ASHEBORO, N.C. – Spring Break is over, and George Brunnhoelzl III couldn’t be more happy.
Unofficially referred to as “Spring Break,” the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule traditionally does not include May and June race dates. The calendar has now turned to July, and it’s time to go back racing with the Daggett Schuler Attorneys At Law/Rusty Harpe Memorial 150 on Friday at Caraway Speedway in rural, Asheboro, N.C.
The resumption of the Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule at Caraway this week is welcomed news for Brunnhoelzl. Not only has he won five of the previous eight events at the .455-mile oval, but unlike many of his southern tour competitors, he hasn’t raced at all during the 11-week schedule break.
“We’re definitely ready to get back racing,” Brunnhoelzl said. “It’s tough when you’re on that long of a break. You kind of lose – not so much momentum – but when you’re going [regularly] everything goes smoother.
“It’s almost like starting again with the first race of the year.”
Getting back racing, specifically at Caraway, provides Brunnhoelzl with a comfort level. With nine wins at the track through the years, including the southern tour’s last event on April 20 prior to the break, he looks forward to picking back up where they left off.
“It’s always a bit easier to go to a track where we’ve had a lot of experience – we race there quite a bit – so that makes it a little bit easier for the first race back,” Brunnhoelzl said.
During the break in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule, a number of tour drivers compete weekly in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at Bowman Gray Stadium, but Brunnhoelzl has decided to focus solely on a third straight southern tour title instead of duking out on out Saturday nights at the famed quarter-mile.
“Our main goal – as I’m sure it is with most all of the guys on the tour – is to go after the tour championship,” Brunnhoelzl said. “Going to Bowman Gray is totally different. It’s a similar car, but everything else is different about it.
“If we could benefit from running Bowman Gray to help our tour effort, then it would be something we would do.”
Brunnhoelzl is indeed well-positioned for yet another title run. As the Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule kicks back in for the final eight events of the season, Brunnhoelzl brings an 18-point advantage in his quest for a fourth championship. He won two of the four races prior to the break, including that ninth career Caraway triumph.