By: Jill Frischmann
(July 11, 2009 -- Newton, NC) It was another amazing night for stock car racing as drivers from the Hickory Street Stocks, Bad Boy Mower Super Trucks and the Bojangles Late Models along with other special guest drivers took to the track for the 2 nd Annual Dwight Huffman Memorial presented by Arby's. It was a night full of laughter, tears and fond memories as family, friends and fans joined together in memory of the late, great Dwight Huffman. Opening ceremonies were filled with emotions as friends and family members of Huffman reminisced about his character, compassion and contributions to the sport of auto racing. The #23 of Matt McCall capped off the night by wheeling his hot rod to victory lane capturing the trophy and winning the Randolph Billiards Renegade Challenge, taking home an astounding $14,014 paycheck.
There were many twists and turns involved for the drivers looking to become part of the 2 nd Annual Dwight Huffman Memorial. 41 drivers qualified to make up the 34 car field, 31 drivers were added to the starting grid based on time, the #92 of Candace Muzny and the #19 of Kyle Moon got in based on points, the #07 of Greg Marlowe was selected for the Promoter's Choice provisional while the #35 of Chris Lewis, the #01 of JR Allen and the #15 of Marc Davis raced their way into the event during the 20 lap Last Chance Race. The 177 lap feature event was split into segments; the first portion included 150 laps, creating a 27 lap shootout for the second portion. The Randolph Billiards Renegade Challenge was presented to pole sitter, the #81 of Paddy Rodenbeck during driver introductions offering Rodenbeck the opportunity to double his winnings if he would give up his pole position, start from the back to come back and win the feature event. Rodenbeck elected to pass on the challenge allowing second place starter, the #23 of Matt McCall the opportunity to take the challenge. McCall accepted the challenge and started the feature in the back of the pack on a mission to make it back up front by lap 177.
It was a smooth start for the 34 car field as Rodenbeck lead the field around the track. The first caution flew early as the #41 of Clay Rogers looped around coming out of turn four. Quick moves by the back of the pack allowed all drivers to miss the spin of Rogers. Another smooth run got under way until lap 50 when the #51 of Chris Lawson came to a stop on the back stretch causing caution number two to wave. Drivers were on the move as the race went back to green flag racing, the #10 of Andy Mercer shot into the lead on lap 52 while McCall had maneuvered his way through the field landing in the top ten by lap 56.
Caution number three fell on lap 56 when the #8 of Jamie Yelton, the #33 of James Goff and the #01 of JR Allen collided as the field headed into turn four, sending Allen hard into the outside wall and Goff spinning around collecting the front end of his ride. As the field headed into turn one on the restart, Rogers and the #54 of Kaleb Pressley spun around, the #15 of Marc Davis spun alongside the two trying to avoid making contact with Rogers and Pressley, bringing out caution number four. From the restart Mercer continued to lead the field as McCall continued to work his way up to the front of the pack. On lap 65 the #66 of Steven Wallace gave Rodenbeck a friendly tap as he nosed his ride under Rodenbeck looking to move into the second place position. Rodenbeck powered on leaving Wallace to ride in third.
By lap 81 Rodenbeck was looking to get back out front as he pulled to the inside of Mercer and sailed on by moving back into the top spot. Rodenbeck left the door open for Wallace to follow, sending Mercer into an unfamiliar third place position. McCall continued his charge to the front of the pack making his way into the top five on lap 84. A fifth caution was brought out on lap 107 for debris on the track. At the restart Wallace got under Rodenbeck sending Rodenbeck up the track and off the pace allowing Wallace to move into the lead. As the field headed out of turn three, Mercer nudged Wallace and moved back into a position he was all too familiar with, the lead. On lap 109 Rodenbeck made contact with the #2 of Dennis Setzer heading into turn two sending Rodenbeck around bringing caution number six. McCall quickly jumped into the third place position at the restart continuing his ride to the front of the pack looking to move into the lead and hoping to double his winnings. On lap 110 Wallace moved back into the lead, while McCall slid under Mercer looking to take over second. It didn't take long for the seventh caution of the event to come out as the #30 of Jordan McGregor connected with Muzny sending Muzny around as the field exited turn two on lap number 116.
With 20 laps to go of the first segment Wallace continued to increase his lead over the field, running with a half straightaway lead over second place driver McCall. The eighth caution came out on lap 142 as Mercer came to a stop outside of turn four due to a tire down. With eight laps remaining at the restart McCall jumped to the outside of Wallace hoping to take the lead and capturing the position on lap 143. The ninth caution was soon to follow as the #29 of Ryan Gifford made contact with Setzer sending the two around collecting the #51 of Josh Wimbish and the #43 of Jesse LeFevers, who hit the wall trying to avoid the wreckage. At the restart McCall got loose allowing Wallace the opportunity to grab the lead. McCall managed to regain the top spot on lap 150 just as the first segment came to an end.
The second segment started with a bang as Lewis, Gifford and Setzer bunched up on the restart bringing out the first caution of the segment and the 10 th caution of the feature event. As the field went back to green flag racing, Wallace bobbled coming out of turn three allowing McCall to move back into lead. As McCall moved out front the #32 of Kyle Grissom glued himself to the bumper of Wallace looking for any opportunity to capture second place from Wallace. Caution 11 came out on lap 158 as LeFevers slapped the outside wall coming to stop outside of turn one, as the field came to a halt the #59 of Coleman Pressley found himself in the outside wall in turn two. It didn't take long for the twelfth caution to come out as the #7 of Ashley Huffman looped around coming out of turn two on lap 158.
Drivers were going for broke as the 177 lap feature event neared an end looking to capture precious track position leading to the thirteenth and final caution of the race. On lap 163 the #88 of Dexter Canipe Jr., Huffman, Mercer and McGregor piled up as the field headed out of turn one. During the restart Wallace hooked up with McCall, looking to ride his bumper to the finish line. It was a battle for third at the end as Rodenbeck put pressure on the #1 of Jake Crum grabbing the position on lap 170. Crum took the spot back on lap 172, but Rodenbeck wouldn't settle for third as he moved back into the spot on lap 173. With only four laps to go Wallace fell off the pace allowing McCall to sail into the sunset. Man that was fun, an overwhelmed McCall stated in victory lane, when I said yes (to the Randolph Billiards Renegade Challenge), I thought why not lets go play.
While McCall sailed away from the field the #25 of David Wilson slid passed Crum for third, leaving Crum and Setzer to round out the top five.
The Bad Boy Mowers Super Trucks hit the track for their special 50 lap event in true Bad Boy fashion. The first caution waved on lap two as the #10 of Barry Williams spun out as the field headed out of turn four. From the restart the field was quick to stretch out but that would soon end, as the #33 of Jeremy Birch spun heading out of turn four bringing out the second caution. Caution number three was brought out on lap 17 as Birch went around again, this time in turn two.
On lap 22 a fourth caution fell as the #11 of Thomas Beane and the #16 of Clint Fields connected in turn four. By lap 23 the #6 of Brandon Setzer was on the move to the front of the pack, as he took his truck three wide down the front stretch with the #00 of pole sitter Grant Davidson and the #69 of Trevor Hignutt. The smooth move by Setzer put him into the lead, but not for long as Davidson rallied back moving back out front on lap 25. On lap 26 Hignutt nudged Setzer out of the way as he regained the second place position, putting Setzer slightly off the pace allowing the #18 of Michael Cooper to slide into third, placing Setzer in fourth.
With only eight laps remaining Cooper began putting the pressure on Hignutt, looking to take over the second place position and doing so on lap 44. There were only four laps to go when the fifth caution was brought out as the #13 of Cory Cavazos get into the back of Setzer as the two headed out of turn four, sending Setzer for a spin on the front stretch. At the restart Fields looped around heading into turn one. As the pack tried to avoid making contact with Fields, Hignutt, the #5 of Johnny James, the #44 of Ron Hall and Johnson all connected in turn two bringing out the sixth and final caution of the race. As the field came around the track Davidson came to a halt in turn four as he dealt with mechanical issues, putting him out of the race. From the restart Cooper, Beane and Williams powered ahead leading the pack around the track. Hall and Setzer battled to the end trying for the fourth place position, but Hall had a bit more to give as he came to the checkers first leaving Setzer to settle for fifth.
The Hickory Streets stocks put on a show to remember as they took to the track for their 50 lap event. The #15 of pole sitter Waylon Flynn jumped to an early lead, as Flynn pulled away from the field the #64 of Marshall Sutton shot to the front capturing second place by lap two. The first caution flew on lap eight when the #23 of Darryl Wright lost control heading into turn two. Sutton used the restart to his advantage as he wheeled his way alongside Flynn powering by him on lap 10. Flynn lost control on lap 14 as he experience tire issues, bringing out the second caution of the event.
As the field went green, Flynn was in the back of the pack, but back on the pace as he weaved in and out of the field working his way up to the front. Flynn continued to put on a show as he battled the #00 of Bill Lett looking for his opportunity to capture the fourth place position. Sutton and the #03 of Kevin Eby continued with their commanding lead over the field, but Flynn was on the move and had his sights set on the first place position. On lap 40 Flynn found the break he was looking for as the third caution flew when the #89 of Chris Lafferty whipped around as he headed out of turn four.
The restart put Flynn in prime position to make a move on Sutton and regain his lead over the 17 car field. The fourth and final caution of the 50 lap event came out on lap 43 when the #32 of Jeremy Harrell, the #54 of Michael Harris, the #00 Ronnie Buckner and the #11 of Donnie Buckner all collided as the field headed into turn four. Only seven laps remained as the field went green, with Flynn in charge. Flynn continued to sail away from the field leaving Sutton and Eby to duke it out for second. The two swapped the position back and forth the last several laps, but it was Eby who powered ahead leaving Sutton to settle for third. Lett and the #99 of Jonathan Smith rounded out the top five.
Up Coming Event:
Be sure to join us next Saturday, July 18 th for Autism Speaks Night at the Races presented by Hickory Motor Speedway. The night will feature the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series with appearances by the Bojangles Late Models, the Advance Auto Parts Limiteds, the Bad Boy Mowers Super Trucks, the Hickory Street Stocks and the Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks.
Advance tickets are on sale now for this fantastic event at www.walknowforautism.org/carolinas with a portion of ALL advance tickets going to benefit Autism Speaks of the Carolinas. Advance tickets are only $7 for adults, teens and seniors, $4 for kids ages 7-12, with kids 6 and under free. All fans in attendance will have the opportunity to win big as Hickory Motor Speedway and riderswholesale.com will be giving away a total of $2,000 in cold hard cash to three luck fans. One winner will win $1,000 another will win $600 and a third fan will win $400, fans must be present to win and show proper id.
Remember if you're not here, you're missing out!
Pole Award Winners
Bojangles Late Models: 81 Paddy Rodenbeck 15.178 seconds
Bad Boy Mower Super Trucks: 00 Grant Davidson 15.767 seconds
Hickory Street Stocks: 15 Waylon Flynn 16.924 seconds
Tommy Johnson's Performance Parts Warehouse Hard Charger Winners
Bojangles Late Models: 23 Matt McCall
Bad Boy Mower Super Trucks: 11 Thomas Beane
Hickory Street Stocks: 00 Bill Lett
LATE MODEL STOCKS 1. 23 Matt McCall 2. 81 Paddy Rodenbeck 3. 25 David Wilson 4. 1 Jake Crum 5. 2 Dennis Setzer 6. 5 Brennan Poole 7. 15 Marc Davis 8. 30 Jordon McGregor 9. 07 Greg Marlowe 10. 57 Grant Wimbish 11. 35 Chris Lewis 12. 66 Steve Wallace 13. 32 Kyle Grissom 14. 2 Ty Dillon 15. 29 Ryan Gifford 16. 10 Andy Mercer 17. 7 Ashley Huffman 18. 88 Dexter Canipe Jr. 19. 59 Coleman Pressley 20. 43 Jesse LeFevers 21. 41 Brian Curry 22. 51 Josh Wimbish 23. 92 Candace Muzny 24. 00 Shane Huffman 25. 44 BJ Mackey 26. 54 Kaleb Pressley 27. 33 James Goff 28. 8 Jamie Yelton 29. 01 JR Allen 30. 61 Chris Lawson 31. 50 Jamey Caudill 32. 19 Kyle Moon 33. 28 Ryan Glenski 34. 46 Clay Rogers
LATE MODEL HEAT RACE 1. 35 Chris Lewis 2. 01 JR Allen 3. 15 Marc Davis 4. 85 Bobby Griffin 5. 04 Clinton Baker 6. 22 Toby Parese 7. 17 Rob Fuller
STREET STOCKS 1. 15 Waylon Flynn 2. 03 Kevin Eby 3. 64 Marshall Sutton 4. 00 Bill Lett 5. 99 Jonathon Smith 6. 1 Taylor Stricklin 7. 11 Donnie Buckner 8. 88 Josh Burchette 9. 32 Jeremy Harrell 10. 00 Ronnie Buckner 11. 54 Michael Harris 12. 9 Charlie Watson 13. 89 Chris Lafferty 14. 69 Trey Buff 15. 10 Kevin Townsend 16. 25 Jeremy Pelfrey 17. 23 Darryl Wrght
TRUCKS 1. 18 Michael Cooper 2. 11 Thomas Beane 3. 10 Barry Williams 4. 44 Ron Hall 5. 6 Brandon Setzer 6. 29 Jesse Ingle 7. 25 Mark Johnson 8. 69 Trevor Hignutt 9. 13 Cory Cavazos 10. 33 Jeremy Birch 11. 80 Danny Willard 12. 16 Clint Fields 13. 0 Jody Church 14. 00 Grant Davidson 15. 5 Johnny James 16. 15 Jenn Crossman