McCormick grabs 3rd Friendship race win

By Ryan DeCosta - and Jeff Linville

ELKIN — Dobson’s Chase McCormick was able to hold off all his challengers after a late-race restart to get his third win of the season in the SECA Late Models at Friendship Motor Speedway Saturday night.

McCormick, 24, is known as “Little Mac” to Friendship faithful, and was happy to win at what he considers his home track on a special day.

“It’s pretty special because it was my girlfriend’s birthday. Every win we’ve had this season has come on either a holiday or a birthday,” McCormick said.

Watch out for McCormick on Labor Day then. Because the points appear to be heavily favoring Chris Cheek, he said he’s been going out just for wins every weekend.

Mount Airy’s father/son duo also finished in the top five Saturday.

Benji Hicks said he was very pleased with his car this weekend and felt like it was one of the four fastest cars in practice.

Unfortunately, when it came time to qualify, Hicks was the first car on the dirt track after a stoppage for rain.

First one out on a muddy track isn’t the place to be for qualifying, he said. Still, he felt very pleased to qualify fourth out of 16 drivers. He said his dad Tony didn’t qualify as well and had to fight his way forward in the race.

Watching the track get packed down over the course of the evening, Benji said his team made a slight adjustment to the shocks.

On the first lap, he was able to get around the car next to him and move up to third place.

Whereas most races only get four or five laps on the green flag, Hicks said this race went all the way to lap 23 before getting its first caution.

On the restart, Hicks tried to get around Landon Mitchell to the outside, but couldn’t make it. Then he got back alongside Mitchell again, but couldn’t pull ahead.

Finally on the last lap, Hicks said Mitchell slid up the track a little, and he cut underneath to get side by side. Hicks took second place by only an arm’s length. His dad Tony finished in fifth.

• Perhaps stealing the headline from the SECA race was an on-track incident. Steve Blackburn was spun and retaliated during the cool down lap. Many in the infield expected that there would be a Bowman Gray-like incident after the race, but the Friendship staff managed to keep them separated. Whether or not the emotions boil over to next week is yet to be seen.

By Ryan DeCosta

and Jeff Linville

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