With the CARS Tour coming to town next weekend, the Hickory Motor Speedway season opener on Saturday night might be one of the best fields of the season for the Late Model Stock Cars as teams prepare for the race ahead.
Track General Manager, Kevin Piercy joined the RACE22 Radio crew on Monday night to discuss a variety of topics including what he expects during the season opener this Saturday night. Piercy said he was expecting a great group of Late Models last weekend before the weather forced postponement of the event to this week.
“Right this second I’m telling you there’s a lot of race car drivers out here chomping at the bits for this Saturday,” Piercy told RACE22 Radio on Monday night. “You could feel the excitement and you could feel the air come out of the bubble Saturday when they weren’t going to be able to run. I think I would have had 15 or 16 Late Models last week even with the CARS race. I could count off 12 in my head that I knew were coming.”
Several CARS Tour competitors are expected this week as well.
“I’ve already had a couple of the CARS Tour guys call me about practicing and one or two about racing. I think we’ll pick up a couple there. I’m expected good car counts.”
Hickory will have twin 40-lap contests for the Late Model Stock Car division which Piercy thinks everyone loves.
“We were going to do an 80-lapper but we changed back to twin 40’s because we were going to start out the season with twin 40’s and everybody loves those twin 40’s. That and the invert of eight it gives some people an opportunity to lead some laps and possibly win if they can get out front.”
Piercy expects the racing on Saturday night to get exciting as it always seems to at Hickory.
“Well, it’s not uncommon for somebody to start on the high side on a restart, the leader to choose the high side because momentum is just as important at Hickory as the bottom line. We’re definitely a handling track, not a horsepower track, so you can use that momentum to your advantage.”
Hickory Motor Speedway isn’t talked about by fans when the conversation of car count comes around. But, they have one of the highest averages in Limiteds and a solid count in Late Models as well.
“We averaged just under 13 Late Models a race last year, which I don’t think is a disaster. With a high of 27 or 28. Then on our Limited counts, we had about 16.8 average. Don’t be surprised if you roll in and there’s 22 Limiteds.”
Hickory Motor Speedway’s season kicks off this Saturday night at 7:00pm with twin 40-lap races for the Late Model Stock Cars as well as a 50-lap Big 10 Challenge race for the Limited Late Models and racing in Street Stocks, Super Trucks, Renegades and Pro 4’s.
Cover photo by Jaden Austin