Then things got a little interesting. McCall was able to work his way up to Yelton by lap 50 and the two ran side by side for several laps. Side by side on a short track doesn’t always work and the drivers found that out on lap 63 when McCall went for a ride in the dirt. He spun out and managed to not hit anything, but with his chances for the win greatly diminished he chose to just park his car for the rest of the evening.
And then there were two.
On the restart Yelton once again gave a repeat perform of his restarts from the past two weeks and jumped out to a
SAME OLD STORY FOR YELTON AT HICKORY by Amy Hayes
Yelton Makes Repeat Statement in UARA Event
If fans would have watched Saturday night’s UARA-Stars season finale at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC), they may have thought they were watching a repeat of last weeks event at Tri-County Motor Speedway (NC). Once again, Jamie Yelton found himself dominating the event and in victory lane. That same scenario was what happened in the most recent event as well. So now, we’ll go on with Jamie Yelton dominates, Part Two.
The beginning of the Hickory race started off just as it did the week before. Matt McCall sat on the pole, and Jamie Yelton started from the same position (second) that he had the previous week. Yelton didn’t stay there too long, and as soon as the first green flag waved, he jumped out front.
“We were pretty good all day long,” said Yelton. “When we got together with McCall we were pretty free there to the end, but we just held on. Alex is a good racer and I am fortunate enough that I have been around here enough that I know where to move a race car and do what I wanted to do.”
Yelton claimed the most wins of the season, with four but bad luck found himself out of the championship chase.
“The season ended up pretty good. We won four races this year, not as many as we should have won but what can you do. We just have had some bad luck.
Jamie Yelton made it two in a row at Hickory Motor Speedway. (51 Photos)
Matt McCall was fast but a spin took him out of contention for the win.
“When we run good we are one of the best cars every week, and then bad luck happens to us. It is just one of those deals, but what can I say. Four dominant wins and so we will take it. We made a statement.”
His competition for the night was fairly limited, it seemed that only two drivers had anything for him, and those two drivers were defending UARA champion Matt McCall and Alex Yontz.
On the start, Yelton jumped out to a commanding lead. He had a couple of car lengths on second-place running Matt McCall. The lead eventually dwindled as Yelton, McCall and Yontz broke away from the pack.
commanding lead. Yontz was in the championship chase, and he knew that all that he could do was go for the win and let the cars fall as they may.
Unfortunately for him, the cards didn’t fall his way. Despite getting close to making the pass on Yelton, Yontz was never able to seal the deal, and instead finished second in the event. Second is also where he would finish in the championship standings, as Brandon Ward who wasn’t a factor all night long in the event, would bring home a solid finish of sixth to claim his first ever UARA-Stars Championship.
“It has been a long fun year but I am just glad that it is over finally,” laughed Ward. “It has been a lot of fun racing with the UARA deal here. There is a lot of competition, a lot of good drivers and a lot of good teams.”
“I just want to thank all of my guys. They have been working with me for a long time, with the Dash Series, and now into the UARA now and Doug and Ed Cline are the two best car owners anyone could ever have. They have been so good to me this year, Rayco Safety, Clark Automotive, and Hedgecock racing. I wanted this more for them than from anybody.
“We were just decent the last two races. When we needed to come on strong, honestly the last two races we jut struggled a little bit. We knew coming in here tonight that if we couldn’t win the race we had to go into a conservative mode and we knew we needed to run top-10 no matter what. About the last 50 laps that is what we were searching for.
“Consistency has been the key. In any series that seems to be what you have to do to win. We only had one run out of the top-10 this year. That is what this year has been all about. These guys have been great. They give me cars that stay together all day long and that is what made the difference. With two wins and I think 14 top-10’s that is what has won it for us.”
Alex Yontz was disappointed that he wasn’t able to clinch the championship.
“It really wasn’t looking good for us to start with,” said
Yontz. “All we could do was try and do is win the race
and let things work themselves out.
“It was a lot of fun racing with Jamie, it got heated up a
couple of times but it was still a lot of fun It was like the
top-three would just pull out. I was hoping for a lot of
cautions and then maybe they would burn their tires up,
but it just didn’t work out like that.
“It’s hard to beat those two guys (Yelton and McCall)
here, they have both run here for awhile and are really good.
It was just a great race and season for all of us.”
Yelton wrapped up the night with a quote that summed it all up.
“It was a lot of fun to race with McCall and Yontz,” added Yelton. “This series, and those drivers, are representing what racing is all about.”
Kevin Leicht had high hopes of repeating his Tri-County win, but contact with the wall ended those hopes.
There were two victory lane celebrations on Saturday as Brandon Ward and his team claimed their first UARA-Stars Championship.