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