Brunnhoelzl Captures Caraway Win
Ties Miller Atop All-Time Wins List
ASHEBORO, N.C. (April 21, 2012) – George Brunnhoelzl III withstood three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish and hung on to win the Parking Lot Maintenance Headquarters 150 in NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour action on Saturday at Caraway Speedway.
Brunnhoelzl, the two-time Tour champion out of West Babylon, N.Y., dominated the day. He posted the fastest time in practice and set a new track record in qualifying before going out and leading a race-high 140 laps en route to his second victory of the season. It was his seventh career win at Caraway, but more importantly it was his 13th career Tour win which places him in a tie atop the all-time list with L.W. Miller.
“I can't thank Howard Harvey and the entire Phoenix Pre-owned Triad Auto Sales team,” said Brunnhoelzl. “It got kind of crazy there at the end of the race (with all of the restarts) but we got a good run on the final restart and were able to hold off L.W.”
Brunnhoelzl jumped out and led the first 41 laps before Brian Loftin, the most recent winner at Caraway, jumped to the lead and stayed out front for the next 20 laps before the two-time champion jumped back to the lead for the rest of the race.
The race featured 11 cautions with the final two setting up the final attempt at a green-white checkered finish on lap 158.
In that final restart, Brunnhoelzl held off Miller and a hard-charging Jason Myers at the line. Rookies Kyle Ebersole and Michael Speeney crossed the line in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Miller has been the only driver to finish in the top-five in all four races this season and while he is happy to have a great car, he said the team is still searching.
“Baker Motorsports gives me a great Taxslayer.com/Speedco Chevrolet but we are still missing that mark,” Miller said. “That 09 had us beat all night long and I had to race my guts out just to try and run with him there at the end.”
Myers rebounded from a spin earlier in the race to collect his third top-10 finish of the season and was declared the third place finisher on the last lap.
“As bad I hate third (place) it was a great night for us,” Myers said. “We got turned early in the race and got down a lap. We got turned and the caution didn't come out and raced my way back through the field and got the lucky dog to get back on the lead lap. We probably would have finished fifth or sixth maybe if it hadn't been for those last few restarts.”
For the third consecutive race, a member of the impressive rookie of the year class finished in the top five. Rookies Kyle Ebersole and Michael Speeney crossed the line in fourth and fifth, respectively, with Ebersole winning Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors and Speeney scoring his first top-five finish.
Daniel Hemric, Thomas Stinson, Bryan Dauzat, Frank Fleming and Burt Myers rounded out the top-10 finishers of the evening.
Burt Myers was running third heading into the last restart, but was penalized for aggressive driving when he made contact with Fleming sending him for a spin in Turn 4 on the final lap. After the penalty, Myers was scored as the last car on the lead lap.
The race was slowed due to caution 11 times for 45 laps and the race lead changed hands just two times between two drivers.
Speeney used his top-five finish to win Featherlite Most Improved Driver and Coca-Cola Move of the Race honors.
In the point standings, Brunnhoelzl opened up a six-point lead on Miller with rookie Danny Bohn sitting in third, 26 points in back of the leader.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour heads into its annual spring hiatus and is back in action next on July 6 for the Firecracker 150 at Caraway Speedway.
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour-Parking Lot Maintenance Headquarters 150 Unofficial Results
At Caraway (N.C.) Speedway
Lap length: 0.455 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) George Brunnhoelzl, III, West Babylon, N.Y., 160 laps, 52.711 mph.
2. (8) L W Miller, Dushore, PA, 160
3. (10) Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 160
4. (5) Kyle Ebersole, Hummelstown, PA, 160
5. (18) Michael Speeney, Newtown, PA, Chevrolet, 160
6. (16) Daniel Hemric, Kannapolis, N.C., 160
7. (6) Thomas Stinson, Chester, VA, 160
8. (14) Bryan Dauzat, Alexandria, LA, 160
9. (3) Frank Fleming, Mount Airy, N.C., 160
10. (4) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, NC, Ford, 160
11. (2) Danny Bohn, Freehold, NJ, 159
12. (7) Brian Loftin, Lexington, NC, 159
13. (19) Gary Fountain, Minneola, Fla, 159
14. (9) Tim Brown, Cana, VA, Chevrolet, 155
15. (20) Gary Putnam, Concord, NC, 150
16. (12) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, Conn, Chevrolet, 150
17. (13) Rich Kuiken, Staffordsville, N.J., Chevrolet, 150
18. (21) Mike Norman, Lewisville, NC, 148
19. (11) John Smith, Mount Airy, NC, 139, brakes
20. (22) Joe Scarbrough, Richmond, VA, 99, engine
21. (15) Corey LaJoie, Concord, NC, 75, accident
22. (17) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., 25, accident
Time of Race: 1 hour 22 minutes 52 seconds
Margin of Victory: .882 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: G.Brunnhoelzl, III (104.678 mph, 15.648 seconds)
Caution Flags: 11 for 45 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: G. Brunnhoelzl,III 1-42; B. Loftin 43-62; G. Brunnhoelzl,III 63-160.
Standings: 1. G. Brunnhoelzl,III, 171; 2. L. Miller, 165; 3. D. Bohn, 145; 4. J. Myers, 143; 5. B. Myers, 142; 6. B. Loftin, 139; 7. T. Brown, 135; 8. K. Ebersole, 132; 9. T. Stinson, 129; 10. F. Fleming, 127