Devon Haun Holds Off Stroupe and King for Hickory Pro Challenge Triumph
Defending Regional Champ Gets Head Start on Title Defense in 30-Lap Thriller
HICKORY, NC (March 24, 2008) – In the first race of the 2008 North Region of Pro Challenge on March 22nd at Hickory Motor Speedway, the young guard of the series found themselves up front in the Easter Bunny 30. Yet a field full of series veterans and rookie drivers making their first series start duked it out in warm, slick conditions on the three-eighths of a mile oval.
Two of the most successful drivers of 2007 found themselves battling at the front of the field this time around, racing side-by-side over the final laps. Defending Regional Champion Devon Haun was able to keep up the momentum on the outside of the two-wide battle to take the victory over Nick Stroupe in one of the most competitive Pro Challenge races in recent memory.
“We were off in qualifying with the setup, so when the truck really started working well on the high side after the start of the race, I just kept in on the high side,” said Haun.
Haun lined up third after Stroupe put his #51 car on the pole in qualifying. Stroupe led the opening laps before a caution flew on lap 13. The next restart produced the winning pass as Haun powered his way around for the lead in turns one and two from the outside lane. Stroupe never left the tire tracks of Haun’s #118 truck and the two pulled away with Clint King following the parade.
As Stroupe stalked Haun down the stretch and pulled side-by-side through the corners in the final laps, a hard-charging Clint King caught the two leaders. That set up a three-car battle before Haun and Stroupe bested King to the line.
“I was looking in my rear view mirror and I wouldn't see him then I would see a little black in the corner of my eye, and I thought, ‘oh dang here he comes,’” explained Haun. “We had to hold the line and it just paid off for me. It feels good to win in front of all my friends and family here at Hickory.”
“I was catching him a little bit, but the car pushed way up coming off turn four,” said Stroupe. “I couldn’t quite get to him, but it was still a good run for us. Every one says second is the first loser, but it’s good for the points race and we have all season to get wins.”
“Stroupe and Haun were doing a great job and I was just waiting for an opportunity that never came,” said the third-place finisher King. “The 30 laps in the day time just didn’t work for us. We are used to racing at night when there is more grip.”
Next up for the Pro Challenge North Region is the April 19th event at Franklin County Speedway in Callaway, VA.
For more media information on the Pro Challenge oval track and road course series and racecars, contact Matt Kentfield at (704) 788-2134 x 5 and visit www.prochallengeseries.com.
March 22, 2008
1. Devon Haun
2. Nick Stroupe
3. Clint King
4. Jamie Blanton
5. Trevor Edwards
6. Steve Verbeke
7. Stephen Bergh
8. Kyle Wilson
9. Jason Treschl
10. Mike Twist
11. Chris Brown
12. Justin Crider
13. Gregg Chesney