Dexter Canipe Jr., Winner Round #4
May 14, 2016 - HICKORY, N.C. – The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series returned to action at America's Most Famous Short Track with great racing and beautiful weather after a two week hiatus.
Hitting the track first was the exciting Renegades. Kenneth Roberts in the #8 would lead the field to the green flag and sparks would fly by the time the field made it through turn one. Two time winner and points leader Charlie Neill in the #6 would take the largest share of the damage and ultimately be sidelined as a result. Roberts would stay out front and have to hold off several hard chargers on the restarts including Kyle Divanna in the #71, Steve Griffith in the #68, Danny Crump Jr. in the #97, and finally Greg Austin in the #4. But Roberts would prove too tough and grab the win with Austin bringing his hotrod home in 2nd and Griffith finishing 3rd. Divanna and the #69 of Ben Campbell would round out the top 5.
Next up would be the Limited Late Models and their 35 lap feature. Three time winner Jeremy Pelfrey in the #51 would snatch the pole position with Monty Cox to his outside in the #21 also making a front row start. The pair would drag race down the front stretch but by the time the first lap was completed Cox would assume the lead. Evan Swilling in the #18 would soon make his way around Pelfrey and set his sights on the leader. Swilling would diligently chase down Cox and take the lead. Maintaining the point position from that point Swilling would go on to take the Checkered Flag with Mitch Walker in the #29 close behind in 2nd and Pat Rachels in the #34 working his way up to 3rd. Charlie Watson in the #9 would bounce back from an early race pit stop and take the 4th position while Chase Cabre in the #2 would post up another impressive finish with a 5th place finish in only his second start at the Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars.
The Street Stocks would hit the track next for their 30 lap event. Kevin Townsend in the #10 would pace the field to the green flag and face an early challenge from the #03 of Kevin Eby. Townsend would ultimately grab the point and after the early challenge continue on for the win. Eby would finish 2nd while being pressured by Eric Evans in the #07, who would come home in 3rd. Marshal Sutton in the #64 and Jeremy Harrell in the #32 would race side by side before finishing 4th and 5th.
Round #4 of the Paramount Kia 'Big 10' Racing Challenge for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bojangles Late Models would see the #5 of Dexter Canipe Jr. grab the pole with Casey Pierce in the #18 to his outside and the #17 of Ryan Millington and the #87 of Hayden Woods making up row 2. Canipe would grab the early lead with Pierce, Millington, and Woods in a three way battle for the second position. Woods would eventually come away with the position and set his sights on the leader. After a few laps Woods made his move under Canipe and assumed the lead. Canipe never let Woods out of his sights however, biding his time till the opportunity presented itself to reassume the point position. Shortly before the halfway mark Canipe would see an opening and take the opportunity to go back to the front. Pierce would also move around Woods and make his way towards Canipe until a parts failure would end his night prematurely. Canipe would seemingly have the race in hand but the 14 year old Millington would slowly and methodically chase him down and with three laps to go be right on his bumper. Millington would look to the inside of Canipe for the entirety of the final laps but the experience of Canipe would pay off as he would hold off the hard charging rookie and grab the trophy in Victory Lane. Millington would post another great finish with a 2nd place while Woods would break into the front stretch celebration station with a 3rd place finish. Andrew Garcia in the #12 would grab his best Hickory Motor Speedway finish with a 4th as would Hayden Humphrey in the #07 with a 5th.
The Super Trucks would close out the evening with a 35 lap shootout. 2015 track champion Tyler Dayton in the #36 would pace the field to the green after setting the fast lap in qualifying. After experiencing parts failures the last two races, the #51 of Allen Huffman would start to Dayton's outside and grab the early lead as the pair would battle side by side in the early laps. As the battle between the front duo escalated the #09 of Christian Pahud would move into the fray. Pahud would eventually work his way around Huffman for the lead after the pair repeatedly swapped positions. Pahud would drive on to the win with Huffman hot on his tail finishing 2nd. Dayton grabbed a 3rd place finishing position while Sheflon Clay in the #15 and Jonathan Fleming in the #6 would round out the top 5.
The NWAAS will return to action in two weeks, hitting the track again on May 28th.