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North-South Shootout Wraps Up Great Year For Loftin
Nov 10, 2008 - updated Nov 10th, 2008 4:06pm
Web posted by MediaFit

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The North-South Shootout is one of the biggest modified races of the year. Cars from all over the north and south come to compete for their one chance at the bragging rights and prize money. The 2008 Whelen Southern Modified Tour Champion Brian Loftin and the #23 L&R Transmission Chevrolet were ready to cap off a great season with a strong finish in the race. However tire problems slowed them down, but still resulted in a 12th place finish.

The weekend started off well for Loftin as he turned solid times during practice. When it came time to qualify on Friday Loftin was ninth fastest, only .01 off the fourth place car. With only the top four cars qualifying on time Loftin had to heat race. He started on the outside pole but jumped to a quick lead as he led every lap. This first place finish had him starting the race 5th.

When the green flag waved Loftin got caught on the inside and moved back through the pack until he was able to get in the line and ride in the tenth spot. By lap 31 there was the third caution of the night and half the field brought their cars in to change the right two tires and fuel up to make sure they could make it through the 125 lap race. Loftin was 20th for the restart.

When the green flag waved he started picking off cars and moving forward through the field. Since this race does not count caution laps, there were three separate cautions on lap 47. The first one brought most of the remaining cars into the pits putting Loftin restarting 12th. After a strong restart the first time Loftin jumped up to 8th, but it took less than a lap until there was another caution.

When the cars were cleared and the green flag began to wave for the second time there was a seven car pileup over the start finish line. With good spotting and quick reactions Loftin was able to avoid it altogether. This put him restarting 7th.

Once again Loftin was caught behind a slow starting car on the restart and was pushed back to 10th. Lap 98 saw three cautions of its own. Loftin was able to jump fast on the restarts and move a little bit up the field each time. By the time the race started for the third time on lap 98 Loftin was sitting in 5th.

Loftin was unable to hold onto his position for long as his tires started to wear down, and he started to lose track position. Loftin ended the race 12th out of 34 cars that started the race.

“We were disappointed with how we finished tonight, but we still had a great season overall,” said Loftin. “The crew has been great all year. I could not have done as well without their help.”

Loftin is the 2008 Whelen Southern Modified Tour Champion. He ended his impressive season with 4 wins and 9 top five finishes in 13 starts.


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