CHAMPION CAR OWNER PROFILE: George Brunnhoelzl Jr. As George Brunnhoelzl Jr. stood Victory Lane and watched the celebration after helping guide his team to the 2009 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship his elation stemmed not only...
CHAMPION CAR OWNER PROFILE: George Brunnhoelzl Jr.
As George Brunnhoelzl Jr. stood Victory Lane and watched the celebration after helping guide his team to the 2009 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship his elation stemmed not only from his role as the car owner and crew chief, but as a proud father who was able to watch his son achieve something few others in the sport have accomplished.
Brunnhoelzl Jr., from West Babylon, N.Y., grew up a modified racer who, along with his dad George Brunnhoelzl Sr., raced in his native Long Island area and all along the eastern seaboard growing up. Brunnhoelzl Jr. won races and had a lot of fun through the years but was never able to win a touring series title until he led his son's team to one this season.
"This is so special for me," Brunnhoelzl Jr. said. "George has accomplished something me or his grandfather never got to enjoy together so I am so happy for him."
Brunnhoelzl Jr. enjoyed driving and racing modifieds himself and even got the chance to race alongside his son a few years back in a modified race in the Carolinas.
"That was fun racing with George on the track, but my driving days are over now and I want to help him be as successful as possible," Brunnhoelzl Jr. said.
Brunnhoelzl Jr. didn't do too badly for himself once he stepped out from behind the wheel. He is known as the innovator of the "one-pump" carjack that many teams on the national touring series use during pit stops and is widely credited with helping revolutionize the time it took to change tires on a pit stop.
The success of his business allowed him the opportunity to remain in racing and now that his son has made a name for himself, he feels that his career has gone full circle. He has helped his son build an impressive record since he began competing in the NWSMT in 2006. Together they have won six races and have finished in the top-10 27 times in 39 starts.
"I look at George and I think of all the good times my father and I had together racing and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to make new memories racing with my son," Brunnhoelzl Jr. added.
Running a business in today's economic climate has been a challenge at times, but Brunnhoelzl Jr. plans on doing both as long as his son wants to race.
"It takes a lot of my time trying to keep my business going and working on the car and trying to find the money it takes to race," Brunnhoelzl Jr. said. "I just want to thank George for all of his dedication helping me with the business so we have time to race. I also want to thank all of our crew that worked hard to help us and for our sponsors like Oval Speed, Fibrwrap and Performance Technology. Without them George and I wouldn't be able to celebrate this title."