Story and photos by Drew Hierwarter
Newton, NC – It was hot and muggy this past Saturday when the UARA-STARS late model drivers hit the third mile Hickory Motor Speedway for the first practice session leading up to the “Banjo Mathews Memorial 150”. With a hint of things to come, Brennan Poole was the fastest in the first practice cutting a lap of 15.529 seconds in the heat of the day.
By the second round of practice the weather was even hotter and the hottest car in the field was second generation driver Kyle Grissom with a time of 15.613. But when the dust had settled after qualifying it was Coleman Pressley who was the quickest. His 15.365 time put him on the pole with Kyle Grissom starting on the outside.
Qualifying was followed by a special autograph session for the fans featuring NASCAR Hall of Fame legend Junior Johnson, his son Robert, former NASCAR Nationwide Series star Robert Pressley and his son Coleman.
Kyle Grissom (32) leads Coleman Pressley (59)
The “Banjo Mathews Memorial 150” got under way with Kyle Grissom grabbing the lead and setting a blistering pace until lap 27 when Coleman Pressley got by. A single car spin on lap 49 brought out a brief caution flag and after the restart it looked like no one would be able to catch the flying Pressley.
Just before the halfway point, Kyle Grissom was forced to retire with engine problems and that left Pressley without much of a challenge until Brennan Poole began to reel him in. By lap 135 Pressley and
Brennan Poole (5) takes over the head with fifteen laps to go.
Robert Johnson came in fourth, his best finish to date, earning the “Rookie of the Race” award, and Alex Yontz rounded out the top five.
The race featured side-by-side competitive racing throughout the field even treating the fans to a wheel banging, door beating last lap fight by Johnson and Yonts for the third and fourth spot. The race was a fast one with only two brief caution periods to slow the action. One for Jake Crum’s single car spin on lap 49, and the second on lap 127 for a quick clean up of some fluid on the track.
The point battles remain close with
The UARA-STARS series travels next to Lonesome Pine Raceway in
Brennan Poole, winner of the Banjo Mathews Memorial 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway