South Boston Speedway will be the next stop for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour with the South Boston 150 on Saturday, April 16. This year's race will be the third-consecutive year the track has played host the southern modifieds, and judging by the start of this season, the race could feature its third different winner in as many races at the southern Virginia track.
George Brunnhoelzl III has been at the right place at the right time so far in 2011 with wins in the first two races of the season. Both victories came after the leaders in front of him ran into trouble late in their respective events.
Brunnhoelzl, the 2009 tour champion, returned to the southern division full-time this season after running in the northern-based NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour last year. He won the Coors Light Pole Award in 2009 at South Boston and led 32 laps in the race before a second-place finish to Andy Seuss. If Brunnhoelzl can keep his lucky streak going, he could capture his first win at South Boston this weekend.
As for the other previous South Boston race winner, Civali was leading late in the race at Hickory two weeks ago when he and Zach Brewer got together on a restart of the green-white-checkered finish, which possibly cost him a win. He will attempt to return to Victory Lane this weekend after taking the checkered flag at South Boston last season.
Seuss enters this year's race driving for a new team, but the Hampstead, N.H., competitor knows his way around the tight .4-mile speedway. He is the only driver on the tour with top-five finishes in both races at South Boston. Seuss backed up his 2009 win with a third-place showing last year.
Here is a quick 'By The Numbers' look at South Boston Speedway since the tour began competing at the track in 2009.
2 - The number of race winners in as many races at the track. Andy Seuss won in 2009 and James Civali picked up his first win on the southern tour last year.
.752 - In seconds, the closest margin of victory at the track. The record was set last year when Civali was able to get past L.W. Miller with four laps to go to get the win.
9 - The number of lead changes during last year's race at South Boston.
6 - The number of drivers who have led a lap in the previous two races at South Boston. Drivers who led at least one lap were James Civali (134), Andy Seuss (73), George Brunnhoelzl III (32), Buddy Emory (29), J.R. Bertuccio (25), and L.W. Miller (7).
4 - The fewest number of caution flags at the track on April 4, 2009.
72.442 - The fastest average speed (mph) of a modified tour race at South Boston, by race winner Andy Seuss on April 4, 2009.
Race Notes: South Boston 150
Radio coverage: The South Boston 150 will be broadcast live on www.nascarhometracks.com via Speed 51 Radio. This will be the second southern modified race broadcast live this season. Matt Kentfield and Kevin Streigle will call the action live from the track for the Whelen Southern Modified and K&N Pro Series East races.
Tough luck: Austin Pack will return to the tour this weekend after missing the Hickory 150 due to damage suffered in a practice crash at the track earlier in the day. Greg Butcher will also return after suffering a broken rocker arm between qualifying and the start of the Hickory 150.
Pioneer: The late Wendell Scott, the first African-American to compete at NASCAR's highest level of racing, is from nearby Danville, Va. and raced modifieds at South Boston.
Famous names: Several current and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers got their start at South Boston Speedway, including South Boston natives Ward and Jeff Burton. Another former Sprint Cup Series driver who now competes full-time on the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Elliott Sadler, has a long history at the speedway.
America's Hometown Track
South Boston Speedway is home to some of the most competitive racing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
The track has already held three race weekends and three-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion (2006, 2008 and 2009) Phillip Morris is off to a hot start.
After finishing a disappointing 13th in the season opener on March 12, Morris won twin 75-lap features on the second race weekend and followed that up with a win on April 2 in the 150 lap feature event for the Late Model Stocks. Peyton Sellers returned to South Boston and won the season-opening race.
The track will also feature Limited Sportsman, Pure Stock and Southern Vintage Modifieds in 2011.
Last Week's Event
George Brunnhoelzl III took advantage of a late-race incident between James Civali and Zach Brewer to make it two-for-two on the year. Civali and Brewer got together, which forced them high and gave Brunnhoelzl a lane down low to make the pass. He held on for the final two laps to pick up another win. Brewer crossed the line second for his best career finish and Civali followed in third. John Smith and Thomas Stinson rounded out the top five.
Up Next: Caraway 150
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will visit Caraway Speedway for the Caraway 150 on Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m.