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.