LeFevers Claims 1 st Hickory Win on Opening Night

Jill Frischmann Hickory Motor Speedway
Photos by: Legacy Video & Photography

(Newton, NC March 21, 2009) The air was cool, but the racing action was hot as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series took to the track for the season opener at the World's Most Famous Short Track, Hickory Motor Speedway. The night featured appearances by the Bojangles Late Models, the Advanced Auto Parts Limiteds, the Bad Boy Mowers Super Trucks, the Hickory Street Stocks and the Hickory Hobby Stocks. Drivers shook the winter cob webs loose by taking to the track for some tough competition and tense racing action. The night was filled with excitement of all kinds, including the first ever Hickory Motor Speedway win for the #43, Bonjangles Late Model driver, Jesse LeFevers.

It was an exciting race for the Bojangle Late Models the moment the green flag waived for the 50 lap feature. The #43 of Jesse LeFevers was quick to challenge pole sitter, the #10 of Andy Mercer. The two ran door to door for the first nine laps until LeFevers shot past Mercer for the lead. It didn't take long for the first caution to fly as the #92 of Candace Muzny spun coming out of turn three, sending her car hard into the outside was tail first. Caution number two was soon to follow as the #7 of Ashley Huffman spun out heading into turn two, backing down the track and onto the nose of the #6 of Cole Miktuk.

With 20 laps remaining the action was back at the front of the pack as Mercer and LeFevers were once again battling for the lead running side by side. LeFevers was able to pull back out in front of Mercer, leading the two into a game cat and mouse. Mercer would get a nose under LeFevers in the corners, but would lose momentum on the straight-a-ways. Five laps remained when Mercer was finally able to pull back up alongside LeFevers. The two finished the race door to door, but it was LeFevers who powered on to the checkers first, finishing only feet in front of Mercer. (A win) that was my goal coming into Hickory, now we're hoping for more throughout the season! exclaimed the first time winner as he stood in victory lane. The #88 of Dexter Canipe Jr., the #57 of Grant Wimbish and the #33 of James Goff rounded out the top five.

The Advanced Auto Parts Limiteds showed they were calm and collected for the season opener when they took to the track for their 35 lap feature. The #6 of Brandon Hudnall got lose and spun coming out of turn one on the first lap, but he was able to keep moving causing no caution to fly. By lap five the #17 of pole sitter Kyle Mansch had a commanding lead over the field, which he would maintain until the checkers flew. It was smooth sailing for the remainder of the field, with clean passing taking place through the feature, until lap 29 when the #20 Joe Chafin made contact with the #9 of Anthony Barnes in turn two, bringing out the first and only caution. The excitement continued until the last lap when the #14 of Brandon Cox was glued the back end of the #25 of Nick Proffitt. Cox was looking to make his move to steal away the third place finishing position, but didn't have enough for Proffitt, leaving Cox to settle for fourth. Barnes came in second with the #33 of Corey Joyce completing the top five.

The Bad Boy Mowers Super Trucks certainly lived up to their name during their caution filled 35 lap feature. The #69 of pole sitter Trevor Hignutt displayed nothing but dominance during the race, as he jumped to an early lead which he held onto until the checker flag waived. The first caution flew within the first five laps of the race when the #0 of Jody Church made contact with #88 of Tyler Baird coming out of turn three, sending Church for a spin. Caution two flew on lap six when the #10 of Barry Williams bounced off the bumper of the #99 of Dana White. Williams was sent spinning collecting Church along the way. Caution number three was soon to follow as the #6 of Brandon Setzer made contact with the #11 of Thomas Beane. White, trying to avoid the spinning rides of Setzer and Beane, slammed on the breaks sending his truck for a spin hard into the outside wall.

It was clean racing for a few circuits, until lap 18 when the #44 of Ron Hall spun out heading into turn two. With five laps remaining the battle to watch was for the third place position as Ron Hall and the #28 of Anthony Hall ran door to door until the final lap when Ron powered ahead of Anthony grabbing third leaving Anthony to settle for fourth. The #25 of Mark Johnson had a great run taking the checkers second with Setzer completing the top five.

The Hickory Street Stocks gave fans a major bang for their buck during the 30 lap, excitement filled feature. The first caution flew on the first lap when the #88 of Josh Burchette went for a spin heading into turn two. The #99 of Jonathan Smith spun to avoid making contact with Burchette, but the #5 of Mike Newton wasn't as lucky and ended up connecting with the side panel of Burchette. After the restart the #32 of Jeremy Harrell made a quick move and a clean pass, taking over the second place position. On lap two the second caution was called for fluid and debris on the track. As soon as the green flag dropped the #64 of Marshall Sutton took the lead over the field, bringing with him the #1 of Taylor Stricklin.

The third and final caution came out on lap 15 when the #15 of Waylon Flynn spun in turn three sending his car hard into the outside wall. By lap 19 Stricklin had maneuvered his way into the top spot, taking the lead from Sutton, but the lead wouldn't last long as Sutton moved back into the top position by lap 22. On lap 27 Stricklin experienced some handling issues, causing him to get loose on the front stretch and spin out as he headed into turn one, bringing out the fourth and final caution. Stricklin's bad luck didn't end there, on the final lap he got into Smith heading into turn two sending Smith for a wild spin. Sutton was able to hold onto the lead through all the cautions. I'm just racin' for fun and to please you all (the fans), Sutton stated from victory lane. The #03 of Kevin Eby, Harrell, Newton and the #71 of Robert DiVanna rounded out the top five respectively.

The Hickory Hobby Stocks kept in fashion with their fellow divisions and by keeping the excitement going during their 20 lap feature. When the green flag waived the #82 of Bradley Hasson made a quick jump to the front and set his sights on the #90 of Ronnie Sims. By lap five Hasson was on Sim's bumper challenging him for the lead. The first caution flew on lap six when the #83 of Lance Dagerhardt spun out heading into turn four. The #93 of Kelly Gilbert barely squeezed by Dagerhardt as Gilbert spun to avoid making contact with Dagerhardt. Hasson brought out caution number two at the restart when he spun out in turn two. Sims experienced mechanical issues once the field went green and pulled off the track, giving up the lead, leaving the #01 of Paul Wyatt to take over. With six laps to go the #85 of Jeff Weisner began to put pressure on Wyatt, as he looked to move into the top spot. Weisner and Wyatt connected several times as they went around the track battling for that prime real-estate.

On lap 17 the third and final caution flew when the #-1 of Ronald Dale McNeil stalled on the back stretch. There were three laps to go when the field went back to green flag racing. Weisner jumped under Wyatt grabbing the leading and holding on tight until he took the checkers, leaving Wyatt to settle for second. The #9 of Scott Bumgarner, Gilbert and Dagerhardt made up the top five.

Be sure to join us next Saturday night for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series featuring appearances by the Bojangles Late Models, the Advanced Auto Parts Limiteds, the Hickory Pro 4's, the Hickory Street Stocks and the Hickory Hobby Stocks. Grandstands open at 5:00 PM with qualifying immediately following, an On Track Autograph Session at 6:00 PM and feature racing action beginning at 7:00 PM. Tickets are only $10 for adults, $7 for teens and seniors, $4 for kids (7-12), with kids 6 and under free! Family passes can also be purchased for $25. We'll see you at the races!


Bojangles Late Model 50

1.(43) Jesse LeFevers

2.(10) Andy Mercer

3.(88) Dexter Canipe Jr.

4.(57) Grant Wimbish

5.(33) James Goff

6.(51) Chris Lawson

7.(6) Cole Miktuk

8.(44) Matt DiBenedetto

9.(47) Patrick Molesworth

10(12) Caitlin Shaw

11.(51) Josh Wimbish

12.(33) Roger Newton

13.(92) Candace Muzny

14.(7) Ashley Huffman

15.(25) David Wilson

Advanced Auto Parts Limited 35

1.(17) Kyle Mansch

2.(9) Anthony Barnes

3.(14) Brandon Cox

4.(24) Taylor Doggett

5.(33) Corey Joyce

6.(2) Shawn Parker

7.(32) Justin Sorrow

8.(37) Rick Hall

9.(7) Jason Smith

10.(83) David Hasson

11.(20) Joe Chafin

12.(29) Melvin Langley

13.(6) Brandon Hudnall

14.(54) JR Kessler

15.(25) Nick Proffitt *

*Disqualified due to failure to pass post race inspection.

Bad Boy Mowers Super Trucks 35

1.(69) Trevor Hignutt

2.(25) Mark Johnson

3.(44) Ron Hall

4.(28) Anthony Hall

5.(6) Brandon Setzer

6.(15) Jen Crossman

7.(0) Jody Church

8.(88) Tyler Baird

9.(11) Thomas Beane

10.(99) Dana White

11.(10) Barry Williams

Hickory Street Stock 30

1.(64) Marshall Sutton

2.(03) Kevin Eby

3.(32) Jeremy Harrell

4.(5) Mike Newton

5.(71) Robert Divanna

6.(99) Jonathan Smith

7.(1) Taylor Stricklin

8.(29) Jay Everhardt

9.(15) Waylon Flynn

10.(25) Jeremy Pelfrey

11.(88) Josh Burchette

Hickory Hobby Stock 20

1.(85) Jeff Weisner

2.(01) Paul Wyatt

3.(9) Scott Bumgarner

4.(93) Kelly Gilbert

5.(83) Lance Dagerhardt

6.(82) Bradley Hasson

7.(-1) Ronald Dale McNeil

8.(90) Ronnie Sims


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