George Brunnhoelzl, III put the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour teams on notice that the championship is still in his grasp. By sitting atop the practice board, breaking his own track record in qualifying and going to victory lane for the fourth time this season in the Tri-County 150 at Tri-County Motor Speedway (NC), Brunnhoelzl swept through Hudson, NC and went one step closer to his second NWSMT title.
Brunnhoelzl set the pace early on, jumping out to an early lead. He elected the high lane before going green and that seemed to be the way to go all night. The Ideal Racing #09 led the first 25 laps before Jason Myers, who started third, caught him. Myers, who was not like many others, made his car work on the low side all night. Myers and Brunnhoelzl battled hard, pulling away from the whole field, and by lap 35 were in lapped traffic.
Three laps later on lap 38, the yellow flag would fly for the spun out car of Jonathan Kievman. Josh Nichols was also involved. The green flag would fly again at lap 47. Brunnhoelzl would pick the top lane on the restart. This time, Myers stuck right with him. The two battled hard for the lead for several laps before Myers would finally complete the pass on lap 58.
Myers continued to lead laps as Brunnhoelzl fell back, conserving tires.
Eventually, however, Brunnhoelzl got back up on the wheel, and started to drive through the field again as his spotter told him he had felt a few rain drops in the spotters stand.
“The rain started coming a little bit, I saw some drizzles on the windshield, so we went back to the front, and rode as hard as we needed to, and saved it for the end,” said Brunnhoelzl after the race.
Brunnhoelzl inherited the lead again on lap 73 and this time he didn’t look back.
While Brunnhoelzl hustled back up to the lead, his Ideal Racing teammate Andy Seuss also started his run through the field in the race’s second half.
Seuss started fifth and fell back early on to conserve tires, but by lap 76 he worked his way all the way up to second.
“Our plan was to save the tires here and fade to the back, which I was happy with,” said Seuss. “The car was good. With the blistering pace George was setting and with the threat of rain, we needed to go. It definitely hurt us in the long run but I don’t know if anyone was going to catch George.”
Burt Myers, who started second, and who had also faded back early to save tires, was coming through the field late in the race. He eventually got by his brother Jason for third. Brunnhoelzl was lapping cars left and right, and making his lead between him and second place runner Andy Seuss, and third place driver Burt Myers bigger and bigger.
With just five laps to go the yellow would fly for the second and final time of the race for the spun out car of Mike Norman. This yellow would tighten the field and give Seuss and the Myers brothers one last shot at beating Brunnhoelzl.
The race would come down to a green-white-checkered. When the green flag came back out, Brunnhoelzl got a good restart over Seuss, clearing him by turns one and two. Seuss would try the low lane, but could not get to Brunnhoelzl.
Brunnhoelzl would win with back to back victories, teammate Seuss would finish second, Burt Myers third, Brandon Ward, who had a strong car the whole race, fourth and Jason Myers rounding out the top five.