McDaniel & Lee Star At Hickory
HICKORY, N.C. — Braving the heat and dominating the night, Austin McDaniel and Shane Lee won with relative ease Saturday, taking home wins in the late model and limited late model divisions. Chad McKinney, Darrel Mason, Mike Newton and Jeremy Birch also took the checkered flag in their respective divisions.
Starting on the pole in the Bojangles’ Late Model feature, No. 12 Austin McDaniel held the lead and never looked back. It was a fight for second on Lap 32 with No. 2 Trey Gibson overtaking the position, bringing along No. 19 Kyle Moon in third. No. 77 Jeremy Sorel fell back to fourth, unable to regain his position. A fight for second began on Lap 40 with Moon sliding under Gibson coming off Turn 4. The two drivers would continue to run side-by-side, but Gibson was able to hang on to second when the checkered flag fell. Moon finished third with Sorel and No. 1 Pietro Fittipaldi rounding out the top five.
In the Paramount KIA Limited Late Model division the caution was immediate as the No. 21 Roger Pitts II tagged the wall on the backstretch and spun in Turn 4 on the first lap. Another caution was quick to follow with No. 12 Coty Hartson spinning on Lap 18. No. 7 Travis Byrd took advantage of the delay, jumping to the lead on the restart. His lead was short-lived with No. 9 Charlie Watson making the pass to the front. Two laps later No. 5 Christian Calvo and No. 22 Dan Moore connected, forcing the third caution of the night. The drivers up front settled in their positions until Lee regained the lead on Lap 30. No. 9 Charlie Watson and No. 55 Zachary Bruenger followed, finishing second and third.
No. 03 Kevin Eby made his presence known in the WrenchRag Street Stocks division, taking the lead on Lap 1. No. 99 Roy Smith regained the top spot on Lap 6, watching contently as Eby and No. 5 Mike Newton battled behind him for second. Newton would go on to win the battle, driving to first on Lap 11. Finishing in second was Eby followed by No. 64 Marshall Sutton in third.
Within the first three laps of the Super Trucks race, No. 33 Jeremy Birch moved to the lead with the rest of the field settling in behind. No. 02 Jason Cochran made moves late in the race, looking under Birch for the lead with five to go. The two drivers ran nose to nose on the final lap, but Birch powered through Turn 4 to grab the win. Cochran drove to a close second and No. 29 Ricky Dennie rounded out the top three.
Also taking home wins were No. 95 Chad McKinney in the Hobby Stocks division and No. 11 Darrell Mason in the Mini-Cup Karts.