Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 12:53 pm | Updated: 10:12 am, Fri Apr 26, 2013.
The photo that accompanies this notebook was of Bill Elliott during a test session at Hickory Motor Speedway in July of 1993.
Photographer Nick Stearns, whose wife Sherri took the pensive picture, remembers Davey Allison had died the day earlier following a helicopter crash.
“Bill was sad but very friendly and welcoming,” said Stearns, who now works with Sherri as HMS track photographers. “He even discussed Davey's death and drivers flying.
“Our niece and nephew came down during the practice, and when (he was) not busy, Bill took the time to talk and play with them. He's a good guy.”
Elliott never ran a Cup or Busch (Nationwide) race at HMS. He did post 44 wins in 828 Cup starts, and he had one win in 43 Busch starts.
Pro Cup results
Clay Rogers edged J.P. Morgan on a green-white-checkered finish and won the X-1R Pro Cup Series race last Saturday at Hickory. He also won at HMS in 2004 and 2006 and is tied with Bobby Gill for the most series wins at the track.
Morgan was second, with Tyler Young (a Hickory winner last year), Eric Gerchak, Brady Boswell, Rusty Skewes, Richard Gould, Stacy Puryear, Dalton Hopkins, Gus Dean, Andrew Smith, John Gibson, Lucas Ransone and Reid Wilson finishing out the 14-car field.
Rogers, who also won the season opener on April 20 at Dillon (S.C.) Motor Speedway, tied Benny Gordon for second on Pro Cup’s career win list with 32; Bobby Gill leads with 46.
The series’ next race is set for May 4 at Anderson Motor Speedway in Williamston, S.C.
Richard Petty ran 22 Cup races at HMS, with five wins. What car number did he run? Hint: Yes, this is a trick question.
Pro Cup history
Former driver Shane Huffman, a graduate of St. Stephens High, is fourth in Pro Cup Series career wins with 28, 10th in starts (134), second in poles (24) to Rogers (33), seventh in top-five finishes (56) and eighth in top-10 finishes (74).
Two wins in three races
Hickory native Dennis Setzer picked up his two Busch (Nationwide) Series wins within a three-race span in 1994. Setzer won the Ford Credit 300 on July 16 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, finished 36th (engine problems) the next week at Talladega, then won the Pantry 300 on July 31 at Hickory.
Chad Little finished eighth in the Pantry 300.
There’s a 100-lap ZLOOP Challenge for Late Model cars set for Saturday, with Limited Late Models, Street Stocks and Renegades also running.
• On May 4, Hickory will run a regular program featuring Late Models, Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Trucks, Renegades and Sportsman Racing Classics.
• HMS will have a 100-lap ZLOOP Challenge Late Model race on May 11, with Limiteds, Street Stocks, Renegades and 4-Cylinders also running.
Todd Harrington leads the 4-Cylinder points by six points over Donnie Harmon; Jesse LeFevers has a 20-point lead over Late Model rookie Shane Lee; Lee holds a four-point lead over Landon Huffman in Limited Late Models; Gregory Austin leads Kenneth Roberts by four points in Renegades; Kevin Eby has a two-point lead over his friend Marshall Sutton in Street Stocks, and Clint Fields and Jeremy Birch are tied in Super Trucks.
I didn’t know it, but Dale Earnhardt and former Cup and Busch driver Chad Little shared the same birthday, April 29. Earnhardt would have been 62 on Monday and Little will be 50.
Darrell Waltrip, from On Pit Row online, “If the lion didn’t bite the tamer every once in a while, it wouldn’t be exciting.”
Richard Petty used his famous No. 43 in 19 of his 22 Cup races at HMS. He ran No. 42 (his dad Lee Petty’s number) three times, in 1961, 1962 and 1966.
Tom Gillispie, the co-author of “Then Junior Said to Jeff…,” writes about racing at Hickory Motor Speedway for HDR Sports. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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