Twenty cars showed up for that Frankiln County race, couple that with the 17 that ran at Bowman Gray and Myers was proven right. There are enough Southern Mods for that series to grow, now it's up to the drivers, teams, and sanctions to work together and make some Southern Modified magic

By Kevin Thorne
If the stars align properly this year, the ASA Southern Modified Tour and the NASCAR Whelan Southern Modified Tour could share a champion. His name is Burt Myers. The Myers name is legendary in and around the Carolinas. Burt, first cousin to Danny "Chocolate" Myers (longtime gasman for the late Dale Earnhardt), has been racing for 13 years.

"I started racing four cylinders at Bowman Gray [Stadium]. I ran it about half a season. I did OK, I guess, then I was given a chance by my father Gary to drive a modified.

"He said, 'There's a car, if you race it, you have to keep it up.' That year was tough; in fact, I had to get a loan from the bank to pay my tire bill at the end of the season. It was then I realized I better start running up front if I was going to keep racing and, besides, Modified racing is in my family's blood."

So much so that he is running both the ASA and NASCAR Modified tours this year. At press time, he was leading the ASA points and second in NASCAR points, just 23 behind Junior Miller.

If that's not enough, Myers is also running his Modified at Bowman Gray in the hunt for the track championship. "Between the three series that we run, the cars aren't that much different, and that's a good thing. The only difference is the tires," explains Myers. "The tours run the 15-inch tires, and we run the 10-inch tires at the stadium. ASA does grandfather cars in, allowing the 23-degree motors as well as |18-degree motors. If you run the 23-degree motor, they let you run with the bars knocked out of the carburetor. It adds about 25 hp so they can be more competitive."

If it sounds like Myers knows his stuff, he does. "I build cars, I fix cars, I know what makes them tick. I'm old school, I want to know why the parts do what they do," he says. "When you say the car is tight, there are two different types of tight. There's a tight that might need less right-front spring, and there's a tight where you might need less left-rear spring, and you have to know the difference in the two."

Myers would like to move up to the next level of competition. "You would think that with 53 wins and 5 championships, I could get looked at, but so far, nothing." Sure, he's had a look here and a test run there, but they either didn't pan out or were with lower-performing teams. "Nobody remembers if you finish 31st or, if they do, they think you don't have it," Myers says.

At 31 years old, getting noticed by the right big-time team owner could be a tricky proposition. So right now, Myers is content to concentrate on winning the championship in ASA, the NASCAR Southern tour, and the Stadium's track championship. If he does, it might be the kick-start his career needs.