News & Notes: Championship Race Tightens

Top Southern Modified Tour contenders head to Langley

For the third consecutive race, there has been a change atop the leaderboard for the points championship.

After suffering a blown motor at Bristol Motor Speedway, L.W. Miller (No. 36 John Baker Plumbing & Utilities Pontiac) rebounded to take the lead after finishing second to Andy Seuss this past Saturday at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.

James Civali (No. 79 Hill Enterprises/Coors Light/LeBleu Water Dodge) finished with a solid top-10 run, but still fell to third when a new name surfaced in the battle for the top spot in the overall points standings.

Andy Seuss (No. 47 Q Racing Oil/Rockingham Boats/MUA Dodge) used his second wire-to-wire win of the season to move into second place.

Seuss, who finished second to eventual champion George Brunnhoelzl III last season, is poised for the final stretch run of the 2010 season that ends on the quarter-mile at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Seuss knows all three drivers will have to be ready in all four remaining races. He also thinks this weekend is up for grabs at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.

“I think the points battle will go all the way to Charlotte this season,” Seuss said. “The competition is as tough as it has ever been, and if anybody has any trouble, you could lose your position very easily.”

Seuss was able to move to within seven points of Miller for the lead and he wants to use his momentum of the win last week at Langley. He is also aware that all three remaining races on the schedule will be held at facilities hosting the tour for the first time.

“We are all going to be on an even playing field in the fact that the tour hasn’t raced before at Langley, Tri-County or Charlotte before,” Seuss said. “This is a team sport and I think the driver who has the best team and a little bit of luck has a pretty good chance of celebrating at Charlotte.”

Not to be overlooked, John Smith sits in fourth, just 43 points out of first and only 24 points behind Civali for third.

“We are on a pretty good run right now,” Smith said. “We are going to keep working hard to move into the top three and get a little closer to the top — then who knows what can happen then.”

The Race Langley 150
The Place Langley Speedway, Hampton, Va.
The Date Saturday, Sept. 4
The Time 7:30 p.m. ET (approx.)
TV Schedule VERSUS, Sept. 8, 7 p.m. ET
Track Layout .396-mile paved
Race Purse $29,090
2009 Winner First event
2009 Pole First event
Schedule Saturday, Sept. 4: First Practice Noon – 12:30 p.m.; Final Practice 1:05 – 1:20 p.m. Time Trials: 4:30
Track Contact Chuck Hall, (757) 865-7223, chuck@langley-speedway.com
NASCAR Contact Tim Southers, (386) 235-3634, tsouthers@nascar.com

Raceday Notes

The Race … The Langley 150 will be the eighth of 10 races on the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Schedule. This will also be the second and final visit to the Commonwealth of Virginia this season.

The Procedure … Starting positions 1-23 will be set from time trials. The remaining three will be filled through the 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 .396-mile track at Caraway Speedway is a semi-banked oval located near the beautiful beaches of Virginia. The track has hosted many NASCAR-sanctioned events through the year highlighted by the then NASCAR Grand National Series, now known at Sprint Cup Series, until 1970.

The Schedule … The 150-lap NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race will be held on Saturday 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.

Drivers Pick Up Much-Needed Top-10 Finishes

Any point during the season, drivers will tell you that a season is often full of peaks and valleys and that is no different in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Jason Myers, Brandon Hire and Zach Brewer can each attest to that fact.

After starting the season with nothing but bad luck, it appears Myers’ fortunes have turned good as he has finished in the top 10 in four consecutive races, highlighted by three consecutive fourth-place showings at Caraway in July, Bowman Gray and Bristol, respectively.

“We had some tough races early in the year, but we have been able to put together a run of good finishes,” Myers said. “We feel we are getting better every race and I am ready to get back to Victory Lane.”

Hire, who returned to the tour this season after missing the entire 2009 campaign due to a broken leg, rebounded from a disappointing finish at Bristol to a solid top 10 at Caraway. Hire currently sits ninth in points heading into Langley this weekend.

“We finally were able to get a strong finish,” Hire said. “We really needed this (Caraway finish) and the guys have been working so hard to keep us on the track.”

Brewer celebrated his first top-10 finish since Bowman Gray after suffering mechanical problems at Bristol and also at Caraway back in July.

“We needed to finish a race and we were able to do that at Caraway,” Brewer said. “The guys have been working so hard all year and we just haven’t been able to put the finishes together. I feel this run (at Caraway) can be the shot in the arm this team needs to get back into the top five in the standings by the end of the year.”

Falk Gets Chance To Celebrate Langley Title

C.E. Falk is no stranger to winning titles. Falk has clinched the 2010 Langley Speedway track title in the Late Model Division.

The season ended for the Langley Late Models on Aug. 21st, with Falk finishing the season with a win and second-place finish in the Twin 75 races held on the final night of the regular season for the late models. Falk ended the season with 982 points to easily win the track title.

Greg Edwards finished second with 924 points and Woody Howard third at 908 points.

The track hosts nine other divisions throughout the season and will crown track champions in the other divisions in the coming weeks.

The Late Models will not run this weekend with the NWSMT cars.

The local Langley Speedway modifieds, Legends cars and Winged Sprint cars will all take to the track this Saturday night.

Race Recap: Brunnhoelzl Finds Success In Return

Defending Champion Returns: George Brunnhoelzl III came back to the NWSMT for his second start of the season. Brunnhoelzl III has been competing full time this season in the NWMT. He earned the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award after starting 11th and finishing fifth in the final rundown at Caraway. Brunnhoelzl’s other start in the NWSMT this season came at South Boston (Va.) Speedway on April 3rd.

Brunnhoelzl returns to the NWMT on Sept. 18 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Miller Earns Featherlite Most Improved Honors: L.W. Miller rebounded from a blown motor at Bristol to his record fourth runner-up finish of the season at Caraway. Miller used the finish to regain his lead in the points standings.

Divine Intervention: Andy Seuss thought he would change his luck when it came for the qualifying draw so he asked NWSMT chaplain Kyle Froman to draw for his qualifying order position. Although he went out fourth, Seuss took the Coors Light Pole Award for his first one of the season.

Brothers together: Thanks in part to Burt’s fourth-place showing and Jason’s ninth-place effort, the Myers bothers find themselves beside each other in the points standings. Burt has a 60-point lead over his younger brother (1,069-1,009) as they sit in fifth and sixth place, respectively.

Back behind the seat: After working on the race-winning crew that helped Ryan Newman win the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Gary Putnam returned to driving the car with a good outcome. Putnam was the highest finisher of the three rookies in the field to become the third driver to win multiple rookie of the race awards this season.

Up Next: Tri-County

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to the state of North Carolina for the next stop on the tour when Tri-County Motor Speedway, located in Hudson, N.C., will host the Whelen Southern Modifieds for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 25.

The race day will begin with a practice session at the track for the tour. Practice will be held from 1:15 until 2:15 p.m.

Qualifying for the Coors Light Pole Award at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon with running of the Tri-County 150 to start at approximately 8 p.m.

The race will be televised on VERSUS on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. (ET) as part of their coverage of the Tour during the 2010 season.

Tri-County Motor Speedway is located in the foothills of western North Carolina in the town of Hudson, near Hickory, N.C.

The track opened in the mid-1980s as a dirt racing facility where drivers such as former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor Ernie Irvan cut his teeth before making the switch to asphalt.

Several of the current NWSMT drivers have competed at the track previously in non-NASCAR sanctioned modified races at the facility.

CONTINGENCY AWARDS STANDINGS
COCA-COLA MOVE OF THE RACE AWARD
George Brunnhoelzl III, 1
James Civali, 1
Corey LaJoie, 1
Frank Fleming, 1
L.W. Miller, 1
Burt Myers, 1
John Smith, 1

COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD
Zach Brewer, 2
James Civali, 2
Burt Myers, 2
Andy Seuss, 1

FEATHERLITE MOST IMPROVED DRIVER AWARD
Frank Fleming, 2
L.W. Miller, 2
James Civali, 1
Brandon Hire, 1
Jason Myers, 1

SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD
Greg Butcher, 2
Mike Norman, 2
Gary Putnam, 2
David Brigati, 1

Sources: Tim Southers/NASCAR WSMT PR


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