The King Conquers Hickory In First ASA Mod Win of 2007 by Jason Buckley
In Just Two Starts, Brian King Masters HMS
Brian King knows how to win. He has won multiple races at Ace Speedway (NC) over his racing career in many different types of cars. While those wins are satisfying, King has been yearning for more. On Sunday King added a memorable trophy to his collection by winning the ASA Southern Modified Tour race at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) in just his second race at the historic facility.
King qualified his #17 Modified in the third position, and after the redraw he took the green flag from the fourth position. King used patience and knowledge he gained during practice to put himself up towards the front early.
It didn't take long for Brian King to get a win at Hickory Motor Speedway. (51 Photo)
“We are still trying to get the feel of what I need in practice to be right for the race,” said King. “This ASA deal is a little different because we cannot adjust the car after qualifying. But I was pretty happy with the car in practice. I never put on new tires. I practiced with the old tires on there.
We started off and I thought we were going to get too loose but then it started to snug up. It is hard to tell when everyone is running half throttle and you are not trying to burn your tires off. I had to keep an eye on all the fast cars and stay near them since they have been doing this a lot longer than I have.”
Many drivers took their turn at the top spot while King stuck to his game plan. After a pit stop, King reasserted himself by taking a position from Burt Myers, then drove by Greg Butcher for the lead with just 25 laps remaining.
“I couldn’t believe Burt (Burt Myers) would let me go with 30 laps to go if he was faster,” said King. “Once I got the lead I didn’t look back. I just kept getting it, keeping my foot on the floor every lap. At the end of the race the left rear tire was definitely burned up and I think the right rear was burned up too.”
Over the final laps, the only trouble King had was negotiating lapped traffic.
“A lot of those guys (lapped cars) weren’t too courteous. They wouldn’t really get down and give us the outside lane, which is what we needed. Luckily I was able to get around most of them without any trouble. For the most part it worked out.”
Myers won the other two ASA Southern Modified Tour races of the season, but came up one position short on his quest for three wins in a row.
“I think if we would have went without the tire change like the Tour does (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour) we probably would have been in pretty good shape,” said Myers. “We came in and put that right rear tire on there and I thought it would be snug for a little while, and then come around. But it never did come around. I just pushed the right front off of it trying to catch Brian. Brian had a heck of a good race car.
“If I was to come in here, set on the pole and finish second like I did and complain I would be a fool. With the season we have had and the way things have been going and the effort my guys have been giving me I cannot complain.”
With Pack and Myers both satisfied with their finishing positions, no one could be happier than King. After the race no one could wipe the smile off his face as he knew his name will forever be etched in the history books at Hickory Motor Speedway.
“This is huge,” said King. “I have a hundred wins at Ace Speedway, but to win somewhere else, especially Hickory with as historic as this is, this is a really big deal. I have always wanted to win somewhere else and we were able to do that here today.”
While others tried, it was King's day to shine. (51 Photo)
Gene Pack led laps during the event, showing he still had the equipment and desire to win, but dropped back at the end of the race to finish third. Still, for Pack, third place was like a victory after the bad luck has plagued him all season.
“We have had a really good race car all year long,” said Pack. “We just haven’t been able to catch any breaks. Today everything seemed to fall into place for us. We had a great pit stop. We came in fifth and came out first with just some lapped cars in front of us. The car got a little tight on us. We just needed some longer runs. But I am happy with a third place finish. We have been snake bit all year long and I don’t think people realize how good we were, but maybe this will open some people’s eyes and we will get a little bit of respect out here.
“I love running with Burt Myers and Brian King, Junior Miller and all the guys out here. We all have big respect for each other. Maybe they have a little bit more respect for each other than they got for me but maybe they can learn a little bit from me. I have been doing this for a long time and I am not going to lie down. If my car is bad I will get out of the way, but if it is running I am going to run.”