Andy Seuss captures NASCAR Southern Mods title in Charlotte

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A fifth-place finish last night on the infield quarter-mile at Charlotte Motor Speedway gave Andy Seuss the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship.

Seuss, a two-time runner-up in the Southern Mods standings, has finally broken through on the strength of three wins and 12 Top-5s in 14 races this year.

“All I would talk about leading up to this race was ‘We need a solid race, we need a solid race’ – didn’t even talk about the points,” said Seuss, who needed a finish of 12th or better to clinch.

“The team gave me an amazing car capable of much better than a fifth-place finish, but in the end, we were trying to protect ourselves. I can’t thank them enough.

“To say it was a dream is the truth. I didn’t really think it was a goal or attainable, but I’ve got a bunch of crazy people pushing for me, behind me, that help me when I think it’s not possible. It’s pretty amazing.”

Four-time and reigning champion George Brunnhoelzl III was dethroned in the process despite finishing third behind race winner Burt Myers and J.R. Bertuccio.

Considering Brunnhoelzl’s dominance in the Southern Mods, Seuss said it was critical to have a good start to 2014. He did just that by winning the season opener, seizing the championship lead in the third race, and going from there.

“We had a great end of last year and in the off-season, we gained even more and we knew we had to come out winning,” Seuss said. “We did. We had a perfect day at Caraway (N.C.) in the season opener and led every lap. Another great day at South Boston (Va.) early on, and that just kind of set the tone.

“The second half of the season was actually not what we’re used to as far as wins – we usually come on a little stronger. Maybe it was the points situation. But we knew we had to come out of the gates swinging and this team was up for the task and did a great job.”

Seuss will be honored for his accomplishment with the rest of NASCAR’s touring division champions at a Dec. 12 ceremony in Charlotte.

As for the outcome of Thursday’s race, Myers held off Brunnhoelzl in a green-white-checkered finish to earn the win in the Southern Slam 150.

The two had battled for the lead shortly after Lap 80 before Myers took and held control until the G-W-C. Bertuccio peeled second off Brunnhoelzl on the final lap.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).