The weather was good, despite local forecasts, as over 50 cars turned up for the second portion of the 2009 Fall Brawl presented by Pepsi. Qualifying for the Bojangles Late Models took place on Saturday (October 10th). The excitement spilled over into Sunday as the #59 of Coleman Pressley wheeled his hot rod into victory lane continuing the Pressley legacy at Hickory Motor Speedway.
The field for the Bojangles Late Models was filled with talent from around the southeast as 26 drivers made their way to America’s Most Famous Short Track, Hickory Motor Speedway, for the Fall Brawl 250. Drivers knew the competition would be tough as the field was filled with former Hickory Motor Speedway track champions and drivers from several national touring divisions. The 250-lap marquee event was split into two segments made up of 125 laps each. Drivers and crews received a ten-minute break between segments to change tires and make minor changes to their cars.
The competition was intense from the first lap as the #59 of Coleman Pressley jumped out front grabbing an early lead as the green flag waived, taking over the position from the #10 of pole sitter Andy Mercer. The first caution fell early as the #83 of Akinori Ogata came down on the #14 of Brian Curry sending Curry around for a spin as they entered turn two on lap 14. The #88 of Dexter Canipe Jr. was on the move to the front as he made his way into fourth on lap 24 sending the #7 of Ashley Huffman back a spot to fifth. The second caution waived on lap 28 as the #09 of Darrick Commer and Ogata connected heading out of turn four sending Ogata around, coming to a stop at the pit road entrance.
By lap 37 Mercer was no longer content running in the second place position as he regained the lead leaving Pressley to run in second. It looked like trouble was brewing on lap 46 as the #66 of Steven Wallace and the #57 of Grant Wimbish touched heading into turn four, both cars wobbled but straightened out as they made their way onto the front stretch. On lap 71 the #43 of Jesse LeFevers came to a halt on the backstretch due to mechanical issues bring out caution number three (LeFevers would return to the action on lap 77). The #23 of Matt McCall rocketed to the front of the pack during the restart bringing the #29 of Andy Loden along for the ride. Caution number four came out on lap 80 when the #20 of Deborah Renshaw Parker spun out on the backstretch. The fifth caution was soon to follow as Parker, the #87 of Jackie Buckner, Ogata and Commer wadded up coming out of turn two sending Parker for a spin on the backstretch and putting Ogata out of the race (Parker would return to the track on lap 123). By lap 104 Wallace had made his way into the top five after starting at the back of the pack (due to being unable to attend qualifying on Saturday). The drivers in the top five kept things interesting as Loden moved into second on lap 107, leaving Mercer and Pressley to battle for third. It didn’t take long for Mercer to move back up and take over second leaving Loden and Pressley to duke it out for the third place spot on lap 113. As the event came to the mid-race break (lap 125) McCall held the top spot with Mercer, Loden, Pressley and Canipe Jr. in tow making up the top five.
The second 125 laps were even more action filled than the first, as Mercer moved back out front on lap 130. The first caution of the second segment (sixth caution of the feature) was brought out on lap 132 as the #19 of Kyle Moon tagged the #92 of Candace Muzny as the field entered turn four, sending Muzny around. By lap 141 McCall began to fall off of the pace allowing Pressley to move into second. The seventh caution came out on lap 145 as the #70 of Matt Kurzejewski spun out coming out of turn four, Commer and Buckner received minor damage as they tried to clear the spinning ride of Kurzejewski without luck. It didn’t take long for caution number eight to wave as Loden and Wallace connected on the backstretch on lap 158, sending Loden spinning. Curry and the #54 of Kaleb Pressley spun trying to avoid Loden, but all cars collided putting Curry out of the race. McCall continued to lose track position as the #19 of Kyle Moon moved into third while Huffman grabbed fourth by lap 167.
Muzny had an outstanding run as she wheeled her ride back into the top ten on lap 180. Wallace spent several laps trying to maneuver around Huffman. Wallace wasn’t having any luck until the two approached lap traffic on lap 195, which allowed Wallace to move back into the top five as he sailed past Huffman. A ninth caution fell on lap 196 as the #5 of Brandon Dean spun out in turn four. During the restart (lap 203) Mercer, C. Pressley and Moon went three wide heading out of turn two. Mercer found himself in the middle of the group that allowed C. Pressley to move back out front and back into the lead. On lap 214 Canipe Jr. and Wallace took it three wide with Moon, squeezing him back to the sixth place position. With only thirty laps remaining Muzny was still flying through the field picking off cars one by one, finding her ride in the top five on lap 228. The tenth caution came out on lap 231 for debris on the track. During the restart Huffman got sideways as the field headed into turn four sending his car into Muzny just before he slammed into the outside wall bringing out the eleventh and final caution of the night. Muzny was able to power on, but Huffman’s night came to an end, as the left front of his car no longer existed.
Ten laps remained as C. Pressley managed a ten-car lead over the field with Mercer and Wallace following behind. With only three laps to go, Muzny began to put the heat on Canipe Jr. as she looked for her chance to take over fourth. Muzny shot under Canipe Jr. with two laps left in the feature capturing the position leaving Canipe Jr. to settle for fifth. The excitement continued in victory lane as Coleman Pressley celebrated his win.