Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to action at Caraway
After a 12-week layoff for spring break, the best modified drivers in the Southeast are ready to go back into action at Caraway Speedway this Friday night for the running of the Firecracker 150.
James Civali (No.79 Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac) broke through for his first career win in the NWSMT, holding off a hard-charging L.W. Miller (No. 36 John Baker Plumbing & Utilities) to get the win at South Boston and also climb atop the points standings.
Another driver who enters this week’s race in the top five of the points standings is NASCAR veteran Zach Brewer (No. 11 Phoenix Preowned/Triad Auto Sales Chevrolet). Brewer, who has competed in NASCAR Touring events for over a decade, finished fifth at South Boston and also at Caraway back in March.
Brewer switched rides during the off season and now drives for well-known modified car owner Eddie Harvey after driving his family-owned car part-time for several seasons. The move has already paid dividends for Brewer. He is one of just four drivers to finish in the top 10 in all three races so far this season.
“We had a good car at South Boston and we suffered some clutch problems or I think we could have finished higher than where we did in fifth,”
Brewer said. “We still accomplished a lot at South Boston and we really hated having our break come up when it did because I think we really had things going in the right direction.”
Brewer’s weekend included a record-setting performance during qualifying for the Coors Light Pole Award to give him his first pole in the modified division. Brewer is ready for the Firecracker 150 and thinks he and his team can get right back to where they were in April.
“I like Caraway Speedway and we just went there and had a good test,” Brewer said. “Caraway is one those tracks that usually sees a driver go on a streak of good finishes. Junior (Miller), Brian (Loftin) and George (Brunnhoelzl III) all had several good finishes in a row. Right now it seems like it’s Andy’s turn right now. Maybe we can get our turn of having good runs there.”
Andy Seuss (No. 47 Q Racing Oil/Rockingham Boats Dodge) led every lap to win the Spring Classic 150 at Caraway Speedway in March and sits just 18 points behind Civali for the points lead (505-487). The Hampstead, N.H., native rebounded from an early incident at South Boston to finish third in the race. Brown is third and Miller is fourth in the standings entering this weekend.
“We want to stay in the hunt for the points title, but we are also ready for our first win and it would great to celebrate that this Friday night,” Brewer said.
For more information on any of the NASCAR Touring series, visit the official website at www.nascarhometracks.com.
The Race Firecracker 150
The Place Caraway Speedway,Asheboro, N.C.
The Date Friday, July 2
The Time 8 p.m. EDT
Track Layout .455-mile paved
Race Purse $28,090
2009 Winner George Brunnhoelzl III
2009 Pole Andy Seuss
Schedule Friday, July 2
Practice 4:30-5:15 p.m.
Time Trials 6:30 p.m.
Track Contact Renee Hackett (336) 629-5803, Carawayspeedway@embarqmail.com
NASCAR Contact Tim Southers (386) 235-3634, email@example.com
News & Notes
The Race … The Firecracker 150 will be the fourth of 10 races on the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified second of three races for the series at Caraway Speedway this season.
The Procedure … Starting positions 1-23 will be set from time trials. The remaining three will be filled throughthe provisional process. The race is 150 laps (68.25 miles).
The Redraw … Fastest qualifier will draw to determine redraw of top 6, 8, or 10 cars.
The Track … The .455-mile track at Caraway Speedway is a semi-banked oval located in the heart of modified country in the Southeast. Caraway features long straightaways and tight turns, which highlight the speed and power of the modified cars.
The Schedule … The 150-lap NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race will be held on Friday evening.
Drivers will practice and qualify in the afternoon from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. Qualifying for the Coors Light Pole is slated for 6:30 p.m. The race is scheduled to take the green flag at 8 p.m. with a driver’s autograph session scheduled for 7:15 p.m. on the track. Andy Seuss won the first race of the year at Caraway in March and won the pole for this race last year.
Trio Of Drivers At Bristol Hoosier News & Notes Tire Test In May
Although the southern modified drivers have not had a scheduled tour race since the first weekend of April, many have stayed busy competing at various tracks as part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series or participated in NASCAR-sanctioned events.
A pair of southern drivers paired up with a veteran from the northern tour to complete a Hoosier Tire testin May at Bristol Motor Speedway. Both Whelen tours competed in a combination event at the “World’s Most Famous Short Track” last season and the track will host the tours again this August in a doubleheader with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Burt Myers, current NWSMT points leader James Civali and veteran Mike Stefanik participated in a tire test on May 13 at BMS. Myers thought it was a beneficial day for everyone to be at the track.
“I thought we put on a great show last year and NASCAR and Hoosier are committed to making this year’s race even better for the fans,” Myers said. “We were asked to go up there and test several different tire compounds that might be used for our race to make the racing even better than it was last year.”
Civali thought the test was definitely beneficial for everyone.
“I like the new tire Hoosier brought there to test and we learned a lot about what the setup will need to be so it was a good day,” Civali said. “If we can figure out a way to keep the tire under us, we should have a very fast car for the race.”
Civali had the fastest unofficial time of the day with a lap of 14.700 seconds.
Stefanik unofficially ran a lap at 15.000 seconds for his fast lap of the day and added he thought the test was a good thing Hoosier and NASCAR decided to organize.
“I think we still have a little work to do on our end, but I appreciate NASCAR and Hoosier putting this on so we can provide data for them,” Stefanik said.
Myers finished his day with an unofficial fast lap time of 14.900 seconds.
“I think we learned a lot (back in May) and I think it will only help us come back better prepared as a team and put on a great show for the fans who come out to our race in August,” Myers said. “I can’t wait to get back up there in August.”
The UNOH Perfect Storm 150 will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at BMS.
Up Next – Bowman Gray Stadium
One of the most anticipated races on the 2010 schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will be the next stop for the tour when Bowman Gray Stadium will host the modified machines the first weekend of August.
The weekend will begin with practice and qualifying for the Coors LightPole Award on Friday, Aug. 6, with the running of the Strutmasters.com 150 to be held on Saturday, Aug., 6 at 8 p.m.
Last year was an historic night for the tour after Luke Fleming was the surprise winner of the race in his only start on the tour. Fleming, the nephew of tour veteran Frank Fleming, held off eventual tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III to win the wild event that featured plenty of contact and gave the capacity crowd a night they will never forget.
It will also be a homecoming for many of the tour regulars as many of them race at the stadium on a weekly basis during their off weekends from the tour. The Myers brothers, Frank Fleming, Gene Pack (who finished third in the tour race last season) and Tim Brown are just a handful of the drivers who call the longest running sanctioned track in NASCAR home.
The track has hosted a touring race since NASCAR began sanctioning it in 2005. Burt Myers won the inaugural event in 2005 and also again in 2007 to become the only repeat race winner at the track.
Myers’ brother Jason won his only tour event at the track in 2006, and 2008 champion Brian Loftin won the remaining race in 2008 during his championship season.
Myers is also the only repeat Coors Light Pole Award winner as well with three poles.
Sources: Tim Southers/NASCAR WSMT PR