Just days after losing his father to cancer, a mourning Riley Hickman of Ooltewah made an emotional trip to victory lane at Boyd's Speedway in his # R1 "Hickman Manufacturing, MRC Racing Components, American Billet, Tucker Mobile Home Service, VP Racing Fuels, Allstar Graphics and RH Designs"-sponsored CVR / Phantom Racing Engines Super Late Model.
Hickman, the 2012 Southern Regional Racing Series champion, overtook race-long leader Tom Maddox of Centre, Ala., amid lapped traffic on the 18th lap of the "Cabin Fever 40" and went on to earn $3,000 for his fourth career series victory.
After the drivers saluted the racefans with a four-wide parade lap, Maddox from the pole broke out to the early lead, while Hickman made an early charge from his eighth starting spot. The race was slowed by a caution on the second lap. Following the caution, Hickman continued to work his way to the front, moving to third on the eighth lap, taking second not long after that Eventually "The Hustler" slipping past Maddox in traffic. Hickman broke away from the field after taking the point and appeared to be on his way to an easy victory.
Hickman kept the field at bay following both restarts and went on to claim his first series victory since May 24, 2013, when he triumphed at Thunderhill Speedway in Summertown, Tenn. Third-starting Jeff Smith of Villanow, Ga., followed Hickman across the finish line, while Maddox rounded out the podium. Rick Hixson of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., and Caleb Ashby of Cunningham, Tenn., completed the race's top five.
Eric Cooley of Fulton, Miss., and Jason Welshan of Maryville were among drivers caught up in the lap-36 tangle; both drivers were among lead competitors for much of the feature. ... Defending SRRS champion Josh Putnam, of Florence, Ala., finished 11th in the series' 2014 opener. Defending race champion Michael Page of Douglasville, Geor. won this years Crate Late Model feature with Hickman finished third.
This is the first event under new ownership of the state-line facility. David Duplissey and former Dirt Track World Champion Dale McDowell partnered to purchase Boyd's over the offseason.
Cabin Fever 40: (1) Riley Hickman, (2) Jeff Smith, (3) Tom Maddox, (4) Rick Hixson, (5) Caleb Ashby, (6) Ethan Hunter, (7) Jason Welshan, (8) John Owenby, (9) Eric Cooley, (10) Jordy Nipper, (11) Josh Putnam, (12) Josh Henry, (13) Andy Picklesimer, (14) Heath Hindman, (15) Kenny Collins, (16) Andy Morris, (17) Lavon Sparks, (18) Chris Wilson, (19) Henry Hanger, (20) Chip Brindle, (21) Tod Hernandez, (22) William Thomas, (23) Mike Marlar, (24) Craig Scott.
- Photo2 by Connie Putnam