Seuss’ Second Consecutive Title; Gerstner, Measmer Break Out
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Andy Seuss made history in 2015.
The New Hampshire native became the third driver in the 11-year history of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour to win back-to-back championships.
Seuss, who joins Junior Miller (2005-06) and George Brunnhoelzl III (2011-13) as the only other drivers to repeat as champion, rebounded from a tough start to the season and won the closest battle for the championship in the history of the tour.
Seuss visited Victory Lane three times to join Brunnhoelzl as the only drivers to record multiple wins this season on the tour.
Series regulars Danny Bohn and Burt Myers both won for the second year in a row, with Eric Goodale and Ryan Preece came down from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to pick up wins at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina and Virginia’s South Boston Speedway, respectively.
Seuss finished the year with three wins, five top-fives and eight top-10 finishes.
Here’s a quick look at some other highlights from the 2015 season:
Andy Seuss: The 28 year-old driver showed the resiliency that championship caliber drivers and teams often display on the way to scoring his second championship. After suffering crashes in two of the first three races of the season, the New England native who now calls North Carolina home, rebounded to finish with seven straight top-10 finishes to help him secure the title.
George Brunnhoelzl III (Honorable Mention): The four-time champion finished second to Seuss in the closest points battle in tour history and enjoyed another solid campaign driving for his family-owned team. Brunnhoelzl led more laps (623) than anyone else on the tour by an almost 3-to-1 margin and equaled Seuss’ mark of three wins. The West Babylon, New York, native also tallied six top-five and six top-10 finishes.
Comeback Driver of the Year
Andy Seuss: Seuss has been a fixture in the southern tour since 2008 so it’s not as if he just reappeared this season, but what he and his Ideal Racing team accomplished is worthy of mentioning in this category. After sitting in 11th in the point standings after the third race of the season, Seuss began his climb back into the championship hunt and was able to assume the top spot from Jason Myers after the fall race at South Boston and hold on to win the title.
George Brunnhoelzl III (Honorable Mention): Just like Seuss, Brunnhoelzl was down in the standings in early April after the South Boston race in 15th place after three consecutive finishes outside the top-10 to start the season. Brunnhoelzl went on to win three of the final seven races on the schedule and challenge Seuss with a strong run at a fifth championship.
Ideal Racing: The team led by veteran owner and crew chief Eddie Harvey displayed an ability to remain focused and get their equipment repaired and ready to contend for wins on a weekly basis. Harvey and the crew also were consistently among the top-three in pit stop performance during each race to give driver Andy Seuss an opportunity to remain up near the front of the pack throughout the second half of the season.
Myers Brothers Racing (Honorable Mention): This team featured Jason Myers or his brother Burt in either first or second place throughout the first nine races of the season with Jason finishing third and Burt fourth, respectively, in the final standings. Jason also started the season with his first career Coors Light Pole Award in the season opener at Caraway, while Burt picked up a win at Virginia’s Langley Speedway for the second year in a row.
Top Breakthrough Performance
Bobby Measmer Jr.: Measmer Jr. has enjoyed success and has already gained recognition on the tour as a previous rookie of the year contender in 2014. This season he showed everyone he’s ready to challenge for wins. The Concord, North Carolina, driver enjoyed his most successful year to date finishing with his first career Coors Light Pole Award at South Boston in September. He also added a career-high three top-five and eight top-10 finishes highlighted by scoring his first career podium finish (third) at South Boston in the fall.
Jeremy Gerstner (Honorable Mention): After competing part-time last year, Gerstner decided to return to full-time action with a new team and it paid dividends for the Wesley Chapel, Florida, driver. Gerstner teamed up with veteran team Shady Grady Racing and scored his first career podium finish coming home third at the team’s home track of Bowman Gray Stadium in August. He enjoyed his best statistical season to date with two top-five and six top-10 finishes.
South Boston Speedway, September 19: These two drivers have combined to win the last five tour championships and stand first and second in all-time tour wins, so it was no surprise Brunnhoelzl and Seuss were battling for the win in this action-packed race. Seuss started from the outside pole position and quickly took the lead on Lap 1 and remained out front until Brunnhoelzl would assume the top spot on Lap 68. The two would stage a challenge between one another for the remainder of the race highlighted when Seuss was able to make a pass on Lap 119 after a late restart and hold on for his third win of the season that put him into the points lead for the first time all year.
Langley Speedway, September 5 (Honorable Mention): Knowing he needed a win to get back in to championship contention and also having some recent frustrating finishes at the track, Brunnhoelzl came to the Virginia track focused. He went on to win the Coors Light Pole and remained up front the entire race holding off Kyle Ebersole and Seuss in a green-white-checkered finish to pick up his second win of the season to that point and challenging for a series record fifth championship.
Andy Seuss picked up three wins during the 2015 season to help him win his second championship and become the third driver in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour to win multiple titles. Grant Halverson/Getty Images