"Wimbish Out Duels McDaniel for the Win in Hickory's Season Opener" - 3/19/12
As the 2012 season got underway at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 10th, the beautiful day turned into a crisp, cool night as 18 Late Model Stock Cars battled for 100-laps.
Qualifying set the field for the 100-lap race as Austin McDaniel posted the fifth fastest time.
With the field set for the race, it was time for the drivers to strap in their cars and do battle for 100-laps and while some would get their season started off right, others would fail to get their season launched the way they expected. Right from the drop of the green flag one of the veterans, Jesse LeFevers, the 2011 track champion has problems as he was racing Wimbish for the lead. His car would come to a stop on the track and after his crew surveyed the car on pit road, his night was done, digging him in a hole in his quest at back to back championships.
Wimbish would line back up for the double file restart and right away he would jump out into the lead, but now fifth place starter, McDaniel was glued to his bumper and this would be a glimpse of what this race held in store. After an early spin by Mackena Bell, Wimbish would line back up with McDaniel along side him and this time it would be McDaniel, who would get out into the lead.
With McDaniel in control of the race, rookie Matt Piercy slowed the action not once, but twice as he spun all by himself on the front straightaway. With a little over half the race in the books, it looks as if the field was stringing out with a few people on the move and a few heading to the back as fast as possible.
If you were just watching the leaders, this race may have seemed to be getting boring, but the cars in the back of the field were all over one another, making contact in every turn.
As the laps were winding down and McDaniel still seemingly had the race in hand, a series of cautions around the lap 74-78 mark showed that Wimbish might just have something for McDaniel on the restarts. Finally after a spin by Fields and Moon, who had earlier looked to be just as fast as the leaders, McDaniel and Wimbish got the chance to battle for the win. At the drop of the green flag McDaniel and Wimbish were side by side and lap after lap for the final 15-laps as the two were racing each other as clean as possible.
Rarely making contact, the two put on one of the best shows ever as they battled side by side all the way to the finish with the two still side by side all the way off turn four as McDaniel on the outside gave it all he had and even scraped the wall, but slipped behind Wimbish, who took the checkered flag.
Next Race Saturday March 24th Hickory Motor Speedway