Fleming Scores Upset Win; Gets Win In First Career Start WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Luke Fleming asked his dad, Chris, earlier in the month if he could drive his car in the Advance Auto Parts 199. Good thing his dad, who runs in the ...
Fleming Scores Upset Win; Gets Win In First Career Start
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Luke Fleming asked his dad, Chris, earlier in the month if he could drive his car in the Advance Auto Parts 199. Good thing his dad, who runs in the weekly Modified division at Bowman Gray Stadium, said yes.
Luke Fleming's No. 13 Jerry Hunt Auto Sales Chevrolet survived a wreck-filled race and the 22-year-old Mount Airy, N.C., driver held off George Brunnhoelzl III to record the win in his first career start in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
"I can't believe this has happened," said an emotional Fleming in Victory Lane. "I asked my dad a couple of weeks ago if I could drive his car in this race and here we are. We were just able to avoid the wrecks late and be in a position to win."
Luke Fleming is the nephew of NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour regular Frank Fleming, and runs in Bowman Gray NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on a weekly basis.
Brunnhoelzl held on with damage to his No. 28 Oval Speed/Fibrwrap/PT Ford get second while third-place Gene Pack recorded his best finish since second at Martinsville in 2006.
The final 20-lap sprint to the finish was set up after L.W. Miller spun in Turn 2 to bring out the last of 10 cautions given to the field.
The race was a typical action-packed race as several contenders suffered tough luck after being involved in incidents on the track.
Andy Seuss was the first contender involved as he hit the outside wall on a restart on lap 27. Seuss came into the weekend second in points and just 17 points back of Brunnhoelzl. He finished the race 58 laps down in 14th. Brunnhoelzl now leads Seuss by 66 points after six events.
The next incident involving a contender occurred on Lap 79 when Luke Fleming and Jason Myers got together in Turn 1, collecting Bobby Hutchens and Burt Myers.
The accident ended the night for Jason Myers, who had been eighth in points. Burt Myers' car suffered damage but he was able to continue. Luke Fleming lost a lap, but was able to get it back when he was the beneficiary on a later caution.
John Smith, who took over the lead on lap 28, remained out front with Brunnhoelzl as the duo brought the near-capacity crowd to its feet exchanging the lead 10 times between laps 38 to 144 with Burt Myers leading one lap on Lap 29 before he suffered his bad luck.
Smith appeared to have a winning car until bad luck hit him. While leading on Lap 144, his car lost power suddenly ending his night and chances for a first career win on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
"We don't really know what happened," said a frustrated Smith. "We think it is some kind of pick-up problem. This is the second time we have been in position to race for the win here and something happen to us. It is tough to take."
Brunnhoelzl, who suffered damage to his left front wheel in an early incident, took over the top spot and raced with Miller for the lead.
On a restart on Lap 168, Miller and Brunnhoelzl make contact racing for the lead in Turn 2 and the incident in front of the field collected four cars driven by Bobby Hutchens sitting partially on the top of Frank Fleming's car. Both drivers walked away from the incident.
Miller was able to continue and eventually finish fourth and Bryan Dauzat scored his best career finish in fifth. Brian Loftin won the Coors Light Pole Award during qualifying on Friday but was involved in one of the on-track incidents and finish ninth.
Completing the top 10 were Dean Ward, Frank Fleming, Randy Butner, Loftin and Hutchens.
The race was slowed 10 times for caution for 53 laps.
Following Brunnhoelzl (985 points) and Seuss (919), defending champion Loftin is third in points with 891. Frank Fleming is fourth with 877, while Miller is fifth with 862. Burt Myers, in sixth, also has 862. Jason Myers, Pack, Smith and Buddy Emory round out the top 10.
The Whelen Southern Modified Tour will join the Whelen Modified Tour competitors at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, Aug. 19 for the running of the UNOH Perfect Storm 150.