Opening night at Bowman Gray Stadium


Here kitty, kitty, kitty
Nov 14, 2002
Winston Salem, NC
Burt Myers won the pole and the 200 lap race on opening night at the famed stadium. With the use of the "cone double file restart", Myers had to fight off the challenges of Lee Jefferys, who started on the front row beside Burt. With 27 cars on the starting grid, 3 more than usual, and with more than the usual rookies, there were plenty of cautions. Of the 12 restarts, 8 of the car on the outside took the lead which is very unusual. Myers and Jefferys traded leads on almost every restart. With 31 laps to go, with Jefferys in the lead, Myers tapped Jefferys car, causing him to spin and sending Lee to the end of the line on the restart. Lee was as imagined, pretty ticked and raced around the track to catch up with Myers, obviously to give a retaliatory punt. Myers was too elusive and Jefferys was not able to take out his emotions. Myers went on to win the race and on the victory lap found Jefferys stopped on the back stretch waiting for him. The track crew prevented anything and Jefferys finally went to the pits. Danny Bohn, a second year driver from Connecticut was second with Tim Brown finishing 3rd. Jason Myers finished right behind Tim in 4th. For those who remember the "Madhouse", Junior Miller finished well down as did Chris Fleming. Jonboy Brown, the supposed "prince of the house", is now driving for his own team, as well as his brother. The elder Brown finished 6th, but was never a contender. The younger Brown finished near the bottom. Their equipment is nothing what they were used to, and who knows now what they will do.

On this night, a young man (if you can call him that at the age of 14) from France made his debut driving a stock car. The age to drive a stock car in Europe is, depending on the country, 16 or 18. With connections to NASCAR, the kid was given a chance to come to the US and give racing a modified stock car a chance. Thomas, his first name, was slowest in qualifying but not too far off, considering this was his first chance to show what he could do with only two days of practice. With the use of a promoter's provisional, Thomas started last but made the race. He was lapped several times but kept out of trouble and never got in the way with the leaders. He finished 18th out of 30 with the car in one piece. Not bad at all.

On a day that followed a beautiful day in the mid 70's, the temperature never got above 55 degrees and was one of the coldest days at the track that I've ever experienced. If you saw the Richmond race, you can see more or less what we experienced. We did dress for the temps though and the racing was very exciting. Lots of drivers moving up this year so there are plenty of rookies in all the classes, making for some very exciting racing.
Burt Myers is the poop up there! I make the trip there a couple times a year and it's better than any show I've been to. I've also ran there and it's everything great about racing packed in one place. If you're a race fan and never been, go! It may ruin you for anything else for a while but trust me, you owe it to yourself.
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