Hickle Shocks Skagit Speedway with Summer Nationals Win
Alger, WA - To say the last two laps of the 40 lap, $10,000 to win Bob’s Burgers & Brew Summer Nationals were surprising would be an understatement: JJ Hickle downright shocked and elated the crowd at Skagit Speedway by passing Seth Bergman and Jason Solwold for the biggest win of his sprint car career on Saturday night.
26 cars started the Summer Nationals A Main and it was Colton Heath pacing the field early, with Solwold and Justyn Cox giving early chase. After the first yellow on lap two that knocked out Austen Wheatley, Justin Youngquist and Jake Helsel, Heath got a decent green flag run going, lapping a few cars before an officials caution on lap nine bunched the field again. Heath would again enter traffic in just a few laps, and it was a spun to a stop Bailey Sucich in turn one that spelled the end of the night for Heath, who could not avoid the stopped car and went for a tumble. Jason Solwold took the lead on the lap 14 restart and immediately has Cox all over him for the lead. Cox would pass Solwold twice but both were knocked out by cautions, the first on lap 16 for Greg Hamilton and Tristan Spiers and the second on lap 17 for Chase Goetz, Cam Smith, Hamilton and Barry Martinez. On the restart, Solwold adjusted his line, moving to the high side, while Seth Bergman picked off Cox for second down low. The pair dueled for about five laps before Solwold added some breathing room to his lead while working through slower cars. All the while, Hickle, who started on the pole and faded back as far as fifth, had found the high groove and began working his way back forward, picking off fourth and closing on Bergman and Cox who had started chopping into Solwold’s big lead. With just five laps left, Bergman and Cox were both within .7 seconds of Solwold, with Bergman low and Cox high as Solwold continued to run the cushion. The key moment for Hickle came as the lead three finished lap thirty eight, when Cox pushed his car beyond the ragged edge he was running and spun in turn two, setting up a green - white - checkered finish with no lapped cars to contend with. Both Solwold and Bergman dove low into turn one on the restart, opening the upper lane of the speedway for Hickle to hang it all out to dry. JJ would clear Seth exiting turn four coming to the white flag and with massive forward drive, pulled even with Solwold at the entrance to turn one, had the lead coming out of turn two, and with the crowd on their feet and losing their collective minds, collected $10,000 half a lap later as he won the 30th annual Summer Nationals A Main.
Action was prevalent all through the A Main, with three different drivers advancing 11 positions in the feature, including hard charger Robbie Price. The top four from the previous night’s A Main were locked into the show, while the other 31 cars had to battle their way into the A Main, including Hickle. Brock Lemley was the fast qualifier. Heat wins went to Hamilton, Cox, Youngquist and Wheatley. Lemley won the B Feature.
The Wicked Energy Gum Focus Midgets were on hand again as one of the two support classes. For the second straight night, Nick Evans dominated the main event, this time leading all twenty five laps ahead of Chance Crum and Garrett Thomas. Heat winners were Crum, Shane Smith and Nik Larson.
Howard Vos collected his second career win in the Outlaw Tuners, leading laps 2-18 ahead of fellow podium finishers Jon Gunderson and Kyle Hanson. Adam Holtrop won a heat race along with Hanson.
Bob’s Burgers & Brew Summer Nationals
Fast Time - Brock Lemley 11.624
Heat 1 - Greg Hamilton, Chase Goetz, Colton Heath, Robbie Price, Brock Lemley, Chris Bullock, Chris Ochs, Ashleigh Johnson
Heat 2 - Justyn Cox, Barry Martinez, Jake Helsel, Jeff Dunlap, Corbyn Fauver, Garen Liner, Breyton Davison, Aiden Spiers, Corbyn Fauver
Heat 3 - Justin Youngquist, JJ Hickle, Devon Borden, Cam Smith, Trevor Cook, Reece Goetz, Trsitan Spiers, Michael Millard (DQ Muffler)
Heat 4 - Austen Wheatley, Luke Didiuk, Kyle Miller, Bailey Sucich, Eric Fisher, Lance Sargent, Cory Swatzina
B Main - Brock Lemley, Fisher, R Goetz, Cook, Sargent, T Spiers, Millard, Rick Fauver, Linder, Swatzina, A Spiers, Bullock, Ochs, Johnson
A Main - JJ Hickle, Jason Solwold, Seth Bergman, Tony Gualda, Devon Borden, Eric Fisher, Travis Jacobson, Robbie Price, Luke Didiuk, Kyle Miller, Greg Hamilton, Bailey Sucich, Reece Goetz, Lance Sargent, Trevor Cook, Jeff Dunlap, Justyn Cox, Brock Lemley, Chase Goetz, Barry Martinez, Cam Smith, Tristan Spiers, Colton Heath, Austen Wheatley, Jake Helsel, Justin Youngquist
Lap Leaders - Heath 1-13 Solwold 14-39 Hickle 40
Triple X Hard Charger - Price +11
Wicked Energy Gum Focus Midgets
Heat 1 - Nik Larson, Ashley Thompson, Garrett Thomas, Seth Hespe, Hannah Lindquist, Alden Ostrom, Dave Mills, Renee Angel, Jake Austin
Heat 2 - Shane Smith, Jared Peterson, Nick Evans, Elijah Gibbs, Mike Stryker, Jamee Gardner, Jesse Conway
Heat 3 - Chance Crum, Tristin Thomas, AJ Fugitt, Alex Peck, Michael Hodel, Matt Loving, Thomas Walker, Stuart Milner
B Main - Matt Loving, Ostrom, Angel, Tow Jr, Milner, Austin, Mills, Walker, Conway
A Main - Nick Evans, Crum, G Thomas, T Thomas, Peterson, Smith, Larson, Hespe, Peck, Loving, Hodel, Ostrom, Gibbs, Angel, Tow Jr, Fugitt, Thompson, Lindquist, Gardner, Stryker
Lap Leaders - Evans 1-25
Heat 1 - Adam Holtrop, Clint Meins, Vance Hibbard, Jon Gunderson, Mike Thomas, Brandon Jansen, Leah Hanson
Heat 2 - Kyle Hanson, Tyler Ketchum, Howard Vos, Brian Michelson, Megan White, TJ Campbell
Main - Howard Vos, Gunderson, K Hanson, Meins, Hibbard, Michelson, White, Thomas, L Hanson, Holtrop, Ketchum, Jansen
Lap Leaders - Gunderson 1 Vos 2-18
Article Credit: Kaleb Hart