Josh Berry wins the 2016 Fall Brawl presented by Calico Coatings
10/25/2016 - Beautiful weather and a great crowd would greet the competitors for the always exciting Fall Brawl presented by Calico Coatings as the NASCAR Whelen All American Series regular season events for Hickory Motor Speedway divisions would come to a close in 2016 with one last spectacular shootout.
Leading off the night would be the Classic Sportsman Racing Association and their 25 lap feature. Eddie Gilbert in the #95, the 2016 Hickory Motor Speedway champion for the division, would lead the field to the green flag. Gilbert would flex his muscle early and drive on to the win. Bill Webb in the #16 would finish 2 nd in the feature. Bill Powell in the #71 would grab 3 rd place while the #4 of Dennis Hinkle and the #116 of Rob Lewis would round out the top 5.
Next up on the evening would be the Limited Late Models and their 100 lap feature. Three time Hickory Motor Speedway Late Model track champion, Andy Loden in the #12, would make a return visit in the Limited Late Models and grab the pole position with the fast time while Dawson Cram in the #11 would start to his outside with the second fastest time. Monty Cox in the #21 and Jeremy Pelfrey in the #51 would make up row two. After a couple of hard fought laps with Cram, Loden would move to the lead and watch the battle for second between Cram and Cox from the point. Cox would move to the front and distance himself from the field for the first 50 laps of the race. Over the course of the race nearly the entire field would do battle for a top five finishing spot at one point or another during the event. As the laps wore down Loden would assume the lead and see challenges come from Cram and Ryan Vasconcellos in the #10. Vasconcellos would move around Cram and get his shot at Loden with only a few laps remaining on a late race restart. Loden would take the advantage he needed on the restart and clear Vasconcellos to grab the checkers with Vasconcellos close in his tracks for 2 nd . Cram would have another great finish in 3 rd to end a fine rookie season. Pelfrey would bounce back from an on track incident and two visits to pit road to finish 4 th . Matt Thomas in the #87 would also bounce back from an on track incident late race incident as well as a visit to pit road to battle hard and finish 5 th in only his second start at the Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars.
The 200 lap Fall Brawl presented by Calico Coatings for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Bojangles Late Models would roll off next with 4 past and present Hickory Motor Speedway Late Model Track Champions and 1 Hickory Motor Speedway Limited Late Model Champion in the field. Josh Berry in the #88 would start from the pole and the #12 of Austin McDaniel to his outside. 2016 Hickory Motor Speedway Track Champion, Dexter Canipe in the #5 and Christian Eckes in the #1 would make up row two. As the green flag flew Berry and McDaniel would do battle for the top spot with McDaniel moving ahead and setting the early pace. Eckes would also look to get around his JR Motorsports teammate with the pair side by side for several laps before Eckes would finally move to second spot. The JR Motorsports teammates of Eckes and Berry would attempt to reel in the leader before the halfway break but McDaniel would hold off the duo and be the first car to roll down pit road during the mid-race break. Teams were allowed to add gas, change two tires, and make minor modifications all under the watchful eye of the Hickory Motor Speedway Tech Team.
As the cars rolled back onto the track the top 5 would line up with McDaniel leading, Eckes in second, Berry in third, the #5 of Jeremy Burns in fourth, and 2016 Hickory Motor Speedway Limited Late Model Champion Evan Swilling in #18 running fifth. As the green flag waved McDaniel and Eckes would slug it out for the top spot as they would go side by side for several laps. Eckes would finally make the high line to work to his advantage and move past McDaniel and to the top spot. A few laps later Berry would also make his move around McDaniel and keep Eckes within striking distance. With sixty laps to go Berry would make a bid for the lead and on lap 142 would finally get by Eckes and go to the point with 58 laps to go. Berry would hold on for the win and also celebrate his birthday in Victory Lane with Eckes finishing 2 nd . McDaniel grabbing 3 rd while Burns and Swilling would battle it out and round out the top 5.
Finishing off the night would be the Super Trucks and their 50 lap feature. Former Hickory Motor Speedway Track Champion, Jason Cochran in the #11 would start from the top spot after setting the fast time in qualifying with Allen Huffman in the #51 starting to his outside. Cochran would take the lead from the start using his preferred high line. Huffman would settle in close behind with Joey Shuryan in the #30, Clint Fields in the #16, Ricky Bowers in the #61, and the 2016 Hickory Motor Speedway Track Champion Sheflon Clay in the #15 all waiting for their chance to go to the top spot. Huffman would bide his time until he could work his way back to the rear bumper of Cochran and move around him to take the point with 25 laps left to run. Shuryan would also move around Cochran and look to move in on Huffman and make it a battle for the top spot. Huffman would drive on to take his 1 st career win at America's Most Famous Short Track and begin a Victory Lane celebration that would see the long time Hickory Motor Speedway competitor get congratulations from many different fans, fellow competitors, crews, and officials and also celebrate his birthday in style. Shuryan would hold on to bring home the 2 nd finishing position. Cochran would hold on to the 3 rd spot after being challenged by Fields and Clay, as they would round out the top 5.
Next week the The CARS Tour invades Hickory Motor Speedway for another thrilling duo of Late Model and Super Late Model races as they run the Cloer Construction Co. 300.