NWSMT – Langley Speedway
Hampton, VA – (8-30-14) There is just something special about 800 some horsepower rumbling through your town. It’s like playing music in a band or having a jam session; you can close your eyes and just really get into the jam and kind of lose yourself into the music. Call me a little weird but that is how it is with me when this series comes to town. If there was a way to arrange this with work I would literally follow this series around and tour with them. This year Hampton was in for a treat because we got a visit twice from the Whelen Southern Modified tour! Again I was forced to work later into the evening than I had hoped for so I was not able to get to the speedway and watch practice or qualifying. Once I did get to the track I found out that Ryan Preece, last years pole sitter and track record holder, set the fastest time and grabbed back-to-back Coors Light Pole Awards with a time of 15.056.
TheWeeklyRacer.com Starting 5:
1. #41 Ryan Preece (15.056)
2. #65 Danny Bohn (15.093)
3. #28 George Brunnhoezlz III (15.142)
4. #4 Jason Myers (15.161)
5. #11 Andy Seuss (15.195)
Bayport Credit Union 150
Seventeen Modified’s were brought to life on the front stretch of Langley Speedway at the conclusion of driver introductions. Strapped in and ready to go to war for 150 laps and no halfway break like in the tours previous visits, this time teams were allowed to change one tire at anytime during the race. Thanks to a friend of mine we were able to plug-in with previous race winner George Brunnhoezlz. Thanks to spotter Jesse Vaughan we were able to follow along with GB3 and his crew throughout the entire race! Once on the radio I learned pretty quick that the day has not been all that spectacular for Brunnhoezlz and his crew, running into some mechanically issues the team had to fix and barely made it out for qualifying.
Did not seem to bother the team because by lap 10 Brunnhoezlz mad the pass on Danny Bohn through turns one and two. GB3 spent the next few laps trying to tack down the leader clocking a 15.1 second lap time. Took series points leader Andy Seuss a few laps to work by the machine of Bohn, by the time he made the pass the top two had built themselves just about a full straightaway lead over the field. We saw our first caution of the evening due to the spinning Bobby Measmer Jr down in turn four. Lucky for him and the rest of the field it was a solo spin and no other car was damaged. This was a pretty quick yellow that bunched up the field and saw Preece and Brunnhoezlz leading the pack into turn one.
As we got back under green flag conditions the field stayed two by two for some rows back before Brunnhoezlz backed his efforts off and fell back in line right on the rear rail of Ryan Preece. Fifty laps into the one-hundred fifty lap feature the 28 car was really starting to put the pressure on Preece for the lead. That run had to be put on hold however due to the nights second caution of the evening. Another quick one thanks to the spin of #77 Gary Putnam, still no damage to his ride and no one else hit him, a quick check of the track and NASCAR doubled up the field again.
With the green flag back in the air Brunnhoezlz really put the assault on running the outside line. By lap 65 he had muscled his way around Preece for the top spot and left him to deal with the like of Seuss and now even Burt Myers. By lap 70 the top five was made up of George Brunnhoezlz, Andy Seuss, Burt Myers, Ryan Preece and Danny Bohn, and by lap 71 Preece was under fire from the likes of Bohn. I tell you one thing Preece set the record in April and had the fast time that night but it was like some one climbed into his pit box and just turn off the “Go Fast Switch” or something because he was falling back quick!
What impressed me at this point in the race was how strong the 11 car was and playing catching up on the leader. “He’s only beating you in the center that’s it.” Vaughn pumping information to his driver over the radio. What really impressed me was the fact that 80 some laps in Burt Myers battled back from a seventh place starting position and was passing points leader Andy Seuss for the second spot on the track… oh and on the outside by the way! It wasn’t many laps after that Myers again took to the higher line to take the top spot from GB3! I say the higher side because it wasn’t on the yellow line like most of the field but it wasn’t as high as Late Model stand out Matt Waltz runs.
Seemed like there was a formal changing of the guard because when Myers got around Brunnhoezlz its like Myers was getting better and you could clearly see the 28 start falling back. Here we are though just about 90 laps into this 150 lap feature and most of the leaders have not made their pit stop and Burt Myers is up front on rails running away with this thing. That was all put on hold when A.J. Winstead spun his machine around on the front stretch on lap 93. It was like a mad dash to pit road for all of the lead lap cars leaving #43 David Calabrese to lead the field once we got back under green.
You guys did great at the shop when we were practicing this, take your time and let’s do this right, I believe you guys can do this!” – Brunnhoezlz [Team Communication]
What is one way to create a crazy restart? Take the slowest car in qualifying by a half a second and give him the top spot now take the fastest cars of the race, give them a new right rear tire, let them fine tune their ride and throw the green flag! It was like Wile E Coyote strapped rocket booster to the sides of the last few cars on a train, lit the fuse and stood back and let the chaos begin. Myers and Thomas Stinson spent some time side by side, GB3 and Seuss were literally nose to tail! I swear at one point they were three wide as the faster cars with newer tires started picking their way back to the top.
The caution flag waved yet again, to be honest I was shocked it didn’t come out earlier but some of these guys are the best in the business. The caution came out right as Brunnhoezlz was making a pass for the lead so NASCAR made him give that spot back, actually making him fall all the way back behind Myers as well! That was pretty much a non factor because on George got an incredible restart and was back to the point by lap 115. Andy Seuss just about made himself a little dirt track in one to get by the 43 machine, Myers took advantage of the opening as well and set his eyes on the second place car!
With 30 laps remaining in this one Myers had gone back to the higher line and started to really put a hurting on the back bumper of Seuss, I felt at one point we should maybe look at taking some assault charges out on the #1 machine on behalf of Andy’s rear bumper! By lap 127 Myers had moved up and over Seuss and claimed the second spot all to himself and set his sights on leader George Brunnhoezlz who was able to build a decent lead while the #1 & #11 cars battle for position. Lap 133 was what just about what everyone but GB3 wanted to see, that dreaded yellow flag fall from the flag mans hand.
On the ensuing restart Brunnhoezlz lead Myers down into one where they touched ever so lightly and upset Myers car forcing him to fall back. As lap 140 went on the board GB3 had a two car lead over Burt Myers then it was just a few cars back to Seuss. As the laps ticked down Myers mounted an incredible charge to the rear bumper of the 28 machine and with just six laps to go Myers was knocking at the door. As the field got the one to go signal Myers dove real hard into turn one, drifted up high and tried to diamond the corner. From where we were sitting that looked like it was all GB3 needed to take home another Langley Speedway victory but boy was I wrong. Myers got on hell of a run down the back stretch and into turn three, Myers now looking on the bottom groove give Brunnhoezlz just a little tap to try to upset the car and get him out of the groove.
Brunnhoezlz ultimately ended up pancakeing the outside retaining wall and spinning across the start/finish line and put a pretty big hit on the inside retaining wall as well. Seuss took the checkered flag from the third position followed by JR Bertuccio and Jason Myers. At first the ruling on the track was Brunnhoezlz was declared the winner, however NASCAR went to the tape and reviewed it for at least 10 minutes before Burt Myers was officially announced the winner and the top five remained as I typed above.
There was a reason this race was ranked in the top five for us this season and this past weekend proved that! A seemingly smooth race that introduced new rules to series in regards to pit stops created a new twist and ultimately a new winner again at Langley Speedway. I will ay I did like the idea of taking the halfway break out and allowing teams to change at least one tire under green or yellow flag conditions. It brought a new aspect into the race, the use of your pit crew! Races can be won on pit road just as easy as they can be lost. It allowed for these guys to shine and help their driver gain valuable track position. Crews were trying everything in their power to help their case, even if that meant stopping deep in your pit box in hopes to try to screw up entry for your opponent.
I also find it funny that last year and even at the beginning of this season people were hating on Langley Speedway; “Its a follow the leader track,” “There is only one groove,” blah blah blah. Well folks, Burt Myers again proved everyone wrong and made the higher groove work for him on more than one occasion. He overtook the second and first place cars at one point by making the pass on the high side, George Brunnhoezlz even made the outside groove work to his advantages at times during the race. Maybe its the geometry in these cars but there was actually some pretty good side by side racing through out the entire night as well as throughout the entire field!
My last little thought on the evening, that finish! I did learn my lesson in not writing anyone off before that checkered flag drops and that was the reason why I did not get to see the finish live! I was looking down typing on my twitter feed and packing my things up to head to victory lane when Myers put the bumper to GB3 and ultimately take the win. Concluding the race I spent a few times watching the replay and would have to agree with NASCAR 100%, was the bump intentional? Of course! Was the bump excessive and over the top? In my opinion, no! Myers did not barrel the car into the corner and attempt to run Brunnhoezlz over. From what I saw Myers pushed the 28 car who got loose, overcorrect the car a bit and by the time the tires griped back up the car was going to the outside wall. Very unfortunate for the GB3 crew specially fighting back from the adversity they faced during the day but that is the beauty of racing.
Bayport Credit Union 150 Results:
1. #1 Burt Myers; 150
2. #28 George Brunnhoezlz; 150
3. #11 Andy Seuss; 150
4. #2 JR Bertuccio; 150
5. #4 Jason Myers; 150
6. #5 Kyle Ebersole; 150
7. #65 Danny Bohn; 150
8. #77 Gary Putnam; 150
9. #41 Ryan Preece; 150
10. #40 Luke Fleming; 150
11. #43 David Calabrese; 150
12. #51 Bobby Measmer, Jr; 150
13. #7 Thomas Stinson; 149
14. #79 Spencer Davis; 148
15. #99 A.J. Winstead; 148
16. #12 Mike Norman; 148
17 #15 Joe Ryan Osborne; 40