Brunnhoelzl Wins The “Battle to the Back” At Myrtle Beach Speedway

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – Put it in the record books or mark it off our bucket list, Myrtle Beach Speedway and the 2015 edition of the MB400 is officially in the books! George Brunnhoelzl – 4 Time NWSMT Champ – able to not only lock down the pole with a 19.31 second or 98.66 MPH lap, but GB3 was able to play the chess game of pit stops better than the rest and “bring home the gold” as they say.

When the green flag was given to the field just before three o’clock the race was on; and for most, that race was to the back! The green flag was displayed to Brunnhoelzl who lead his field into turn one bringing Matt Hircshman, our third place starter, with him through the corner. That was just about when the anchors dropped for most of the teams as they went into super tire conservation mode. I had been hearing all week leading up that with the soft tire the tour mods run, we would see a lot of this.

Only driver who didn’t care too much for that thought process – okay maybe two drivers – was the #17 of Jamie Tomaino who started thirteenth and worked his way to lead by lap eight and never really looked back. Jeremy Mayfield the other driver who decided it was time to go early. Mayfield, who started 18th in the field of 21 after blowing two head gaskets the day before, had worked his way to the 12th position just 13 laps into the feature. His day would inevitably be cut short due to a mechanical failure, which word on pit road was yet another head gasket.

In a race that saw a total of eight cautions it was enough to allow teams to play a couple different games when it came to pit road. Teams were given four brand new Hooisers to do what they pleased with through out the 125-lap feature. It was almost a sure fired guarantee that when the yellow flag waved, teams were coming down pit road to either put fresh tires on, or swap tires around searching for that all important stagger.

Cale Gale, sporting not only a quick car but a stylish Lightening McQueen look alike, ran into some trouble just on the flip side of the halfway break! Gale was the reason for the caution on lap 81 as a lot of smoke came from what would be the hood of the car. After the guys took a look around the car the initial signal to the driver was to exit the car. However, just before the restart they thought they may have found something and started thrashing hard. Ultimately Gale would remain on pit road and not be able to make it the advertised distance.

I will say the last 25 laps were the most entertaining as most teams finally decided to start cracking the whip. Top six drivers were all pretty much nose to tail and separating themselves from the pack. Really starting to heat up the battle for lead as well. Myers, who had really come on strong the last three quarters of the race, got passed for the lead and it was like someone threw the parachute because he started dropping fast! Not sure if the car had developed an issue because he ended up spinning out off four on lap 110 to bring out the caution – multiple cars hit pit road.

Just when you though you were done with the yellow flag it was needed two more times. The final one on lap 115 when Jason Myers and Daniel Yates went for a spin just on the other side of the start finish line. Certainly not what Hircshman wanted to see, especially after getting by Smith on that restart, but it was also a game changer for Brunhoelzl who was seriously a man possessed with a steering wheel in his hand.

Brunnhoelzl, making a move I did not see in a million years, elects to come down pit road with 11 laps to go, takes on a new right rear tire and swaps the left sides around. Seemed risky at the time but certainly worked out as GB3 was able to work his way to the lead out of turn two on lap 119. Brunnhoelzl was able to hold the field off during another late race restart to find his way into victory lane.

 

Finishing Order

  1. #28 George Brunnhoelzl III
  2. #1 Burt Myers
  3. #49H Matt Hirschman
  4. #25 John Smith
  5. #5 Chris Pasteryak
  6. #57 Andy Jankowiak
  7. #77 Gary Putnam
  8. #9X Jimmy Zacharias
  9. #3 Daren Scherer
  10. #17 Jamie Tomaino
  11. #79 Woody Pitkat
  12. #4 Jason Myers
  13. #69 Junior Miller
  14. #18Y Daniel Yates
  15. #12N Mike Norman
  16. #24 Buddy Ellis
  17. #71 Michael Benevides
  18. #88 Jerry Scott
  19. #J2 Jeremy Mayfield
  20. #95G Cale Gale
  21. #31 Zach Brewer

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