Brandon Ward Wins South Boston 150
First Career Victory In 17 th Start
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. – Brandon Ward won the South Boston 150 on Saturday night in NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour action at South Boston Speedway.
Ward, racing out of Winston-Salem, N.C., in his No. 44 Konnoak Giant Services/Hire's Automotive Chevrolet, wrestled the lead from defending tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III, who led a race-high 130 laps, on Lap 131 and never looked back over the 19 laps of the race. It was Ward's first tour victory in 17 starts.
Andy Seuss rebounded from an early-race incident to finish second followed by Danny Bohn in third. Kyle Ebersole and L.W. Miller finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
For the second time this season, contact at the front of the field got emotions running hot between competitors as Ward made contact with Brunnhoelzl while racing for the lead. The result sent Brunnhoelzl spinning out of contention down the backstretch.
After the race, Brunnhoelzl showed his displeasure by chasing down Ward and running beside him during the cool-down lap.
“We were having to race (Brunnhoelzl) for the lead and he had a good car,” Ward said. “I felt like we were better we just needed a few laps to get going. We were real good on the bottom and I got loose underneath him and he had a run back on the outside and I just got into him. I really hate that that happened. He is a great competitor in this series.”
After the restart for the final of eight cautions during the race, Ward was able to hold off Seuss for the win and give car owner Bryan Fishel his first Tour victory.
Ward was the fourth different race winner in as many NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events at South Boston. Prior race winners are Ted Christopher, James Civali and Seuss.
For Seuss, second place is the best finish he has had to date this season after, in his estimation, a frustrating start to the year.
Seuss and rookie Kyle Ebersole made contact earlier in the race and Seuss couldn't believe his luck after a Lap 39 incident that also collected Jason Myers, Brian Loftin and AJ Winstead.
“This season has just been such a terrible start for us that when that happened I was just shaking my head,” Seuss said. “The lanes just opened up and the car was good. I can't thank my guys enough. I hate to see what happened to my teammate and we could have had a 1-2 (finish) for Ideal Racing but that's the way it goes sometimes.”
Bohn is quickly making a name for himself as he picked up his second top-five finish in as many races in just his third Tour start. Bohn finished fifth last week at Caraway Speedway.
“The first time I saw the track was when I came in here this morning,” Bohn said. “We learned every time we went out and we are still figuring out our car. I just want to thank the guys who come out every week.”
Bohn mixed it up with Miller and was able to get by the veteran and Ebersole to pick off his first podium finish.
“In a long race we were just riding around trying to save our equipment and when you get down near the end you need to go and the car seemed to work really good on the bottom. We just started picking off cars one by one (at the end).”
Miller won the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day during qualifying for his first pole since winning the honor at Southern National Speedway on Sept. 13, 2008. With his third-place finish, Miller is the only driver on the Tour to string together three straight top fives to open the season.
Thomas Stinson, Burt Myers, Brunnhoelzl, Renee Dupuis and John Smith rounded out the top 10.
Dupuis advanced 11 positions over the course of her 2012 debut to win the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award. Seuss captured the Featherlite Move of the Race Award while Bohn garnered Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors.
In the point standings, Brunnhoelzl and Miller are tied atop the standings with Brunnhoelzl getting the edge due to his season-opening win at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. Bohn is in third – 10 points off the leader's pace. Seuss and Burt Myers hold down the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour is right back on the track on Saturday, April 21 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C., for the Caraway 150. It's the fourth race in as many weeks for the competitors
At South Boston Speedway
South Boston Va
Lap length: 0.4 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (7) #44 Brandon Ward, Winston-Salem, NC, Chevrolet, 150 laps, 54.203 mph.
2. (4) #11 Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 150.
3. (13) #65 Danny Bohn, Freehold, NJ, Chevrolet, 150.
4. (6) #51 Kyle Ebersole, Hummelstown, PA, Chevrolet, 150.
5. (1) #88 L W Miller, Dushore, PA, Chevrolet, 150.
6. (8) #7 Thomas Stinson, Chester, VA, Chevrolet, 150.
7. (17) #1 Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, NC, Ford, 150.
8. (3) #09 George Brunnhoelzl, III, West Babylon, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
9. (20) #59 Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, Conn, Chevrolet, 150.
10. (9) #25 John Smith, Mount Airy, NC, Chevrolet, 150.
11. (2) #02 Tim Brown, Cana, VA, Chevrolet, 150.
12. (11) #40 Frank Fleming, Mount Airy, N.C., Ford, 150.
13. (14) #48 Jonny Kievman, Deerfield Beach, Fla, Pontiac, 150.
14. (19) #79 Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Pontiac, 150.
15. (23) #77 Gary Putnam, Concord, NC, Chevrolet, 150.
16. (26) #24 Darryl Lacks, Forrest, VA, Chevrolet, 150.
17. (18) #12 Mike Norman, Lewisville, NC, Ford, 135.
18. (12) #2 J R Bertuccio, Jr, Centerrach, N.Y., Chevrolet, 124.
19. (25) #78 Donnie Lacks, Forest, VA, Chevrolet, 124, accident.
20. (5) #4 Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 89, accident.
21. (22) #9 A.J. Winstead, Richmond, VA, Chevrolet, 64, overheating.
22. (21) #37 Joe Scarbrough, Richmond, VA, Chevrolet, 52, power steering.
23. (10) #23 Brian Loftin, Lexington, NC, Chevrolet, 40, rear end.
24. (15) #97 Bryan Dauzat, Alexandria, LA, Chevrolet, 28, suspension.
25. (16) 80 Michael Speeney, Newtown, PA, Chevrolet, 18, accident.
26. (24) #33 Gary Fountain, Minneola, Fla, Chevrolet, 18, accident.
27. (27) #01 Rich Kuiken, Staffordsville, N.J., Chevrolet, 2, engine.
Time of Race: 1 hour 6 minutes 25 seconds
Margin of Victory: 1.368 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: L.W Miller (99.544 mph, 14.466 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 40 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: L. Miller 1-2; G. Brunnhoelzl,III 3-131; B. Ward 132-150.
Standings: 1. G. Brunnhoelzl,III, 123; 2. L. Miller, 123; 3. D. Bohn, 113; 4. A. Seuss, 109; 5. B. Myers, 108; 6. T. Brown, 107; 7. B. Loftin, 106; 8. K. Ebersole, 106; 9. J. Smith, 106; 10. T. Stinson, 104 .