Patience paid off for Anthony Alfredo, as his season-long wait for another victory at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) ended in victory lane at the Fall Brawl 200.
“We’ve been searching for this third win all year, it seems like,” Alfredo told Speed51.com Powered by JEGS in victory lane. “We won those two earlier and kept trying to get more. We would get close and just couldn’t get those last couple of spots. The last time we came here was for the Bobby Isaac [Memorial], and I finished second to my teammate Josh [Berry].
Alfredo also had to be patient over the course of the 200-lap feature at the historic Hickory venue. Alfredo started eighth in the 17-car field and methodically worked his way through the field for the win.
“We started eighth and I wasn’t too happy about that. I knew we’d have to race, but we had 200 laps. We got into fifth really quickly, and then we got up to third. Everybody started riding. We were saving our stuff, but we could get those two spots without using up too much. So we settled in there and took halfway.”
Ty Gibbs started on the pole for the feature, with a lap of 14.977 seconds in time trials. Gibbs set the pace for the first half of the race, dominating until the halfway break.
Gibbs maintained his advantage until a lap 121 caution slowed the field. Austin McDaniel took the lead on the ensuing restart.
To that point, McDaniel felt his race had gone exactly to plan – until Alfredo closed in.
“I thought we put together a perfect race,” said McDaniel. “We started third, moved up to second, then took the lead. After 30 laps into the second half or so, we were just cruising. We kept having four or five cautions, and we’d have to hold them off on the caution.
“I thought I was hitting my line perfect, had a really good car, and somehow he was able to drive right up to the back of us. I don’t know what he’s got. He’s got a little more than we have. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be beating them. Our time will come. I really wanted that trophy, it’s a beautiful trophy.”
For Gibbs, the third-place finish was bittersweet, as the 15-year-old grandson of Joe Gibbs felt he had a car capable of winning the race.
“I’m pretty disappointed,” Gibbs said. “We had a good car, and I have the best guys around me. I wish we came home with a better finish, but she just got a little loose on me there at the end. It was hard to catch back up to those guys. We’ll focus on Myrtle Beach and go get that.”
Tonight’s race concludes Hickory’s Late Model Stock program for the 2017 season. The remaining event at the Newton, North Carolina facility is the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown 300, which will decide the PASS South and PASS National Super Late Model champions.
Race fans can find on-demand coverage of Saturday's Fall Brawl 200 by visiting Speed51.com's Trackside Now.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
1 8A Anthony Alfredo
2 12 Austin McDaniel
3 18G Ty Gibbs
4 23C Dexter Canipe, Jr.
5 75 Landon Huffman
6 31 Thomas Beane
7 5G Cole Glasson
8 4C Annabeth Barnes Crum
9 15C Sheflon Clay
10 76 Ryan Millington
11 21D JP Dyar
12 1J Juan Gonzales
13 91 Stevie Johns Jr.
14 21M Mike Darne
15 9W Charlie Watson
16 57C Justin Carroll
17 7S Justin Crider