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.
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.
Saturday, May 10, was the 4th race of the Paramount Kia Challenge Series at Hickory Motor Speedway in NC. There was some rain that came through in the afternoon right when practice was to start. Instead of two practice sessions, the drivers were given one practice before qualifying.
Justin had a solid qualifying run putting the #15 Lee Faulk Racing late model in p. 7 for the start of the race.
Starting p. 7 for the 100-lap feature, Justin quickly advanced to p. 5 when on Lap 4 there was a caution for a car hitting the tire barrier and two other cars making contact in Turn 1. This would bring out the first red flag of the race for the lengthy cleanup. Justin would start p. 5 on this re-start and race up to p. 3 by lap 48 when the second caution flag flew. Only one lap later there would be a third caution for a car hitting the wall at the entrance of Turn 3. This would bring out the second red flag. Once the red flag was lifted Justin’s car needed a push to get started. The race would go green from this point to the end. During this second half of the race, the handling of the car went away and Justin was fighting a very tight race car. By lap 80 he had slipped to p. 7. For the last 20 laps Justin was able to maintain that position to the checkered flag.
This was Justin’s third top 10 this season. Looking forward to the next race over Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 24, at Hickory Motor Speedway.
We want to thank Chuck and Marianne Priselac for making the trip down to NC from PA to watch the race. It is always exciting to have friends who are passionate about racing at the track and we appreciate their support.
View additional photos here.
The Latrobe Bulletin newspaper did a feature article on Justin’s late model racing season on May 3, 2014.
Saturday, 4/26, was the third race of the Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge series at Hickory Motor Speedway. There were 21 late model cars entered for the 100-lap event.
Justin would start p. 14 for the feature. For the first lap the entire field was double file when the first caution came out for a car spinning on the backstretch during lap 2. Everyone stacked up but there didn’t appear to be any damage to Justin’s car. On the re-start Justin quickly gained 4 spots to p. 8 by lap 15.
The second caution came out on lap 22 when a car’s engine let go. The red flag was displayed to clean up the oil that was around the entire track. Justin’s car needed a push from the wrecker to get going once the red flag was lifted. Then again the same thing happened when the field stopped while they were single file under yellow clearing the speedy dry from the track.
The race would go green from lap 31 to the end. Justin was running p. 8 at Lap 40 when the car slipped out of gear as he was coming out of turn 2. Justin was able to recover, get the car back in gear and continue on but lost a full straightaway to the car running p. 7.
With the transmission problem, Justin had to hold the gear shift in place and drive with one hand for 60 laps. All this time driving with one hand, he was able to maintain the 8th spot and re-gain the full straightaway he had lost when the car slipped out of gear.
In three starts, Justin has two top 10’s. It is called the “Challenge Series” and we certainly have been challenged so far this season. The bad luck last week with the weight hitting the front end of the car prevented a top 10 finish. The transmission problem this race held us back from advancing. Hoping everything comes together soon and we can get the Lee Faulk Racing #15 late model up front. The next 100-lap race will be May 10.
Saturday, March 8, was the first race of the season at Hickory Motor Speedway in Hickory, North Carolina and was also Justin’s debut in the Lee Faulk Racing #15 Late Model. Lots of changes this season — moving from Limited Late Model to stronger horse power in the Late Model stock car and working with a new crew chief and spotter. Justin had very limited practice during the off season and then practice on Friday, 3/7, before the race was rained out. But Saturday Justin was ready to get back on the track. It had been too long since his last win in the Hickory Fall Classic 100 back in September.
There were 24 Late Models at Hickory on Saturday. The track was fast and once qualifying started you needed to come in under 15 seconds to be up front. Justin qualified with a time of 14.977 putting him in p. 9 for the start of the race.
There were only 2 cautions in this 100-lap race — lap 4 and lap 45. Justin did some excellent driving at the beginning in the pack until the cars were able to separate a little. Justin ran p. 9 and p. 8 for most of the race trying to save tires for the end. Unfortunately, with the race going green after lap 45, there wasn’t enough time to get to the front. With 25 laps to go, Justin ran strong to take over the 7th spot and was closing in on position 6 at the checkered flag.
It was a very solid run for the first Late Model race finishing p. 7 to bring home a top 10 finish. It was great to have the opportunity to race in front of such a huge crowd for opening night. The next race will be on March 29.
Denver , NC – 2/10/14 – Justin Bolton had a very successful start to his career with Lee Faulk Racing. After the first six races in a stock car Justin had accumulated 2 wins along with 3 top 5 finishes and 1 top 10 finish, including a win in the coveted Fall Classic 100 at Hickory Motor Speedway in his last race of the season for 2013.
Bolton will make the move up to late model stock this year and compete for the ZLoop Big 10 championship at Hickory Motor Speedway. Justin who is already considered a “veteran” of the team after one short year will have a few new faces to learn. Not only will he have new teammates, Kate Dallenbach and Bret Holmes, but Bolton will be working with his new crew chief, Bobby Orr, as well.
Bobby Orr, the son of one of short tracks’ great – the late Pete Orr, will work full time with LFR this year specifically with Justin Bolton as crew chief and spotter.
“We have grown every year we have been in business and we felt like it was time to surround ourselves with more great people and talent. Bobby has been close to our family my whole life and I look at him as a brother. He will fit great with our system and knows a lot about these cars. He learned from one of the best, his dad. Bobby looks at this as more than a job but also something to be proud of and he takes pride in taking a part in building LFR better than ever. I know he’s going to give Justin 110% and I feel confident that they will be contending for wins this year as well. Justin showed last season he has the natural ability to win at this level and with his work ethic and focus there is no doubt in my mind he will be successful again this season. ” team manager Michael Faulk stated about the newly formed relationship.
Some people believe that running four late model teams is too much to handle; however, LFR has a much different outlook on this. Rather than a disadvantage, the team believes being able to simulate working team conditions similar to that of a cup team will only help the drivers prepare better for what is to come as they move up the NASCAR ladder.
“From the next level on drivers will be forced to work with teammates in multi-car team situations. We try to model our business plan after those of the super powers in the big 3 NASCAR series. There will most likely not be a situation for these drivers fortunate enough to make it where they are the only driver on the team competing for the same goal. We feel that we offer an opportunity for young drivers to learn what it takes to win a championship under the pressure of a multi-car team situation. As far as I know we are the only driver development team that is structured in this way, therefore I believe this is a big advantage that our program offers over any other that will allow them a seamless transition into the next level of their career as they will be more prepared for what is to come. “ Faulk said.
Bolton finished 2013 with a win and he looks to continue his success into this season as his first ZLoop 100 lap event is the first race of the season on March 8, 2014. Bolton will also compete in the annual Fall Brawl 150, which the team also won in 2012 with driver Pietro Fittipaldi.
Here is a sneak peek at Justin’s late model car for the 2014 racing season at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Thanks to Cannon Racing Videos, official videographer at Hickory Motor Speedway, for the following video of Justin’s Pole Award and win on June 8, 2013.
To read the article in your browser click here.
Latrobe Native Caps Racing Season with Victory at Hickory Motor Speedway
Latrobe grad Justin Bolton moved to limited late model racing a year ago.