NEWTON, NC :: In round two of the season at Hickory Motor Speedway and the second race of the “Zloop Big 10 Challenge”, we were all waiting for the fireworks to go off. In the season opener last weekm Jesse LeFevers led nearly every lap until Austin McDaniel got to his bumper with three laps to go. After some pretty hard contact, McDaniel was in victory lane while LeFevers was livid after nearly crashing his car. This week, we were hoping to see another knock-down drag-out. Instead LeFevers made a statement as he was never challenged taking the 100 lap win.

Once again, Hickory would boast one of the highest car counts around with a strong field of 19 Late Models. Young gun Brodie Kostecki would smoke the field for the pole and take off from the get go and set sail, at times leading by as much as 20 car lengths. Once things got settled behind him though, LeFevers began to march forward from his fourth starting spot, taking second away from Matt Piercy on lap 21 then closing right in on Kostecki for the lead. Behind them McDaniel had to bide his time after missing the qualifying setup and rolling off form the 12th spot.

Closer and closer LeFevers drew each lap, and on lap 30 we thought we were going to have a battle for the lead.  It was anything but as LeFevers passed Kostecki like he was tied down and took the lead. It would be just a few laps later when Kostecki would see the handle go totally away as six more cars would get around him within the next ten laps. Piercy would follow the same suit not long after that as he would lose the handle and get freight trained on the inside as well.

As LeFevers was just cruising, one driver was making his way to the front rapidly. That would be Tyler Church, the former Limited driver that has been running Late Model a few years now, but on a shoestring budget compared to most of his peers. It didn’t matter about the money on this night.  Church was hooked up and came from his eighth place starting spot in a hurry, and was involved in some of the best racing of the night. LeFevers may have been stinking it up in the front, but Church, Keith Bumgarner, McDaniel and Piercy were mixing it up pretty good and often. Church was able to get by Bumgarner after a little contact and would try to set his sights on LeFevers for the lead. The only way that would happen though would be if a caution was flown, that would never happen on this night though.

LeFevers would easily take the win in the 100 lap caution free race over Church, McDaniel, Shane Lee and Bumgarner. It was a dominating victory and the race went caution free, but, don’t judge by that, it was a pretty exciting race. It would have been more exciting if McDaniel had gotten to LeFevers once again but that will be for another day, and that time will come in the near future.

When asked in victory lane if the win this week took some sting out of last week’s controversy, LeFevers replied with a laugh, “Uhhh, nah, that’s still on, I still owe him one.”

The feud between the two top drivers will have to wait for two weeks as the UARA Late Models series invades the track this coming weekend with the PASS Super Late Models the following week. The weekly show will be back in action on April 6th with the third installment of the “Zloop Big Ten Challenge” for 100 laps for the Late Models.


1. #43 Jesse LeFevers
2. #07 Tyler Church
3. #12 Austin McDaniel
4. #00 Shane Lee
5. #97 Keith Bumgarner
6. #18 David Roberts
7. #57 Grant Wimbish
8. #25 Matt Piercy
9. #40K Brodie Kostecki
10. #57C Justin Carroll
11. #7 Ashley Huffman
12. #77 C J Hulsey
13. #13 Ryan Shattuck
14. #5 Christian Calvo
15. #22 Dan Moore
16. #10 Jake Keaton
17. #6G Will Gallaher
18. #7S Justin Crider
19. #12B Annabeth Barnes