Past Champions Fight for Win; Car Owner Claims First Checkered Flag at Hickory Motor Speedway

By Adrian Sanders

After setting a blistering pace on his qualifying lap, Scott Kilby held off a hard charging Pete Silva to take his first win of the 2005 season. This was also a milestone for his car owner, Johnny Price who has been fielding cars at Hickory for many years but never getting a win until Saturday night.

Scott Kilby led the field to green with Joey McMurtrie on the outside in his TH Properties #20 car. On the first lap, Pete Silva put the pedal down and motored by McMurtrie to put his Blossman Gas #01 in the 2nd spot. Keith Bumgarner also looks to the inside of #21 Brian Connor and grabs the 4th spot. By lap 2, Bumgarner puts his Country Chair Ford side by side with 3rd place running McMurtire, but he is unable to make the pass after a long battle. This allows Brian Connor to catch Bumgarner by lap 5 and take over the 4th spot. Meanwhile the #00 of Brett Butler who had started 3rd apparently has problems and loses pace with the leaders as he drifts back through the pack. Everyone stays single file until lap 24 when Bumgarner once again puts heat to the #21 of Connor to try and take his 3rd position. Bumgarner is able to take the spot after the two battling among lapped traffic. The first caution of the night comes out on lap 34 when #00 Brett Butler and #51 Bill Burd spin down the front stretch after making contact further back in the field.

On the restart, #51 Bill Burd who was running 1 lap down was caught up among the lead pack at the drop of the green flag. Going into turn 3, Burd makes contact with #95 Keith Bumgarner but is unable to move out of the way. This causes Bumgarner to lose several positions as he literally shoves Burd out of turn 4 and down the front stretch. Burd obviously unhappy with what is happening, makes contact with Bumgarner again sending them both spinning into the front stretch wall and bringing out the second caution of the night. Bumgarner is forced to pit due to the damage to his car, but not until he makes a lap around to catch Burd tapping his rear bumper to show disappreciation for the incident. Bumgarner makes repairs and restarts at the rear of the field on the lead lap.

On the restart, its Kilby still upfront with Silva close in tow. By lap 38, Silva decides its time toput the heat on. He looks to the inside as Kilby gets loose but Silva is unable to complete the pass. On lap 40, #14 Randy Burnett looks under #20 Joey McMurtrie for 4th and takes the spot. #58 Carl Cormier tries to take advantage and get under McMurtie as well. The two make contact in turn 3 as #20 McMurtrie spins bringing out caution after he was having his best run of the 2005 season.

After the restart, by lap 45 Silva puts pressure to Kilby again for the top spot. Silva gets a great run as they get side by side and battle for 3 laps until Silva slips going into turn 1. After taking the white flag, Silva tries to setup one more move on Kilby in turn 4 coming to the checkers, but it just wouldn't be enough. Kilby became the 7th winner in 7 races in 2005 at Hickory Motor Speedway. Car owner, Johnny Price was so excited about his first win at Hickory as a car owner, that he got the checkered flag, climbed in the passenger side window of the car and took a victory lap around the historic track with his driver.

Kilby had this to say in Victory Lane:

"I'm so happy to give Johnny (Price) his first win here at Hickory. I gave him his first pole the other week and his second pole tonight. A big thanks to Johnny as well as Clint McAfee....he does most of the work on this thing and Johnny spends most of the money on it. I was really fortunate that when I lost my sponsorship deal and didn't have a ride, Johnny gave me a call. We worked real hard on the car that he had here in the past but it just wasn't doing the job. He dug deep in his pockets this winter and came up with this brand new racecar and its really paying off. Pete (Silva) ran me hard. I really figured that Pete would be my biggest threat tonight and sure enough he was. He started to get against me up in the corner and really got me spinning my tires.....he knows what he's doing. He knows that if you spin those tires enough, they'll give up. But I want to thank him, he never turned us around, he raced us good and hard...we had a good race. I'd like to thank everybody for coming out tonight, its great to be back in victory lane here at Hickory"

In the Limited Division, Chris Chapman put his #44 Conover Construction and Roofing car in victory lane again after #10 Andy Mercer lost control of his car coming out of turn 2 while leading the race on lap 24. Chapman was followed by #47 Kevin Bumgarner, #5 Dexter Canipe Jr, #10 Andy Mercer and #00 Lucas Ransome.

Chapman had this to say in Victory Lane:

“I don't know what went on out there. I thought we had something for Andy there for a little bit. We had that early caution and when we went back to green this thing just got tighter and tighter. Luckily we held them off. I appreciate Kevin (Bumgarner) for running me clean. It looked like Andy got in the gas and when it got loose on him he just went on around. I don't know if we could have passed him or not but we would have sure tried. Like the old saying goes, take them any way you can get them.”

In the Super Truck Division, #69 Trevor Hignutt put his Carey's Towing machine out front early in the race and held off #12 Robin Harris after a green, white, checkered show down in the end. Hignutt was followed by #12 Robin Harris, #99 Brandon Dean, #77 Mike McIntosh and #91 Jonathan Doster.

Hignutt had this to say in Victory Lane:

“We went to Elkin last week, and didn't do too good as you can see. We tore some stuff up and have been working on this thing all week. I want to thank Carey's Towing, National Sign and Decal….hopefully we will get a couple more. Thanks to Robin Harris for running me clean, hopefully we will get some more trucks out here.”

Matt DiBenedetto continues to dominate the Pro-4 division as he wins yet another feature this week. DiBenedetto was followed by #55 Rick Hale, #98 Rob Lewis, #17 Curtis Pardue and #75 Allen Huffman.

DiBenedeto had this to say in Victory Lane:

“All I can say is I was working really hard, I wasn't letting off at all. I think when I get in the truck to go home, I'm gonna fall right asleep. I could have gone a couple hundred laps more, when your out on the racetrack you have the adrenaline pushing you….its when you get out that you realize you're so tired. I'm gonna start lifting weights. To run these cars, it gives your arms a decent workout. We are going to be running limited late models later this year. We are just trying to get all the money together and get ready to run with the big dogs. I'd like to thank K&M tires for helping us a lot, it really wouldn't be possible without them, thanks to my Mom and Dad for supporting me, Rick's Auto Graphics, Larry Pollard with LP gear and Hale's Plumbing Repair and Service.”

David Hasson continues to show his muscle in the Hobby Stock Division after making a late race pass just before the white flag on #98 Stephen Clippard. Hasson and Clippard were followed by #24 Adam Hatton, #11 Jimmy Whisnant and # -1 Ronald Dale McNeil.

The Allison Legacy Series cars made their first appearance of 2005 at the Hickory Motor Speedway. These are ¾ scale Winston cup cars that are well known as an affordable start to racing competition. 13 year old Statesville, North Carolina native Jake Crum started on the pole of the 50 lap feature and never looked back. Crum was followed by #48 Scott Lail, #7 Mark Howard and #00 Trevor Bayne.

Join Hickory Motor Speedway next week June 4 th to celebrate its 55 th Anniversary. A full slate of racing action is on tap for the night as the Legends cars return, along with the Carolina Vintage cars and the Pro-Challenge Series.