Southern Modified News & Notes: Hickory
Tour Returns To Track For First Time Since 2011
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The penultimate event on the 2015 schedule will be held this Saturday as the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to Hickory Motor Speedway for the first time since 2011 for the MTP Tire 150.
One driver who is looking forward to returning to the track is four-time Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III. Brunnhoelzl has rebounded from a tough start to the season with three straight podium finishes to get back in contention for a potential fifth championship.
Brunnhoelzl won at Hickory in 2011 when he took the lead from Zach Brewer with two laps to go in the race. The West Babylon, New York, native will be the only driver in the field this weekend that has won a NASCAR-sanctioned modified race at the historic track.
Veterans Frank Fleming, Burt Myers and Jason Myers are the only drivers currently entered to have started both previous races held at the .363-mile track. The Myers brothers enter the race in contention for the 2015 championship, 10 points behind leader Andy Seuss with Brunnhoelzl 13 points back.
Burt Myers, who won his lone NWSMT championship in 2010, is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in both previous races at HMS. The Walnut Cove, North Carolina, driver finished third in 2006 and eighth in 2011.
Seuss goes after his second straight win and third this season at Hickory after scoring the checkered flag last time out at South Boston Speedway two weeks ago. Seuss finished sixth at HMS in his lone start at the track in 2006.
The Race: The MTP Tire 150 will be the 10th of 11 races of the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship season. This is the tour’s third visit to the historic oval, and first since 2011.
The Procedure: The starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials while the remaining three starting spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (54.45 miles) and teams have an opportunity to pit and change one tire during the event.
The Track: Hickory is a .363-mile high-banked asphalt oval located in Hickory, North Carolina, that features NASCAR Whelen All-American Series-sanctioned events on Saturday nights throughout the racing season, headlined by the late model division. The track is a .363-mile paved oval with 14 degrees of banking in Turns 1 & 2 and 12 degrees in Turns 3 & 4. The straightaways have eight degrees of banking.
The Records: Patrick Emerling holds the qualifying record of 92.119 mph on April 2, 2011; Junior Miller holds the race record set on Sept. 30, 2006, 82.548 mph, 39 minutes 15 seconds. The race in 2006 was caution free.
MTP TIRE 150 RACE NOTES:
Jason Myers Ready for Hickory: After finishing seventh at South Boston Speedway, Jason Myers will look to rebound this week at Hickory Motor Speedway. Myers has recorded one top-10 finish in two previous starts at the track. Although he enters this weekend tied in the championship standings with older brother, Burt, he’s in third place as Burt owns the tiebreaker with his win at Langley Speedway in April.
Measmer Honors Mother With Paint Scheme: Bobby Measmer Jr. has enjoyed a recent run of success as the Concord, North Carolina, driver is coming off of his career-best finish of third and his first Coors Light Pole Award at South Boston on Sept. 19th. He has painted his No. 14 modified pink to honor his mother who is battling breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Famous Names: Some famous names that have driven at the track include the late Ralph Earnhardt, who won a total of five track championships, while NASCAR Hall of Fame members Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson also own track titles. Fellow Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett also called the track home early in his career. A total of 10 already or soon-to-be inductees in the NASCAR Hall of Fame won races at the track.
Home Tracks: Piercy Scores Track Championship
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Engineering student Matt Piercy was able to outlast fellow second generation driver Landon Huffman to win the Hickory Motor Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championship in Late Model Stocks two weeks ago. Piercy topped Huffman, who is the son of former NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series champion Robert Huffman, by just eight points.