SMT: Series Caraway III preview

NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour News & Notes - Caraway Brunnhoelzl III Leads Southern Modifieds To Caraway As Series Starts Second Half Run Now that the UNOH 150 is in the history books, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour gets back...

NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour News & Notes - Caraway

Brunnhoelzl III Leads Southern Modifieds To Caraway As Series Starts Second Half Run

Now that the UNOH 150 is in the history books, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour gets back in action this weekend at the home track for the southern tour, Caraway Speedway.

George Brunnhoelz lIII (No. 28 Oval Speed/Fibrwarp/PT Ford) leads the drivers to Caraway, atop the points standings by81 points over Andy Seuss (No. 47 Advance Auto Parts/Q Racing Oil Dodge).Brunnhoelzl and Seuss have each recorded a win this season with Brunnhoelzl winning the Firecracker150 at Caraway in July and Seuss taking wins at South Boston and Lanier earlier this season. Seuss finished second to Ted Christopher in April at Caraway and third in July.

"Caraway is a track you have to run well at ifyou want to have a chance to win the title because we race there so many times," said Brunnhoelzl. "If you take care of business at Caraway, you should be in the hunt for the championship."

Brunnhoelzl built his lead thanks, in large part, to surviving the carnage at Bowman Gray when he was able to finish in the top five while Seuss, Burt Myers, Brian Loftin and Frank Fleming all suffered damage in various incidents during the race.

Another driver looking forward to returning to Caraway is defending tour champion Brian Loftin. Loftin has finished in the top five in both races held at the speedway so far in 2009 and feels he has a car capable of getting him back to Victory Lane.

"I have always ran well at Caraway and we need a good run after our last two races," said Loftin. "We have finished third and fifth at Caraway and we finally won a pole at Bowman Gray so hopefully we can geta win this weekend."

Burt Myers enters this weekend in third place in the points standings, 43 points out of second placeand knows he has to win this weekend to get back in contention for the championship.

"George has built his lead and we need a win this weekend to have a chance to catch im," said Myers. "We still have a lot of racing to go but we need to get some wins fast if we want to catch George."


Next Race Caraway 150

The Place Caraway Speedway, Asheboro, N.C.
The Date Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009

The Time 8 p.m. ET
Track Layout .250-mile paved

Race Purse $24,806

2008 Winner Tim Brown
2008 Pole Burt Myers

Saturday: Practice 4:30-5:15 p.m.; Time Trials: 6:30 p.m.


Last Race Recap: Brunnhoelzl Enjoys BMS Finish

George Brunnhoelzl III (No. 28 Oval Speed/Fibrwarp/PT Ford) represented the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour drivers well in the first-ever combination race held at Bristol Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Southern Modified Tour on Aug. 19.

After an afternoon rain shower washed out qualifying, Brunnhoelzl got the start on the outside pole as drivers we lined up by points. Brunnhoelzl joined 2008 NWMT champion Ted Christopher on the front row for the start of the race and Brunnhoelzl was able to stay in the top five for most of the race.

Brunnhoelzl finished the race fourth overall and was the highest-finishing full-time southern division driver. More importantly, Brunnhoelzl was awarded points as if he won the race which allowed him to build his lead over Andy Seuss to 81 points entering this weekend's Caraway 150.

Brunnhoelzl led a group of 13 full-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified drivers who competed in the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Burt Myers (No. 1 Capital Bank Ford) finished ninth overall and second among NWSMT drivers to collect second-place points for his finish.

Andy Seuss (No. 47 Advance Auto Parts/QRacing Oil/Stuart Auto Dodge) finished 11th and took home third-place points to keep him in second place in the overall standings.

"I have had some good runs here at Bristol in other types of races but could never finish (a race),"

said Brunnhoelzl. "I want to thank NASCAR, Whelen Engineering, Bristol Motor Speedway and UNOH for making the race happen. It was a lot of fun to race there and be a part of history for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour."

L.W. Miller (No. 36 John Baker Plumbing & Utilities Pontiac) finished 13th overall and fourth among the southern drivers. Bobby Hutchens finished 18th to win the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award after moving up 10 spots in the race and finishing fifth among southern drivers.

Brian Loftin was the sixth-highest finishing southern driver with Frank Fleming, John Smith, Rich

Kuiken Jr. and Jason Myers completing the top-10 from the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Gene Pack, Bryan Dauzat and Buddy Emory also competed at Bristol from the southern tour.


Getting To Know: Rich Kuiken Jr.

NASCAR has had a long history of drivers from mainly around the northeastern United States taking part in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. When NASCAR created the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour in 2005, the new series offered another avenue for drivers to be a part of NASCAR's oldest form of touring series racing.

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour has several drivers who make the trip South each race to race. One driver who calls New Jersey home but has made the trip to compete in every race this season is Rich Kuiken Jr. (No. 44 Flowmasters Testing and Balancing Chevrolet)

NASCAR took a moment to interview Kuiken to give everyone a little insight to the driver who has just enrolled at UNC-Charlotte to begin college where he plans on studying for an engineering degree and eventually working in the sport he loves.

What is it like racing in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour? One of the things I love the best about the tour is how friendly everyone is and is always willing to help or offer advice. We all are working hard to get better every week and every driver on the tour is always willing to answer a question or offer advice to help us.

What should the fans expect this weekend at Caraway? I think the fans will see a great race and we appreciate them coming out and supporting us. I think George and Andy will put on a great show racing for the win and we are getting better, too, as a team. We expect to run better this weekend.

What has been your biggest moment in racing? We made the Martinsville race last year and stayed on the lead lap a long time in my first race there. We had an oil leak and were forced to the pits for repairs but we still finished good enough to win the southern division rookie of the race award and that meant a lot, racing against all the great modified drivers.

What is your favorite type of music? I like everything from country to a little bit of hip-hop music.

What is the most recent movie you have watched or rented? I think it was Transformers II.

What makes modified racing so special? I love the fact we race a lightweight car with a lot of horsepower. I also like the bigger tires that give you so much more handling in the turns. They are just so much fun to drive.

How much does your family help you race? I couldn't do it at all without my family. They are my biggest supporters as fans and helping me financially. Right now we are looking for sponsors and they are helping me race right now.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I hope to have an engineering degree and hopefully I can use my degree to get a job with a NASCAR team as an engineer and help them compete in NASCAR racing.

-credit: nascar

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Drivers L.W. Miller , Ted Christopher , Jason Myers , Burt Myers , John Baker , George Brunnhoelzl III , Andy Seuss