2014 Late Model Racing Season Recap Hickory Motor Speedway

The 2014 season saw Justin entered in the Big 10 Challenge Series at Hickory Motor Speedway. Each of these 10 races were 100 laps for the late models and saw the addition of two Jr. Motorsports cars entered as part of the field. Justin ran with Lee Faulk Racing, the same team as last season, however, this year saw the team with two additional late model cars. With three late models, the team needed to add a new crew chief who they teamed up to work with Justin for the 10 races.

The expectations were high starting the 2014 season. Justin was coming off of a very successful 2013 season winning 2 times at Hickory Motor Speedway including the Fall Classic 100. Justin ran 6 races with 2 wins, 5 top 5’s, and 1 top 10 and did all this with $0 in damages to the car.

The first half of this season Justin had 4 top 10 finishes out of the 5 races. Justin was able to drive through the field each race, even coming from the back of the field of 24 cars after a spin during one race to finish p. 7. The second half of the season, however, Justin had one top 10 finish and struggled to find the rapport with the crew chief to find that setup from the first half.

Even though the season did not go as we had expected, Justin ran all 10 of the 100 lap races. Justin was able to complete all 100 laps, except for one race when the weight came off the car in front of his and it went through the radiator. That was over 950 laps of intense late model racing with minimal cosmetic damage to the car. In this economy, car management is essential and to have a driver like Justin who can race hard but drive the car to the finish line each race is a huge advantage. The team never had any major repairs to make on Justin’s car before the next race.

Overall, Justin gained a lot of experience this season. He raced with drivers who had more seat time and who brought their best equipment to Hickory Motor Speedway. Justin held his own against these drivers, drove hard and always drove with respect on the track.

We would also like to thank all the followers on Facebook and Twitter as well as all the fans who came to Hickory Motor Speedway. The fans are so important and we hope you appreciated the Hero Cards, the magnets, the flags, the gift bags, and the Activity Booklets that Justin was able to give out this season.

To continue to race and advance at this level is going to depend solely on support from business partners. The top teams out there want drivers who come to them with sponsor support. That is what opens the doors for these drivers. Justin has the talent and in order to continue with a good team and advance he needs a business to believe in him and use him as part of their marketing strategy. Justin is willing and able to market a business through his racing. For more information, please contact Sherri at TurnLeft@AllianceRacing.net.

September 13, 2014 Hickory Motor Speedway 100 Lap Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge Race

Saturday, September 13, was the last race of the Paramount Kia Challenge Series at Hickory Motor Speedway in NC. There were 21 late models entered. Justin drove his best qualifying run of his 10-race season which put him starting p. 6 for the race.

It was an intense start to the race with a caution coming early on lap 8. On this first re-start, Justin was in the outside line. A car at the front slowed causing an accordion effect back through the line where Justin lost two spots. The first 25 laps of the race saw really hard side by side racing and then things started to settle a little with more single file racing throughout the field. There would be 3 more cautions and each re-start Justin was positioned on the outside line and then battling hard with someone. Justin had made it into the top 10 but then a late race caution took away the momentum and Justin slipped back to cross the finish line in p. 12.

August 30, 2014 Bobby Isaac Memorial Race Hickory Motor Speedway

Saturday, August 30, was the Bobby Isaac Memorial Race at Hickory Motor Speedway. Due to rain canceling a previous Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge race, the track combined the two events.

There were 27 late models entered for the race scheduled to run 150 laps. Justin qualified p. 15.

Starting mid-pack the plan was to ride at the beginning and not do any hard side by side racing early. The first half of the race went green with Justin staying mid-pack. The first caution came out around lap 78 with a car going hard into the tire barrier. There was a lengthy red flag for track clean up and then a lengthy yellow for cars to clean up the speedy dry. The caution laps did count and we lost over 10 laps of racing. Justin lined up p. 15 for the re-start. The second half saw Justin beginning to move forward with some hard side by side battles when the second caution flag flew. Still mid-pack at this point when at about lap 145 a lap car in front of us in the outside lane blew a motor. Huge plume of white smoke and oil in front of Justin’s car. He was able to maintain control of the car without hitting the wall and recovering to continue on only losing a couple spots. The caution came out a couple laps later for the oil setting up 3 laps to the finish. These last 3 laps were some very close hard racing with Justin crossing the finish line p. 14.

The next and final race of the Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge Series will be Saturday, 9/13.

August 16, 2014 Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge Race Hickory Motor Speedway

Saturday, August 16, was the 8th Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge Series race at Hickory Motor Speedway. It had been 7 weeks since Justin’s last race. There were 18 Late Models entered for the 100-lap event. After a driver error on the second lap in qualifying, Justin started p. 10.

It was a race with Justin having some excellent side-by-side battles for position. There were two caution flags. Justin had a good run going towards the end but a slower car in his outside line took away the momentum. Justin crossed the finish line in p. 7, this being the fifth Top 10 finish this season.

During the autograph session, Justin handed out the Activity Booklets “Stay on Track with Justin Bolton” for ages 3-10 to keep the kids excited about learning and interested in racing. The next race will be Saturday, August 30.

June 28, 2014 Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge Race Hickory Motor Speedway

There were 23 cars entered on Saturday, 6/28, for the 7th race of the Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge series at Hickory Motor Speedway. It was a night of side by side battles and 3-wide racing. Justin and the other drivers of the late models that night showed off their talent behind the wheel.

Early in the race Justin and track champion Austin McDaniel would battle side by side for several laps. At the halfway point after the second caution, the driving became way more intense. Twice Justin was 3-wide into turn 3 with all cars making it through. The third and final caution of the night happened at lap 63. The 3-wide racing continued with Justin, Austin McDaniel and the #82 showing again their talent and the respect to drive each other clean. Coming out of turn 4 Justin would be in the center with the #82 coming high on the outside and the #12 of Austin McDaniel on the inside. They stayed 3-wide down the front stretch and into turn 1 with all cars making it out of turn 2 and continuing to the end. Justin crossed the finish line p. 11. The next race will be Saturday, July 19.

June 14, 2014 Hickory Motor Speedway 100 Lap Paramount Kia Big Ten Challenge Race

Hickory Motor Speedway 6/14/14

 

June 14, 2014 was the 6th Paramount Kia 100 Challenge Series race at Hickory Motor Speedway. It was also flag day and during the autograph session we handed out flags to the fans as well as signed Hero Cards.

At Friday’s practice, the team felt good about the car’s setup.  After qualifying p. 13, Justin was confident he could get the car through the field. However, once the race started it was pretty clear they missed the set up and Justin could not advance to keep up with the leaders.

The race with 20 late models went green for 100 laps. It would have been interesting had there been a caution around lap 25. By the looks of most of the cars on the track, half of the field would have come down pit road to adjust their cars. That would have been entertaining for the fans. It took a lot to wheel that car and stay ahead of the leader for as long as he could but Justin had to let the leader by on lap 84. Justin finished p. 14, the first car one lap down. Josh Berry had a car that was hooked up and there were only 13 cars on the lead lap at the end. The next race is 6/28 and you can be sure Justin and the team will take this race as a learning experience and come back more determined than ever.

View additional photos here.

May 24, 2014 Hickory Motor Speedway 100 Lap Paramount Kia Big Ten Challenge Race

Saturday, May 24, was the fifth race and the half-way point in the Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge Series at Hickory Motor Speedway.

There were 24 late models for the event. Justin had a strong qualifying run and would start the feature in p. 10.

The 24-car field was very close in times. The start of the race had the entire field double file coming into Lap 2. Several cars in front of Justin checked up in his line and as he checked up, the cars behind him were not able to slow in time and Justin was turned around coming out of turn 2.

The advantage of the top 10 qualifying run was now gone. Justin had 23 cars to pass to get to the front. The field this weekend included the strong competition of HMS regulars, Austin McDaniel, Shane Lee, Landon Huffman, Ashley Huffman, Matt Piercy, as well as strong equipment of Dillon Bassett, two JR Motorsports drivers, two David Gilliland Racing competitors and Steven Wallace.

Justin drove his way to p. 15 at lap 15 when the second caution waved. There were several more cautions before half way where Justin had raced his way to p. 10.

The race would go green for the second half. Justin crossed the finish line in p. 7 staying calm and focused in the car to overcome an early spin and drive through the field.

A few days after the race it was confirmed two cars were DQ-d which would give Justin a top 5 finish.

The next race will be June 14.

View photos of the race here. We have also added some photos from the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Before the race, we went to the Ford Hospitality Tent to hear from Jimmy Fennig who is Carl Edwards’ crew chief, Marcos Ambrose, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards.