Brody Pope has officially earned his first victory in a full-sized stock car.

Pope, 18, originally finished second in Saturday’s first of two Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Model 25-lap features at Hickory Motor Speedway while driving the No. 1 entry fielded by Lee Faulk Racing and Development.

However, following an extensive inspection of the heads from the car of the original race winner, track and NASCAR officials have deemed the heads illegal and awarded the victory in the first 25-lap feature to Pope.

“I hate we won our first one like this, but a win is a win and we were the first legal car through the tech line, so that’s all that matters,” said Pope. “We have been so close this year at every track we’ve raced at. I am so happy and proud to get the first one out of the way. My Lee Faulk Racing guys put their heart and soul into this deal and I am grateful to be able to drive for them.

“I want to thank my parents, brother and MPM Marketing for all their support. Also huge thanks to my crew chief Nick Hughes for his guidance each and every week”

Michael Faulk of Lee Faulk Racing and Development noted that Pope’s victory was simply a matter of time, though like Pope he would have preferred it come on the race track and not in the tech shed.

“We have been knocking on the door with Brody all year. We would have rather have won it on the track than in the tech line, but we will take it,” said Faulk. “Nick is doing great with those boys (Brody and his brother, Nolan Pope). We’re proud of them all.”

Prior to his victory Saturday, Pope previously earned a runner-up result at Hickory Motor Speedway on May 12 as well as a runner-up at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina in early February.

? : Jaden Austin