ASHEBORO, N.C. – After dominating a week ago, George Brunnhoelzl III used a different technique this time to score the win.
Brunnhoelzl, hailing from West Babylon, N.Y., made a dramatic last-lap pass of Tim Brown to pick up a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour victory on Saturday night in the Spring Fling 150 at Caraway Speedway.
Brunnhoelzl started from the pole position after winning his 20th career pole award earlier in the day, but lost the lead to Brown on the race’s first lap. Brunnhoelzl behind the wheel of his No. 28 Epox-Z/Oval Speed Chevrolet spent the rest of the race looking at the rear bumper of Brown.
An opportunity presented itself, though, on lap 146 when the caution flag flew for a multi-car incident in turn one of the .455-mile oval which set up a green-white-checkered finish. After Brown took the white flag Brunnhoelzl tapped the leader’s rear bumper in turns three and four opening a window for Brunnhoelzl to slip through to victory.
It was the second agonizing defeat for Brown, who held on to finish second, at Caraway in as many starts this season. In the season’s opening race on March 16 at Caraway, Brown started from the pole and led a race-high 96 laps before running out of fuel on lap 146 of the 150-lap affair.
Kyle Ebersole finished third for the third straight race. Last year’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year Danny Bohn scored a season-best finish of fourth followed by Brian Loftin in fifth. Rookie Luke Fleming, Burt Myers, Andy Seuss, Jason Myers and Gary Putnam rounded out the top-10 finishers on the night.
For Brunnhoelzl, it was his 19th tour career win which extends his own all-time tour record. It was also his ninth career win at Caraway which gives him the all-time mark at the track. He and Loftin were tied atop the list coming into the evening.
The three-time tour champion in Brunnhoelzl led wire-to-wire to pick up his first victory of the season on April 13 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. After his two consecutive wins, Brunnhoelzl has an 18-point advantage over Ebersole in the championship standings with Brown closely trailing.