"My Turn" Hopes Jason Myers
2013 was the year that almost was for Jason Myers at North Carolina's Bowman Gray Stadium. The younger brother of six-time Bowman Gray Stadium track champion Burt Myers was close to his first title, only to see his brother holding the trophy one more time at season's end. Jason heads into 2014 knowing that he can win the championship if the cards go the right way.
"I know I can win a championship," Myers told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. "I just need to do it. 2013 was a great season for us. Last year we had one DNF and that was the one difference in me not winning the championship. I sat on several poles and I probably had a better average finish then Burt did, but it came down to that one race."
In all Jason won four times in 2013 at Bowman Gray, but finished second in the final points. After such a strong season Myers has to be considered a favorite for the 2014 crown along with his brother, the defending champion, and nine-time Bowman Gray Stadium champion Tim Brown.
"As good as the 83 (Brown) and the 1 (B. Myers) cars are you have to be consistent every week," pointed out Myers. "Don't count anybody out in a week-to-week setting, but for the championship it's going to come down to the usual suspects."
Myers also stated that being good on nights when you are fast is not the only key to winning a title. The nights where you know that you can't win are the ones that can make or break the season.
"The double points nights are tough as well," said Myers. "I sat on the pole one week for the first of two races and then I won it, but ended up losing points in the second race. The redraws on those nights is what makes it a challenge to win the whole thing."
Myers says that most of the teams and drivers don't look at the point charts until after the July break.
"The first half of the year is a lot more fun than the second half," admitted Myers. "It always comes down to the final race because it is double points. All you can do is hope to go in there with a chance to win and see what happens."
A Returning Champion
Bowman Gray Stadium officials have confirmed that they are changing the way that they determine points for the Modified twin 25-lap races. Instead of awarding points for the first race and then points for the second race, they will be awarding points based on the average finish between the two races. After a few calculations, officials have determined that it really gives drivers an incentive to get up on the wheel in the second race. An increase in track position could mean 10 points instead of traditionally one point.
Frank Fleming may have stepped aside from his NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour efforts for 2014, but he's full-speed ahead with plans to compete in the Bowman Gray Modified division each week this season. Fleming run for the season-long title and will look to add to his win total of 21 races. Look for good things out of the 54-year-old.
Looking at the Books
Since 1996 the Modified division has produced only three names winning the champion at season's end. Tim Brown, Junior Miller and Burt Myers have proven that they are the best of the best. Together they have won a total of 21 championships as Tim Brown sits in the lead with nine while Myers and Miller each have six.
Ready to Top Them All
Tim Brown holds every record at the Stadium with the exception of the Modified wins total. Brown now enters 2014 just two wins away from taking that honor to go along with his all-time pole record and his nine championships.
"When I drive from work at Michael Waltrip Racing to my shop I have an hour and half where I think and try to cross all the T's and I's on what I can do better," added Brown. "To think I am two wins away from holding all the records at the stadium. That's awesome to think about."
The season opens with the Hayes Jewelers 200 which is also the primary sponsor on the blue 83 of Brown. They have been a part of so much of his Modified success and they will be there as Brown gets close to nailing down this record.
The Modifieds will have 26 feature events this season with 10 races that are doubleheaders. The Sportsman division will have 17 features with a 100 lapper and a 60 lapper highlighting the year.
Specialty shows include the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East cars on May 31st. NASCAR will also have the Whelen Southern Modified Tour on August 2nd. The night before, Legends and Bandoleros will tackle the quarter-mile facility.