Danny Bohn saves a win at Bowman Gray; survives last-lap spin in Whelen race
He won the pole position for the Whelen Southern Modified Tour’s annual race at Bowman Gray.
But, before the race started, he said the challenging part would be staying up front for 199 laps. And actually, for Bohn, staying up front for the first 198 laps wasn’t hard at all. But doing so in the final lap took some effort.
Bohn survived a spin in the last lap after getting clipped by Joe Ryan Osborne, who was engaged in a battle for position with Gary Putnam at the tail end of the lead lap. Bohn somehow managed to recover and finish first.
“It was interesting with those lapped cars,” said Bohn, who got caught in a string in the closing laps and was in a quandary with second-running Kyle Ebersole hot on his heels. “They weren’t giving any room, and it almost cost me the race. The 15 car (Osborne) cleaned me out.
“Luckily, the white flag had already come out, and they still scored me as the leader. It was wild, for sure.”
Canadian Cole Powell finished second, and Luke Fleming was third.
It was the second career tour victory for Bohn, who scored one for the “local guys” in Bowman Gray’s annual tour race.
Bohn, originally from Freehold, N.J., now lives in Huntersville and races weekly at Bowman Gray. He is the first regular stadium competitor to win the annual tour race since Fleming in 2009.
“We needed one,” Bohn said.
Fleming had a strong run despite fading tires and held on to a top-three finish in the closing frenzy.
“I saw them all piled up, I hit the grass, and I’ve had a lot of experience doing that running Sportsman cars here and the wreck-fest it is,” Fleming said.
Andy Seuss kept his lead in the tour standings. The Hampstead, N.H., driver recovered from a collision with Jason Myers that dropped him back to 11th, but he worked his way back to fifth.
It was a tough night for Bowman Gray’s Myers brothers, who between them had won three of the previous nine tour races at the stadium.
Jason Myers was running fourth when he slammed into the guardrail coming out of the final turn on a restart just past the midway point, and his car was too damaged to continue.
Burt Myers’ car wouldn’t start as result of a motor problem after his arrival for afternoon practice. He borrowed a car from fellow Bowman Gray driver John Smith and scrambled to get it to the track in time to race, without benefit of any practice laps.
Burt Myers, who had to start at the rear of the 19-car field, made it up to eighth at one point but had car issues near the midway point and lost two laps. He wound up 10th.
It was also a tough night for four-time tour champion George Brunnhoelzl, who was seeking his second Bowman Gray tour victory. He dropped out with engine failure midway through.
NASCAR Modified Tour regulars Ron Silk and Tommy Barrett, facing a long trip from the Northeast, canceled their scheduled appearances because of the threat of rain.
Taylor Branch won a wreck-filled 40-lap race for Bowman Gray’s Sportsman Division. Doug Wall won a 20-lap Street Stock race. Wesley Thompson won the 15-lap Stadium Stock main event.
Branch took the lead from Derek Stoltz on the 17th lap and hung on for his first victory of the season. Stoltz finished second, and John Holleman third.
Ryan Robertson hung on to the lead in the Sportsman standings, but Branch trimmed his deficit from 17 to nine points with three weeks left in the season.
Two European drivers competed at Bowman Gray as part of a NASCAR development program.
Belgian driver Guillaume Deflandre finished ninth in the Sportsman race, and Ulysses Delsaux was 12th in the Street Stock race.