Wimbish pleased after second victory at HMS
Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 12:36 am | Updated: 12:40 am, Thu Jul 25, 2013.
By TOM GILLISPIE Special To The Record
HICKORY, N.C. -- Grant Wimbish was excited about winning last Saturday’s 100-lap Late Model race at Hickory Motor Speedway. It was second career Late Model victory. His first came on March 19, 2011.
“Winning at HMS is very tough, from the stiff weekly competition to the big-budget teams that come in on a weekly basis, let alone the past track champions that visit on occasions like this past ZLOOP Challenge 100-lap race,” said Wimbish, who qualified fifth. “To win when the competition is at its best makes it all the more sweet!”
Pole-winner Austin McDaniel was second in a 15-car field, with Brandon Dean, Matt McCall, Ashley Huffman, Christian Calvo, Matt Piercy, Shane Lee, Justin Carroll and Dan Moore rounding out the top 10.
Among the former track champions in the field were McDaniel (2012), McCall (2004), Jesse LeFevers (2011) and Keith Bumgarner (2005). Also, Dean was the 2012 track champion at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va.
Saturday’s program celebrated Hickory Motor Speedway’s 62nd anniversary. The track opened in July of 1951, with Gwyn Staley the first winner.
More results from last Saturday’s races
Lee won a 15-car Limited Late Model race from the pole, followed by Landon Huffman, Monty Cox, Justin Bolton, Casey Pierce, Dylon Wilson, Ryan Vasconcellos, Allen Huffman, Steve Pierro and Mitch Walker.
Charlie Neill took the Renegades race, with Kenneth Roberts, Gregory Austin, Darren Dickinson, Carroll McKinney, Kyle Divanna, Shawn Hayes, Eddie Russ and Steve Griffith filling out a nine-car field.
Ben Ebeling beat out Marshall Sutton in a 10-car Street Stocks feature, followed by pole-winner Kevin Eby, Larry Mosher, Donnie Harmon, Mark Whitten, Chris Cycak, Troy DeMarmels, Kim Smith and Jonathon Smith.
This week’s highlight: Crash-A-Rama Series
The Knights of Destruction — the Crash-A-Rama series — are set to race at HMS on Saturday.
“It was a great event last year,” HMS promoter Kevin Piercy said. “I recommend people get their tickets early; it’ll be a packed house.”
Tickets for adults are $15 in advance, $20 on race day, $10 for ages 6 through 12, and 5 and under get in free.
How many races did Catawba native Bobby Isaac win in 1970 (his NASCAR championship season)?
Upcoming HMS schedule
• On Aug. 3, HMS will have a program with Late Models, Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Super Trucks, Renegades and 4-Cylinders.
• A ZLOOP Challenge, with a 100-lap Late Model race, will be featured on Aug. 10, with Limiteds, Street Stocks and Renegades also racing.
• On Aug. 17, they’ll have Late Models, Limiteds, Street Stocks, trucks, Renegades, 4-Cylinders and Ford Focus Midgets.
• The track will be off on Aug. 24. It’s listed as AFTR (available for track rental).
• The Bobby Isaac Memorial race is set for Aug. 31, with a 150-lap Late Model race, plus Limited Late Models, Street Stocks and the Sportsman Classic racers.
The HMS points leaders through Monday were:
4-Cylinders — Nathaniel Kanupp, 12 points over Chase Pollard; Classic Sportsman Racing — Don Fenn, two points over Steve Davis; Late Models — McDaniel, 14 points over Lee; Limited Late Models — Lee, 18 points over Landon Huffman; Renegades — McKinney, 66 points over Roberts; Street Stocks —Eby, 10 points over Sutton; Jeremy Birch, 24 points over Jason Smith; ZLOOP Challenge — McDaniel, 16 points over Lee.
National points leaders
Two part-time drivers at HMS — Anthony Anders (12th) and Brandon Dean (14th) — are among the national leaders in NASCAR Division I Asphalt standings through Tuesday.
Others in the top 500 are Josh Berry (28th), McDaniel (64th), David Garbo Jr. (67th), Lee (77th), LeFevers (92nd), Matt Piercy (110th), Calvo (147th), C.J. Hulsey (152nd), Ashley Huffman (240th), Wimbish (243), Reid Lanpher (257th), Trey Gibson (279th), Justin T. Carroll (325th), David Roberts (446th) and Moore (457th).
Dean is eighth in North Carolina’s Division I standings, with Berry 18th and McDaniel 20th.
Among the Division II national leaders through July 14 are Lee (16th), Landon Huffman (21st), Jeremy Pelfrey (27th), Pierce (49th), Cox (53rd), Sheflon Clay (88th) and Allen Huffman (93rd).
Hickory’s Division III national leaders include Eby (25th), Sutton (42nd) and Jonathon Smith (48th).
Neil Bonnett would have been 67 this coming Tuesday, and Catawba’s Bobby Isaac would have been 81 next Thursday. NASCAR boss Brian France (51) has a birthday next Friday, and Cup stars Kurt Busch (35) and Jeff Gordon (42) have birthdays on Aug. 4.
Dennis Punch (Dr. Jerry Punch’s brother), on HMS: “You hear people talk about their ‘NASCAR roots’ and their ‘NASCAR family.’ NASCAR has a very large family tree, and Hickory Motor Speedway is one of their most important roots.”
Isaac posted 11 of his 37 career victories in 1970.
Tom Gillispie, the author of “Angel in Black: Remembering Dale Earnhardt Sr.,” writes about racing at Hickory Motor Speedway for HDR Sports. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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