Tire Strategy Gives Ward the Win at Bowman Gray
 

Brandon Ward celebrates in Winner’s Circle after winning the Hayes Jewelers 200. photo by Eric Hylton Photography

(Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC) Last week, the weather caused the postponement of Bowman Gray Stadium’s racing. Not to be outdone, this week’s weather played head games with the leaders – and may have changed the outcome of the race.
            The rain fell last Saturday on lap 40 of the Hayes Jewelers 200 for the Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series, which is where the competitors picked back up one week later on Saturday. The restart was delayed by several minutes due to yet another rain storm that wet the track prior to the green flag. And it seemed like more weather was on the way.
            Anticipating that precipitation would end the race before the full 200 laps, frontrunners Tim Brown of Tobaccoville and Burt Myers of Walnut Cove laid it all on the line. “Our strategy was to run to halfway. We were watching the radar and it was coming,” said Myers. “I wasn’t going to wreck Tim, but I wanted to put enough pressure on him to make him make a mistake.”
            Brown and Myers raced feverishly in restart after restart, with Myers nearly making the pass from the outside.             As Myers began to almost clear Brown, the #83 of Brown muscled into Myers to preserve his position. Myers fell back to second but quickly rammed Brown in return, taking the lead away.
            “We ran side by side there for a while - and when he finally door slammed me down there, I got a little rougher than I had been,” said Myers. “I got the lead, and then the caution came out.”
            Myers and Brown were caught by surprise when no rain fell. Then the crowd was caught by surprise as Myers and Brown headed to the pits for a quick tire change on lap 159. That left slightly over 40 laps for them to fight their way up from the back.

Burt Myers (1) moves to the inside of Tim Brown (83 – outside row) to claim the lead after a shot to the rear bumper. photo by Eric Hylton Photography

            “Burt had ran me so hard I didn’t have any tires left,” said Brown. “I knew I couldn’t win it staying out, because other cars were starting to pit. Pretty much - you have to go off what the other cars do. When the 1 [of Burt Myers] and the 4 [of Jason Myers] pitted, I had no choice. I had to pit.”
            With the double-file restart, Myers and Brown quickly made their way through the field. Brown maneuvered his way up to third and was looking for an opening to power past Ronnie Clifton of Walkertown to take over second. But both collided as they battled, sending both of them spinning into the guard rail.
            “I caught the 66 [of Clifton], and it looked like he was going to give me the bottom – so I cut it to the bottom,” said Brown. “I had four new tires. We were by far the fastest car on the track, and he cut down on me and wrecked both of us.”
            Meanwhile at the head of the field, Brandon Ward of Winston-Salem had taken over the lead after the mass pit stop on lap 159. Ward’s tire strategy had worked out a little differently. “We had to pit early because we needed to make adjustments. So we stopped and took our tires quite a bit earlier than the rest of the leaders,” said Ward, who was worried about how his car would perform later in the race. “But really once we could get out front, the car made some really good times,” said Ward.
            John Smith of Mount Airy attempted to slip by Ward with a few double-file restarts, but Ward held strong. Ward claimed the checkered for the 200-lapper – the biggest win of the season and his first ever victory at the Madhouse. The accomplishment adds his name to the list of fabled winners at the Stadium such as Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, and Glen Wood.
            “I’ve raced all over the country, and I’ve never raced in front of a crowd like this,” said Ward. “There’s a lot of history here, and that’s what makes this place so special.”
            John Smith finished in second, with Joe Ryan Osborne of Kannapolis taking third. The official results are currently pending review.
            In the Yates Grading & Paving Sportsman Series, Zack Clifton of Belews Creek grabbed the victory trophy, while Tommy Neal of Rural Hall came in second.
            Derrick Rice of Kernersville won in the Q104.1 New Country Street Stock Series, with both A.J. Sanders of Mockville and Brandon Brendle of Winston-Salem claiming the checkered in the McDowell Heating & Air Stadium Stock Series.

Race Results

Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series
Unofficial – currently pending review
Hayes Jewelers 200: 200 laps completed

FINISH

CAR

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

1

04

Brandon Ward

Winston-Salem, NC

2

53

John Smith

Mount Airy, NC

3

27

Joe Ryan Osborne

Kannapolis,NC

4

65

Danny Bohn

Huntersville, NC

5

1

Burt Myers

Walnut Cove, NC

6

40

Luke Fleming

Mount Airy, NC

7

4

Jason Myers

Walnut Cove, NC

8

15

Jeremy Gerstner

Wesley Chapel, FL

9

5

Randy Butner

Pfafftown, NC

10

12

Mike Norman

Lewisville, NC

11

77

Lee Jeffreys

Winston-Salem, NC

12

50

Michael Clifton

Walkertown, NC

13

18

Daniel Yates

Lexington, NC

14

44

Daniel Beeson

Kernersville, NC

15

2

Joseph Brown

Lewisville, NC

16

87

Mike Speeney

King, NC

17

83

Tim Brown

Tobaccoville, NC

18

66

Ronnie Clifton

Walkertown, NC

19

79

David Calabrese

Toms River, NJ

20

71

Dean Ward

Winston-Salem, NC

21

76

Scott Gordon

Lewisville, NC

22

22

Jonathan Brown

Winston-Salem, NC

23

16

Chris Fleming

Mount Airy, NC

24

11

Junior Miller

Winston-Salem, NC

 

Yates Grading & Paving Sportsman Series
Sportsman Race: 40 laps

FINISH

CAR

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

1

81

Zack Clifton

Belews Creek, NC

2

21

Tommy Neal

Rural Hall, NC

3

26

Michael Tilley

Winston-Salem, NC

4

07

Kevin Neal

Walkertown, NC

5

31

Mike Robertson

Winston-Salem, NC

6

55

Zack Ore

Winston-Salem, NC

7

28

Billy Gregg

Lexington, NC

8

70

Noah Triplett

Lexington, NC

9

51

Rob Knabel

Tobaccoville, NC

10

11

Wayne Hill

Winston-Salem, NC

11

68

Robbie Brewer

Winston-Salem, NC

12

4

John Holleman

Winston-Salem, NC

13

7

Dylan Ward

Winston-Salem, NC

14

12

Justin Taylor

King, NC

15

0

Michael Adams

Yadkinville, NC

16

3

Jeff Garrison

Clemmons, NC

 

Q104.1 New Country Street Stock Series
20 laps

FINISH

CAR

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

1

20

Derrick Rice

Kernersville, NC

2

19

Tom Zachary

Yadkinville, NC

3

1

Jasper Sumner

Trinity, NC

4

50

Austin Edwards

Winston-Salem, NC

5

58

Steven Berrier

Germanton, NC

6

97

Jeremy Warren

Winston-Salem, NC

7

40

Taylor Robbins

Winston-Salem, NC

8

52

Fletcher Whaley

Advance, NC

9

24

Chris Thomas

East Bend, NC

10

0

Kirk Sheets

Hornytown, NC

11

22

Brian Wall

Lexington, NC

12

7

Jamie Byrd

Mount Airy, NC

13

9

Darren Cotner

King, NC

14

17

Jeremiah Simonis

Germanton, NC

15

29

Bradley Potts

Clemmons, NC

16

49

Phillip Jones

Lexington, NC

17

14

Aaron Hylton

Kernersville, NC

18

69

Gerald Robertson Jr

Winston-Salem, NC

19

16

Brad Lewis

Winston-Salem, NC

20

10

Zach Linville

Kernersville, NC

21

12

Doug Wall

Pfafftown, NC

22

30

Blake Shupe

Mount Airy, NC

 

McDowell Heating & Air Stadium Stock Series
1st Stadium Stock Race: 15 laps

FINISH

CAR

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

1

24

A.J. Sanders

Mocksville, NC

2

8

Shane Southard

Yadkinville, NC

3

30

Stephen Sanders

Lexington, NC

4

17

Andy Southern

Lexington, NC

5

48

Junior Smith

Lexington, NC

6

90

Robert Strmiska

Lexington, NC

7

29

Cody Arrington

Mount Airy, NC

8

38

Christopher Joyce

Winston-Salem, NC

9

23

Andy Spears

Lexington, NC

10

62

Kevin Hedgecock

Thomasville, NC

11

14

Ken Bridges

King, NC

12

22

Adam Thomas

Winston-Salem, NC

13

88

Ronnie Cranfill

Mocksville, NC

14

71

Auston McElveen

Winston-Salem, NC

McDowell Heating & Air Stadium Stock Series
2nd Stadium Stock Race: 15 laps

FINISH

CAR

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

1

40

Brandon Brendle

Winston-Salem, NC

2

81

Chuck Wall

Lexington, NC

3

97

Bryan Sykes

Lexington, NC

4

76

Billy Cameron Jr

Salisbury, NC

5

31

Zack Staley

Lexington, NC

6

02

Wesley Thompson

Advance, NC

7

99

Dustin McClure

Mooresville, NC

8

7

Barry Wilson

Stokesdale, NC

9

83

Shane Tuttle

Tobaccoville, NC

10

06

Derek Sheets

Walkertown, NC

11

54

Justin Owens

Walnut Cove, NC

12

10

David Hopkins

Winston-Salem, NC

13

27

Austin Cates

Tobaccoville, NC

14

09

Tim Evans

Clemmons, NC