After two of the most exciting nights of racing in the history of Hickory Motor Speedway and a quick week off for everyone to regroup, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rolled back into the Catawba Valley for a great action filled evening of racing on Coca-Cola Night at the Races.
Rolling off first was the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models in the first of their twin 40-lap features. Hickory Motor Speedway points leader Thomas Beane in the No. 31 set a fast time in qualifying and started from the point with Chris Hudspeth in the No. 28 to his outside. Row two was made up of Connor Mosack in the No. 18 and Nolan Pope in the No. 1. Beane and Hudspeth battled side by side for the early lead until Beane finally nosed ahead after several laps. Pope took the third position away from Mosack and looked to catch the lead duo. Several laps later Mosack made the pass on Pope. Pope brought his car to pit road with the crew making repairs for race two. After 20 laps Beane had a sizable lead, but Hudspeth wasn’t ready to give up. Lap 30 saw Hudspeth on Beane’s rear bumper and made his move for the lead.
After a hard-fought battle, Hudspeth emerged with the lead and drove on to the win. Beane finished a close second while Mosack closed on the leaders at the end finishing third. Gracie Trotter in the No. 2 finished fourth. Chris Honeycutt in the No. 83 finished fifth.
The Carolina Custom Golf Cart Super Trucks rolled off next for their 35-lap feature. The No. 26 of Charlie Neill took the top spot in qualifying with Travis Baity in the No. 71 to his outside. Allen Huffman in the No. 51 and Joey Shuryan in the No. 30 made up the second row for the start.
Neill took the early lead as Baity was close behind. Huffman and Shuryan had a spirited battle for third until Huffman slowed and pulled to pit road on lap 25. Dennis Trivette in the No. 28 moved around Shuryan for third and brought Zach Hale in the No. 97 with him to fourth, both looking to catch the lead duo. The caution flew with six laps to go. Neill got the better of the restart and maintained the lead. Trivette pressured Baity for second and made the move under him with two laps to go. Trivette made the pass, and Hale once again followed his tracks around for third.
Neill drove on to the win. Trivette finished second with Hale taking home third. Baity finished fourth while Joe Simpson in the No. 86 finished fifth.
Round seven of the Paramount Kia ‘Big 10’ Racing Challenge and 50 laps was next for the Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models. Mitch Walker in the No. 43 led time trials and started from the top spot with the No. 18 of Cody DeMarmels to his outside. Row two saw Dexter Canipe Jr. in the No. 5 and Josh Kossek in the No. 44 side by side for the start.
Walker took the early with a great start. DeMarmels had to battle Canipe to maintain second place on the track. Stevie Johns Jr. in the No. 91 was the man on the move as he moved from his fifth place starting position to second place by lap five. Walker and Johns were nose to tail for 10 laps until Johns made his move to the lead. Walker kept Johns within striking distance until he slowed suddenly coming off of turn two on lap 40. The restart saw Johns and Canipe make up the front row. The restart was a dead heat with Canipe nosing slightly ahead. But Johns wasn’t ready to give up the lead and kept the inside line in a great 10-lap, side-by-side battle for the win.
Canipe hung on to the top spot and won by half a car length. Johns had to settle for second and Hickory Motor Speedway points leader DeMarmels finished third. Walker battled his way back after the pit stop to finished fourth while Mason Ludwig in the No. 12 finished fifth.
The Street Stocks was the next to hit the famed 3/8 mile oval for their 30-lap feature. The front row was made up of Jesse Clark in the No. 5, who set the fast time in qualifying, and Kevin Eby in the No. 03. Clark and Eby dueled for the point with Clark pulling ahead after several laps. Clark flexed his muscle and built a sizable advantage as the field battled for second and on back. Mark Johnson in the No. 28 broke free from the pack and set his sights on the leader, Clark. With five laps to go, Johnson caught Clark and pressured him for the win.
The lead pair went side by side for the closing laps and as the checkered flag fell only a few inches was the margin of victory as Johnson took the win. Clark settled for second and Derek Fowler finished third after a hard fought battle with Kevin Eby in the No. 03. Eby finished fourth and Drew Cox in the No. 21 rounded out the top five in fifth.
The Renegades was the next to hit the track for 20 exciting laps. Spencer Dickinson in the No. 6 and Robbie Hollifield in the No. 51 made up the front row for the start.
Before the race could start Dickinson withdrew from the event. Justin Austin in the No. 1 led the field to the green flag with Hollifield to his outside. The front row battled hard and lap 2 saw Hollifield spin and collect the No. 72 of Zachary Mullins. Both cars required the assistance of the wrecker crew and Mullins was done racing for the night. Austin and Kyle DiVanna in the No. 71 was the front row for the restart. Austin got the better start but saw DiVanna make his way around for the top spot on lap five. Lap seven saw the caution fly as Rodney Elkins in the No. 95 spun. Austin pulled in under caution as he experienced mechanical issues. DiVanna and Charlie Neill, who replaced Dickenson in the No. 6, made up the front row for the restart. Neill moved to the lead on lap nine.
Neill drove on to the win with DiVanna finishing seconnd. Brian Larkin in the No. 7 finished third, Austin finished fourth and Elkins finished fifth.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models finished out the night’s events with the second of their twin 40-lap features. The invert from the finishing order of race one saw Nolan Pope in the No. 1 and Chris Honeycutt in the No. 83 make up row one. Row two saw the No. 2 of Gracie Trotter and the No. 18 of Connor Mosack taking the green flag side by side.
Pope got the better start and took the early lead. The No. 31 of Thomas Beane and the No. 28 of Chris Hudspeth worked their way into the top three on lap nine and began to give chase to the leader Pope. Beane caught the leader with three laps to go and pulled up to his rear bumper. Beane looked to make a move under Pope coming off of turn two, but got sideways on corner exit. Beane saved the car, but gave Pope enough breathing room to drive on to the victory.
Beane finished second while Hudspeth finished third. Trotter finished fourth and Mosack rounded out the top five in fifth.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is back in action next week with a full slate of racing excitement.
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