Bayport Credit Union Night At The Races August 30th, 2014
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
& NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
BayPort Credit Union Night
Saturday, August 30, 2014
HAMPTON, Va. (Aug. 30) — It’s really difficult to overshadow a Zambelli Bros. fireworks show at Langley Speedway, but that’s just what Burt Myers did on Saturday evening as he muscled his way out front off the final corner and won the BayPort Credit Union 150 for NASCAR’s Whelen Southern Modified Tour, the featured event of the track’s Labor Day weekend racing program.
The victory was the 12th in NASCAR Southern Mod competition for the Walnut Cove, N.C., driver, tying him with Brian Loftin for fourth on the all-time list, and snapped a winless streak that dated back to Oct. 10 of last season when he won on the quarter-mile layout at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Ryan Preece was fastest in afternoon time trials, at 94.687 mph, giving him a sweep of both Langley pole awards this year. Danny Bohn was second-quickest, just 37-thousandths of a second off Preece’s pace. George Brunnhoelzl III and Jason Myers occupied Row 2, while series points leader Andy Seuss and defending race winner Kyle Ebersole made up Row 3. Burt Myers lined up seventh on the 17-car grid.
As the main event got under way, Preece and Bohn dueled side-by-side until they reached Turn 4 for the first time. Exiting the corner, Preece gained the clear-cut edge, while Bohn slipped back to second. Brunnhoelzl emerged in third, followed by Seuss and Jason Myers.
By lap 10, Preece, Bohn and Brunnhoelzl had opened a half-straightaway lead over fourth-place Seuss. On the next circuit, Brunnhoelzl launched a bid for the runner-up spot and nabbed the position in Turn 1 on lap 12.
After closing to within a car-length of the leader, Brunnhoelzl began to lose ground. At lap 23, Preece’s margin stood at five lengths. Bohn, meanwhile, had fallen into the clutches of Seuss, who swiped third. Deeper in the pack, Jason Myers was fighting off a challenge for fifth from Ebersole. As they tussled, Burt Myers crept into contention.
The first caution flag flew on lap 35 when Bobby Measmer Jr. spun in Turn 4. The next yellow flag appeared on lap 40, just as the field was preparing to resume the race, as Joe Ryan Osborne ground to a halt in Turn 3.
Back under green, to begin lap 47, Preece and Brunnhoelzl bolted from the pack. Preeced cleared Brunnhoelzl at the end of the backstretch and the two set sail. By lap 55, they had regained the half-straightaway advantage that was wiped out by the caution flags. Behind them, Ebersole had slipped past Jason Myers for fifth, but now faced a challenge from Burt Myers, who was working the outside lane.
The third caution flag was displayed on lap 58 when Gary Putnam spun on the backstretch.
The race resumed on lap 63 and Brunnhoelzl nosed ahead of Preece to lead for the first time. Preece rallied to take a slight advantage on laps 64 and 65, only to see Brunnhoelzl rocket out front on lap 66. Only three laps later, Brunnhoelzl had driven away by five lengths, while Seuss and Burt Myers zeroed in on Preece.
Seuss grabbed the second spot on lap 70 and Myers tagged along, taking over third on the following circuit. At the halfway mark, Brunnhoelzl was up by four lengths, but Seuss and Myers were closing. Behind them, Preece continued to slip back, giving up fourth place to Bohn on lap 77.
By lap 81, Seuss had erased Brunnhoelzl’s margin and was sniffing the point. He initiated a bid for the lead on lap 84, ducking underneath Brunnhoelzl in Turn 2. That left the outer lane wide open for Burt Myers, though, and he pounced on the opportunity, moving up to second at the stripe.
Myers wasn’t through, however. Continuing on the high side, he draw alongside Brunnhoelzl on the backstretch on lap 85 and snagged the top spot off the fourth corner. In one lap, he fashioned a three-length lead and the advantage grew larger on lap 87 when Seuss overtook Brunnhoelzl for second.
The fourth yellow flag waved on lap 94 when A.J. Winstead spun off Turn 4, ending up near the start/finish line. During the ensuing caution period, most of the lead-lap cars, headed by Burt Myers, turned down the pit lane. Myers won the race out of the pits and lined up fourth behind David Calabrese, Thomas Stinson and Jason Myers, who had remained on the track.
Back under way, to begin lap 102, Burt Myers got shuffled up the track in Turn 2 and dropped to seventh. Meanwhile, his brother, Jason, moved up to second, clearing Stinson on lap 105. He was soon joined by Brunnhoelzl, who was anxious to return to the front.
Caution #5 went in the air on lap 108 when Winstead looped his machine in Turn 3. Lining up for the double-file restart, Calabrese held the lead, flanked by Jason Myers. Brunnhoelzl and Seuss made up Row 2, while Stinson and Burt Myers were next in the running order.
On the restart, at lap 115, Brunnhoelzl had a notion of making it three-wide into Turn 1. He thought better of it, though, waiting until the field rumbled onto the backstretch before ducking underneath Calabrese. He grabbed the lead into Turn 3 and began to pull away.
Seuss overtook Calabrese for second on lap 117 and brought Burt Myers along with him, to third. The shuffle allowed Brunnhoelzl to pad his lead to five car-lengths.
On lap 127, Myers slipped underneath Seuss on the back straightaway and powered into second off Turn 4. Brunnhoelzl took advantage of the exchange and stretched his lead to half a straightaway. Over the next few circuits, it became apparent that Myers would need a “friendly” caution flag to have a chance.
Myers got his wish on lap 134 when Spencer Davis spun in Turn 4 to bring out the last of the race’s six yellow flags.
Back under green, to begin lap 139, Brunnhoelzl cleared Myers off Turn 2. He couldn’t shake his challenger, though, as Myers tucked into the runner-up spot and began scouting the outside lane.
Myers took a run at Brunnhoelzl on lap 143, driving to the high side. Brunnhoelzl fended off the bid, however, and maintained the lead. At the white flag, Brunnhoelzl was up by half a car-length.
Through Turns 1 and 2 for the final time, Myers lost a bit of ground and it appeared that Brunnhoelzl had the victory, and a 2014 Langley sweep, all sewed up. Down the backstretch, though, Myers gobbled up the gap and closed in on the leader as they entered Turn 3.
Preparing to exit Turn 4, with the checkers in sight, Myers surged into the left-rear of Brunnhoelzl’s machine, looking to root him out of the way. Brunnhoelzl skittered up the track and slapped the outside wall as Myers sped past.
At the finish, Myers was up by 0.311-second over Brunnhoelzl, who spun past the flagstand and thumped the inside wall.
Immediately after the race, NASCAR officials were set to penalize Myers for aggressive driving and award the win to Brunnhoelzl. Before an announcement was made, though, they wanted to see a replay of the incident. Track videographer Taylor Meyn obliged and, after repeated viewings, it was determined that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to warrant taking the win away from Myers.
In the official rundown, Myers was the winner, ahead of second-place Brunnhoelzl. Seuss came home in third, followed by J.R. Bertuccio and Jason Myers. Ebersole headed up the second five, in sixth, while Bohn, Putnam, Preece and Luke Fleming rounded out the top 10. Calabrese and Measmer were 11th and 12th, respectively, the final drivers to complete the entire distance.
In a raucous Victory Lane after the race, an animated Myers recapped the end of the event: “Man, we had a heck of a race car. Listen, just so the fans know, me and Georgie are friends. He borrowed parts from me today, just like he would’ve let me borrow parts. We’re racing hard. We’re both digging. We’re both sideways for the last five laps. And, as I’m under him and I’m going for all I can, I gave him a nudge. I’m not gonna lie about that. I gave him a nudge. I didn’t dump him. I didn’t shove him off in the corner. I gave him a nudge. And, these are Modifieds. These are not Sprint Cup cars. They got big bars on the front and back for a reason. I can understand that the 28’s (Brunnhoelzl) upset, but it’s just like I told him, we’ll both look at the replay — apparently, NASCAR reviewed the replay and determined that it was not rough driving and I hope Georgie sees it the same way.”
Nursing an injured shoulder after the last-lap dustup, Brunnhoelzl skipped post-race interviews, but did note that he would voice his displeasure with the outcome to NASCAR higher-ups in Daytona Beach.
Third-place Seuss was disappointed with his outing, but tried to look on the bright side: “You know it’s a good night when you’re very frustrated with third. That just speaks volumes about this Ideal race team. We got a great car. First race with the pit stops, we had some growing pains and, amongst all the adversity we were up against, we had a real good car. Just a little too tight there at the end to race with these guys. They had a heckuva race. I’m not gonna say too much about that. But, we had a good car and we’re gonna celebrate that.”
From Langley, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour moves on to Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C., for an event next Friday, Sept. 5. Seuss carries a 14-point lead, 343-329, over Brunnhoelzl into that race.
In the evening’s other feature events:
Shawn Balluzzo assumed the lead on lap 35 and rolled to his sixth win in a 50-lapper for the Larry King Law Modifieds.
Robbie Babb started on the pole, at 87.389 mph, and paced the first 34 circuits. Balluzzo was the outside pole-sitter, but slipped to fourth as the race got under way. He quickly righted the ship, though, regaining third from Late Model regular Mark Wertz on lap 6.
Safely past Wertz, Balluzzo faced off against Mike Rudy and the two traded the runner-up spot seven times between laps 10 and 31 with Balluzzo eventually grabbing the position.
The complexion of the race took a wild swing on lap 35 when Babb suddenly slowed at the end of the backstretch and pulled toward the apron. Balluzzo zipped by off Turn 4 to take the lead, half a straightaway ahead of Rudy. After leading much of the event, Babb retired to a 19th-place finish.
Balluzzo’s trip to Victory Lane was interrupted by one last caution, the sixth of the race, on lap 42. Bunching for a restart, to begin lap 47, Rudy, Matt Slye, Danny Harrell and Matt Carter opted for the outside lane.
Back under green, Balluzzo motored ahead of Rudy on the backstretch, then eased away, winning by about four car-lengths — 0.714-second, to be precise. Rudy was second, followed by Chris Johnson, while Slye and Wertz rounded out the top five.
Brandon Hinson posted his third and fourth wins of the season in a pair of caution-free 20-lappers for the Pepsi Grand Stocks.
The lineup for the first race was determined in afternoon time trials and Hinson claimed the pole, qualifying at 79.000 mph. Mark Frye, Ritchie German, Thomas Marks and Tommy Sweeney completed the top five.
As the opener got under way, Hinson leaped into the lead, bringing German and Sweeney along with him, while Frye fell to fourth.
In the early going, it looked as though German would pose a stern challenge to Hinson. On lap 5, though, he fell off the pace and pulled into the pits, leaving Hinson with a five-length lead over Sweeney. Two laps later, Rodney Boyd, another potential contender also headed to the sidelines.
By the halfway mark, Hinson had opened a half-straightaway advantage and he maintained that lead all the way to the checkers. Sweeney was second, followed by Frye, Michael Waters and Shawn Scovel.
The starting lineup for the second race duplicated the finishing order of the first one, putting Hinson on the pole with Sweeney alongside.
With Sweeney starting at the front, the nightcap was more closely contested. Hinson enjoyed his largest lead — four lengths — at the halfway mark.
Sweeney narrowed the gap a bit on lap 13, but was unable to mount a serious challenge as Hinson won by three lengths. Frye tailed Hinson and Sweeney to the checkers, in third, while Waters and Boyd were fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the 25-lap KeesVacations.com Super Truck race, Chase McAdams took the lead on lap 13 and showed the way to his fourth victory.
Jacob Carr started on the pole, at 74.090 mph, and led the first four laps before giving way to rookie contender Trevor Battoia on lap 5. Carr rallied to lead laps 6 and 7, then Battoia gained the decisive edge on lap 8.
McAdams, meanwhile, started sixth and made steady progress toward the front. He slipped past Carr for the runner-up spot on lap 12.
The first caution flag waved on lap 13 for Bill Wallace’s spin in Turn 2. For the restart, McAdams chose the outside lane, joined by Colby Vance.
Returning to green, McAdams eased ahead of Battoia on the backstretch. Exiting Turn 4, the two made contact and Battoia suffered a cut right-front tire. He pulled to a stop in Turn 2 on lap 14, prompting the second yellow flag.
On the restart, McAdams outdueled Vance to retain the lead. He continued to widen his advantage over the second half of the event and won by half a straightaway. Carr was second, followed by Vance, Richard Ellis and Wallace. If there were a “hard luck” award, Battoia would have won it. After contending for a win, he ended up last in the six-truck rundown.
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