Brunnhoelzl & Seuss set for championship race

By Tim Southers/ NASCAR

George Brunnhoelzl III (No. 28 Fibrwrap/Oval Speed/PT Ford) was among 19 drivers to attend a test day at Bristol Motor Speedway last Monday. Brunnhoelzl will take a slim two-point lead over Andy Seuss (No. 47 Advance Auto Parts/Q Racing Oil Dodge) when the racing resumes with the Firecracker 150 at Caraway Speedway on Friday, July 3 in Asheboro, N.C.

While both drivers are happy with how they have performed so far this season, they both realize that there is still more than three-fourths of the season remaining.

“We have had a good start to our season but we haven't closed the deal yet,” said Brunnhoelzl. “We had been good enough to win several Coors Light Pole Awards but we need to win a race.”

Brunnhoelzl leads the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour with three Coors Light Pole Awards and that has garnered him a nice collection of hats for his crew and over $1,000 in awards money, but he wants to cash the big check at the end of the race.

“I appreciate all of our sponsors supporting us and especially the fans coming out to the races and cheering us on every night,” said Brunnhoelzl. “I am ready to get back to Victory Lane and celebrate.”

While Brunnhoelzl enjoys the break as the points leader, no one is hotter on the Tour right now than Andy Seuss. Seuss, who commutes from his home in Hampstead, N.H., for every race in the South and also competes on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in the North, wishes the series didn't have a break from late April to early July.

“I wish we could have kept racing every week because we really had the momentum after South Boston, Lanier and Caraway,” said Seuss.

“After we got out bad luck out of the way in the first race of the season, we worked really hard to get back and I can't thank my crew and sponsors enough for making that happen.”

Seuss finished 20th at Concord Speedway but rebounded nicely with a win at South Boston, a second-place finish at Caraway and the win at Lanier.

“If we could have had a couple more laps, we might have had something for Ted (Christopher) at Caraway,” said Seuss. “We really worked on our car to get it better throughout the day at Caraway. With the new tire we ran there this year, I feel we can be even better when we go back.”

ANDY SEUSS VIDEO INTERVIEW FROM BRISTOL

Both drivers agree that there is a lot of racing to go in the season and they hope they can just pick up where they left off at Lanier in April.

“I know Andy, Burt (Myers), Brian (Loftin), L.W. (Miller) and the guys in the top 10 are going to keep working hard to win also so we can't take it easy at any track,” said Seuss.

“I just hope we can get our second win at Caraway in July and take it from there.”

Next Race Firecracker 150
The Place Caraway Speedway, Asheboro, N.C.
The Date Friday, July 3, 2009
The Time 8 p.m. ET
Track Layout .455-mile paved
Race Purse $24,806
2009 Winner Ted Christopher
2009 Pole George Brunnhoelzl III
Schedule Friday, July 3, 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, tsouthers@nascar.com

Several drivers competing at Bowman Gray

Several NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour drivers have kept busy by competing at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The historic track, located in the Western Piedmont of North Carolina, has featured the Modified class as its top division for many years and often entertains capacity crowds each week.

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will visit the track on Saturday, Aug. 1.

Tim Brown leads a group of eight drivers who have also competed on the Tour this year in addition to starting a race at the stadium. As of June 12, Brown leads the points standings in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at the track. Burt Myers stands at third while his brother, Jason, is sixth in the points.

Gene Pack sits 12th in the most recent standings with Jonathan Brown, Bryan Dauzat, Bobby Hutchens and Dean Ward also making at least one start during the spring.

News & Notes

NWSMT drivers visit Bristol Motor Speedway … In addition to George Brunnhoelzl III and Andy Seuss, several other NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour drivers decided to take advantage of the test day last week. Rich Kuiken, Jr. (No. 44 Flowmasters Testing & Balancing Chevrolet), Burt Myers (No. 1 Capital Bank Ford), Jason Myers (No. 4 Capital Bank/Moorefield & Trantham Ent. Ford) all made laps around the track and are scheduled to enter the UNOH 150 on Wednesday night, August 19.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver … Kasey Kahne participated in the test at Bristol driving a Jeff Fuller Motorsports car during testing. “I expect to have fun,” said Kahne during the test day. “It's a great car, nice and fast, with good people working on it. I love Bristol. So, I expect to have fun.” Kahne will be joined by fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman in the UNOH 150 as well.

Tommy Baldwin … Will serve as crew chief on the Troyer Engineering entry that Kahne is scheduled to drive in August.

What's going on with the Modified drivers

Hutchens making news off the track … After working at Richard Childress Racing for many years and finishing up last season at Dale Earnhardt Inc., the name Bobby Hutchens was not an unfamiliar one in the world of NASCAR.

When NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver Tony Stewart decided to leave Joe Gibbs Racing and form a partnership with Gene Haas, Stewart knew he needed to surround himself with good people. Hutchens has proven to be one of those “good” people he needed.

Hutchens has been credited with helping the team get its first win in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race in May at Lowe's Motor Speedway and again last week when Stewart won at Pocono.

It is getting ready to get busy … Although the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour has been off since April 18, the drivers will need to be well-rested for the stretch run on the 2009 schedule. After the drivers compete at Caraway Speedway on July 3, the Tour will return to action three times in the month of August at Bowman Gray (August 1), Bristol  (August 19) and Caraway (August 29).

The race at Caraway will mark the beginning of a seven-week run of back-to-back events to close out the 2009 schedule. The final race of the season will be held at Caraway Speedway on Saturday, October 10. In fact, Caraway will host the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour five more times this season starting on July 3.

Hopefully the weather will be better in the second half of the year … After suffering through three rainouts in the early spring, the last thing the Tour wants to see in the summer is rain. Races at Ace Speedway and Caraway Speedway had to be postponed  multiple times due to mother nature.

Will this be the year? … Will the Whelen Modified Tour regulars from the North continue their domination of the Southern drivers in the two combination events this year? Not if several drivers have anything to say about it. George Brunnhoelzl III and Andy Seuss each displayed talent racing defending NASCAR Whelen Modified champion Ted Christopher at Concord, Caraway and Lanier this season.

Both Tours will be racing at Bristol for the first time ever in August and that could be the race that gives a South car a chance to celebrate in Victory Lane at the ‘World's Fastest Half-Mile.'

 

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