Brunnhoelzl Closing In On Fourth Title
ASHEBORO, N.C. – When the rain started to fall on Sept. 21 in Kenly, N.C., the complexion of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season changed a little.
After getting practice and qualifying completed on Sept. 21 at Southern National Motorsports Park, the weather took a turn for the worse causing the race to be postponed until Saturday, Oct. 5. Points leader and defending tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III was fastest in practice while Burt Myers had the edge in qualifying and claimed the Coors Light Pole Award.
The schedule shift gives competitors a tight schedule that has three events in a span of 13 days to close out the 2013 campaign which is a tall order at any level of racing. Teams, now, may have to take a little different tack in their preparation and race strategy.
Caraway Speedway near Asheboro, N.C., the site of the Zooland 150 on Saturday, Sept. 28, has been ruled, as of late, by Brunnhoelzl, but former teammate and current rival Andy Seuss has shown signs of re-establishing his dominance at the track. Seuss won the last Caraway event on Sept. 8 in convincing style and had perhaps the best car on the track in the July event there. Nevertheless, Brunnhoelzl has a pair of wins there this season including one in that July race that included a late-race tangle with Seuss.
Seuss sits in fifth in the standings – 45 points behind Brunnhoelzl. With just three races remaining, that is quite a bit of ground to make up. However, should Brunnhoelzl become preoccupied with Seuss, then the winner in that scenario could be Kyle Ebersole, who at 20 points off the lead is well within striking distance. Not to be forgotten are veterans Myers and Tim Brown, who both are between Ebersole and Seuss on the standings board.
Following the Zooland 150 and make-up date at Southern National, the season will conclude on Thursday, Oct. 10 with the UNOH Southern Slam 150 on the quarter-mile track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
Brunnhoelzl is in search of his third consecutive tour crown and fourth overall. Ebersole is in the championship conversation for the first time while Myers won the title in thrilling fashion in 2010. Brown is a three-time runner-up for the championship and Seuss has finished second on two occasions.
As the season heads down the homestretch, the battle for the 2013 Southern Modified title is shaping up nicely and the little shift in the schedule could make it more exciting.