway Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - As the 2011 season enters turn four for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, the storyline is a bit of deja vu for a pair of veteran competitors on the tour.

George Brunnhoelzl III has used a consistent season to build a seemingly comfortable 134-point lead over Andy Seuss - but the season is far from over. This might remind the drivers and fans of the 2009 season when Brunnhoelzl won his first championship.

Brunnhoelzl enjoyed a record-setting performance that year with 13 top-five finishes in 14 races to win the championship by 180 points over Seuss. Brunnhoelzl finished the season with five wins and he has three entering this weekend's Caraway 150.

Seuss knows what he has to do to have a chance to catch Brunnhoelzl and it is pretty simple - win races and finish ahead of Brunnhoelzl the rest of the way.

"We have had a great season," Seuss said after winning at Langley Speedway on Sept. 3. "I can't thank Eddie Harvey enough for giving me the opportunity to drive this car back in July and I am doing everything I can to give him a championship."

While Brunnhoelzl enjoys a 134-point cushion over Seuss in the driver's standings (1,685-1,551), Harvey sits second in the owner's standings 88 points behind Brunnhoelzl's car owner and Eddie's father, Howard (1,685-1,597).

It has been a great season for the Harvey-owned Ideal Racing, which has collected five wins between the two cars (Brunnhoelzl - 3, Seuss 2) and have 18 out of top-20 possible top-10 finishes so far this year.

"One thing I know for sure is we want to ensure that Ideal Racing has a champion at the banquet in December," Brunnhoelzl added. "I can't thank Howard Harvey enough for giving me this opportunity to drive a great car."

While Brunnhoelzl and Seuss have enjoyed wins this season another driver hungry to return to Victory Lane is John Smith. Smith collected his lone tour win last year at Caraway on July 1 and he is eager to celebrate another win.

"We have ran well enough at times to get a win and have just had some rotten luck this year," Smith said. "Hopefully we can catch some breaks and have a reason to celebrate later (this) Saturday night."

Smith sits third in the standings with Jason Myers and L.W. Miller, who won at Caraway in July, completing the top five in the standings.

Race Notes

Familiar sight: This will be the 37th NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Caraway, which is considered the home track for the tour.

Hot streak: Andy Seuss enters this weekend's race winner of the last race at Caraway in August and winner of two of the past three NWSMT events this season. Seuss has used his recent run of success to vault past John Smith and move into second place in the point standings.

No repeat: There have four different winners in the previous races held at the speedway this season. Point leader George Brunnhoelzl III (3-13); Ted Christopher (4-23), L.W. Miller (7-1) and Seuss (8-26) have all collected wins.

Last Time Out: Brunnhoelzl III Collects Historic Win

George Brunnhoelzl III continued his quest for a second tour championship when he won last Sunday at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.

Brunnhoelzl took advantage of a late penalty to Steve Masse to grab the win in the Southern Thompson 125.

Masse, making his NASCAR touring series debut, took the lead on Lap 47 of the Southern Thompson 125 from two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Donny Lia. However, on a Lap 119 restart, Masse was posted for jumping the restart. That handed the lead to Brunnhoelzl, who cruised to his third win of the season.

Burt Myers was second and Tim Brown third. Andy Seuss, Steve Park, Frank Fleming, Timmy Solomito, Lia, Thomas Stinson and Austin Pack rounded out the top 10. Masse, who did not heed the black flag, was scored with a 14th-place finish.

Brunnhoelzl leads Seuss by 134 points and John Smith by 162 with four races remaining.

Hometracks: Brinkley Continues To Lead

Consistency pays off. Just ask Brad Brinkley. Brinkley has used 17 top-10 finishes in as many races to hold on to the lead in the standings in the Late Model Stock division at Caraway Speedway. Brinkley leads Mack Little in the standings.

Caraway's other division leaders include: Junior Kendrick (Sportsman), Andrew Sanders (Mini Stock) (Street Stock), Ray Chriscoe (Super Mini Truck), Bobby Grimes (Street Stock), Jan Ingram (Legends) and Allen Vance, (U-CAR).

Up Next: The Tri County 150

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to Tri County Motor Speedway in Hudson, N.C. for the Tri County 150 Saturday, Sept. 24.

Burt Myers used the race to put him in contention for the 2010 championship which he won two weeks later at the season-ending event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It will be the second visit for the tour at the speedway located in the foothills of North Carolina.