HICKORY, N.C. – It didn’t matter where Wayne Helliwell Jr. started Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway, he was coming to the front.
Helliwell made short work of the American-Canadian Tour field, dominating for the second-straight night to sweep the tour’s debut at the three-eighths-mile oval.
Rather than start on the pole like he did during Friday’s 125-lap opener, this time Helliwell started 10th and had to work his way through the field. He made it to second by lap 34 and 10 laps later he drove by leader Tom Carey III to take the lead as they worked their way through slower traffic.
Once out front Helliwell simply drove away from the field. The race was slowed five times for incidents, including two multi-car melees, but none of that would matter to Helliwell. During each restart he powered away from the field and raced untouched to the checkered flag.
He beat runner-up Ben Rowe to the finish by a comfortable 3.684 second margin.
“The bottom lane, we found something earlier today and were able to utilize that throughout the whole race. It obviously made the difference because we were just lights out,” Helliwell said. “The car just drove off the turn like I’ve never had it before.
“I thought maybe I was pushing too hard but I truly wasn’t. And I thought they (the competition) were saving for a late-race restart and it just never gave up. I think we did the right thing tonight.”
Jimmy Renfrew Jr. bested Carey in a paint swapping battle to the checkered flag for the final place on the podium. Mike Hopkins completed the top-five after finishing second in Friday’s feature.
Wayne Helliwell Jr., Ben Rowe, Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Tom Carey III, Mike Hopkins, Marcel Gravel, Stephen Donahue, Chip Grenier, Trent Goodrow, Jamie Swallow Jr., Joey Laquerre, Jeff Marshall, Brooks Clark, Tyler Cahoon, Andy Hill, Jesse Switser, Reilly Lanphear, Floyd Bennett Jr., Mike Foster, Mike Kenison, Quinten Welch, Bobby Therrien, Derek Gluchacki, Shawn Swallow, Aaron Fellows, Mike Mitchell, Ryan Bell.