It was beautiful weather on Saturday, 4/12, for the second 100-lap Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge race at Hickory Motor Speedway in NC. There were 26 late model cars entered in the event. Justin qualified p. 15.
At the outset of the race, the first 10 cars quickly spread out running single file. Mid-pack on back was a different story with mostly everyone doubled up. Justin did some great side by side racing running the inside line for most of the first 15 laps.
Laps 16 to 26 the drivers settled down and were running single file with Justin in p. 18. Lap 26 saw Justin begin to move forward doing again some great side by side racing until the first caution came out on lap 31. Justin had advanced to p. 15.
Lap 31 seemed to go on forever. The first re-start saw an engine let go putting oil down on the track. There were three more re-starts with three more quick cautions before they finally were able to go onto lap 32. Only the first six cars were running single-file. Everyone else was doubled up. Justin had fought his way up to p.10 when on Lap 42 he was turned coming out of turn 2. He did an amazing save to keep from hitting anything but he would re-start in the back of the field.
Racing hard on the outside now coming up through the field while running p.18 there was a huge pile up on the front stretch before the entrance to turn 1. Justin again did a great job of getting the car stopped in time before being collected in this pile up of at least 10 cars. This brought out the red flag for the clean up.
On the re-start, Justin began to move up through again on the outside. He had made it back up to p. 10 when a 30 lb. lead weight came off the car ahead of him and went through the front of the car into the radiator causing Justin to spin going into turn 1. He drove out of the spin keeping the car from hitting the wall but with the damage to the radiator he was unable to continue at Lap 57.
Very unfortunate end. This race showed excellent car control by Justin in running side by side for most of the race, for being able to make split second decisions to miss all the wrecks, to be able to drive the car out of a spin so as to not hit the wall after such an unexpected event of a lead weight flying through the front of the car, as well as the great communication from his spotter, Bobby, throughout the entire race.
The next 100-lap race will be held 4/26.