The thunder rolled in the Catawba Valley on Saturday. Not in the skies, but on the track with the running of 84 Lumber Night at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Leading off the evening’s activities were the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models in a 40-lap race, their first of two races on the night. Gage Painter set the fast time in qualifying to take the pole position with Ryan Repko to his outside, while row two was made up of Hickory Motor Speedway points leader Thomas Beane along with Cole Glasson. The end of the race saw a photo finish as the 14-year-old Painter won over second-place Repko by just .015-thousands of a second. Chris Hudspeth came in third, with Beane finishing fourth and Charlie Watson taking fifth.
The Carolina Custom Golf Cart Super Trucks took part in a 35-lap feature in the second race of the night. Allen Huffman set the fast time and started from the top spot with Travis Baity to his outside. Meanwhile, Watson and Robert Tyler made the second row for the start. Following multiple cautions, Tyler earned a close win over runner-up Terry Absher and third-place Joey Shuryan. Taking fourth was Dennis Trivette, while Zach Hale finished fifth.
Next up was a 25-lap event for the 4 Cylinders. Brian Mundy took pole position with Allison Houston to his outside, with the drivers finishing the race still holding the top two spots in that same order. Coming in third was Curtis Pardue, with Ashton Trivette and Cody Combs finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
The eighth round of the Paramount Kia ‘BIG 10’ Chase for the Championship for the Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models took center stage next. Josh Kossek won the pole with Ashley Huffman to his outside, while Mitch Walker and Cody DeMarmels started in row two. In the end, Kossek was able to hold off all challengers for the win, with Walker settling for second and Huffman finishing third. DeMarmels came in fourth and 13-year-old Conner Jones rounded out the top five.
The Allison Legacy Series participated next as Donnie Allison brought his series to America’s Most Famous Short Track for a 35-lap feature. Starting from pole position was Luke Akers with Cole Wagner to his outside. Several cautions took place in the race, with Akers ultimately taking the checkered flag ahead of second-place Ethan Elder. Taking third was Kayla Lyons with Wagner in fourth and Laith Trabelsi in fifth.
A 30-lap battle in the Street Stocks division was next, with Drew Cox taking the top spot in qualifying and Jeff Sparks starting to his outside. Kevin Eby and Jesse Clark made up row two. Ultimately, Cox proved too strong as he drove to the win, while Sparks was second and Clark was third. Taking fourth was Eby with Jonathon Smith coming in fifth.
Closing out the night was the second of two 40-lap races for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models. After the invert from the race one finishing order, Nolan Pope started from the top spot with Connor Mosack to his outside, while Watson rolled off third and Glasson started fourth. Hudspeth barely took the checkered flag over Beane, who finished ahead of third-place Bradley McCaskill, fourth-place Annabeth Barnes and Glasson in fifth.
Action in the annual Sundown Audio Competition comes to Hickory Motor Speedway this Saturday. Gates will be open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and admission is $25 per car and driver or $5 per person to see some of the nicest stereo systems around. Furthermore, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will be back in action on Aug. 24.
For more information on Hickory Motor Speedway, check out www.hickorymotorspeedway.com, visit the track’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or call the track 828-464-3655.