SOPHIA, N.C. – Burt Myers knows as well as anyone how to get around Caraway Speedway, and he let everyone know how it’s done on Friday afternoon.
Myers, of Walnut Cove, N.C., turned a fast lap of 15.743 seconds (104.046 mph) around the .455-mile oval to win the pole for the 10th annual Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout presented by PPG. Myers, the second-to-last car to go out in the 30-car field in time trials, just nipped Matt Hirschman to earn his third career North-South Shootout pole for the 125-lap Tour Modified main event on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re happy. We love running this event,” said Myers, whose brother, Jason Myers, qualified third. “We love these money-type races where you run like crazy, come in and put on tires, and then go back out and run like crazy again. Little brother’s third, my son, Slate, is going to run his first pedal car race tomorrow, so it’s a pretty good start to the weekend so far.”
George Brunnhoelzl III, the reigning NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, qualified fourth, while Kyle Ebersole rounded out the Top-5 in time trials. Ryan Preece, Erick Rudolph, Tommy Barrett, Patrick Emerling and Danny Bohn qualified sixth through 10th, respectively.
Ross Kenseth, who won the All-American 400 at Nashville last month and is the son of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth, set fast time in PASS Super Late Model qualifying with a new track record of 16.361 seconds on Friday. The Top-10 cars in PASS qualifying redrew for starting position in their 150-lap feature event Saturday.
Michael Gervais Jr. of Southbury, Conn., won the pole for the 50-lap SK Modified feature event. Hirschman, trying to become the first driver in North-South Shootout history to win both the Tour and SK Modified features on the same day, qualified second for that race also.
“Burt’s won more of these poles than I have, so it was no surprise to me,” said Hirschman, who has won four of the last six North-South Shootouts. “Our car was good, and second’s so close. When you have a 30-car field, it’s nothing to be ashamed with.
“I’m confident that we’ll be good. The pole would have been nice, but it really doesn’t matter.”
For Burt Myers, who has 12 career Caraway Speedway poles in Whelen Southern Modified Tour competition, starting up front will have its benefits on Saturday.
“(Track position) is usually not key here,” Myers said, “but last year it was somewhat key – just simply because you’re going to come in and pit for tires. If you can come in first and not have to worry about dodging cars to come in and make your pit stop, it’s going to be an advantage.
“I’d like to say it’s going to be an advantage, but we’ll see.”