Kyle Grissom Wins Banjo Matthews Memorial 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway
Newton, N.C. (6/26/11) –Kyle Grissom landed his first win of the 2011 season at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday in the Banjo Matthews Memorial 150. After dominating the event, Grissom was followed to the line by Brennan Poole, Jesse Little, George Miedecke and Andy Mercer.
“As soon as we took off this thing was a rocket,” said Grissom in victory lane. “I told them on the radio that I didn't want to be leading that early but it was almost impossible to hold this thing back early on. I went ahead and got what I could when the tires were good. I got out front and maintained my pace, but I saw Brennan coming and got a little worried. We had them covered, tonight. That was a pretty good butt-hooping!”
Reigning track champion, Andy Mercer, won his first Sunoco Pole of the season with a 15.504-second lap. Starting outside of the pole sitter was reigning UARA Champion Coleman Pressley, making his first appearance of the 2011 season in Don Satterfield's Kingsport Speedway/Celebrity's Hot Dog Chevrolet Camaro.
Banjo Matthews' grandchildren, Mikayla and Trey Matthews, gave the command to fire the motors for the Banjo Matthews Memorial 150. Donnie Allison, who drove for Matthews during his career threw the green flag. Allison and Junior Johnson signed autographs for the Hickory fans earlier in the afternoon.
Jacob Roberson of Asheville was in attendance for his first UARA Race and he was given the royal treatment for being there. Roberson is the first recipient of the Banjo Matthews Scholarship. Roberson will be starting his racing education at IT college making his move there on July 11. Roberson's main goal at this time will be engines. The UARA congratulates Roberson on his accomplishments and his winning of the scholarship. Best wishes to Roberson for continued successs in his education and his future racing career.
Once the green flag dropped, Mercer edged ahead to the lead position. Pressley refused to give up and eventually passed for the lead on the third lap. The first caution of the race occurred when third place Garrett Campbell got in on the action and rubbed fenders with Mercer. Campbell's left-front fender flew off due to the contact in turn three but both were able to continue.
Mercer worked the outside groove and retook the lead on lap 12. While Mercer was busy getting the lead, Kyle Grissom was making his way through the field. Grissom made his way to the point by lap 18. Grissom, who claimed the Marlowe Racing Chassis Halfway Leader Award, opened up a straightaway advantage over the five-car battle for third between Campbell, Brennan Poole, Pressley, Jesse Little, and Kaleb Pressley.
The second caution of the night came out when Candace Muzny got a little help from a six car battle for position and spun in turn four. Muzny, who is a familiar face at Hickory Motor Speedway, qualified 18 th for the race and was awarded for the AR Bodies Hard Luck of the Race Award for her early misfortune.
Jeff Stankewicz brought out the third caution by spinning out of turn four in his series debut. Stankewicz spun alone and made contact with the outside wall. Once the field was back to green, Poole jumped to the inside of Campbell for third position.
The Holley Performer of the Race, George Miedecke, had an impressive night as he battled his way from fifteenth to the top ten by lap 10. Miedecke and teammate Ronnie Bassett Jr. raced door-to-door during the mid stages of the race. Bassett ended the night with a ninth place finish while Miedecke claimed another top-five. Bassett was also involved in an incident on lap 94 with Brad Cox but was able to continue.
“We had a rough practice. The car was horrible,” said Miedecke, a native of Australia. “We could get a quick lap but it was out to lunch after ten or fifteen laps. I can't thank my mates on the team enough to take such a big swing at the car like that and come away with something capable of driving from 15th to 4th. It says a huge amount about the Marcos Ambrose Motorsport team and I'm glad my dad and brother could come and see us run like that after flying thirty hours from Australia. But fourth isn't what we're looking for and we're going to do better.”
Rookie contender Joey Herques brought out one of the later cautions when his engine detonated down the backstretch. He was battling for tenth at the time. Other early retirees from the event included Michael Faulk, Stankewicz and Muzny.
Grissom, who won the Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race for 3V Performance, held off Poole on a late race restart and claimed his first win of 2011. The finish allowed him to close in on Poole's point lead. Jesse Little, Miedecke and Andy Mercer rounded out the top five. Matt Piercy was awarded the G-Force Shift of the Race for his sixth-place run. Garrett Campbell, Alex Yontz, Bassett and R.A. Brown completed the top ten.
The next event for the UARA-STARS will be next Saturday, July 2, at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, Va. The series will also visit Tri-County Motor Speedway on July 29.
BANJO MATTHEWS MEMORIAL 150 UNOFFICIAL RESULTS:
1. 31 Kyle Grissom
2. 7 Brennan Poole
3. 97 Jesse Little
4. 9 George Miedecke
5. 01 Andy Mercer
6. 51 Matt Piercy
7. 72 Garrett Campbell
8. 77 Alex Yontz
9. 04 Ronnie Bassett Jr.
10. 60 R.A. Brown
11. 15 Tyler Brown
12. 3 Adam Long
13. 82 Paddy Rodenbeck
14. 18 David Roberts
15. 54 Kaleb Pressley
16. 1 Coleman Pressley
17. 11 Robert Johnson
18. 48 Scott Turlington
19. 94 Brad Cox
20. 26 Joey Herques
21. 5 Michael Faulk
22. 45 Jeff Stankewicz
For more info visit www.uara-stars.com or call 828-692-3833