WINSTON-SALEM — A race can change in an instant at Bowman Gray Stadium, and one wrong move can mean the difference between winning and wrecking.
Jason Myers of Walnut Cove had to fight hard but was able to keep his lead and win the first 25-lapper for the Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series on Saturday. In the second race, Randy Butner of Pfafftown claimed the checkered after the hard-racing front runners took each other out.
The evening’s competition started out on a strong note for Myers: he turned the fastest qualifying lap, giving him a pole-position start. But the day’s practice sessions didn’t go so smoothly.
“The radiator was leaking before practice, so we had to really bust hind end and get the radiator changed out in it,” said Myers. “We barely made it out to practice, but the car was good. We made our adjustments and everything worked out.”
Starting on the outside front row beside Jason was defending champion Tim Brown of Tobaccoville. The initial start was a dramatic battle for the lead as the two collided repeatedly, eventually sending Brown wide and causing him to fall back through the field.
“Tim was banging nerf bars. I gave him the whole outside. He hit my nerf bar getting into three, he hit my nerf bar taking off of four, and he hit me getting into one. So if he’s asking himself why he ended up in the marbles, he can watch the video,” said Myers. “I’ve got the preferred line, there’s no need for me to try to run over him.”
“That’s how you’ve got to win over here,” continued Myers. “Tim was doing what he had to do to win, and so was I. I’m not just going to lay down and let him have it.”
Once Myers clinched the pole and defended his lead, he led a cautionless 25 laps to claim the checkered flag. Brother Burt Myers of Walnut Cove finished on his bumper in second. John Smith of Mount Airy was the only local driver contesting this event, and he struggled with his car and came in 19th.
The “Madhouse Scramble” sent Joseph “Bobo” Brown of Winston-Salem to the pole for the start of the second race, with Ronnie Clifton of Walkertown on the outside front row.
Clifton and Brown tangled for the lead, sending Clifton careening into the turn four guardrail. Moving up to second in his place was brother Michael Clifton of Walkertown. The battle picked up as the two fought for the lead – this time, both Joseph Brown and Michael Clifton were taken out as a result of the hard racing.
Seizing on the opportunity, Butner rocketed from third up to take over the lead and the win. “All of those guys are hungry. We all want to win,” said Butner. “You see them get together – they’re running these cars to the absolute limit, and they’re going to occasionally get together and wreck.”
The victory was welcome to a team that was losing morale. “We’ve been struggling all year. We’re having chassis handling problems, and we’ve been working on it. Sometimes I think we’re about to get it, and then we lose the handle on it,” said Butner, who hadn’t been in Victory Lane in over three years. “You get to racing so long without a win, you think I’m never going to win again. And then on a night you feel you’re really not at your best, something happens and you break through and win.”
Daniel Yates of Lexington came in second behind Butner, with Junior Miller of Winston-Salem finishing third. Smith improved his standing in the nightcap, taking the checkered flag in 11th place.
In the Yates Grading and Paving Sportsman Series, Kevin Neal of Walkertown was the man to beat in Saturday’s 60-lapper. Over seven double-file restarts, he battled with Gary Ledbetter of Winston-Salem, Michael Adams of Yadkinville, Zack Clifton of Walkertown, John Holleman of Winston-Salem, and Michael Tilley of Winston-Salem – yet Neal emerged victorious every time. He claimed the checkered with Holleman finishing second.
Brian Wall of Lexington brought home the win in the Q104.1 New Country Street Stock Series. Two Mount Airy racers were entered in this event, with Blake Shupe finishing eighth and Jamie Byrd in 18th.
In the McDowell Heating & Air Stadium Stock Series, Billy Cameron, Jr. of Salisbury and Rob Strmiska of Lexington each won a 15-lapper.