Brunnhoelzl Takes Championship and Wire-to Wire Win at Charlotte Motor Speedway
George Brunnhoelzl III led every lap of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour UNOH Southern Slam 150 race Thursday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway and, in doing so, also captured the series points championship.
“We had a good car tonight and were able to hold everyone off tonight,” said Brunnhoelzl. “And to win the championship on top of that is pretty amazing. We have had a real good year.”
Brunnhoelzl started from the pole and had several threats for the lead from second-place finisher Ryan Preece, but was able to fend them off to win by 1.812 seconds. Burt Myers finished third as Danny Bohn and Andy Seuss rounded out the top-five finishers.
The third annual 150-lap event was slowed several times by cautions, mainly for cars spinning out. Brunnhoelzl had qualified his car on a race setup, so he knew he would be good in the race. Preece had several chances to get alongside Brunnhoelzl but could never make the pass on the outside. After a couple of laps following a caution, Brunnhoelzl drove away from the field.
The race was slowed by cautions five times for 19 laps as the winner averaged 44.219 mph. The 150 laps were covered in 50 mins, 53 seconds. Rounding out the top 10 were Kyle Ebersole in sixth with Ted Christopher, Frank Fleming, Jason Myers and Gary Putnam following.
Winner – NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Champion George Brunnhoelzl III (No. 09 Phoenix Pre-Owned Chevrolet) – “It was a great race. We worked real hard all day in practice; the guys did great. We set up for the long run in practice for the race and were fortunate enough to sit on the pole, so that helped out, starting up front. We kind of just bided our time and rode it out from there. [On becoming the first driver to win three championships] It’s amazing. To win one is a really tough feat. To be able to win three and be the first team to win three championships, it’s unbelievable; I can’t put it into words.”
Second Position – Ryan Preece (No. 41 L.I. Mod Maniac/Mizzy Construction Chevrolet) – “It was a lot of fun. It was our first time here. About halfway when we started up, the battery was dying. So, I turned all of the fans off. The battery just kept dying and dying the further we went, and that hurt our chances. We finished second, which was good obviously, but we were a sitting duck if the cautions came out. I was real happy. It was a good finish.”
Third Position – Burt Myers (No. 1 Citrusafe/Adams Towing Ford) – “Well, it was kind of tough, walking byVictory Lanetonight after the experience we had here in 2010. The 09 (Brunnhoelzl) had a heck of a night, and they deserve to win the championship. As far as my run, with our halfway breaks we weren’t quite sure what to do to make the car better. We were kind of in the dark as to what to do with switching tires around. But, the car was real good. Off of the corner, we just didn’t have the drive we needed. I think that is what kept us out ofVictory Lanetonight. Hats off to my guys. It’s been a tough season for them due to my personal injuries and some bad luck on the race track. It’s good to be in the top three, though.”
Whelen Southern Modified Tour 2012 Rookie of the Year - Danny Bohn (No. 65 Rifenburg Construction/Rustoleum Chevrolet) – “It was a pretty good season. With the short schedule, we have we had a lot of good races and a couple of bad nights. By my math, I think we ended up second in the points. It’s just tough to go to some of these tracks, the only times you have ever turned a lap on them. My crew definitely worked their butts off this year. We learned a lot this year. So, hopefully next year we can give George a run for the title.”
UNOH Southern Slam 150 Unofficial Results (150 laps): 1. George Brunnhoelzl III; 2. Ryan Preece; 3. Burt Myers; 4. Danny Bohn; 5. Andy Seuss; 6. Kyle Ebersole; 7. Ted Christopher; 8. Frank Fleming; 9. Jason Myers; 10. Gary Putnam; 11. Tim Brown; 12. Jonny Kievman; 13. Thomas Stinson; 14. Dalton Baldwin; 15. Bryan Dauzat; 16. Johnny Sutton; 17. John Smith; 18. AJ Winstead; 19. Brian Weber; 20. Joe Scarbrough.