It all gets started this weekend. Racing season 2015 is upon us. One track that will open the gates this Saturday night will be the “Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars”, the famous Hickory Motor Speedway as they open up their 65th year of racing.
After an exciting 2014, the new year promises to be bigger and better than ever as new faces and the regulars will once again do battle at one of the strongest car count tracks in the country. Track General Manager Kevin Piercy is excited as anyone.
“I still get goosebumps as the season approaches,” said Piercy, in his seventh season at the helm of the .363 mile track. “We are looking to have a good year and if the interest I’m seeing is any indication, we should exceed that. We have been working hard to get everything ready, with the terrible weather we have been having lately we have had to hustle, but everything will be on go this weekend and the weather is looking great.”
Piercy is excited about his weekly racing as it’s his bread and butter at the facility.
“We are so fortunate to have Paramount Kia back doing our “Paramount Kia Challenge” races for ten events this year in the Late Models, every show should be a barn burner. While we will have big names showing up coming and going, our regulars look to be tougher than ever with Landon Huffman, Shane Lee and Dexter Canipe Jr. moving back up to Late Model. Of course you’ll have defending track champion Josh Berry, Austin McDaniel, Ashley Huffman and others running the big races for sure.”
The Limited Late Model division at Hickory is the strongest in the region and Piercy is equally excited about them putting on a great show as always.
“With the strong counts we have had in years past we look for more stellar fields in 2015. The Limiteds always have a bunch of cars, but each week we have people from other tracks wanting to come try us out so it’s always a good mix. When you mix in Jeremy Pelfrey, Mark Johnson, Casey Pierce, Monty Cox, Travis Byrd, Allen Huffman and all the rest, it is one of the best shows of the night.”
Aside from the great weekly shows, Hickory is one of the few tracks around that draws exceptional crowds for its touring series. And for 2015 they have a full slate with the CARS Tour, PASS Super Late Models, KOMA Modifieds and the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modifieds.
“We have had a great relationship with Tom Mayberry and the PASS series and we look to continue that for many years to come,” said Piercy. “When they started, the crowds weren’t that great as local fans didn’t instantly relate to teams that weren’t their regular weekly drivers. But now everyone knows the great talent in the series and they come out every race to see the Supers put on a great show. The same will be had with Jack (McNelly) and his newly formed CARS Tour, no doubt about that. While the tour hasn’t even started yet, the interest in the event here is through the roof.
“People have been wondering about how two tours featuring one certain type of car will work in the same region, I think it will be great for the tours themselves and especially the fans. The KOMA series is a crowd favorite as well as their inaugural event was held here a year ago to one of the biggest crowds we have seen for a touring race. And the NASCAR modifieds will be here for the first time in four years, our touring schedule is one of the best around and I’m very proud of that.”
The 65th season kicks off this Saturday with the “Zloop Spring Classic”, the first of the Paramount Kia Challenge races for the Late Models with 100 laps. The Limited Late Models, 4-cylinders, Renegades and rough and tumble Street Stocks will also be in action with the grandstand gates opening and qualifying at 5pm, on track autograph session at 6pm and the green flag flies at 7pm.