Tempers Flare During Twin Features at Hickory

Hickory Motor Speedway was back with Twin-40s for the Late Model Stock Cars on Saturday night.  Tempers flared at the start of the second twin feature after front row starters Matt Piercy and Nolan Pope made contact in turn four completing lap one, with Piercy going around and several others also getting tangled up in the incident.


The former track champion was unhappy with Pope, throwing his helmet at his car as he made his way down the frontstretch under yellow.  Piercy then turned his attention to Pope’s crew, arguing with crew members before it got physical, with punches traded between Piercy and a crew member on the frontstretch.


“We started on the outside of the second row there.  I felt like we were going to be able to make some hay there but we just got taken out on the first lap.  it’s very frustrating whenever you race with these guys and they have no respect,” Piercy said on the incident.  “We got taken out leading the race coming to the checkered first weekend of the year, and to be honest with you I’d just had it with him.  It wasn’t him in particular but he was the one that pushed me over the edge.  If these guys plan on doing that then I guess they better plan on fixing some race cars, I’ve just had it with them.”


Piercy did express regret over how he handled the situation, acknowledging the relationship he has with the Lee Faulk Racing team.


“I shouldn’t have thrown my helmet, I hate that it was Nolan and Lee and Michael (Faulk) and those guys, I’ve always had a lot of respect for them. I still do, just unfortunate circumstances.  I hate that I handled it like that but sometimes, enough is enough.”


Pope gave his side of the story on what transpired on the opening lap.


“First off, we’re supposed to go off on the flagman and the kid beat me by two car lengths, that’s pretty messed up in the first place.  We go through one and we’re good, we go out of three and four and he’s got it jacked sideways off the corner,” Pope stated.  “I don’t even think I touched him, everybody I talked to said I barely touched him if anything, he just lost it.  He then wants to throw a fit out there.  It’s all good, it didn’t hurt us.”


Once the second twin race was under way, it was all Vince Midas as he used the inherited front row start to his advantage by leading wire-to-wire for the win.  It was his first feature win of 2020 after winning two features last season.


“Honestly, I didn’t think this was going to happen.  We were going through so much stuff with the car with the changes and everything and not getting much practice.  We got a little bit of practice this morning.  We got two days of practice in, which made me feel a lot better.  I think we did awesome, my dad did good in Limited, I’m just so thankful to be here.”


Former Hickory track champion Ryan Milington kicked off the night by setting fast time in qualifying, then dominated the opening twin feature to score his third win of the year at the track.  He and Matt Leicht traded the lead early before Millington found himself on the outside front row for a restart.


Opposite from his late-race heroics in the season opener in March, Millington went unchallenged the rest of the way.


“We had a great piece tonight,” said Millington.  “We changed motors and I felt like we’ve had an awesome car all year and that motor made my job easy.  I was able to go out there and ride.  Right off the bat when I was battling with Matt (Leicht) there, I was hitting the cross member on the track so hard I really couldn’t do a whole lot.  Once I got on the top there I knew it was going to be game over.  We have a small crew but we got the job done.”


Defending track champion Thomas Beane and Indiana driver Sam Butler followed Millington across the line in twin race one.


Watch a replay of Saturday night’s Twin-40’s at Hickory by clicking here.


-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speeed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3

-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo


LMSC – Twin Feature No.1 Results:

  1. Ryan Millington
  2. Thomas Beane
  3. Sam Butler
  4. Gage Painter
  5. Mason Ludwig
  6. Vince Midas
  7. Bob Saville
  8. Annabeth Barnes-Crum
  9. Matt Piercy
  10. Nolan Pope
  11. Chris Hudspeth
  12. Jessie Cann
  13. Bill Petroff
  14. Matt Leicht
  15. Charlie Watson


LMSC – Twin Feature No.2 Results:

  1. Vince Midas
  2. Gage Painter
  3. Thomas Beane
  4. Ryan Millington
  5. Bob Saville
  6. Charlie Watson
  7. Nolan Pope
  8. Matt Leicht
  9. Chris Hudspeth
  10. Jessie Cann
  11. Bill Petroff
  12. Matt Piercy
  13. Annabeth Barnes-Crum
  14. Mason Ludwig
  15. Sam Butler

Tempers Flare During Twin Features at Hickory