Friday - 4:15pm ET - It is raining hard at Hickory Motor Speedway, where all on-track activity was washed out on Friday. The pits are nearly empty and everyone has gone back to their campers or hotel rooms until tomorrow. Only the #51 hauler of Michael Pope and the Bob Dillner Inc. shows any signs of life to it still. We also found out that the myserious white Altima that was drying the track earlier today actually contained Dillner and Pope. This is Pope's first time at Hickory to race, so Dillner was showing him around in a street car.
While is is still raining here, we have heard that just up the road at Tri County Speedway, it is not raining as of yet. That is where the UARA-Stars and Pro Challenge Series are set to race tonight. So if you are in the area and jonesing for some racing tonight, head on up there.
Since most teams did not unload today, we don't have an official entry list. We do know that there are at least 29 Super Late Model haulers here in addition to those of the PASS Trucks and Allison Legacy Series. More are expected to show up tomorrow as well, since today was just an optional practice day.
We're signing off for today from Hickory Motor Speedway, but we'll be back for practice tomorrow when the weather is predicted to be dry and the track will be hot as three divisions hit Hickory for the Easter Bunny 150 weekend.
Friday - 3:45pm ET - It is now official. Practice has been cancelled for today at Hickory Motor Speedway due to the rain. The revised schedule for Saturday is that the pits will now open at 8am. There will be an additional two hours of rotating practice beginning at 10am for all divisions - PASS South Super Late Models, PASS Trucks and Allison Legacy cars. Teams will receive a $20 credit for their wristbands from today, but they will need to have those wristbands to cash in. The pit passes for Saturday will costs $40 if sold before Noon and $35 after Noon. That is due to the extra practice time that is being given.
Friday - 3:40pm ET - It is now raining hard at Hickory Motor Speedway. There are no track drying efforts underway. Nothing official has been announced yet, but teams are packing up for the day and it does not look like anyone will be practicing until tomorrow.
Several teams, including Ben Rowe's, have locked up their haulers and are leaving the track.
Friday - 3:20pm ET - The majority of the teams that are here today at Hickory Motor Speedway have not even unloaded their racecars. Threatening weather was the reason. The few drivers who did unload, including Heath Hindman and Jay Fogelman, are pushing their cars back into their trailers as the skies get draker and darker.
Devin Jones' team might have not unloaded their racecar even if it was sunny and 80 today. Jones' team did not plan to practice at all today. The teen driver is looking to make his first PASS South start here tomorrow. Jones was going to make that first start at Dillon Motor Speedway last month, but a freeze plug failed during practice, dumping coolant under his tires and leading to a big wreck. That wreck forced the team to withdraw from the race, so they are playing it safe here this weekend. Jones has tested up here and knows the track well, so they aren't going to chance another freak occurance in practice and risk their car too much before race time.
One thing that is causing a stir in the pit area is the appearance of the Gale Force Coilover Load Pro. The tool is being wheeled around and displayed to teams and a few orders for the rig have been taken today. It looks like quite the little machine.
Among the drivers who are here this weekend is former NASCAR Busch North Rookie of the Year Ryan Moore. The son of PASS North race winner and Busch North legend Kelly Moore has been out of the seat for awhile as he has been working for Gillette-Evernham Motorsports. He is back this weekend in a #74 Super Late Model with his father alongside him helping out.
We don't have an official car count as nobody has rolled through tech today, but we can tell you that the list of drivers who are in the house include Ben Rowe, Heath Hindman, Michael Pope, Lonnie Sommerville, Jay Fogelman, Adam Bates, Spencer Wauters, Ryan Blaney, Clay Jones, Tom Buzze and David Pollen, Jr.,
Former NASCAR Southeast Series champion J.R. Norris is here in the pits helping out Spencer Wauters' team.
One driver who is not here is Johnny Clark. The three-time PASS North champion was on the entry list, but neither Clark or his hauler have been spotted at the track yet.
Friday - 3:20pm ET - The sky is getting really dark and the vehicles that were out drying the track have all pulled in. It appears that it is going to storm pretty good here in a few minutes, so the hope of getting practice started anytime soon is pretty slim.
Friday - 2:05pm ET - That race hauler that we told you about earlier has driven away from the accident scene in front of Hickory Motor Speedway, it has now headed towards the Allison Legacy/PASS Truck portion of the pit area. The minivan fared a little worse. It needed a rollback to leave the scene.
Friday - 2:00pm ET - Welcome to Hickory Motor Speedway where preparations are underway for the 2009 version of the Easter Bunny 150 PASS South event.
Practice is scheduled to begin at 3pm ET. But right now, the track is in drying mode after rain showers throughout the late morning and lunchtime hours. A New Holland tractor, a Kubota tractor, a white Nissan Altima and PASS President Tom Mayberry (behind the wheel of a Chrysler sedan) are all out taking laps to dry the racing surface at the moment.
It is not raining now, so everyone hopes to practice close to the scheduled time if it does not start to rain again. The good news is that tomorrow, race day, is predicted to be a nice and clear day.
Just because there hasn't been any on-track activity yet, does not mean that there hasn't been any wrecking in Hickory. Earlier today, the highway in front of the track was actually closed for a period of time reportedly for a wreck right down the road. The road re-opened, but it wasn't too long before trouble surfaced again. This time, a dually towing a race trailer and an older Chrysler minivan tangled. Clean-up efforts are underway, but the road is still open - just a little bit backed up. We aren't sure at this point who the race hauler belongs to, but that team is looking under the front end of the truck to assess the damage to it.