Keith Bumgarner Cushions Points Lead After Saturday Night's 50 Lapper

By Adrian Sanders - toadtraxracing@yahoo.com

It appeared that Chris Bristol, driver of the #92 MBNA Joe Gibbs Chevrolet would gain a couple of championship points on current leader Keith Bumgarner after leading every lap of Saturday Night's 50 lapper. However, after failing to pass post-race technical inspection, NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series Officials disqualified Bristol for a fuel infraction and awarded 2 nd place finishing Keith Bumgarner the victory.

Chris Bristol led the field to the green flag with #58 Carl Cormier on the outside pole. On lap 1, #14 Randy Burnett put his Precision Suspension Chevrolet in 2 nd spot after passing Carl Cormier. James Edwards proved early on that he was ready to race up front in his #4 machine as he put pressure to the #77 Kodak car of Joe Henderson. Edwards gets under Henderson on lap 3 and takes over the 4 th spot. The first caution of the night comes out on lap 4 when 5 th place running Joe Henderson spins in turn 1 after hard racing with the #40 of previous track champion Matt McCall. Third place running Carl Cormier makes a pit stop after something went south on his ride. This moves Keith Bumgarner and his #95 Country Chair Ford into the top 5.

On the restart, the front runners stay in line until lap 6. #4 James Edwards looks under #14 Randy Burnett for 2 nd place but he gets loose and Burnett keeps the spot. By lap 10, Edwards is ready to mount another charge on Burnett as he uses the chrome horn in turn 4. He finally gets under Burnett on lap 12 and has the steam to pull off the pass for 2 nd place on lap 13. Burnett's car was obviously upset after being put out of the racing groove as #59 Coleman Pressley passes him for 3 rd and brings Keith Bumgarner with him on lap 14. Caution comes out on lap 15 after #77 Joe Henderson and #05 Danny Chafin make contact in the back of the pack sending Chafin spinning on the front stretch.

Chris Bristol leads the field back to the restart with James Edwards hanging on to the 2 nd place spot. On lap 18, Kevin Leicht puts his #32 Motel 6 car into the top 5 after passing Randy Burnett in turn 4. The pack remains relatively calm until lap 27 when #76 Akinori Ogata spins in turn 4 after being lapped by Chris Bristol. The remainder of the field squeezes by on the high side and Ogata continues without incident.

After the lap 27 restart, caution comes out again on lap 28 when #21 Brian Connor goes into the turn 3 wall. Connor was able to continue as he had minimal damage to his #21 LP Gear car.

After the restart, Coleman Pressley uses his #59 Kmart car to put the pressure to 2 nd place running James Edwards. Pressley uses the bumper in turn 4 getting Edwards just loose enough to take the 2 nd place spot. Keith Bumgarner takes advantage and follows Pressley to take the 3 rd spot. On lap 35, Kevin Leicht gives #4 Edwards a bump in turn 4 and passes him to take the 4 th spot. #14 Randy Burnett follows to take 5 th , sending Edwards

Chris Bristol leads the field back to the restart with James Edwards hanging on to the 2 nd place spot. On lap 18, Kevin Leicht puts his #32 Motel 6 car into the top 5 after passing Randy Burnett in turn 4. The pack remains relatively calm until lap 27 when #76 Akinori Ogata spins in turn 4 after being lapped by Chris Bristol. The remainder of the field squeezes by on the high side and Ogata continues without incident. back to 6 th . After having such a good run, Edwards is obviously on a tear to try and gain some position back as he gets into #14 Randy Burnett sending him spinning in turn 1 on lap 36.

On the restart, Edwards luck would run out quick as he tried to blast through the field. He made contact with #76 Akinori Ogata and never let up. Edwards' car climbed the left side of Ogata's car and rolled onto the roof. It was very tense moments as Edwards slid on his roof from the flag stand all the way to turn 1 where he made contact with the outside retaining wall. This brought out an immediate red flag as emergency crews ran to check on Edwards. Edwards was able to climb from his ride unharmed, but his car received extensive damage to the front clip, even knocking the windshield out of it.

After about a 15 minute red flag period, the field got back under way with Bristol still on the point. On lap 40, Keith Bumgarner put the heat to Coleman Pressley for 2 nd place but he is unable to get the car to hold the low line long enough to make the pass. Bumgarner settles back in line until lap 45 when he takes another look under Pressley in turn 4. This time it works out and he assumes the 2 nd spot. By this time, Bristol has checked out to about a 10 car length lead making it impossible for Bumgarner to catch him in time.

Chris Bristol took the checkered flag in his #92 car on lap 50 followed by #95 Keith Bumgarner, #59 Coleman Pressley, #32 Kevin Leicht and #15 David Mercer. However, after post-race inspection, NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series Officials awarded Keith Bumgarner with the win after #92 Chris Bristol was disqualified because of unapproved fuel.

Dexter Canipe Jr. proved he still has what it takes in the Limited Late Model Division as he picked up his 2 nd win of the season. Canipe battled through lapped traffic late in the race to hold off #44 Chris Chapman, #10 Andy Mercer, #00 Lucas Ransone and #2 Matt Leicht.

Kevin Eby took another victory in the Street Stocks division after qualifying on the pole. Eby was followed by #32 Gary Ledbetter, #16 Jonathan Smith, #40 David Smith and #1 David Manis.

After an eleven race winning streak by Matt DiBenedetto this year, Hickory Motor Speedway finally saw another face in victory lane for the Pro-4 Division. DiBenedetto qualified on the pole, but experienced some sort of trouble with his car and came to the attention of his crew before the start of the race. Officials made him start in the rear because of this pit stop.

The race literally turned into a demolition derby after several cars were taken out of contention including DiBenedetto, Willie Evernham and Rick Hale. After only 3 cars were left running, the flagman displayed the caution and checkered flag on lap 16 to #16 Randy Freeze. Freeze was followed by #98 Rob Lewis, #22 Brian Anderson, #55 Rick Hale and #19 Willie Evernham.

David Hasson picked up another win in the Hobby Stock Division followed by #98 Stephen Clippard, and #10 Wayne Reece.

 

The Pro Challenge Series made another visit to Hickory Motor Speedway with #71 Terry Mathis picking up the victory of the 50 lap event. Mathis was followed by #34 Chrissy Wallace, #44 Wil Smith, #18 Mark Dyer and #05 Jamie Blanton.

Join us Saturday Night July 30 th for Craftsman Night at the Races! A full slate of racing action is on tap for the night as Hickory Motor Speedway welcomes the USRA Street Stock Touring Division.