HICKORY, N.C. — Making just his second CARS Late Model Stock Tour start, Brody Pope drove through the field to earn a third-place finish Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Pope started 16th in the 29-car field, but early in the race his No. 1 Lee Faulk Racing and Development entry began experiencing a motor issue.
“I messed up in qualifying on my last lap in (turns) three and four and that put us about mid-pack,” Pope said. “Early in the race we were just riding and something was happening with the motor, it kept shutting off under yellow. If you got out of the gas it would just die.”
His crew called him to pit road during one of the early caution periods, but they couldn’t find anything amiss. Pope returned to the track at the rear of the field and slowly began the climb back through the pack.
By lap 92 Pope had worked his way inside the top-10 and he was continuing to move forward. Just past lap 100 Pope found himself inside the top-five and battling race leaders Taylor Gray, Josh Berry and Tommy Lemons Jr. for position.
As the laps wound down Pope managed to work his way around Berry for third, but he wasn’t able to do anything with eventual race winner Gray or runner-up Lemons. Still, the third-place effort marked Pope’s best finish in a late model stock car and with the CARS Tour.
Pope explained that he took advantage of several late-race restarts to move up through the field.
“We honestly kept getting stuck on the outside for those restarts, which most people don’t like, but for the first two or three laps after a caution our car was really good on the outside,” Pope said. “We could just pinch them down just a little to where we could get the momentum around the top and shoot down in front of them.
“This is only my second or third race in a late model stock and my first time here at Hickory in one. I’m just really impressed with the car. Thanks to Lee Faulk Racing, MPM Marketing and everybody that helped me get here,” Pope added. “I want to thank my mom and dad, my grandpa and grandma, my uncle, everybody that helps us get here every week.”
-MPM Marketing Press Release
-Photo credit: Adam Fenwick