Bumgarner Class of the Field in 100 Lapper at Hickory Motor Speedway

By Adrian Sanders toadtraxracing@yahoo.com

Hickory Motor Speedway's first 100 lap event of the season was packed full of cautions and excitement throughout the race, but it was of no concern to Taylorsville, North Carolina's Keith Bumgarner as he put his #95 Country Chair Company car upfront on the second lap and never looked back.

Scott Kilby #28 led the 19 car field to the green flag with Bumgarner on the outside pole. Bumgarner got a great start on the high side and was able to keep tempo with Kilby, taking over the top spot on lap 2. On lap 3, Pete Silva put the nose of his #01 Blossman Gas car under #20 Joey McMurtrie to try and take 5 th spot. The two battle down the backstretch then they touch going into turn 3 resulting in McMurtrie spinning to bring out the first caution of the night. Four other cars spun to avoid the crash but no cars suffered any substantial damage as all were able to resume the race at the rear of the field.

The field restarted single file, then on lap 4 Silva begins to put pressure on Mack Little in the #16 Parker Stop & Shop car. Silva gets under Little and takes over the 4 th spot. By lap 9, last week's winner #21 Chris Connor catches Little to try and take his 5 th place spot. Connor looks to the inside on lap 10 and the two battle side by side until lap 13 when Little gets loose allowing Connor to take 5 th . On lap 11, #01 Silva gets under #14 Randy Burnett and takes over 3 rd place. Caution comes out on lap 15 as #7 Mitchell Mote spins in turn 3.

The field takes the green flag for the restart as #95 Bumgarner, #28 Kilbey and #01 Silva battle nose to tail for the top spot. Caution comes out on lap 20 after Mark Johnson in the Klingspor Abrasives car and Tommy Lane in the www.racingone.com #99 make contact down the backstretch resulting in heavy damage to both cars. Johnson parks his ride for the night, but Lane is able to continue, after bringing his car to the attention of his crew.

On the restart, #21 Connor gets a look to the inside of #14 Burnett for 4 th , but caution flies again on lap 22 as #20 Joey McMurtrie spins in turn 2. Connor is sent back to 5 th since that was where he was running at the point of caution.

The field barely takes the green flag when caution flies again as the #7 of Mitchell Mote, #31 Darren Potts and #00 Brett Butler pile up in turn 4 at the rear of the field. The field goes green for two laps before caution comes out on lap 24 for #20 McMurtrie as he gets loose in turn 2 and spins his car again.

After the restart, on lap 30 #28 Kilby gets a look on the inside of Bumgarner to try and take the top spot, but Bumgarner keeps it wound up on the outside line and keeps the lead by lap 32. This battle allows Silva to close in and make it a three-way battle again. Caution comes out on lap 33 as the #57 of Colt James spins in turn 3 without major incident.

On the restart, Brian Connor gets another look to the inside of Randy Burnett for 4 th but is still unable to complete the pass. On lap 35, #01 Pete Silva begins to make a charge and put his nose under #28 Scott Kilby for 2 nd . However, caution comes out after #99 Tommy Lane, #15 David Mercer and #59 Coleman Pressley spin in turn 4. Due to where he was when the caution came out, Silva is sent back to 3 rd for the restart. Silva takes another look under Kilby on lap 38 as they battle side by side for two laps when caution flies again on lap 40 for #21 Brian Connor as he spins his car in turn 3 trying to take over the 4 th spot. This allowed #92 Chris Bristol to move into the top 5 for the first time of the night. This time, the caution played in favor of Pete Silva as he was in front of Kilby when the yellow was displayed.

The field goes green for only 3 laps before a yellow flag is displayed again after Tommy Lane spun his #99 www.racingone.com car at the end of the straightaway, resulting in a hard impact with the outside wall at the entrance to turn 1. This brought out a red flag as track personnel and paramedics tended to the accident. Lane was obviously shook up, but checked out by paramedics in the infield and was cleared of any injury.

The field takes the green for the restart and it stays green for almost 10 laps before the next caution comes out on lap 52 as #57 Colt James makes contact with #20 Joey McMurtrie sending both cars spinning in turn 3. The two were fighting for 7 th place, but both were sent to the rear of the field for the restart for bringing out the caution.

After the restart, on lap 56 Chris Bristol puts his #92 MBNA car in 4 th place after he got under #14 Randy Burnett for the position. On lap 59, Pete Silva, who has shown his muscle all night long, takes a look under Bumgarner for the lead. But after battling side by side for a couple of laps, Bumgarner once again keeps his top spot after hanging on the high line. By lap 68, #28 Scott Kilby catches Silva and challenges him for the 2 nd spot. Kilby looks underneath and the two touch as sparks fly down the backstretch. Silva is able to keep 2 nd place after the contact was made. Kilby proves that he has unfinished business in this race on lap 71 when he goes on the outside of Silva and easily takes the 2 nd spot. The final caution of the night comes out on lap 76 as #57 Colt James gets loose and spins in turn 3.

Everyone remains single file on the restart until lap 82 when Coleman Pressley puts the nose of his #59 Jones Racing Products car under #14 Burnett to try and take 5 th . Pressley is unsuccessful but tries the run again on lap 89. This time Pressley gets sideways down the backstretch and moves back to 8 th spot by the time he regains his momentum.

After the field took the white flag, #14 Randy Burnett spun just before the checkered flag causing him to lose his 5 th place finish. Upfront, Bumgarner rounded out his night of perfection as he took the checkered flag for the first time in 2005. Bumgarner was followed by #28 Scott Kilby, #01 Pete Silva, #92 Chris Bristol and #15 David Mercer. Bumgarner becomes the 5 th different winner in 5 late model races this year at Hickory Motor Speedway.

A very excited Bumgarner had this to say in Victory Lane:

“We have worked our tails off. Luckily we had a week off because we have worked non-stop. We changed the setup on the car and everybody has put in 110%. In practice it was off a little bit, but JB hooked us up on the tire stagger and it was awesome. I just had to hit my line and hit my marks every lap. It was pretty comfortable to know we had a two groove racecar. I saw Pete (Silva) get up there and I thought man I have just got to keep my focus, hit my marks and run my race. Now it's paid off….. we really like these 100 lappers.”

In other races, # 44 Chris Chapman claimed another checkered flag in the Limited Late Model division. Pole sitter, #10 Andy Mercer was involved in an early race altercation with #47 Kevin Bumgarner allowing Chapman to stay upfront and take his 3 rd win of the 2005 season. Chapman was followed by #00 Lucas Ransone, #10 Andy Mercer, #51 Colby Whitworth and #14 Brandon Cox.

Chapman had this to say in Victory Lane:

“This was a pretty good race. They got to beating pretty good in front of me while I was running 3 rd and I didn't know what was going to happen. I just held my time and they (Mercer and Bumgarner) got together and I got by. I think I got into Kevin (Bumgarner), I didn't mean to do that. I got in a little too hard and the whole car kind of took off on me, so I apologize to him. We had a good car, these guys worked hard. I want to congratulate this boy behind me (Lucas Ransone), he drove his butt off. I was beginning to wonder if we were going to be able to hold him off. We were good on restarts, but the longer we ran the car started to get a little bit tight, so I was lucky to hold them off. Thanks to all these fans for coming out, Conover Construction and Roofing, Chapman's Garage, Thomas Performance Center, All-Star Graphics and all these guys that work so hard.”

In the Pro-4 division, Matt DiBenedetto continues to dominate the field as he won his 5 th race in a row. DiBenedetto was followed by #6 Zachary Chiz, #55 Hank Hefner, #17 Curtis Pardue and #75 Allen Huffman.

DiBendedetto had this to say in Victory Lane:

“The car ran great, I am going to say that every single week because Mike works on the car and every single time it's perfect. I'd like to thank Hale's Plumbing Repair and Service for giving us an opportunity to come out here and race every single weekend, and thanks to Kawasaki/Yamaha of Hickory, if we didn't have them supporting us, it just wouldn't be possible. Thanks to my Mom and Dad, Wayne for helping out on the car and Sherry at Hickory Motor Speedway for doing such a good job with this track.”

The Mini-Stocks made their first appearance of 2005 at Hickory Motor Speedway with Lincolnton, North Carolina's Doug Setzer taking the win in his #48 Merican Muffler car. Setzer was followed by #09 Randy Canipe, #49 Arnold Propst, #7 John Setzer and #98 Rob Lewis.

Setzer had this to say in Victory Lane:

“Thank you very much. I've got a good car, a good crew and some heck of a nice competitors. Arnold (Propst) is my team-mate this year and he's going to run my back-up car this year. I can't say enough about Randy (Canipe), I love racing with him. I have no worries about him spinning me or anything, he just drives that clean. I plan to be back, we would love to have more races here because this is my home town track.”

In the Hobby stock division, David Hasson cruised to his 4 th win of 2005 in his #83 car. Hasson was followed by #98 Stephen Clippard, #11 Jimmy Whisnant and #-1 Ronald Dale McNeil.

Hasson had this to say in Victory Lane:

“I want to thank Bethlehem Salvage, I had to order some parts for the car and they had them to me on Monday after the last race. I want to thank Mark Johnson in the #29 car and everyone who helped me get this car out here.”

Hickory Motor Speedway will return to action on Saturday May 7 th . In celebration of Mother's Day Weekend, bring your mother to the races and she will get in the gate for half price.