" Jacob Heafner and Jeremy Pelfrey split Twin 40 Late Model"
presented by: Hamilton & Herring Orthodontics Night at the Races
July 21st , 2018
Hamilton and Herring Orthodontics Night at the Races rolled off without a hitch on Saturday night at America's Most Famous Short Track, Hickory Motor Speedway, despite the threat of rain forcing motorsports cancellations all across the Southeast.
The NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Models would lead off the night's action with their first of twin 40 lap features. Kevin Leicht in the #25 would turn the fast lap in qualifying and start from the pole position with the #1 of Nolan Pope to his outside. Jeremy Pelfrey in the #51 would start from inside of row two with Hickory Motor Speedway points leader Jacob Heafner in the #95 to his outside. After a side by side battle with Pope, Leicht would nose ahead for the early lead. Lap three would see the #51 of Jeremy Pelfrey spin while battling with Heafner for position. The restart would see Leicht regain the top spot with Pope to the high side as several cars would move around for position. Leicht would keep the top spot for several laps until Heafner would work his way around to make the pass and take the lead. Thomas Beane in the #31 would follow Heafner through the field and begin chase for the lead. While Beane would close the gap, Heafner would prove too strong and drive on to the win, his first in a NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model at Hickory Motor Speedway. Beane would hold on for 2nd with Leicht taking 3rd. Matt Elledge in the #99 would come home in 4th and Mitch Walker in the #29 would round out the top 5 in 5th.
The Carolina Custom Golf Cart 4-Cylinders would be next up for their 25 lap feature. Dennis Ward in the #25 would grab the top spot in qualifying with Brian Mundy in the #6 starting to his outside. Ward would take the early lead with Mundy close in tow. Mundy would close the gap on the top spot but couldn't get close enough to make the pass and Ward would take another Hickory Motor Speedway Checkered Flag. Mundy would finish 2nd while Houston would battle back through the field to finish 3rd. The #17 of Nathaniel Kanupp would finish 4th and Rodney Trivette in the #93 would finish 5th.
The Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models would roll off next for their 35 lap slugfest. Gage Painter in the #12 would pick up another pole position while Taylor Gray in the #15 would start to his outside. Vince Midas in the #14 and Chase Janes in the #47 would make up row two. Painter and Gray would battle hard for the lead but the caution would fly early with a spin and setup a complete restart. As the green flag would fly Painter would get another good start while Gray may have missed a shift and in the outside row. Fortunately it all sorted out and everyone would continue. Painter would drive out to the early lead with Midas and Gray giving chase. Midas and Gray would battle side by side for second with Midas taking the position. Painter would stretch out the early lead, but could never completely shake his competition. Midas would close the gap a bit but Painter would prove too tough on the night and drive on to the win, his second on the year. Midas would hold on for 2nd with Gray finishing 3rd. Pat Rachels in the #34 would bounce back to finish 4th. Josh Kossek in the #44 would come back to finish 5th after an early race spin and also after sustaining serious damage to his race car in an accident at Hickory Motor Speedway one week ago.
The Cosmo Motors Street Stocks would roar to life for their 30 lap feature. Troy DeMarmels in the #18 would win the pole in qualifying with Monty Cox, subbing for his son Drew, in the #21 starting second. Cox would jump out to the early lead as battles would be fought for positions throughout the field behind him. Jeff Sparks in the #7 would work his way up to second place and begin closing the gap to the leader, Cox. The two would be nose to tail with ten to go and see a couple of peeks to the inside by Sparks. Sparks would make the move under Cox with five laps to go, setting up a thrilling side by side run for the win. Several corners over the last few laps Sparks would appear to have the preferred line but Cox would drive hard off the corner and stay slightly ahead. The last charge would come as the pair dove into turn three for the last time on the final lap. As they came off of turn four the winner would be decided by a drag race to the finish line, with Cox winning that battle by a bumper over the hard charging Sparks who would finish 2nd. DeMarmels would look to make it three wide for the win but would have to settle for 3rd at the checkered flag. Jason McDowell in the #30 would make the trip up from South Carolina and bring it home in 4th. Jeff Melton in the #6 would make a visit to America's Most Famous Short Track and put on a thrilling side by side show with Marshall Sutton in the #64 and drive on to finish 5th.
Next up would be the Hickory Vintage Racers for 25 laps of action. Bill Powell in the #71 would set the fast time and start from the point while Robert Webb in the #6 would start second. Powell would take the early lead, but Webb would give chase. Several times Webb would look to cut into Powell's lead, but Powell would drive on to the win, putting the iconic #71 Bobby Isaac replica race car back in victory lane. Webb would hold on for 2nd with Tom Fenn in the #83 finishing 3rd.
Closing out the night would be the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Models for their second 40 lap feature of Twin 40 lap events on the night. After the invert from the finishing order of race one Nolan Pope in the #1 would start from the point with Jeremy Pelfrey in the #51 to his outside. Mitch Walker in the #29 and Matt Elledge in the #99 would make up row two to start the second feature event. As the flagman waved the green flag Pelfrey would nose ahead of Pope down into turn one and take the early lead. Positions were up for grab throughout the field as Pelfrey and Pope would try to distance themselves from their competition. Thomas Beane in the #31 would break away to make his way towards the lead duo and a chance at another victory. The race would stay green and see the front three cars running nose to tail. Beane would make his way around Pope and begin to cut into Pelfrey's lead, but would desperately need a caution to draw close enough for a chance to win. That caution would fly on lap 34 when Walker would cut a left front tire. On the ensuing restart Pelfrey and Beane would race side by side for several laps. Pelfrey would eventually nose ahead and drive on to the win, his first in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model division. Beane would settle for 2nd on the night, the same finish as the first 40 lap feature as well. Pope would hold on for a great finish, coming home in 3rd. Matt Elledge matched his first race performance with a 4th while first race winner, Jacob Heafner in the #95, would round out the top 5 in 5th.
Next week the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will be back in action on Sam's Club Night at the Races featuring Twin 40s for the Late Models, 50 laps in Round #8 of the Paramount Kia ‘Big 10' Challenge for the Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models, One Design Super Trucks, Cosmo Motors Street Stocks, Carolina Custom Golf Cart 4-Cylinders, and the Renegades.
In two weeks the Cars Racing Tour returns for the Throwback 276 featuring Late Model and Super Late Model Races.