“Millington and Smith take NWAAS Bojangles Season Openers”
March 6 th , 2017
Clear skies and great racing greeted fans as Hickory Motor Speedway opened its 66 th season Saturday with the running of the Cosmo Motors Spring Classic season opener.
First up would be the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Bojangles Late Models running the first of their twin 50 lap features of the night. The #76 of Ryan Millington would start from the pole after setting the fast time in qualifying but the #5 of Cole Glasson wasn't far behind starting second. Charlie Watson in the #9 and Jake Ruggles in the #29 would make up row 2 for the start. Millington would take the early lead in his attempt to repeat season opening wins, after taking the 2016 season opener at The Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars. Glasson and Watson would both challenge for the win but Millington would prove to be too strong and take the POW-MIA Freedom Car to victory lane. Watson would move up to grab the 2 nd position with Glasson finishing 3 rd . Andrew Garcia in the #12 would bring home a hard fought 4 th place finish as would Jake Ruggles securing another top 5 finish.
Next up the fans would see the Cosmo Motors Street Stocks and their 35 lap feature. Kevin Eby in the #03 would lead the field to green with Cody DeMarmels in the #18 to his outside. Eby would jump to the early lead but DeMarmels would stay within striking distance. The pair would run much of the race side by side with Mark Whitten in the #77 working his way into striking distance. After the hard fought side by side battle Eby would finally nose ahead and take the checkered flag for the win. DeMarmels would finish 2 nd with Whitten 3 rd . Eric Evans in the #07 and Marshall Sutton in the #64 would round out the top 5.
The Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models would roll off next in their 50 lap feature and Round #1 of the Paramount Kia Challenge. Jeremy Pelfrey in the #51 would start from the pole with Mitch Walker in the #29 to his outside. Dillon Houser in the #11 and Matt Elledge in the #99 would make up row 2. Pelfrey would grab the early lead with Walker close in tow. The battle behind the front duo would stay interesting as Houser and Elledge would mix it up with Monty Cox in the #21, Pat Rachels in the #34, and Alex Reece in the #18. Pelfrey would drive on to take the win and continue on his hot streak of 2016 when he would win the most races in the Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models. Walker would keep Pelfrey close but would have to settle for 2 nd with Rachels charging up to 3 rd . Reece and Cox would round out the top 5.
The Super Trucks would hit the track next with 2015 Super Trucks champion Tyler Dayton in #36 leading the field to the green and Joey Shuryan in the #30 to his outside. Dayton would jump to the point with the battle for second raging between Shuryan, 2016 Super Trucks champ Sheflon Clay in the #15, Charlie Neill in the #26, and Allen Huffman in the #51. Dayton would hold on and prove to tough for the field and take his first win of 2017. Clay would work his way up to grab the 2 nd finishing position with Huffman coming home 3 rd . Neill in his first Super Trucks start would have a good run and finish 4 th with Shuryan rounding out the top 5.
The always exciting Renegades would roar to life with their 20 lap feature and definitely not fail to please. The #97 of Danny Crump Jr. would lead the field to the green flag and jump to the early lead. David Hasson in the #83 and Kyle DiVanna in the #71 would have a great battle together and eventually the leader Crump. Late in the race the caution would fly after Ben Campbell in the #69 would have a good run ended by mechanical problems. As the leaders took the green flag Crump would be black flagged for jumping the restart. Even though Crump did not acknowledge the black flag and continued on the track he would no longer be scored and this would leave the race to be settled by Hasson and DiVanna. The pair would battle to the very end, coming off of turn 4 side by side. They would make contact and spin together across the line to the checkered flag. Hasson would take the win, narrowly beat DiVanna to the checkers, albeit spinning simultaneously. DiVanna would slide home in 2 nd place and his dad Robert DiVanna crossing the line in 3 rd .
Rounding out the night's events would be the 2 nd twin 50 for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Bojangles Late Models. An 8 car invert of the finishers of the first race would put Omar Jurado in the #15 on the pole with Kyle Mansch in the #71 to his outside. Ty Gibbs in the #18 and Jake Ruggles in the #29 would make up row 2. As the cars rolled through turn 4 Ruggles' car would pull out of line and move towards the back with mechanical issues causing a yellow. Before the field would make it back around Mansch's car would join Ruggles' car as they would both head down pit road. The field would attempt another start with Jurado leading, Gibbs to his outside, Andrew Garcia in the #12 and Cole Glasson in the #5 making up row 2. Gibbs would move to the lead for a while until Glasson would work his way around him. Glasson would pace the field till late in the race when the #16 of R.D. Smith would close in and do battle with the leader. The pair would put on a thrilling show in the closing laps, running side by side, with Glasson looking to get his first win at the famed 3/8 th mile oval. However, the experience of Smith would prevail as he would nose ahead at the checkered flag to take the win by a half a car length. Glasson would post his best Hickory Motor Speedway finish and come home in 2 nd with Ryan Millington in the #76 finishing 3 rd after starting toward the back. Tal Davidson in the #77 and Charlie Watson in the #9 would round out the top 5.
Racing returns to Hickory Motor Speedway next Saturday night with another action packed night of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing featuring twin 40 lap features for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bojangles Late Models, 35 laps for the Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models, 30 laps for the Cosmo Motors Street Stocks, 25 laps for the 4 Cylinders, and 25 laps for the vintage Classic Sportsman Racing Association.