RANSONE TAKES TROPHY ON WOODFOREST NIGHT AT THE RACES
As the 100-lap BOJANGLES LATE MODEL STOCKS feature began Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway, one question was on everyone's minds. Could anyone stop Andy Loden who had won four features in row and, five of this season's first six races? Lucas Ransone #21 answered yes.
Ransone, age 17, who is a UARA STARS Late Model Touring Series regular, moved up from his 6 th starting spot and waged a spirited side by side battle with Andy Loden's #29 completing the pass for the lead on lap 54, then pulled away for a victory margin of nearly ¼ of a lap, as he lapped all but the top 5 finishers. The victory garnered Ransone a one-of-a-kind, hand-carved wooden signature trophy courtesy of WOODFOREST NATIONAL BANK, as well as the distinction of defeating Loden at his home track. That distinction was not apparent as the race's first half unfolded.
Loden started fifth, and after making a furious high line move from 3 rd place to the lead on lap 29, began to pull away from the field. 10 laps later Ransone moved into 2 nd place and the story of the race changed as he slowly moved in on Loden, setting up his winning pass.
Ransone survived 5 caution flags, including two 5-car incidents at opposite ends of the speedway that marred the races first 17 laps. However the last 83 laps ran incident-free with clean racing. These were the laps that he dominated.
Following Ransone and Loden across the finish line was #31 Kyle Grissom in 3 rd , 4 th went to Pole Winner #7 Ashley Huffman, and #59 Coleman Pressley rounded out the top 5.
“There's a lot of competition here and I just want to thank Andy Loden for racing me clean.” Ransone stated from a raucous victory lane celebration. When he was asked what it felt like to win at Hickory Motor Speedway, he simply responded, “I can't believe it.”
BOJANGLES LATE MODEL STOCKS points now finds Loden with 344 points, 50 ahead of Grissom in 2 nd, and Kyle Moon #19 now trails by 80 markers.
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS SUPER TRUCKS' action saw pole winner Dexter Canipe Jr. nurse home his #3 machine, with an audibly souring motor, to victory lane. Canipe held off #97 Keith Bumgarner to claim the win, while #69 Trevor Hignutt finished 3 rd , 4 th went to #70 Gary Ledbetter Sr., and #01 J.R. Allen rounded out the top five.
Canipe's victory tied him with Bumgarner at 194 points each in ADVANCE AUTO PARTS SUPER TRUCK points, while #45 Kenneth Pardue trails by 28 points in 3 rd .
#44 Jarit Johnson prevailed in a spirited late race, 5-lap battle with #55 Waylon Flynn completing the winning pass on lap 19, then pulling away to claim the Limited Late Model feature. Following Johnson and Flynn across the stripe were #07 Tyler Church in 3 rd , 4 th was #21 Chad Eades, and #39 Lee Queen rounded out the top 5.
#99 Andrew Carlson, who survived a spin and rebounded to a 6 th place finish, has 274 points. He saw his point lead dwindle to just 10 points over Johnson in 2 nd, and Flynn now trails by only 18.
Street Stocks action saw pole winner Gary Ledbetter Jr. dominate the feature for the 2 nd race in a row as he outdistanced #42 Terrence Tucker in 2 nd . 3rd place went to #03 Kevin Eby, 4 th was #7 Jeff Sparks, and #66 Scott Wallace rounded out the top 5.
Ledbetter's win cut Eby's point lead to 4 points, 236-232, in the Street Stocks' point chase, while Wallace now trails by 22 markers in 3 rd .
In Hobby Stocks' action, #07 Denver Jones made it two in a row as he led all 20 laps en route to victory lane. #5 Nikki Long was 2 nd, followed by #2 Roger Pitts II in 3 rd , 4 th was #90 Ronnie Sims, and #98 Wesley Sain rounded out the top 5.
Hobby Stocks' points finds Long with a dwindling 6-point lead over Jones 192-186 in 2 nd, while Sain trails by 20 markers in 3 rd .
All of us at Hickory Motor Speedway would like to thank all of you wonderful race fans who made “WOODFOREST NATIONAL BANK NIGHT AT THE RACES” a success and invite you back again next week for “PEPSI NIGHT AT THE RACES”, as we celebrate 57 consecutive years of racing at “America's Most Famous Short Track” on our anniversary night. This venerable facility has seen Ralph Earnhardt, Tommy Houston, Harry Gant, Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, Jack Ingram, Bob Pressley, Max Prestwood, and Dennis Setzer, among many other notables, win championships over the decades. But none of that would be possible without our celebration of one other noteworthy individual.
You, the greatest race fans on planet Earth.
So join us next Saturday night for our 57th anniversary extravaganza with fireworks, racing, and memories that last a lifetime at “The Birthplace of The NASCAR Stars.”