After delaying the event two weeks prior due to rain, Hickory Motor Speedway battled spotted rain showers as the Late Models, Limited Late Models, Street Stocks and the Sportsman Racing Classics hit the track during the 35th Annual Bobby Isaac Memorial. Jesse LeFevers grabbed the pole position for the Late Model event before being crown the Hickory Motor Speedway Track Champion. LeFevers battled rookie sensation Austin McDaniel for the majority of the 150-lap feature event with McDaniel crossing the finish line only inches ahead of LeFevers for the win. McDaniels win earned him honors of 2011 Late Model Rookie of the Year.
Point leader Jesse LeFevers led the 14 car Late Model field to the green flag for the 150-lap feature event. On the second lap, the No. 57 of Grant Wimbish pulled alongside the No. 51 of Josh Wimbish to battle for the second position. As the Wimbish brothers ran side-by-side, LeFevers slowly pulled away increasing his lead over the field. 15 laps into the race, the No. 88 of Josh Wright began to put pressure on the Wimbish brothers looking to move into the top three. The first caution of the feature fell on lap 22 after the No. 94 of Brad Cox and the No. 15 of Tyler Brown made contact heading into turn three.
Green-flag racing resumed on lap 26. As the field returned to full speed Wright pulled to the outside of G. Wimbish taking over the third position. As the front of the field was beginning to run single file, the No. 12 of Austin McDaniel made an impressive run, working his way into the top five on lap 42 after starting in the eighth position. On lap 62 the rookie McDaniel jumped to the inside of Wright looking to move into third, the two ran side-by-side for several laps until lap 71 when the No. 17 of Kyle Mansch spun on the backstretch bringing out the second caution.
The green flag waved on lap 76 with LeFevers still out front. On the restart Wright pulled into the second position leaving J. Wimbish and the No. 14 of Mike Darne to compete for third. Darne pulled ahead of J. Wimbish on lap 80, and began to challenge Wright for second just as caution number three waved on lap 82 when the No. 77 of Jeremy Sorel spun out coming out of turn three. As the field returned to green-flag racing on lap 87, McDaniel jumped into second leaving Wright and Darne to battle for third.
With less than 50 laps remaining in the feature McDaniel began to reel in LeFevers as he looked to take over the top spot. On lap 139 the fourth and final caution fell over the field when Mansch spun around heading into turn one. The lap 135 restart put McDaniel in the prime position to take over the lead from LeFevers as the two ran door-handle to door-handle. With 10 laps remaining in the feature, McDaniel gained ground in the corners, but LeFevers continued to inch ahead on the straightaways. The two were side-by-side on the final lap heading out of turn four when McDaniel crossed the finish line only inches ahead of LeFevers grabbing the win. Wright came home third, while Darne and J.Wimbish completed the top five. LeFevers’ second-place finish kept him first in the Track Champion point race making him the 2011 Hickory Motor Speedway Track Champion, while McDaniel secured Rookie of the Year honors with his victory.
The No. 11 of Matt Piercy brought the 21 car Limited Late Model field to life for their portion of the 35th Annual Bobby Isaac Memorial. Piercy led the field around the track until the No. 66 of Travis Byrd limped onto pit road on lap six bringing out the first caution of the 50-lap race and his day to an early end. Back under green-flag conditions, Piercy and the No. 75 of Landon Huffman battled for the lead with Huffman pulling out front on lap nine. Just as the second caution fell on lap 13 for debris on the track, the No. 18 of Casey Pierce and the No. 21 of Lee Queen connected on the front stretch causing NASCAR officials to bring out the first red flag of the race to clean up the track.
As the field resumed full speed the No. 8 of Mark McIntosh jumped into the third position and began to put pressure on Piercy for second. The No. 07 of Tyler Church was on a mission moving into the top five on lap 34, after starting the race in the 21st position. With ten laps remaining the No. 7 of Brian Kolb shot by McIntosh for third and set his sights on Piercy for second. The third caution waved on lap 42 after the No. 19 of Benji Woodward went for a spin coming out of turn two.
The yellow flag came out for a fourth time during the restart on lap 42 after the No. 69 of Trevor Hignutt made contact with the outside wall. Back under green flag conditions, Huffman and Piercy continued to battle for the lead. The two ran side-by-side until the bitter end making contact sending both cars across the finish line sideways. Huffman crossed only inches ahead of Piercy grabbing the win. Church, Kolb and the No. 72 of Jason Cochran rounded out the top five. Pietro Fittipaldi earned a ninth-place finish, which allowed him secure his first Limited Late Model Championship along with Rookie of the Year honors.
Roger Pitts and the No. 21 entry brought the Street Stocks to the green flag for a 30-lap caution filled event. Pitts immediately pulled away from the field leaving the No. 5 of Mike Newton and the No. 22 of Dan Moore to battle for second until the first caution fell on lap three when the No. 99 of Randy Truett spun on the front stretch. Back under green-flag conditions the field again spread out until lap seven when the No. 51 of Dustin Walker and the No. 10 of Kevin Townsend made contact coming out of turn four bringing out the second caution.
A third caution fell on lap 13 when the No. 16 of Roy Smith and Townsend connected heading out of turn three. During the restart Moore was shuffled back to fourth, but charged on trying to work his way back into the top three until lap 16 when he made contact with the No. 03 of Kevin Eby. A fifth caution soon followed on lap 18 when Townsend spun around in turn four. Just as quickly as the field returned to green flag racing the yellow flag waved for a fifth and final time when the No. 35 of David Werner spun out heading into turn one. During all of the cautions, Pitts powered on grabbing the checkered flag. Newton and the No. 17 of Baron Kurisky rounded out the top three. The No. 03 of Kevin Eby’s fourth-place finish allowed him to hold onto the point lead making him the 2011 Street Stock Champion.
The Sportsmen Racing Classic division capped off the 35th Annual Bobby Isaac Memorial with the No. 99 of Todd Bradberry leading the field to the green for the 25-lap race. The No. 12 of Johnny Gregory jumped into the lead and remained out front until he spun around in turn two on lap nine. Bradberry was back out front for the restart, as the green-flag waved Bradberry pulled away from the competition with the No. 16 of Bill Webb trailing behind in second. With ten laps remaining Gregory worked his way through the field moving back into the top three. Bradberry managed to stay ahead of the field grabbing the checkers leaving Webb and Gregory to follow behind picking up second and third-place finishes.
The ISCARS Dash Series invades Hickory Motor Speedway on October 1, along with the ASA & Super Cup Stock Car Series. Grandstands open at 4 p.m. with racing beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are only $10 for adults with kids ages 10 and under free. For more information about this event visit www.iscarsonline.com.
Unofficial Race Results:
Bojangles Late Models:
1.(12) Austin McDaniel 2.(43) Jesse LeFevers 3.(88) Josh Wright 4.(14) Mike Darne 5.(51) Josh Wimbish 6.(94) Brad Cox 7.(19) Kyle Moon 8.(2) Juan Carlos 9.(77) Jeremy Sorel 10.(14) Bobby Measmer 11.(17) Kyle Mansch 12.(51) Grant Wimbish 13.(15) Shawn Sharkey 14.(115) Tyler Brown