Although it may be too early to tell, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour may have finally found its answer to George Brunnhoelzl III’s domination. That answer comes in the form of Brunnhoelzl’s former teammate, Andy Seuss.
Seuss turned in a thoroughly dominating performance en route to victory on Sunday at Caraway Speedway in the Whelen Season Opener 150. As the tour rolls on to Southern National Motorsports Park for this coming Saturday’s Southern National 150, Seuss seems poised to make more noise in 2014.
The Hampstead, N.H., native closed the 2013 campaign with wins in three of the season’s last four events, including the fall date at Southern National where he led wire-to-wire, a feat he duplicated Sunday at Caraway.
As one of the hottest drivers in NASCAR’s regional touring series ranks, Seuss’ No. 11 Ideal Racing team are emerging as one of the best contenders to end Brunnhoelzl’s three-year stranglehold on the tour championship.
With only one race down out of 15 on the schedule, Seuss has a long ways to go, but Sunday’s performance at Caraway reinforced that he’s got more than a legitimate shot. Seuss has topped Brunnhoelzl three straight times at Caraway – where six of the 15 events will take place – and he now heads to the .4-mile Southern National oval where he was so dominant last October.
The Race: The Southern National 150 will be the sixth all-time race for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour at Southern National Motorsports Park, and the first of two in 2014.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining three spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (60 miles) with a 10-minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75.
The Track: Southern National is a .4-mile high-banked asphalt oval located in Lucama, N.C. The facility features NASCAR Whelen All-American Series-sanctioned events on Saturday nights throughout the racing season, headlined by the late model division.
Race Winners: There have been four different winners across the five previous Whelen Southern Modified Tour events at Southern National. Burt Myers is the only driver to win multiple times at the track.
Pole Winners: As with race winners, there have been four different polesitters in the five previous Southern National tour races, led by L.W. Miller’s two. Miller also holds the track qualifying record at 14.251 seconds and 101.046 mph, set on Sept. 13, 2008.
SOUTHERN NATIONAL RACE NOTES
Myers Looks to Repeat: After a strong run Sunday in the season opener at Caraway Speedway, Burt Myers will look to defend his Southern National 150 victory this week at Southern National Motorsports Park. Myers took the lead from polesitter Ryan Preece just past halfway last year and held on for his second career victory at the .4-mile oval. In the Caraway opener, Myers qualified an uncharacteristic 16th, but was the event’s biggest mover as he drove up to fourth by the end.
Yellow Stripes: Sunday’s Whelen Season Opener 150 featured four rookies in the field, all of which hope to compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2014. Joe Ryan Osborne had a top-10 car all day and brought it home in 10th to lead the contingent while fellow rookie Spencer Davis followed in 11th. Cody Ware also crossed the line 13th and late model veteran Bobby Measmer Jr. finished 17th after running out of fuel.
It’s in the Numbers: Three teams changed car numbers from 2013 to 2014. David Calabrese’s car that was previously numbered 04 has been updated to No. 43 while the Grady Jeffreys-owned No. 25 previously driven by John Smith became the No. 15 and is now piloted by Osborne. The No. 82 owned by Michael Speeney also became the No. 31 for this season with Ware behind the wheel.
HOME TRACKS: McCaskill Reigning Track Champ
Deac McCaskill is the reigning track champion at Southern National Motorsports Park in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action. McCaskill’s dominant performance of 16 wins in 24 races at Southern National also earned him the NWAAS North Carolina state title and aided in a third-place finish in the national standings. Tommy Lemons Jr., who won the famed Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway, finished second in points to McCaskill at Southern National in 2013.
LAST TIME OUT: Caraway
The 2014 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour points season opened on March 9 at Caraway Speedway. Here are some highlights from the Whelen Season Opener 150:
• Andy Seuss won the day as he topped the practice speed chart, captured the Coors Light Pole Award and led every lap in the race for his 16th career victory. It was his ninth triumph at Caraway, and third in a row.
• George Brunnhoelzl III ran second to Seuss for the third race in a row at Caraway, and sixth time there overall.
• JR Bertuccio crossed the line third for his best finish in 27 career Whelen Southern Modified Tour starts.
NEXT TIME OUT: Caraway
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will return to Sophia, N.C., for the second of six events in 2014 at Caraway Speedway for the Prestoria Farms 150 on Saturday, March 29. Following the season opener there, this event will mark the first time in tour history that Caraway will play host to two events in the month of March.