The “Andy & Andy Show” Heats Up at Hickory
(Newton, NC) Round #16 of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on “Advance Auto Parts Night at the Races!”, showed why Hickory Motor Speedway is the World's Most Famous Short Track. The night was filled with spectacular driving and emotional victories as the Bojangles Late Models, the Jewelry Exchange Limited Late Models, the Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks, the Hickory Street Stocks and the Hickory Pro 4's took to the track for one great night of stock car racing!
It didn't take long for the #29 of Andy Loden to put the pressure on the WynnCom Pole Sitter the #10 of Andy Mercer as he made his move for the lead during the Bojangles Late Model 50 lap feature. Loden was able to capture the first place position from Mercer by lap nine, leaving the two to battle side by side until the last lap of the feature. The first caution of the event flew when the #33 of James Goff and the #02 of Joey Coulter got together, sending Coulter for a spin as they came off of turn four. On lap 21, a second caution waved as the #88 of Kurt Crosbie went spinning down the back stretch.
The #25 of Sam Watts used the restart to his advantage as he made a move on Mercer to try and take away the second place position. Mercer proved to be too much for Watts, leaving Watts to settle for third. A third caution on lap 28 between Coulter and the #70 of Brit Anderson sent the two spinning as they drove into three. When the green flag waved, Watts made another move on Mercer, only to settle for third once again.
The fourth caution of the feature flew on lap 33, when the #99 of Sean Ballantine lost control coming off of four, sending him for a spin on front stretch. From the restart, Goff began to battle Watts for third. The two went head to head for the next five laps until they made contact on the front stretch, sending Goff side ways causing Watts to t-bone him as they headed towards turn one, bringing out the fifth and final caution.
The #8 of Jamie Yelton grabbed the third place position at the restart. With ten laps to go, the #59 of Coleman Pressley started to put the pressure on the #42 of Tim Goble for the fourth place position, Pressley took over the spot on lap 42. With five laps remaining, the battle was still for the first place position. Loden and Mercer continued running side by side, with neither giving an inch, until the final lap. As the two came off turn four, Mercer and Loden gave it their all, both going for the win and the close-quarters dash for the cash ended up with Loden out of room pinched up against the wall, giving Mercer the edge and the win. Mercer had this to say in Victory Lane, “I didn't mean to do it on purpose. I was just driving my heart out, I really wanted to win!” However, at this time, results are still unofficial pending official rulings on items checked in Post-Race Technical Inspection.
It didn't take long for the first caution to fly during the Jewelry Exchange Limited Late Model 35 lap event. On the first lap the #07 of Tyler Church went for a spin on the front stretch, causing the first yellow flag to drop. After the restart the #3 of Dexter Canipe Jr. and the #28 of Jason Crouse began to pull away from the field. Five laps into the event the #7 of Waylon Flynn spun heading into turn four collecting the #25 of Nick Proffitt, sending both cars to the back of the pack for the restart and bringing out caution number two.
The #05 of Jordan McGregor used the restart to his advantage as he made a run on the #17 of Kyle Mansch for third. The two ran side by side until lap eight when McGregor captured the position.
On lap 19, the #32 of Jeremy Harrell got loose heading out of turn four and spun on the front stretch bringing out caution number three. Great driving by Flynn allowed him to stop just in time before making contact the parked #32 as he came off of turn four. The fourth caution was soon to follow, on lap 20 when the #1 of Joe Chafin and Church make contact on the back stretch sending Church spinning and tearing the sheet metal off the left side of Chafin's ride. By lap 23, Proffitt was able to make his way back up towards the front as he began his battle for the fifth place position, grabbing it by lap 25. On lap 26, the #75 of Eric Evans and Proffitt made contact heading out of four, sending Evans for a spin on the front stretch. Evans collected the #39 of Lee Queen, taking the nose off of Evans' ride and causing the fifth and final caution to wave.
With five laps, remaining Proffitt managed to grab the fourth place position from Mansch. Proffitt continued his run to the front as he battled McGregor for third until the bitter end. The two were nose to nose as they came off of turn four, but McGregor had the edge as he took the checkers only inches ahead of Proffitt. Mansch rounded out the top five. Canipe took the win, followed by #28 Jason Crouse second.
The Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks put on an amazing show for the fans and their sponsor during the 35 lap event. The first caution flew early in the evening, as the #54 of Jen Crossman went spinning coming out of turn one on lap number one. It was an amazing battle from the restart with the #69 of Trevor Hignutt, the #97 of WynnCom Pole Sitter Keith Bumgarner, the #6 of Dexter Canipe Jr. and the #59 of Rock Harris were all running for the top place position. Heading into down the backstretch, Canipe Jr. took Hignutt and Bumgarner three wide, but let up as they headed into turn three to avoid wrecking. On lap four, the #29 of Ricky Dennie Jr. went spinning as he headed into turn three, bringing out caution number two.
A third caution flew on lap nine as Crossman went spinning again, this time on the backstretch. The restarts proved helpful to Canipe Jr. as he grabbed the second place position from Bumgarner by lap ten. Canipe Jr. continued his was to the front as he battled Hignutt for the lead taking the position by lap 12. On lap 16, Bumgarner got into the back of Hignutt as the two head into turn two. The bump caused Hignutt to loose momentum allowing Bumgarner to get along side of him. The incident allowed Harris the opportunity to sail past Hignutt and Bumgarner to capture the second place position. With fifteen laps to go, going three wide with lap traffic, Bumgarner was able to take third from Hignutt. Dennie Jr. completed the top five. Dexter Canipe Jr. took home the trophy, with Harris second.
It was an amazing night for the WynnCom Pole Sitter the #1 of Taylor Stricklin during the Hickory Street Stocks 30 lap event. Stricklin pulled away from the field the moment the green flag waved. The man to watch was that of #64 Marshall Sutton, as he worked his way from dead last to the sixth place position by lap eight. On lap 15, the #03 of Kevin Eby began to put the pressure on Stricklin, as he battled him for the lead without success. With ten laps, remaining Sutton began to work on Eby for second, grabbing the spot on lap 23. The first caution waved on lap 24 when the #43 of Heather Bell experienced troubles on the back stretch causing her car to stall between turns three and four. The restart was not what Stricklin wanted to see as Sutton, who was running the fastest laps, was right on his tail. With four laps, remaining the #29 of Joey Everhart got loose coming off of turn two and went for a spin bringing out caution number two.
Sutton was happy to see the restart as it put him in the prime position to battle Stricklin for the lead. Sutton showed Stricklin no mercy as he continued to try and capture the win. The two were close coming off turn four on the final lap, but the rookie Stricklin proved he belonged in Victory Lane as he was able to hold off the veteran Sutton for his first-ever win. “I couldn't ask for a better group of guys to race with. This is my fourth race ever, so hopefully we have a future ahead…” an emotional Stricklin stated in Victory Lane. Eby, the #83 of Jeff Jansen, and the #5 of Mike Newton made up the top five.
The Hickory Pro 4's provided fans with some great racing action during their 25 lap event. It was no surprise to see the #57 of Josh Wimbish battle the #21 of WynnCom Pole Sitter Todd Harrington for the lead the moment the green flag waved. The two went head to head for the first five laps of the race, but on lap six Wimbish made his move and took away the lead from Harrington. With ten laps remaining, the #4 of Adam Beaver began his battle with the #9 of Shane Canipe for third. Beaver would lose ground on the front and backstretch, but picked up momentum in the corners. On the final lap, Beaver was able to complete the pass and capture the position, leaving Canipe to finish fourth. The #16 of Randy Freeze completed the top five.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will be taking next Saturday off at Hickory, but the USAR Hooters Pro-Cup Series will be making an appearance at The Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars for the “4Brothers 250 presented by Galaxy Food Centers”. Grandstands for the August 2 nd event open at 3:30 PM and tickets are on sale now at Speedway Offices.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will be back on Saturday, August 9 th for the 17 th round of the 2008 racing season. The night will feature the Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks, the Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks, along with a special 50 lap feature for the Jewelry Exchange Limited Late Models and a special 100 lap feature for the Bojangles Late Models. Grandstands open at 5 PM with qualifying immediately following. An On Track Autograph Session featuring the Bojangles Late Models will take place at 6 PM, with feature racing action beginning at 7 PM. Tickets for the event are only $10 for adults, $8 for teens and seniors, $5 for kids 7-12 and kids 6 and under are free. For more information please visit our website at www.hickorymotorspeedway.com or by phone at 828-464-3655. We can't wait to see you at the races!
Hickory Motor Speedway is a .363 mile asphalt track. The track held its first event in June of 1951 posting Gwyn Staley as the event winner. Hickory Motor Speedway has supported series such as the now Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Currently the Speedway is sanctioned by NASCAR featuring the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The Speedway also hosts a wide variety of touring series that travel throughout the country.
Hickory Motor Speedway runs Saturday nights, mid-March through October. Grandstands open at 5 PM with racing beginning at 7 PM. For more information visit www.hickorymotorspeedway.com.
Bojangles Late Model 50 (Late Model Results Still Unofficial)
Jewelry Exchange Limited Late Models 35
Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks 35
Hickory Street Stocks 30
Hickory Pro 4's 25
WynnCom Pole Award
Bojangles Late Models:
(10) Andy Mercer – 15.143 seconds
Jewelry Exchange Limited Late Model:
(3) Dexter Canipe Jr. – 15.812 seconds
Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks:
(97) Keith Bumgarner – 15.972
Hickory Street Stocks:
(1) Taylor Stricklin – 16.935 seconds
Hickory Pro 4's:
(21) Todd Harrington – 16.053 seconds