Thursday, August 21, 2014

HMS notebook 08/21/14


HMS driver climbs her career ladder
By Tom Gillispie
Whitney Lail of Hildebran took her first Super Truck win Saturday and then did something that fans in attendance will probably remember forever.
She climbed the fence to get the checkered flag. Lail says the climb was planned.
“The night I got my pole (Aug. 2), I told the flagman (Jason Sherrill) not to come to me if I ever won; I’d come to him,” she said.
Why climb the stand?
“I wanted to do something other than a burnout, so I climbed the fence,” she said. “I’ve been doing this (racing trucks) three years, and this is my first win.”
She said there was a little drama during the race.
“We had a caution, and on the restart, I was third,” she said. “First and second (Spencer Boyd and Lee Queen) kinda had a fight and wrecked.”
She managed to hold off the field the rest of the way.
On the importance of the win, she said, “It’s a big relief to prove to everybody that, even though I’m a girl, it doesn't mean I can't win.
“People will say that I won with (only) five (trucks in the field) instead of 10, but I went home with the trophy.”

Other results last Saturday
Tal Davidson was second in the truck race, with Queen, Boyd and Zach Hale filling out a five-truck field.
Chase Pollard of Taylorsville won the 4-Cylinder race from the pole, followed by Eddie Gilbert, Matt Elledge, Dennis Trivette and Rob Lewis.
Dillon Bassett took his fourth Late Model win of the season, all in the Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge. Josh Berry was second, followed by Matt Piercy, Dalton Sargeant and Bret Holmes.
Points leader Taylor Stricklin won the 13-car Limited Late Model race from the pole, followed by Casey Pierce, Trent Barnes, Monty Cox and Evan Duggins.
Points leader Kevin Eby of Lenoir took the Street Stock race. Wayne Edwards was second, followed by Jonathon Smith, Cody DeMarmels and Kevin Townsend.

Trivia question
Did any drivers win from the pole on March 15 (the second week of the 2014 season)?

If you go Saturday…
• Because of an earlier rainout, two Late Model races are scheduled, with the Limiteds, Street Stocks and Renegades also racing.
• Grandstands open at 4:45, 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.

HMS schedule
• The Bobby Isaac Memorial race is set for Aug. 30, and that 150-lap race will count as one of the Paramount Kia Challenge races.
• On Sept. 6, twin races are set for Late Models, Limiteds and Street Stocks. A single 4-Cylinder race is scheduled.
• On Sept 13, Championship Night, they run a 100-lap Challenge race, plus Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, trucks, Renegades and 4-Cylinders.

Bobby Isaac trivia
Bobby Isaac, the great race-car driver, started his career and ended it at Hickory (Motor) Speedway. The Catawba native died Aug. 14, 1977 and was buried two days later. That was the day Elvis Presley died.

Worth noting     
• Whitney Lail’s win puts her two points ahead of Spencer Boyd in the Super Truck standings, and Josh Berry regained the lead in Late Models.
• Chase Pollard almost had a big Saturday, winning the 4-Cylinder race and winning the pole for the Street Stock race. He finished second in the Street Stock race but was disqualified. “Our tread width on the front tires was an eighth of an inch too wide,” he said Sunday.
• Hickory’s points races are pretty close. The leaders are Matt Elledge (by two in 4-Cylinders), Bob Park (by 12 in Classic Sportsman), Josh Berry (by six in Late Model), Taylor Stricklin (by 20 in Limiteds), Kenneth Roberts (by eight in Renegades), Kevin Eby (by 24 points in Street Stocks), Whitney Lail (by two in Super Trucks); Dillon Bassett (by six in Paramount Kia Challenge).

NASCAR’s state leaders
Hickory has five drivers in NASCAR’s Division I standings in North Carolina. Dillon Bassett, a four-time Late Model winner this year at HMS, leads the standings. Josh Berry is 10th, with William Byron 15th, part-timer Dalton Sargeant 19th and Austin McDaniel 20th.

PASS South update
Newton’s Brandon Setzer finished third in Saturday’s PASS South race — the Southern National 150 — at South Boston (Va.) Speedway.
Hickory’s Tyler Church, who went into the race as the PASS South points leader, finished eighth. The winner was Preston Peltier, Church’s car owner.

Worth quoting
Whitney Lail, after her Super Truck win on Saturday: “I was excited for my pole, but this tops it.

Trivia answer
Josh Berry (Late Model), Kevin Townsend (Street Stocks) and Spencer Boyd (Super Trucks) all won from the pole on March 15.
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

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