NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour News & Notes: Caraway
· 2013 Season Opens With Charles Kepley Memorial 150
· Bohn Gets Back On Track Thanks To Some Help
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 11, 2013) – The last time race fans saw Danny Bohn on the track, he was safely exiting his over-turned Modified on the front stretch of the UNOH Battle At The Beach course at Daytona International Speedway.
As Bohn surveyed the damage on live television, he told reporters it looked like the crash had not only ended his night but may have sidelined him for the year. A small-budget, one-chassis operation, Bohn was doubtful at the time his team could get everything lined up in time for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season.
Less than a month later, thanks to a tremendous amount of help from his boss and old Modified friends back in New Jersey, the 24-year-old from Freehold, N.J., is heading to Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C., this weekend for the first race. And the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Sunoco Rookie of the Year and championship runner-up has his sights set on a run at the title, beginning with the Charles Kepley Memorial 150 Saturday.
“We all go race competitively, but a lot of us are friends,” said Bohn. “We try to help each other as much as we can. We're not big teams. We don't have a lot of money. In order to keep going, everybody has to help each other out.”
Bohn said Whelen Modified Tour veteran Jamie Tomaino sent one of his guys down to North Carolina to haul the parts to Bohn, who now resides in Mooresville. Jimmy Blewett, another New Jersey native and Whelen Modified Tour mainstay, gave him a slightly used body. Fortunately for Bohn, he said the engine escaped major damage in the Daytona wreck. He also credited his boss, former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Ray Evernham, with helping him get rolling again. Bohn works as a mechanic and fabricator for Ray Evernham Enterprises.
Now he'll be ready for Caraway, where he picked up his first tour win last October. Bohn also finished third in the July race at Caraway, a track crucial to the championship picture.
“We learned a lot last year, travel around to different tracks,” Bohn said. “Not only was I learning tracks, but I was learning the car, too. Toward the end of the year we figured it out a little bit.
“Because we go to Caraway so many times, you can learn something every time you go there and it makes you that much better. We won the last tour race and I'm going hoping to repeat that.”
RACE: Charles Kepley Memorial 150
PLACE: Caraway Speedway
DATE: Saturday, March 16
TIME: 8 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: .455-mile semi-banked asphalt oval
2012 WINNER/POLESITTER: George Brunnhoelzl III
EVENT SCHEDULE: Saturday, March 16 – Practice 2:10-2:35 p.m., Final Practice 2:45-3:15 p.m., Qualifying 4:45 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 6 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Renee Hackett, (336) 629-5803, firstname.lastname@example.org
TRACK TWITTER: @CarawaySpeedway
EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG: #Kepley150
NASCAR CONTACT: Jason Christley, (386) 547-2469, email@example.com, Twitter: @jay_christley
If photographs or graphics are needed for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, please contact Jason Christley.
The Race: The Charles Kepley Memorial 150 will mark the opening of the 12-race 2013 regular season schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field will be 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 starting positions will be based on two-lap time trials and the remaining four will be filled through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (68.25 miles) with a 10 minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75.
The Track : Caraway has played host to 44 events in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour history, dating back to the tour's first race on March 26, 2005.
Race Winners: George Brunnhoelzl III and Brian Loftin share honors as the all-time wins leaders at Caraway with eight apiece. L.W. Miller has seven wins there, followed by Andy Seuss with six.
Pole Winners: Burt Myers has recorded 12 of his tour-record 24 career poles at Caraway. Brunnhoelzl, who won the pole for four of the five events last year, is second with nine all-time.
CARAWAY RACE NOTES
Key To The Championship: In seven of eight previous seasons, the eventual NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion recorded at least two wins at Caraway en route to the title. Brunnhoelzl won three of the five races there last year, giving him eight wins in 17 starts in his three title runs. Junior Miller won five of 11 races during 2005-06 in back-to-back championship seasons, while L.W. Miller (four wins in six races) and Brian Loftin (two in five) used Caraway to springboard to NASCAR championships. The outlier is Burt Myers, who only had two top fives in three races in his 2010 title season.
Remembering Charles Kepley: The race name for Saturday's event will recognize the long-time contributions to the Modified community by the late Charles Kepley. “He's been around as long as I can remember and I've been here 22 years,” said Caraway's Renee Hackett. “He was always here and always supporting racing – but he was mainly a Modified guy.” Hackett said she was approached by Charles' son, Chad, who wanted to do something special for dad, who passed away in May of 2011. Charles Kepley, who owned C and C Racing Souvenirs, was promoter of the annual North-South Shootout race weekend, which is now hosted by Caraway.
Rookie Watch: Four rookies are on the 19-car entry list, including 25-year-old Luke Fleming of Mt. Airy, N.C. Fleming, the nephew of tour veteran Frank Fleming, won his tour debut at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 2009, and has just one other tour start – also at Bowman Gray, the following year. Frank Fleming has 96 career starts but plans to scale back to just select events this season. Other rookies include Dalton Baldwin of Dunedin, Fla., Jeremy Gerstner of Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Cole Powell of Mt. Brydges, Ontario, Canada.
Tour Continues To Grow: The entry list for Caraway includes nine U.S. states and one Canadian province. North Carolina is the most represented with seven drivers, while Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania have two apiece.
HOME TRACKS: Pulliam Picks Up Where He Left Off
Caraway kicked off its 48th season of racing this past weekend and defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Lee Pulliam rolled to his 50th career Late Model victory. The Semora, N.C., driver led 71 of 100 laps to claim the win over Garrett Campbell and Ryan Wilson. Dan Moore and defending track champion Mack Little rounded out the top five. The race was the first of five extra-distance events the track is hosting as part of its Late Model Stock Super Series Invitational Showdown. The next race is May 10 for the series. The Late Models will be on the card Saturday with a 50-lap feature.
LAST TIME OUT: Daytona
The 2013 racing season was launched with the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on the short track at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 19. Here are some highlights:
· The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour contested a combination race between its Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour as part of the event.
· Veteran Steve Park took home the checkered flag after a last-lap contact with nine-time NASCAR champion Mike Stefanik.
· Brian Loftin was the top finishing NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver, in seventh overall, while rookies Cole Powell and Dalton Baldwin finished eighth and 10th, respectively.
NEXT TIME OUT: Southern National
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will be back in action for the KOMA Unwind Relaxation Drink 150 on Saturday, March 23 at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C. It will mark the fourth race in tour history at the .4-mile oval, which was closed from 2009 to March of 2012. Tim Brown has a win (2007) and two runner-up finishes at Southern National, while Junior Miller (2006) and Burt Myers (2008) also have wins there.