Brian Loftin Wins Pole for Advance Auto 199 At Bowman Gray Stadium
Brunnhoelzl and Myers starts on one two after redraw
By Tommy Bowman
Brian Loftin, last year's winner, and George Brunnhoelzl III, this year's leader, both came out on top last night.
Loftin was the fastest in qualifying for tonight's Advance Auto Parts 199 at Bowman Gray Stadium. Brunnhoelzl, who leads season standings for NASCAR's Whelen Southern Modified Tour, will start up front thanks to a draw for starting positions.
And Burt Myers, who led most of the way before crashing in last night's 50-lap race for Bowman Gray's Modified Division, came out OK for tonight's tour race. He'll start second, to the outside of Brunnhoelzl.
Jonathan Brown bumped his way past Tim Brown two laps from the finish in the 50-lap race and got his third victory of the season.
Tim Brown finished sixth, and actually gained four points in his already large lead in the season standings for the stadium's Modified Division. He leads Myers and Jonathan Brown by 51 points with two events remaining.
Tim Brown had taken the lead in the 31st lap after Myers and Jonathan Brown tangled and crashed on one of seven double-file restarts. But Jonathan Brown recovered and bumped past a spinning Brown in the 48th lap.
Brunnhoelzl, who was the winner in the Southern Modified Tour's last stop July 3 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, was third fastest in qualifying last night but wound up on the pole.
"Definitely a track like this it's an advantage to start up front," said Brunnhoelzl, from West Babylon, N.Y., and who will make his third career start at Bowman Gray. "I couldn't ask for anything better. We qualified third, that was a good effort, and we drew No. 1. It doesn't get much better than that."
Loftin's lap of 13.597 seconds (66.2 mph) on the quarter-mile track was the fastest.
"We worked real hard during the (four-week) break we've had and we really thought we found some things that would help us out," Loftin said. "We came over and practiced two weeks ago and thought we had a pretty good race car. In fact, we thought we had a better race car than qualifying car. I'm really excited about (tonight)."
Loftin, from nearby Lexington but no longer a regular competitor at the Stadium, has 10 tour victories, including last year's win at Bowman Gray. He qualified seventh for last year's tour race at the Stadium, and said that he was a bit surprised to be the fastest last night.
"That was better than we practiced," said Loftin, who edged Myers in qualifying. "I really thought (Myers) would be a little better. He was fastest in practice. I think he's probably a little better than he showed in qualifying."
Starting positions for tonight's race were determined by a draw among the 10 fastest qualifiers. As it turned out, the three fastest drew the top three starting spots.
"That was kind of odd," Myers said. "You don't see that very often. I was a little bit worried when the 10 was drawn out of the bag. But we qualified second and drew second."
Myers is noted for strong starts from the outside position, typically a difficult place to overtake a car with inside position.
"As long as I can get through turns one and two and nobody runs into anybody, I'm hoping we can come out leading this thing," Myers said. "But we have double-file restarts, so if I don't beat (Brunnhoelzl) the first time I'll have several shots at it.
"He has been running real good this year, but hopefully coming here on my home turf I can defend it."
Brunnhoelzl's game plan?
"Keep all four wheels pointed in the same direction, and keep everybody else behind us," he said.
Luke Fleming, who was suspended last week from Bowman Gray's weekly competition for the rest of the season after officials ruled that he used an illegally-modified engine in a Sportsman Division race, qualified and plans to compete in tonight's tour race.
He said that he disagrees with the suspension, since he was driving a car that he doesn't own. Car owner Todd Hunt was fined $500.
"All I do is drive the car," Fleming said. "I don't do the mechanics. I just hold the steering wheel.… I had nothing to do with it and the suspension is way too stiff."
Fleming said that he can race in tonight's tour race because the suspension wasn't issued by NASCAR. He has never competed in a tour race.
"We weren't planning to run this tour race," Fleming said. "I'm not saying it's for spite, but we can run it so we're going to run it."
MORE EVENT PHOTOS
Starting Lineup After Redraw
Advance Auto Parts 199
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
Bowman Gray Stadium August 1, 2009
1.#28 George Brunnhoelzl III, West Babylon, N.Y. 13.669 65.842
2.#1 Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C. 13.604 66.157
3.#23 Brian Loftin, Lexington, N.C. 13.597 66.191
4.#14 Bobby Hutchens, Winston-Salem, N.C. 13.735 65.526
5.#5 Randy Butner, Pfafftown, N.C. 13.843 65.015
6.#4 Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C. 13.752 65.445
7.#40 Frank Fleming, Mount Airy, N.C. 13.688 65.751
8.#47 Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H. 13.778 65.322
9.#18 Zach Brewer, Winston-Salem, N.C. 13.811 65.165
10.#25 John Smith, Mount Airy, N.C. 13.790 65.265
11.#02 Buddy Emory, Petersburg, Va. 13.846 65.001
12.#49 Scott Rigney, Mt. Airy, N.C. 13.853 64.968
13.#72 Brent Elliott, Denton, N.C. 13.868 64.898
14.#36 L.W. Miller, Dushore, Pa. 13.902 64.739
15.#31 Gene Pack, Washington, D.C. 13.985 64.355
16.#71 Dean Ward, Winston-Salem, N.C. 14.070 63.966
17.#44 Rich Kuiken Jr., Staffordville, N.J. 14.261 63.109
18.#21 Tommy Neal, Walkertown, N.C. 14.271 63.065
19.#13 Luke Fleming, Mt. Airy, N.C. 14.276 63.043
20.#97 Bryan Dauzat, Midland, N.C. 14.309 62.897
* Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender
MORE EVENT PHOTOS
2009 Points Standing