Myers wins title as stars line up right

Burt Myers didn’t rule out the possibility, but he knew his
chances of winning the
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
championship weren’t very realistic heading into Thursday night’s
season finale at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Myers entered the UNOH Southern Slam 150 in fourth place in the
standings, trailing leader James Civali by 41 points. To win the
title, Myers needed to finish well ahead of three drivers above him
in the standings.

He did all he could do. He led all but one lap on the way to his
second tour victory this season. Everything else just fell into
place.

Civali struggled through a number of accidents, and his
championship hopes ended with a 16th-place finish. The same
happened to Andy Seuss, who was second in the standings but limped
to an 18th-place finish. And L.W. Miller, who was just ahead of
Myers in the standings, got caught in a tangle with Civali and
finished sixth, not high enough.

Myers wound up with his first Whelen Southern Modified
title.

“We had to have everything go our way, and it did,” Myers said
yesterday. “I was 41 points behind going in, and I knew that was
going to be a big jump, but I also knew we at least had a shot. We
just went in planning to do everything we could do, and it just all
worked out for us. We’re blessed, I can say that.”

Myers, from Walnut Cove and a four-time champion at Bowman Gray
Stadium, was the runner-up in the tour’s first season in 2005 but
hadn’t been able to top that until Thursday.

“Last year at the banquet, when they had my accomplishments
listed, it said that I was the most decorated driver to have never
won a tour championship,” Myers said. “That didn’t set too well
with me. I thought then that we needed to win the tour
championship.”

Myers was on his way to Thompson, Conn., yesterday for Sunday’s
season-ending race in
NASCAR’s northeastern-based Whelen
Modified Tour.

“I’m pretty optimistic about that right now,” he said. “If
nothing else, the trip up there won’t seem as long.”

Thursday’s race at Charlotte was taped and will be broadcast on
the Speed channel at 2:30 today.

UNOH Southern Slam 150

Final results

1. (1) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, Ford, 150 laps, 34.983 mph,
$3,000. 2. (6) Tim Brown, Cana, VA, Chevrolet, 150, $2,000. 3. (12)
Zach Brewer, Winston-Salem, Chevrolet, 150, $1,800. 4. (9) John
Smith, Mount Airy, Chevrolet, 150, $1,300. 5. (8) Daniel Hemric,
Charlotte, Pontiac, 150, $1,200. 6. (4) L.W. Miller, Dushore, PA,
Pontiac, 150, $1,050. 7. (3) Frank Fleming, Mt. Airy, Ford, 150,
$1,250. 8. (14) Johnny Sutton, Harrisburg, Chevrolet, 150, $900. 9.
(11) Jonathan Kievman, Deerfield Beach, FL, Chevrolet, 150, $850.
10. (16) Thomas Stinson, Hampton, VA, Chevrolet, 150, $800.

11. (2) Brandon Hire, Winston-Salem, Chevrolet, 150, $750. 12.
(17) Gene Pack, North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Chevrolet, 150, $700. 13.
(19) Brad Robbins, Winston-Salem, Chevrolet, 150, $700. 14. (18)
Mike Norman, Lewisville, Ford, 150, $800. 15. (13) Bryan Dauzat,
Alexandria, LA, Chevrolet, 150, $700. 16. (5) James Civali,
Meriden, CT, Pontiac, 150, $630. 17. (7) Jason Myers, Walnut Cove,
Ford, 150, $620. 18. (10) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, NH, Dodge, 150,
$960. 19. (15) Gary Putnam, Concord, Chevrolet, 150, $600.

Race Statistics

Time: 1 hour 4 minutes 19 seconds. Margin of victory: .615
seconds. Fastest qualifier: A. Seuss (59.717 mph, 15.071 seconds).
Cautions: 3 for 23 laps. Lead changes: 2 among 2 drivers. Lap
leaders: B. Myers 1-136; T. Brown 137; B. Myers 138-150.

Final standings: 1. B. Myers, 1609; 2. L. Miller, 1578; 3. J.
Civali, 1575; 4. A. Seuss, 1566;5. J. Smith, 1555; 6. Z. Brewer,
1429; 7. J. Myers, 1427; 8. F. Fleming, 1365; 9. B. Hire, 1354; 10.
G. Pack, 1293.

The following fields overflowed: SOURCE = By Tommy Bowman

JOURNAL REPORTER

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