It’s the time of year when stringing together wins can make a season for a driver, and Dexter Canipe, Jr. is starting to heat up at the right time at Hickory Motor Speedway in Hickory North Carolina. The second-generation driver dominated the sixth round of the Paramount Kia “Big 10” Challenge for his first win in the 100-lap series.
“This thing was great tonight,” said Canipe. “I’d look up in the mirror and see Landon (Huffman) coming and then I’d miss my corners and have to focus to get the ground back. I wasn’t running that hard, but the spotter said he was coming so I picked the pace back up a bit at the end.”
Canipe started from the pole position for the 100-lap feature and his win marked the third straight week where the pole sitter went to victory lane. Canipe has accomplished that feat twice in those three weeks.
On the start, Canipe fell back from the point giving Ashley Huffman the point. Shortly before lap 20 Canipe returned to the top spot and never looked back.
“We want to win as many as we can,” added Canipe. “We have our car working good right now and we just want to keep up with the race track and take them one at a time.”
Landon Huffman rose to second-place after starting from the back after a rear end seal prevented them from qualifying. Huffman’s win last week now bookends the victories by Canipe.
“We were pretty free off the corner,” said Huffman. We started with our tire pressures low because we didn’t know what that was going to do for us. I think it hurt us because our car was never really good till lap 70. I made a run there at him, but it was not enough. To come back to second from the rear end issue was a solid night.”
Point leader Matt Piercy had a strong run in third to maintain his “steady eddy” pace this season which has him leading both the track points, but also the Challenge series points as well.
“We had a great car,” said Piercy. “We have been struggling the last couple of weeks being tight. The car was really good for 65 laps and I thought I was in a good place, but I shuffled back to third and then the motor was running hot. I had to duck out of line to try to keep the engine cool. It’s still a good finish for us.
The Paramount Kia “Big 10” Challenge Series will return to action on June 27.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com