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CONCORD, N.C. - Tim Brown ended his year-long NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour winless streak with a victory he called one of his biggest of his career.
The Cana, Va., veteran scored his seventh career win Thursday night in the UNOH Southern Slam 150 on the quarter-mile on the frontstretch at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was Brown's first trip to Victory Lane since Sept. 4, 2010 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.
Brown took the lead from George Brunnhoelzl on a Lap 124 restart and led the rest of the way.
Brown couldn’t hide how important he felt his seventh career win was for him and his team.
“We have fun (on this team),” Brown said. “To come to Charlotte and win in front of everybody I work with, all the (NASCAR Sprint) Cup guys and a huge fan base really means a lot to me. The grandstands were full and I did a great burnout for them. It was awesome.”
Brown was able to get past Brunnhoelzl on the pivotal restart after the race was stopped for eight minutes by a Red Flag when excessive fluid was dropped on the track. Brown felt that cleanup contributed to his opportunity to pass Brunnhoelzl.
“The caution came out and the track got oiled down pretty good,” Brown said. “They (clean-up crews) had put a lot of speedy dry on the inside where George was going to have to restart the race and fortunately for me he spun the tires.”
Brunnhoelzl, who was going after his fifth win of the season, was a little frustrated.
“Track position is everything because Tim and I were so evenly matched,” Brunnhoelzl said. “We had a good car and second place is great, but I would much rather get beat racing than coming to the green.”
Last year, Burt Myers used his win at Charlotte and a little racing luck to capture the title. He ran in the top five almost the entire race but didn’t quite have the car he needed to challenge Brown and Brunnhoelzl for the win.
“We are disappointed with our finish after the run we had here last year,” Myers said. “We had a good car in race trim, but starting fourth probably hurt us. The car was good but I lacked the forward bite we needed to get under somebody and make the pass.”
Brunnhoelzl, the points leader, won the Coors Light Pole Award and led a race-high 124 laps. Andy Seuss, entered the race in second place in the point standings hoping to cut into Brunnhoelzl’s lead, finished fourth and Jason Myers came home fifth to continue his impressive run in 2011 with his 11th top-10 showing in 13 races.
Frank Fleming, Johnny Sutton, John Smith, Thomas Stinson and Josh Nichols rounded out the top 10. Daniel Hemric finished 11th to give him Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors as the highest finishing rookie driver.
Sutton used his run to win Coca-Cola Move of the Race honors advancing six positions during the race and Fleming won the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award.
Brunnhoelzl will take a 150-point lead over Andy Seuss, who finished fourth, into the season finale on Oct. 22 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.
Tim Brown leads the field in the UNOH Southern Slam 150 Thursday night on the quarter-mile at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Getty Images for NASCAR