ASHEBORO, N.C. – He had to wait a day to do it, but George Brunnhoelzl III went wire-to-wire at Caraway Speedway on Saturday to score a record 20th career win in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
It also marks a tour-leading 10th win on the .455-mile track for the three-time tour champion, who hails from West Babylon, N.Y.
The Daggett Schuler Attorneys-At-Law/Rusty Harpe Memorial 150 had been scheduled for Friday, but persistent rain showers led to it being postponed for 24 hours. Brunnhoelzl’s No. 28 EpoxZ/Oval Speed Chevrolet gained the pole position for the event, when qualifying was also rained out on Friday.
Brunnhoelzl’s biggest threat came late in the race when Andy Seuss challenged for the lead. He pushed Brunnhoelzl through turn four on Lap 135, but spun while going for the lead a lap later – bringing out the fifth caution of the night.
Seuss made a fierce charge back to the front after the restart, taking third at the finish behind Kyle Ebersole. They were followed by Brian Loftin and Gary Putnam, with his first career top-five finish. Sixth through 10th were Burt Myers, Luke Fleming, Danny Bohn, J.R. Bertuccio and Mike Norman.
Tim Brown, who was fastest in Friday’s practice and who was third in the championship standings prior to the race, withdrew after the postponement because of his wedding on Saturday.
With his win, Brunnhoelzl extended his lead in the championship standings to 24 points over Ebersole – 226 to 202. They are followed by B. Myers at 187, Seuss at 187, Brown at 184, Jason Myers at 181, Loftin at 175, Putnam at 173, Fleming at 168 and Bohn at 167.
Prior to Saturday, Brunnhoelzl had registered the four most recent wire-to-wire wins in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour – South Boston Speedway, April 13, 2013; Charlotte Motor Speedway, Oct. 11, 2012; Caraway Speedway, July 6, 2012; and Caraway Speedway, March 31, 2012.
This event, the third of five tour visits to Caraway Speedway this season, was the fifth event on the 2013 schedule and marked a return to competition after an 11-week break.