Tuesday, December 30, 2014

600 Horsepower, 2800 lbs, 15-inch Wide Tires,... (Originally published 09/02/08)

[OK, it ain't Geology, but I reposted this for memories' sake.] 98 mph on a 3/8 mile track.

Yeah, that works! My son, son in-law, and I went to our local NASCAR sanctioned raceway on Saturday night. Yeah, we are rednecks of a fashion.

Along with shortened versions of the weekly divisions, there was a 150-lap touring event, this time by the Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Generally it is the touring series that provide drivers the chance to advance to the higher-profile NASCAR divisions.

Though it was raining when we reached the track, the rain soon ended and the late afternoon sun helped dry the track. During the wait, the raceway opened the gate and allowed the fans to walk among the racecars, greet the drivers and get autographs.

From the first two photos, you can see why they call them "Modifieds". The winning car, #28 is a Ford-based body, while the #07 of second place of Frank Fleming, is a Chevy. No pretext of "stock" here.

In the past, this type of racecar was the training ground for Bobby Allison, the Bodine brothers, Ron Bouchard, and Jimmy Spencer, all of which won races in what is now called the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (or the Craftsman Truck Series) . Bobby Allison won the 1983 Sprint Cup (nee' Winston Cup) series along with 80 some-odd Sprint Cup events.

The last photo is of George Brunnhoelzl III, celebrating his first series win with his dad, in Victory Lane. Would AA-level baseball parks have opened the field before or after the game for fans to greet the players or for fans to photograph a post-game interview of the winning pitcher? We will get some sort of idea next year as the AAA Richmond Braves are becoming the AAA Gwinnett Braves.

George Brunnhoelzl III is a third-generation race car driver from Babylon, NY. For anyone interested, here is more info on the race and the results. So instead of fretting about the costs of major league sporting events or the traffic, find a "farm system" event, where you may see future stars on their way. Both my son and daughter have seen drivers at this track that have gone on to run NASCAR Nationwide Series and Craftsman Truck Series events.

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