Red-hot Hickman takes Southern All Star opener
RINGGOLD, Ga. (March 22) – The 2014 season is quickly shaping up as the best in Riley Hickman’s racing life.
Hickman, 35, of Cleveland, Tenn., registered his third special-event victory of the young campaign on Saturday night, dominating the Shamrock 50 at Boyd’s Speedway that served as the Southern All-Star Series season opener. | RaceWire | Slideshow
The $5,000 score was the first-ever on the SAS for Hickman, who won the tour’s title in 2013 despite falling short of victory lane. It was also his richest checkered flag of a 2014 season that also includes wins in last month’s Southern Regional Racing Series-sanctioned Cabin Fever 40 at Boyd’s and the MARS DIRTcar Series Tuckasee Toilet Bowl Classic opener on March 7 at Clarksville (Tenn.) Speedway.
Hickman took full advantage of a pole starting spot in Saturday night’s feature. He grabbed the lead at the initial green flag and never looked back.
Jason Hiett of Oxford, Ala., chased Hickman to the finish line for a runner-up placing. Jason Welshan of Maryville, Tenn., finished third, Skip Arp of Georgetown, Tenn., advanced from the 14th starting spot to finish fourth and Todd Morrow of Eastridge, Tenn., completed the top five.
Notes: Hickman’s CVR Race Car is powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine with sponsorship from Hickman Manufacturing, MRC Racing Components, American Billet, Tucker Mobile Home Service, VP Racing Fuels, Allstar Graphics and RH Designs. … The feature was slowed by four caution flags and 16 drivers completed all 50 laps. ... The three fastest drivers in each of the four qualifying groups were locked in the 50-lap feature, with the remaining drivers running consolation races to secure feature starting spots. ... A healthy crowd gathered for the tour’s traditional season-opening Shamrock, which moved from Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway to nearby Boyd's. Cleveland's future has been in doubt for months amid bankruptcy proceedings. ... Boyd's was purchased during the off-season by David Duplissey and Dale McDowell, a longtime Chattanooga, Tenn.-area racer. … The next Southern All-Star race is scheduled for March 29 at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, Ala.
Southern All-Star Series Shamrock 50: (1) Riley Hickman, (2) Jason Hiett, (3) Jason Welshan, (4) Skip Arp, (5) Todd Morrow, (6) Rick Hixson, (7) Ethan Hunter, (8) David Payne, (9) Derek Ellis, (10) Brandon Kinzer, (11) Billy Ogle Jr., (12) Bo Shirley, (13) Chris Wilson, (14) Joe Armistead Jr., (15) Bret Holmes, (16) Eric Cooley, (17) William Thomas, (18) Dylan Ames, (19) Jamie Perry, (20) Jeff Smith, (21) Josh Putnam, (22) Austin Kirkpatrick, (23) Tony Knowles, (24) Michael Asberry. Fast qualifier (among 45 cars): Riley Hickman (14.272 seconds). Consolation race winners: Cooley, Arp.