Analyzing The UNOH Perfect Storm 150 At Bristol
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours will hold their fourth annual combination event at Bristol Motor Speedway with the running of the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Below is a statistical look at the performance of selected drivers in the series:
Bristol Race Setup
• The UNOH Perfect Storm 150 will mark the fourth year in a row the Whelen Modified Tours to run in combination at Bristol. The two previous winning drivers, Donny Lia (2009) and Ryan Newman (2010, `11), will be in this race.
• The two drivers that figure to have the best shot to end Newman’s two-year run, based on past results, are Ted Christopher and Todd Szegedy. Christopher has led the most laps in the event’s history while Szegedy is the only driver to average a top-five finish.
• This will be the 10th all-time combination race between the two tours. The NWSMT is still looking for its first driver to take home a victory.
At Bristol Motor Speedway
• The track ran its first NASCAR race on July 30, 1961 with Fred Lorenzen won the pole. Jack Smith was credited with the first race win although he did not finish the race in the car. Johnny Allen jumped in the car as a relief driver and completed the 500-lap race.
• The track was originally built with 22-degree turns until the track was redesigned to its current configuration in 1969. The track was originally paved with asphalt and is now concrete.
• There have been a total of 103 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 60 NASCAR Nationwide Series and 14 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at BMS entering this week. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East also made its debut at the track this past March.
• This will be the fourth NASCAR Whelen Modified-Whelen Southern Modified Tour combination race at Bristol, and the only visit to the track this season for the two tours.
• Four of the five drivers who have either visited Victory Lane or been credited with a win as the highest finisher in their respective division will be racing this week in this year’s race at Bristol. Donny Lia (2009) and Ryan Newman (2010, `11) have won the first three races at Bristol representing the NWMT while George Brunnhoelzl III (2009), James Civali (2010) and Frank Fleming (2011) have been the highest finishers from the NWSMT. Only Civali is not expected to be in the 2012 edition.
• This will be the 10th all-time, points-paying combination race between the NWMT and NWSMT. There were six such events at Martinsville Speedway from 2005-10, and this will be the fourth at Bristol. Thompson International Speedway will also hold an exhibition combo race between the two tours in September for the second year in a row.
Bristol Motor Speedway Data
Race: NWMT #9 of 14, NWSMT #7 of 11
Track Layout: .533-mile concrete oval
• Race Length: 150 laps (79.95 miles)
• Banking/Corners: 24-28 degrees
• Banking/Straights: 6-10 degrees
Qualifying Record: Justin Bonsignore (14.835 seconds, 129.343 mph – 8/18/10)
2011 Pole Winner: Bobby Santos (15.035 seconds, 127.622 mph)
2011 Race Winner: Ryan Newman (101.025 mph, 1 hrs., 22 mins., 11 secs.)
Active Category Leaders at Bristol
Wins – NWMT & Overall
1. Ryan Newman … 2
2. Donny Lia … 1
Wins – NWSMT
1. George Brunnhoelzl III … 1
James Civali … 1
Frank Fleming … 1
Poles – NWMT & Overall
1. Justin Bonsignore … 1
Bobby Santos … 1
Poles – NWSMT
1. Tim Brown … 1
James Civali … 1
Laps Led – Overall
1. Ted Christopher … 190
2. Ryan Newman … 129
3. Donny Lia … 40
4. Todd Szegedy … 38
5. Mike Stefanik … 21
Laps Completed – Overall
1. Todd Szegedy … 450 (all)
Eric Beers … 449
Eric Goodale … 449
Woody Pitkat … 449
5. Frank Fleming … 444
Burt Myers … 444
Selected Driver Highlights:
Eric Beers (No. 45 Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc. Ford)
• Has two wins, nine poles and 76 top 10s in 178 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Has four top 10s in eight starts this year with a best finish of fourth, twice.
• In three starts at Bristol Motor Speedway he has a best finish of sixth, overall, in last year’s event. He finished 14th overall in the first two combo events at BMS.
Jimmy Blewett (No. 76 John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet)
• Has five wins, a pole and 31 top 10s in 93 career NWMT starts.
• Has five top 10s in eight races this year. Had three top 10s across 16 races the two previous seasons.
• Finished 31st overall with a DNF in his only previous start at BMS in 2009.
Danny Bohn (No. 51 Rifenburg/Rustoleum Chevrolet)
• Is competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors this season in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
• Has three top-five finishes in six career starts, highlighted by third-place finishes at South Boston Speedway on April 14, 2012 and Caraway Speedway on July 6, 2012.
• This will be his first appearance at BMS.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
• Has a win, three poles and 20 top 10s in 38 career NWMT starts.
• Since gaining his first NWMT win last year at Riverhead Raceway, he has finished in the top 10 in 14 of 18 events.
• Finished as the runner-up at BMS last year and was sixth overall in 2010.
• Won the pole at BMS in 2010 with a time that remains the Modified track record.
Tim Brown (No. 02 Hayes Jewelers/T&C Motorsports Chevrolet)
• Finished second in the season-ending points standings a record three times from 2006-2008.
• Has 78 career NWSMT starts with 42 top-five finishes and has 64 top-10 finishes.
• Has seven wins, the last on Oct. 13, 2011 on the quarter mile at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Has two starts at BMS with a best result of an 23rd overall, and eighth among NWSMT competitors, a year ago. He also was credited with the NWSMT pole in last year’s event.
• Ranked seventh in the national NWAAS standings as of Aug. 14 and clinched a track-record ninth Modified championship at historic Bowman Gray Stadium in Aug. 18.
George Brunnhoelzl III (No. 09 Phoenix Pre-owned Chevrolet)
• The 2009 and 2011 NWSMT champion, who is attempting to become the first three-time titlist in the tour’s history.
• Owner of 15 wins, 16 poles and 47 top 10s in 62 career NWSMT starts.
• Has won four of six races so far this year and enters BMS as the points leader.
• Was credited with a win at Bristol as the highest-finishing NWSMT driver in the inaugural 2009 even when he crossed the line fourth overall. Competed last year and finished 29th overall after getting collected in an accident on Lap 42.
• Competed in the 2010 BMS race as a NWMT representative and finished 28th overall.
Ted Christopher (No. 3 Cape Cod Copper/Silver Dollar Construction Chevrolet)
• The 2008 NWMT champion, he has 42 wins and 24 poles and 173 top 10s in 315 career starts. His 42 wins rank third all-time and his 24 poles are eighth. Has at least one win in the 13 previous seasons.
• Has three top fives and five top 10s in eight starts this year.
• Although he has competed in just two of the previous three events at BMS, he’s the laps led leader with 190. He led 110 laps in the 2009 race and finished second, then led 80 laps in 2010 before he suffered a blown engine with eight laps to go and finished 26th overall.
• Ranked fifth in the national NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standings as of Aug. 14.
Doug Coby (No. 52 Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct Supply Chevrolet)
• Has six wins, four poles and 53 top 10s in 124 career starts.
• Points leader has four wins and seven podium finishes through eight races this year. Recorded two wins in 116 starts prior to the 2012 season.
• His only non-podium finish this year was an eighth-place effort in the opener at Thompson International Speedway.
• Is the sixth driver in NWMT history to win four of the first seven races to start a season. The last was Donny Lia in 2007. Four of the previous five instances the driver captured the championship.
• Has five wins and 19 top 10s in 25 starts with the No. 52 team since the end of the 2010 season.
• Finished 25th overall with a blown engine last year at BMS in his only previous start at the track.
Kyle Ebersole (No. 51 Ebersole Excavating Chevrolet)
• Is competing for NWSMT Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors this season.
• Has two top-five finishes in four career NWSMT starts, highlighted by a pair of fourth-place finishes, the most recent coming at Caraway on April 21, 2012.
• This will be his first appearance at BMS.
Frank Fleming (No. 40 Lewisville Motors Ford)
• Is tied for the most career NWSMT starts with 91. Has missed just one race since 2005.
• Brother, Chris Fleming, serves as his crew chief and also competes full-time in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series modified division at Bowman Gray each week.
• Has more than 50 career wins at his home track, Bowman Gray.
• Was credited with his first career win as the highest finishing NWSMT driver last season at BMS. His other two overall finishes in the race were 22nd in 2009 and 17th in 2010.
Donny Lia (No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing Dodge)
• The 2007 and 2009 champion, he has 16 wins, 15 poles and 60 top 10s in 120 career starts.
• Has a win and four top 10s through eight races in his return to the NWMT this year. The win came last time out at Thompson.
• Won in his only previous NWMT start at Bristol, the 2009 inaugural event.
• Competed in the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at BMS and finished 12th.
Carl Long (No. 01 Koma Unwind Relaxation Drink Chevrolet)
• Will attempt to make his NASCAR Modified debut at BMS.
• Has 23 career starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 44 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and 19 in the NCWTS.
• Best career NASCAR finish was an 11th-place effort in the NCWTS race at Dover in 2010.
Burt Myers (No. 1 Citrusafe/Adams Towing Ford)
• Won the 2010 NWSMT championship.
• Holds NWSMT records for poles (24), top fives (44) and top 10s (74).
• Has finished second among NWSMT drivers in two of the three BMS events – ninth overall in 2009 and 11th in 2010. Last year he finished 17th overall.
• Picked up his most recent win at Charlotte on Oct. 14, 2010.
Jason Myers (No. 4 Trantham Moorefield/Wendell Edwards Ford)
• Is tied with Frank Fleming for most career NWSMT starts with 91.
• Picked up his lone win at Bowman Gray on Aug. 5, 2006 and has 68 career top-10 finishes.
• Holds the record for consecutive NWSMT starts with 83. Has started every race since Martinsville on Sept. 5, 2005.
• Has finished in the top 10 among NWSMT drivers in all three BMS events highlighted by a third-place finish last year. A 14th-place finish last year is his best overall effort at the track.
Ryan Newman (No. 77 Menards/Aggressive Hydraulics Chevrolet)
• Has four wins, three poles and five top 10s in 10 career NWMT starts.
• Two of those NWMT wins have come at BMS, in 2010 and 2011. In the 2009 event he was involved in a first-lap accident and did not finish.
• Has three poles and 12 top 10s in 21 career NSCS starts at BMS with a best finish of second in the 2004 night race.
Rowan Pennink (No. 93 Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet)
• Has a win and 40 top 10s in 80 career starts. His win came at Riverhead in 2010.
• Has five top 10s in seven starts this year.
• Has competed in each of the three previous races at BMS with a best overall finish of seventh in the inaugural 2009 race. His other two finishes were 33rd overall in 2010 due to an expired engine and 21st last year.
Ryan Preece (No. 16 Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford)
• Has four wins, 10 poles and 38 top 10s in 75 career starts.
• In nine races with Flamingo Motorsports since the end of the 2011 season he has a win, five poles, four top 10s, and laps led in five of those events.
• Finished third overall at BMS in 2009 and ninth in 2010. Did not participate last year.
• Ranked sixth in the national NWAAS standings as of Aug. 14.
Ron Silk (No. 6 Calverton Tree Farm/TS Haulers Chevrolet)
• The 2011 NWMT champion has eight wins, six poles and 58 top 10s in 105 career starts.
• Has five wins and 30 top 10s in 40 starts with TS Haulers Racing since they first joined forces in 2009.
• In eight races this year he as six top fives with a win in the season-opener at Thompson.
• In three BMS starts he’s registered a best overall finish of seventh, last year. Suffered a DNF in 2009 and was 15th overall in 2010.
Andy Seuss (No. 11 Phoenix Pre-Owned Chevrolet)
• Has 11 wins and 46 top-10 finishes in 63 career NWSMT starts.
• Finished second among NWSMT drivers at BMS in 2010, ninth overall. He was 11th overall in 2009 and 23rd in 2010.
• Also has three top-10 finishes in 25 career NWMT starts.
John Smith (No. 25 Shady Grady Racing Chevrolet)
• Has 46 top-10 finishes in 70 career NWSMT starts.
• Finished in the top 10 in the final points standings four years in a row (2008-2011), with a career-best fifth last year.
• Finished fifth among NWSMT competitors last season at BMS, 16th overall. Was 23rd overall in 2009 and 19th in 2010.
Mike Stefanik (No. 66 Barnyard Raceway/Sunoco Race Fuels Ford)
• The 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006 NWMT champion.
• Holds NWMT records for most titles (seven), wins (72), poles (47), top fives (219) and top 10s (289).
• Has a win this year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and a pole last time out at Thompson.
• Has overall finishes of 25th (DNF-engine), second and 24th (DNF-accident) in the three events at BMS.
• Finished 20th in both NNS races at BMS in 2000 and was 22nd there in the 1999 NCWTS race.
Todd Szegedy (No. 2 Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano Construction Ford)
• The 2003 NWMT champion has 17 wins, nine poles and 102 top 10s in 161 career starts.
• Has four top fives in eight outings this year with a best finish of third, twice.
• Has overall finishes of sixth, fifth and third in the first three combo events at BMS, the best average result among all competitors with multiple starts.
• Is the only driver to complete every lap of the first three BMS races.
Up to Speed – NWMT:
• The 2012 season is the 28th for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
• The 2012 schedule features 14 races at seven different tracks across four states.
• Defending NWMT champion Ron Silk won the 2012 season-opener at Thompson International Speedway on April 15. Ryan Preece was the polesitter for the Icebreaker.
• Doug Coby joined a select group of multiple Spring Sizzler winners when he took the checkered flag at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 29. Preece set the track record in qualifying prior to the event.
• Preece made it 3-for-3 in qualifying as he took the pole in track record fashion at Monadnock Speedway on May 12 and made the top starting position stand up as he led every lap en route to the victory.
• Bobby Santos captured the pole and led nearly the entire race before Coby wrestled the lead away in the closing laps to take the checkered flag on May 25 at Stafford.
• In the NWMT’s return to Waterford Speedbowl following a six-year absence, Ted Christopher earned the pole, but it was Coby who stole the show to earn his third win of the season.
• Mike Stefanik earned his first win of the year when he edged polesitter Silk by .003 seconds at the line at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14.
• The Riverhead 200, scheduled to be run on July 28 at Riverhead Raceway, was postponed due to rain until Sept. 15.
• Coby made it three-for-three at Stafford in 2012 when he won the Stafford 150 on Aug. 3. Preece earned his fourth pole of the season prior to the race.
• Donny Lia returned to Victory Lane for the first time in 2012 when he took the checkered flag at Thompson on Aug. 9. Mike Stefanik extended his own NWMT career record for poles prior to the event to 47.
• Following the UNOH Perfect Storm 150, the NWMT will return to action on Sept. 9 with the second annual UNOH Showdown at Thompson, also with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
Up To Speed – NWSMT:
• The 2012 season is the eighth for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
• The 2012 schedule features 11 races at seven different tracks across four states.
• George Brunnhoelzl III picked up where he left off at Caraway Speedway last fall as he won the season-opening Spring Classic 150 on March 31. It was his fourth win in his past six starts at Caraway. Gary Fountain Sr. picked up his first career top-10 finish on the tour.
• Brian Loftin scored an emotional win when he captured the checkered flag in the Farm Bureau Insurance 150 at Caraway on April 7. It was the Lexington, N.C., driver’s 12th career win overall and record eighth at the track.
• Brandon Ward outdueled Brunnhoelzl to become the 17th winner in NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour history when he took the checkered flag at the South Boston 150. Ward is also the first driver to pick up his first career win since Frank Fleming was credited with a win as the highest finishing NWSMT driver in the 2011 Bristol combination race.
• Brunnhoelzl became the first repeat winner of the season when he won the Parking Lot Maintenance Headquarters 150 at Caraway on April 21. Brunnhoelzl also won the season-opening Spring Classic 150 on March 31 at Caraway Speedway. It was his fifth win in his past seven starts at Caraway. Michael Speeney picked up his first career top-five finish on the tour.
• Brunnhoelzl won his third consecutive pole award and led every lap en route to his third win of the season and second in a row at Caraway on Friday, July 6. It was his sixth win in his past eight starts at the track. Danny Bohn tied his career best finish of third while Jon McKennedy finished sixth in his first start driving for Hillbilly Racing replacing Daniel Hemric who started the season in the car.
• Brunnhoelzl continued his hot streak during the 2012 season as he passed pole-sitter Burt Myers on lap 26 and remained out front the rest of the way to record his first tour win at Bowman Gray Stadium. Brunnhoelzl also built to his point lead. Canadian Cole Powell finished third in just his second career start on the tour.
• Following Bristol the NWSMT will return to action on Sept. 1 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., with the Langley 150.
Sources: Jason Cunningham & Tim Southers/NASCAR PR