Saturday, August 30, 2014

HMS notebook 07/17/14

For a few laps, Church's memory failed him
By Tom Gillispie

Tyler Church of Hickory says he doesn’t remember much about the last few laps of Saturday's PASS South race at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, N.C.

“Oddly enough, I don’t remember the last 20 laps or so,” said Church, who finished second to Preston Peltier, Church's car owner. “It was hot and I felt sick and almost passed out. Afterward, they were telling me that I got under Preston a couple of times, but I don’t remember it.”
Church leads his teammate, Cole Timm of Mooresville, by 28 points in the series standings; each has one victory this season.
Church was asked if he’s nervous leading points this late in the season.
“Not really,” he said. “I’m actually pretty excited.”
He said he's excited partly because he has some tracks coming up that have been good to him, including Hickory Motor Speedway on Sept. 20.
“I hope to finish the season good and continue and win the championship,” he said. “That would be huge.”
PASS South is off this weekend, so Church will accompany Peltier to a PASS national race Sunday at Oxford (Me.) Plains Speedway.
“I’ll just help him with anything I can do,” he said.

Brendon Setzer of Newton finished fourth in the 16-car field at Southern National and remains seventh in points.
Church says that he and Setzer aren’t rivals.
“The whole Setzer bunch and I get along well,” Church said. “Brandon and I have always raced each other hard, but we’ve raced each other clean. I’d help him anyway I could, and he’d help us.”

Saturday’s HMS results
Kevin Eby picked up his second Street Stocks win of the season, followed by Larry Mosher, Chase Pollard, Carroll McKinney and Wayne Edwards.
Josh Berry collected his fifth Late Model win of the season, with William Byron (Berry's Jr Motorsports teammate) second. Bret Holmes, Matt Piercy and Ashley Huffman rounded out the top five.
Spencer Boyd got another Super Trucks victory, with Shelton Clay, Lee Queen, Dakota Slagle and Landon Huffman rounding out the top five.
Mark Johnson took the Limited Late Models victory, followed by rookie Trent Barnes, points leader Taylor Stricklin, Evan Duggins and Travis Byrd.
Chase Pollard of Taylorsville won another 4-Cylinders race, followed by Eddie Gilbert, Dennis Trivette, Rodney Trivette and Curtis Pardue.

If you go Saturday…
• A 100-lap Challenge race is set for Saturday, with Limiteds, Street Stock, Renegades and Classic Sportsman racers also running.
•  Grandstands open at 5, followed by qualifying. Autographs are at 6, with pre-race at 6:30 and racing at 7.
• Admission is $11 for most adults, $9 for teens and seniors, free for kids 12 and under.

Trivia question
Have there been any fathers-sons champions in HMS's highest division?

HMS schedule
• The Knights of Destruction (Crash-A-Rama) will return on July 26 at 7:30.
• On Aug. 2, the Late Models, Limiteds, Street Stocks, trucks and 4-Cylinders will race.
• A 100-lap Challenge race is set for Aug. 9, with the Limiteds, Street Stocks and Renegades also running.
• On Aug. 16, the Late Models, Limiteds, Street Stocks, trucks and 4-Cylinders are running.

By the numbers
Hickory's 72-year-old Morgan Shepherd made the field for Sunday's NASCAR Cup race at New Hampshire, and he finished 278 of 305 laps. It was Shepherd’s second Cup start of the season and the 517th race of a career that started in 1970, when Shepherd was 28.

Worth noting
• Chase Pollard and Carroll McKinney finished third and fourth, respectively, Saturday in the Street Stocks race. Both drivers were division champions last year, Pollard in 4-Cylinders and McKinney in Renegades.
Pollard won the 4-Cylinders race, and the Renegades were off.
• The Super Trucks division had probably its biggest field of the season so far, nine.
• Through June 28, the points leaders were Matt Elledge (4-Cylinders), Bob Park (Classic Sportsman), Josh Berry (Late Models), Taylor Stricklin (Limiteds), Dustin Walker (Renegades), Street Stocks (Kevin Townsend), Whitney Lail and Tal Davidson (tied, Super Trucks).

National and state leaders
• Through July 13, Anthony Anders and Dillon Bassett, two part-time Late Model racers at HMS, were ranked first and fifth, respectively, in NASCAR’s national Division I standings. Anders has 19 wins this year (none at HMS), while Bassett has posted three of his seven wins at HMS.
• Bassett is still leading North Carolina’s Division I standings, and HMS's Josh Berry is fourth.
• Limited Late Model drivers Taylor Stricklin and Jeremy Pelfrey are ranked 21st and 22nd, respectively, in Division II.
• Kevin Townsend (Street Stocks) is 23rd nationally in Division III.

This week
The feature is on Bob Hapeman, a Classic Sportsman racer at HMS.

Worth quoting
PASS South driver Brandon Setzer, on playing sports at Newton-Conover High School: “I did play baseball one year, my sophomore year. I really enjoyed it and had some great friends. But it got in front of racing, and racing was way more important for me. I played right field, but I wasn't very good.”

Trivia answer
Tommy Houston was Hickory's track champion in 1975 and '76, and sons Andy (1994) and Marty (1997) also won track championships.

Tom Gillispie, the author of Angel in Black: Remembering Dale Earnhardt Sr., writes auto racing for the Hickory Daily Record. He can be reached at
Contact: I can be reached at or Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.

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