Southern Tour Championship Five Years In The Making
Burt Myers already has a résumé most drivers can only dream about. Numerous track championships and more wins than can be remembered. Now Myers can claim the final piece of the puzzle – a NASCAR touring championship.
Myers will be in Charlotte to take part in the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Series Gala on Saturday night at the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom, adjacent to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This championship is part of a trifecta for Myers, who also will celebrate his track title from Bowman Gray Stadium and the North Carolina state championship during the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series awards banquet to be held Friday night also at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
“I can’t wait for next week,” said Myers from Las Vegas, where he was on hand to participate in the Myers Brothers Luncheon that is named after Billy and Bobby Myers, who were NASCAR competitors in the 1950’s and related to the younger Myers. “We are going to celebrate as a family.”
Although Myers will have his name on the trophy, he is quick to point out he wouldn’t have the title without the help and support of his family and close friends who have been with him a long time.
“One of the great things about this year is how hard everyone worked together for us to reach this point,” Myers said. “My brother and I work on our cars out of the same shop and all the guys work together so this is truly a team championship.”
Continuity is something Myers cherishes, having been with car owner Philip Smith and crew chief Scott Widener, who have both been with Myers for more than four years.
“With the support I have now, I can really focus on driving the car,” Myers added. “Scott and I are able to communicate what the car is doing or needs so much better and that has really paid off for us, especially towards the end of the year.”
Myers used a solid run over the last half of the season to pull into contention after sitting in ninth-place in the standings after the third race of the season at South Boston. An uncharacteristic 17th-place finish at Atlanta got him a little behind to start the season. Although, he was more than 100 points out of first place in the standings (505-404), neither Myers nor his team panicked.
“We really didn’t change what were we doing to get ready for races,” Myers said. “We are so busy racing the tour and at Bowman Gray during the year we just focus on getting ready for the next race and never really thought about making changes. We didn’t even realize our string of top-five finishes ending the season until we realized we still had a shot at it (championship).”
Myers, who now has 70 career starts on the tour, also holds the record for most top-10 finishes (58) and top fives (38)
Myers picked up a pair of wins over the final two events of the season and he got a little help when some of the drivers in front of him had problems during the season-ending race at Charlotte.
Myers still had to earn the championship and he helped his own cause by leading the most laps and winning the finale, things he had to do entering the race 41 points out of the lead.
“We knew going in to that final race that we needed to win it and get as many bonus points as possible to have a chance,” Myers said. “I am just thankful everything worked out like it did.”
Myers, who now has eight career wins and holds the record for most Coors Light Pole awards with 23, will be ready to celebrate with a large contingent of family, friends and supporters Saturday night in Charlotte.
“I think we are up to about 34 or 35 people who are coming to the banquet,” Myers said. “All I know is we are going to celebrate because this is a long time coming for our family. To now say a Myers has won a NASCAR Touring championship is really special and we want to make sure everyone we care about and appreciate helping us get here are in Charlotte to celebrate with us.”
Here is a look back at some of the highlights of Myers’ championship campaign:
Sources: Tim Southers/NASCAR WSMT PR