“ Andy Loden Becomes First Repeat Winner”
By Adrian Sanders ASandersRYRE@carolina.rr.com
Newton, NC…After using his signature move to the outside and taking over the lead early in the race, Andy Loden proved uncontestable through several late race cautions and took home his second win of the 2006 season.
Jesus Hernnadez started from the pole position in his #41 Waste Management Chevrolet with #10 Andy Mercer starting on the outside. The first 2 laps were intense as positions 1 thru 10 stayed side by side as if it were a full speed pace lap. Carl Cormier was the first to get things settled out coming around to lap 3 as he cleared #3 Dexter Canipe Jr. to take over 5 th .
Randy Burnett also moves his #14 machine past Andy Mercer to assume the 2 nd position. Andy Loden, who started 4 th begins to make his move on lap 4 as he jumps to the outside of Mercer for 3 rd . Loden takes over the spot by lap 5 and is able to keep the steam going out of turn 2 as he rockets past the #14 of Burnett and dives into turn 3 on the low side to pressure Hernandez for the lead. Loden had a run on Hernandez but backed off to keep from making contact in turn 4. After things settle down for a couple of laps, Loden is ready to challenge for the lead again on lap 8 as he looks to the outside of Hernandez in turn 4.
This time it works and Loden goes to the lead. Also on lap 8, #32 Kevin Leicht gets past Carl Cormier to take over the 5 th spot. Caution comes out for the first time of the night on lap 11 as #2 Matt Leicht goes spinning in turn 1. Leicht does an outstanding job by staying on the throttle to spin it out and keep it out of the wall.
Andy Loden leads the field around for the restart. At the drop of the green, Randy Burnett gets a great jump on 2 nd place running Hernandez and takes over the spot, while Kevin Leicht does the same to Andy Mercer taking over the 4 th spot. Mercer loses another spot on lap 19 as Canipe Jr. passes on the outside to take over 5 th . Caution comes out again on lap 22 for 2 nd place running Randy Burnett who spins coming out of turn 4. It appeared that Burnett was assisted in that spin by #41 Jesus Hernandez, and NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series Officials sent both to the rear of the field for the restart.
Loden continues to lead and brings the field down for the restart. Everyone remains single file until lap 24 when #10 Andy Mercer looks under Canipe Jr.
They run side by side until lap 26 when Mercer finally prevails and takes over 3 rd place coming out of turn 2. Andy Mercer continues to charge back toward the front as he catches #32 Kevin Leicht by lap 35 and passes him on the backstretch to take over 2 nd place. Things remained fairly calm and it appeared that Andy Loden was well on his way to an uncontested victory as he had pulled almost a full straight away on the 2 nd place running car of Mercer. However, on lap 48 the caution comes out at #85 Bobby Measmer Jr. spins in turn 2. This would set up a 2 lap battle between 2 of the strongest cars in the field, Loden and Mercer.
Loden gets a good restart but as the field sails into turn 1, 3 rd place running Kevin Leicht spins his #32 machine bringing out the caution. Reports indicated that Leicht apparently suffered a broken ball joint on the right front of the car after thinking for several laps that something wasn't right with the car.
Loden brings the field around to the restart but #85 Bobby Measmer Jr. spins out again bringing out yet another yellow flag before another lap is completed. Measmer Jr. decides to park for the night this time.
Andy Loden brings the field to the green flag once more and this time the race was on. Mercer tried to look to the inside but just couldn't make it work in 2 laps as Andy Loden brought his #29 Chevrolet across the stripe first becoming the first repeat winner of the 2006 season in the Bojangles Late Model Division. Loden was followed by #10 Andy Mercer, #58 Carl Cormier, #3 Dexter Canipe Jr., and #54 Brandon Dean.
Andy Loden had this to say in Victory Lane:
“This car was good tonight, I think it was one of the best we have had all year. I got a new set of shocks and they really made the car take off better. I have just got to thank Jason, Monroe Roadways, Culp Oil and all my guys who helped get this thing together. We are trying to come back in the points after the 2 bad weeks earlier this year, so if we can get about 15 more of these we should be there in the end.”
In the Limited Late Model Division, Andy Mercer grabbed another checkered flag followed by #14 Brandon Cox, #44 Matt DiBenedetto, #92 Marc Davis and #43 Jesse LeFevers.
Gary Ledbetter grabbed another victory in the J&J Roofing and Sandblasting Street Stock Division. Ledbetter was followed by #54 Waylon Flynn, #03 Kevin Eby, #40 David Smith and #64 Marshall Sutton.
In the Pro-4 Division, #86 Wayne Brown scored his first win at Hickory Motor Speedway. Brown was followed by #21 Todd Harrington, #1 Jacob Lehn, #57 Grant Wimbish and #09 Randy Canipe.
The Hobby Stock Division saw another large field of 9 cars with #14 Michael Sidden taking home the win. Sidden was followed by #5 Nikki Long, #46 Jason Garwood, #55 Jackie Stone and #11 Jimmy Whisnant.
Join us Next Saturday Night May 13 th at Hickory Motor Speedway for Ladies Night. All Ladies will be admitted for only $5! Come on out and see some awesome racing action in the Bojangles Late Models, Limited Late Models, Pro-4's, Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks and the Ford Focus Midgets!