Story and photos by Drew Hierwarter
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolled into picturesque Martinsville Speedway on Sunday for their traditional fall stop at the scenic
Stefanik, who started sixth didn’t lead until lap 180 when he passed Todd Szegedy on the backstretch and going into turn three. Then he was able hold off Szegedy, and Ryan Preece through two late race restarts to take the win.
This race was a combination event with both the Whelen North and the Whelen South modified tours racing for separate points. By finishing fourth behind Stefanik, Szegedy, and Preece, Burt Myers became the highest finishing South Tour driver thus earning first place points in that division.
The battle for the championship in the North division is getting even tighter with only two races left in the season. Ted Christopher came into the Martinsville race leading the Whelen Modified Tour points, but engine troubles during the event forced him to settle for a 30th-place finish, 67 laps down. That combined with Donny Lia’s eighth place finish, closed Lia to within just one point of the championship lead. Ryan Preece is only 12 points behind Christopher, and Szegedy is fourth, 37 points out of first.
In the Southern tour, George Brunnhoelzl III, finished seventh on Sunday and increased his lead in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour standings to 140 points over Andy Seuss. Seuss finished 21st, 20 laps off the pace.
Mike Stefanik, the winningest driver in tour history, is now the only driver, outside of the Sprint Cup series to rack up 70 wins in a single series.
The NASCAR Whelen Northern Modified Tour will run its second-to-last race on Sunday, Oct. 4 with the CARQUEST Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway in