RADFORD, Va. ( Oct. 1, 2005 ) – After making a last-lap pass in the race's final turn, Brian Loftin, of Lexington , N.C. , won the Adams Construction/Star Country 150 at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. It was his second consecutive victory and third win of the season on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Frank Fleming finished second while Tim Brown, Brian Crammer and Jason Myers completed the top five.
Loftin's heroics came about after he had fallen to third with less than 15 laps remaining. Loftin, who led the race from laps 108-138, temporarily lost the lead after he spun his tires and missed a shift during a late restart. Loftin didn't give up, however, and made his move for the win at the very last opportunity – racing through turns three and four as the checkered flag waved.
“I was mad at myself and I was driving into the corner harder than I ever have,” Loftin said of the closely-contested final lap against Fleming. “I was determined that I wasn't going to lose this race for my crew – they worked so hard and they deserve to win as much as I do. I wasn't giving it away.”
The race got underway with Michael Clifton on the pole position after he qualified third-fastest and drew the top spot in the Tour's customary re-draw of the top qualifiers. (Loftin won the Bud Pole and re-drew the eighth starting spot.)
Clifton held a lead over Jay Hedgecock in the opening laps, before Hedgecock passed Clifton for the lead in turn one, on the 24 th lap. Ten laps later, Clifton returned the favor and re-gained the lead in turn four. Hedgecock was unable to fight back as he pulled into the pit area on lap 38 with an overheated engine. This placed Miller in the runner-up spot, with Brown third and Burt Myers fourth.
As the race was one-third complete, Clifton had built up a one-second lead over Miller and the rest of the field. A few laps later, Brown charged past Miller, then quickly closed the gap on Clifton and took the lead on the 64 th lap.
The race was slowed by a caution flag with 52 laps remaining, yet Brown maintained his lead when the race was restarted. Loftin had worked his way up to the third position by this point of the race, while Brian Crammer – up from the 14 th starting position – was fourth and Frank Fleming fifth.
Loftin continued his march forward and took over the second spot from Clifton with 46 laps remaining. Loftin found the track's “high groove” to his liking, and soon he and Brown were locked in a side-by-side battle for the lead, with Brown hugging the inside lane and Loftin on the outside. Loftin's choice to run the outside groove paid off and he took the lead with 42 laps remaining.
With 16 laps to go, the race was halted for a brief red flag period to clean up the race track following a multi-car spin in turn two. When the race resumed, Fleming and Brown both passed Loftin on the restart, seemingly stealing away his chances for another win before Loftin made his last-lap pass.
With a sixth-place finish, Junior Miller extended his points lead to a 28-point margin (1,762-1,734) over Burt Myers with one race remaining. The Whelen Southern Modified Tour will wrap up its 2005 season Oct. 29 at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw , N.C.
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified 150
Motor Mile Speedway October1, 2005
Time of Race: 50 mins, 3 secs
Average Speed: 74.805 mph
Margin of Victory: 0. 219 seconds
BUD POLE AWARD: Brian Loftin, 23 L&R Transmissions Chevrolet
FEATHERLITE MOST IMPROVED DRIVER AWARD: Tim Brown, 83 Hayes Jewelers Chevrolet
POWERADE POWER MOVE OF THE RACE AWARD: Brian Crammer, 89 Ling Trucking / JT Motorsports Chevrolet
Caution Flags: Laps 12-14; 95-98; 122-127; 133-139. 4 cautions for 20 laps .
Lap Leaders: Michael Clifton 1-24, Jay Hedgecock 25-33, Michael Clifton 34-63, Tim Brown 64-107, Brian Loftin 108-138, Frank Fleming 139-149, Brian Loftin 150
Total Laps Led: Michael Clifton 54, Tim Brown 44, Brian Loftin 32, Frank Fleming 11, Jay Hedgecock 9. 6 lead changes involving 5 drivers .
Top 10 Driver Points: Junior Miller 1762, Burt Myers 1734, Brian Loftin 1674, Tim Brown 1625, Michael Clifton 1575, Jay Foley 1535, Frank Fleming 1500, Jay Hedgecock 1500, Bobby Hutchens 1455, Brian Pack 1439
Next Race: Oct. 29 at Ace Speedway , Altamahaw , N.C.
For more information, contact:
Jeremy Davidson, NASCAR Public Relations, (386) 566-8540 or firstname.lastname@example.org .