“Checkered Flag Flies for Millington”
May 13th, 2017
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series returned to action on Saturday night, after a week off, with 321 Lawnmower Sales & Service Night at the Races presented by Whelen.
Leading off the night would be the 4-Cylinders with points leader Curtis Pardue in the #17 setting fast time and leading the field to the green flag. Pardue would lead early until a caution for a full field invert. After the caution the #51 of Nathaniel Kanupp would move to the front, holding off the charging Pardue and taking the checkered flag in his first race in several years at the Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars. Pardue would end up in 2nd, Robbie Trivette in the #11 would move up into 3rd, and Brian Mundy in the #6 would finish 4th.
The Allison Legacy Series would hit the track next for their 35 lap feature. Justin Taylor in the #03 would pace qualifying to start from the pole. Taylor would jump to the early lead and never look back, only slowed by several cautions that would bunch the field. Taylor would take the win in impressive fashion. The battle for 2nd and on back however, would rage on throughout the race. Kyle Campbell in the #15 would end up with the 2nd spot at the checkered flag and Ethan Elder in the #08 bouncing back from early problems to finish 3rd. Matthew Davey in the #10 and Brett Suggs in the #33 would round out the top 5.The Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models would be the next division to thunder to life with their 35 lap feature. Points leader Monty Cox in the #21 would set fast time in qualifying and would start at the front with veteran Mack Little in the #16 to his outside. Cox would jump to the early lead with Mitch Walker in the #29 pressing Little for 2nd. Walker would get by and set his sights on the front runner Cox. Charlie Watson in the #9 would also make a bid on Little for a top 3 spot and eventually move by to put pressure on Walker as well. Cox would prove to be too strong on this night and drive on to the victory with Walker in 2nd and Watson finishing in 3rd. Little would hold off a hard charging Ross ‘BooBoo' Dalton in the #50 for 4th while Dalton would round out the top 5.
Hitting the track next would be the Cosmo Motors Street Stocks. The #77 of Mark Whitten would grab the pole with fast time in qualifying. Whitten would run side by side with the #18 of Cody DeMarmels until DeMarmels would finally nose ahead. DeMarmels and Whitten would run nose to tail for the remainder of the race with Marshall Sutton in the #64 making it a 3 car breakaway for the lead. DeMarmels would bounce back from his bad luck 2 weeks ago and take the win with Whitten finishing 2nd and Sutton in 3rd. Kevin Eby in the #03 and Trey Buff in the #69 would round out the top 5.
100 laps of racing action would be in store as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bojangles Late Models would roll off the grid. Points leader Ryan Millington in the #76 would grab the top spot in qualifying with Stefan Parsons, son of NASCAR announcer Phil Parsons, in the #98 to his outside and Ty Gibbs, grandson of Joe Gibbs, in the #18 and Thomas Beane in the #31 making row #2. Millington would jump to the early lead and hold court until Charlie Watson in the #9 came charging by on lap 30. Watson would hold the lead until a caution at lap 60 would bunch the field. Several cautions later that would span laps 60 through 80 would set the scenario for another wild finish at America's Most Famous Short Track. On the next restart Millington would appear to spin the tires bunching up the field but the start would be called off and attempted again. This time Watson and Millington would start nose to nose and slug it out for the top spot for several laps. Another caution would fly a few laps later for a spinning car. On this restart Watson would lead the field slowly to the restart zone and when they took off Millington did not come up to speed and collected Andrew Garcia in the #12 taking him hard into the air and the wall. Millington's car looked used up as the tow truck got it to the pits, the Team Johnson Motorsports crew went to work and got him back on the track without losing a lap. With 12 laps to go Watson would face a tough challenge from Parsons but be able to hold him off after several laps of side by side racing. Millington, however would be a different story as he would come rolling by both drivers with only a couple of laps left to take the win in a near miraculous ending to what looked like a rough night for the youngster. Watson would hold on for 2nd and Parsons would grab 3rd. Matt Thomas in the #87 would come in 4th and Gibbs would round out the top 5 in 5th.
Ending the night would be the Catawba Realty & Insurance Classic Sportsmen. Bill Lett in the #4 would grab the the pole by setting fast time in qualifying. Lett would jump out to the early lead but Bill Webb in the #16 and Chris Werner in the #22 wouldn't let him pull away without a fight. Eddie Gilbert in the #95 would start from the rear and make a thrilling run to the front, getting by Webb and Werner to take a shot at the leader Lett.
Lett would prove too strong and take the win with Gilbert finishing 2nd. Bill Webb, Chris Werner, and Dennis Werner in the #19 would round out the top 5.
Hickory Motor Speedway will take a rare night off next Saturday, May 20th, but will return in 2 weeks, on May 27th, with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series back in action on Woodforest Bank Night at the Races. Twin 40 lap races for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bojangles Late Models, 50 laps and Round #5 of the Paramount Kia 'Big 10' Challenge for the Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models, 35 laps for the One Design Super Trucks, 30 laps for the Cosmo Motors Street Stocks, and 25 laps for the Catawba Realty & Insurance Classic Sportsmen are on tap for the evening.