Andy Seuss held off the field in a 14-lap dash to the checkered flag to win the Newport News Shipbuilding 150 in NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour action on Saturday at Langley Speedway.
It was the second straight tour victory for Seuss, out of Hampstead, N.H., having won in his last outing on Aug. 26 at North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway. It also was his 10th career win in the Southern Modified Tour.
Seuss started from the outside pole position and fell back early, but he battled back to take the lead on Lap 129 and led the rest of the way. A debris caution on Lap 132 set up a sprint to the finish that he was able to manage in his No. 11 Phoenix Pre-Owned/Triad Auto Sales Chevrolet.
John Smith crossed the line in second followed by Thomas Stinson, who led a race-high 89 laps, in third. Polesitter and defending tour champion Burt Myers finished fourth while Jason Myers finished in the fifth position.
Despite his 10 victories, Seuss had never before won two races in a row in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
“I can’t believe I even talked about trying to have a winning streak as I was afraid I would jinx myself,” Seuss said after his second win of the season. “My crew gave me a great car and it was good as it needed to be with about 20 laps to go.”
For Smith, he just came up a little short while maintaining his hold on second place in the point standings to George Brunnhoelzl III. He also enjoyed returning to the historic track.
“Man, this track is fun and you drive it the whole race. You don’t let up at all,” Smith said. “We had a good car and it turned well, but I probably went too soon (to the front), but it is hard not to when you have a chance to lead the race. I probably should have saved my car for later in the race, but we had a good run tonight and stayed up in the points.”
While Seuss came back to win one of the most competitive races of the season – featuring nine lead changes among four drivers – it appeared in the early going that the night belonged to Stinson.
Stinson, who raced weekly at Langley before deciding to make a full-time commitment to the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour this season, jumped to the lead on Lap 26 and was in control, building leads by as much as seven car lengths at varying times during the race.
“We led some laps and qualified good and that is what we needed,” said Stinson, who missed the previous three races due to motor issues. “The guys kept saying to save the tires and I was running comfortable out there but when I did turn up the speed the car just got tight and I couldn’t turn it.”
Tim Brown, Brunnhoelzl, Frank Fleming, L.W. Miller and Kievman rounded out the top 10.
The race was slowed just two times by caution with the only multi-car incident of the race occurring on Lap 45 when Renee Dupuis, Mike Norman, Austin Pack and Jonny Kievman all got together on the backstretch. Every car was able to pull away and continue in the event.
In addition to winning the Coors Light Pole Award, Burt Myers also collected the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award while Brown won the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award for advancing six positions during the race and Kievman won Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors.
Brunnhoelzl leads Smith by 101 points (1,500-1,399) with five races remaining on the schedule. Seuss moved up to third place after his win just 13 points behind Smith with 1,386. Jason Myers and Miller round out the top five.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour heads north for its next outing to take on their counterparts in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on Sunday, Sept. 11 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway in the UNOH Showdown. Each tour will have a 125-lap feature event followed by a 50-lap all-star event with competitors from each tour pitted against one another.