Curry Takes the Checkered Flag from the Pole during the 58th Season Opener…
By Jill Frischmann, Hickory Motor Speedway
March 29, 2008
(Newton, NC) It was a brisk night at the “World’s Most Famous Short Track”, Hickory Motor Speedway. With the threat of rain and temperatures in the 40’s it certainly was a chilly evening for race fans, but that all changed the moment the cars hit the track and heated things with NASCAR Whelen All American Series racing action. The 58th Annual season opener at Hickory Motor Speedway was nothing short of spectacular, it was a night where anything could happen and just about anything did. A new track record was set, tires were cut, fenders were dented and drivers went to victory lane.
The Bojangles Late Models put on an amazing show to say the least. The first caution of the race was brought out on lap 1 when the #21 of Brian Curry got loose and brushed the wall while leading the field, causing a chain reaction which sent the #60 of R. A. Brown to a spin going into turn three. After the caution a complete restart was called and the field was re-aligned to go racing for a second time. From the restart Curry and the #25 of Sam Watts battled each other hard to take the lead. The action was intense as Lucas Ransone (#00), Jesse LeFevers (#43) and David Latour Jr. (#89) took it three wide on the backstretch as they headed into turn three and again as they exited turn four battling for that precious track position.
On lap 6 a second caution was brought out as the #70 of Britt Anderson got into the back of the #35 of Chris Lewis, as the #34 of Jared Michaliski cleared turn four he was unable to miss Anderson, sending the #70 into a spin. The rubbing didn’t stop there. On lap 11 LeFevers got into the back of the #42 Todd Goble, sending Goble into a 360 degree spin as they exited off of turn four. On lap 18 the #16 of Mack Little got under the back of Mark Johnson (#28), both wobbled coming out of turn four and then regained control of their hot rods on the front stretch, Johnson fell to back of the pack after the on track incident.
A third caution took place during lap 30 of the 50 lap event when Andersen spun out on the back stretch after losing control exiting turn two. After the final restart of the race there wasn’t a single driver on the track that could catch Curry. He had a great restart and as he worked his way closer and closer to the final lap, he pulled further and further away from the field to take the checkered flag. “It’s a Blast!” the winner exclaimed, “I can’t believe we got the win. 1st race, 1st win. It’s gonna be a good year!” With Curry pulling away from the field at the end it left Watts, David Latour Jr. (#89), 2006 & 2007 NASCAR track champion Andy Loden (#29) and Lewis to battle it out to finish second through fifth.
The Jewelry Exchange Limited Late Models 30 lap feature event may not have been as action packed as the Bojangles Late Models, but it definitely gave the fans the excitement they’d been waiting for all winter long. As soon as the green flag dropped the #28 of Jason Crouse and #3 of Dexter Canipe Jr. took a substantial lead over the field. On lap 13 the first caution of the 58th season at Hickory Motor Speedway and only caution of the Limited Late Model race occurred as the #17 of Kyle Mansch spun out coming off of turn one. With ten laps to go it became a tight battle for the lead, as Crouse and Canipe Jr. fought back and forth to take the lead position. It was hard core friendly racing that brought the fans to their feet as the two battled till the end, when Crouse beat Canipe Jr. to the finish line. The #27 of Brandon Mundy, 2007 Limited Late Model
Champion Waylon Flynn (#55) and Kyle Bauknecht #49 finish out the top five.
The Hickory Motor Speedway Street Stocks certainly kept the action going as they took to the track for their 30 lap feature. The #7 of Jeff Sparks had an amazing run during the race, and took a commanding lead from the moment the green flag waved. By lap 13 drivers were competing against lap traffic, Jennifer Crossman (#89) and Mike Newton (#5) found themselves three wide on the backstretch with the lapped car of Marshall Sutton (#64). After falling back early in the race from his second place starting spot, Newton cut a right front tire bringing out the first caution of the feature. From the restart it was a bumper to bumper race between Sparks and the #03 of Kevin Eby as the two battled it out for a first place finish. Coming out of turn four on the final lap Eby made slight contact with Sparks from behind, causing both to wiggle as the came across the finish line first and second. “I was just rubbin’,” Eby stated about the dramatic finish during his post race interview. Sutton, Bruce Kirkendall (#3) and Robert Divanna (#71) completed the top five.
The Hickory Motor Speedway Pro 4’s 25 lap feature didn’t leave the fans waiting for action; competition was tough from the moment the green fell. On lap one the #09 of Randy Canipe scraped the outside wall on the backstretch, loosing momentum allowing the #99 of Matt Elledge to make the move into fourth place. On lap 16 the #52 of John Isaac found his ride hard to handle as he came off turn two spinning out on the back stretch, which brought out the first caution of the 25 lap event. After the restart it was a nose to tail battle between pole sitter Adam Beaver (#4) and the #16 of Randy Freeze. On the final lap Freeze got a great run coming off of turn four heading for the checkers, but it just wasn’t enough as Beaver was able cross the finish only feet ahead of Freeze. The #21 of Todd Harrington, Elledge and Canipe would round out the top five. “The car wasn’t that good,” stated pole sitter and race winner Adam Beaver. Not to mention Beaver set a new track record in the Pro 4 division with a qualifying lap time of 15.718 seconds.
The Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks found their car count a tad lower than usual due to the weather, but that didn’t stop the drivers who did compete from being any less entertaining to watch. From his pole position the #90 of Ronnie Sims was able to pull away for the lead taking the #5 of Stephen Clippard with him for the ride, leaving the rest of the field to battle for third through sixth during the rest of the 20 lap feature. On lap 9 the #83 of David Hasson drove his way into the fourth place position moving back the #1 of James Flynn. During the later part of the race the #01 of Paul Wyatt seemed to develop control issues with his stock car as he wobbled exiting turn two on lap 14 and again exiting turn four on lap 17, both times he was able to recover and finish in fourth place. Hasson managed to move up another spot during the event and finish third, with Flynn finishing a respective fifth.
Be sure to join us at the “World’s Most Famous Short Track”, Hickory Motor Speedway next week as we present the NASCAR Whelen All American Series, featuring the Bojangles Late Models, Jewelry Exchange Limited Late Models, Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks, Hickory Motor Speedway Street Stocks and the Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks. It’s sure to be another great night of high speed racing action. Grandstands open at 5 PM for qualifying and feature racing action beginning at 7 PM. Fans don’t miss your chance to meet your favorite drivers of the Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks Division during the On Track Autograph session beginning at 6 PM. Tickets for the event are only $10 for adults, $8 for teens and seniors, $5 for kids 7-12 and kids 6 and under are free. Be sure to bring out the whole family for a night of family fun with exciting high speed racing action, family packs are only $25 and on sale NOW! For more information please visit our website at www.hickorymotorspeedway.com or by phone at 828-464-3655. We can’t wait to see you at the races!
Hickory Motor Speedway is a .363 mile asphalt track. The track held its first event in June of 1951 posting Gwyn Staley as the event winner. Hickory Motor Speedway has supported series such as the now Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Currently the Speedway is sanctioned by NASCAR featuring the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. The Speedway also hosts a wide variety of touring series that travel throughout the country.
Hickory Motor Speedway runs Saturday nights, mid-March through October. Grandstands open at 5 PM with racing beginning at 7 PM.
For more information visit www.hickorymotorspeedway.com.
Bojangles Late Model 50
Due to failure to pass post race inspection (89) David Latour Jr. was disqualified from the 50 lap feature.
Jewelry Exchange Limited Late Model 35
Due to failure to pass post race inspection (2) Travis McIntyre was disqualified from the 35 lap feature.
Hickory Street Stock 30
Hickory Pro 4’s 25
Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks 20
WinnCom Pole Award
Bojangles Late Models:
(21) Brian Curry – 15.357 seconds
Jewelry Exchange Limited Late Models:
(28) Jason Crouse – ??? seconds
Hickory Motor Speedway Street Stocks:
(7) Jeff Sparks – 17.331 seconds
Hickory Motor Speedway Pro 4’s:
(4) Adam Beaver – 15.718 seconds *New Track Record*