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Butcher Waits Till the Midnight Hour to Claim Hickory


Photo: Reid Scott / Liberty Racing Review As the final restart of the ASA STARS National Tour Tar Heel 250 was about to go green the clouds broke right before the midnight hour. The moon was full as it looked down on the closing laps of the STARS race at Hickory Motor Speedway.

The event had been delayed over two and a half hours due to rain Cole Butcher had waited till the final 50 laps to make his move to the front and he pulled away on the final restart to seal the win and capture the second running of the Tar Heel 250.

“Yeah, I didn’t win this race,” said Butcher in victory lane. “They (my team) won that race. My crew did an awesome job. We have struggled since yesterday. Hats off to Bond, Will, Jerry, Stump, Frankie, Bob, Chase, everybody, my mom and dad, my wife, all our sponsors, Donnie Wilson, Wilson Motorsports. It feels really good. It was a hot night with the rain, it just feels good to get the win.”

Butcher beat out Casey Roderick who posted his second podium finish of the season. Roderick had paced practice over much of the two-day tilt at Hickory, but he was relegated to a 16th starting spot after time trials.

“Restart played a big role and we didn’t fire off that well,” said Roderick after the race “When I got behind somebody I wasn’t as good as when I got away from them. We had a good car and it’s a good finish.”

Roderick came into the race 12 points behind the race winner Cole Butcher. They were one-two in the standings coming in and will be going to Madison.

Rookie Dawson Sutton finally posted a solid finish in the ASA STARS ranks after having some solid ruins without the results to show for it. Fourth was Matt Craig who led a handful of laps and NASCAR driver Josh Berry rounded out the top five.

New Smyrna Speedway ASA winner Bubba Pollard finished sixth, filled by Stephen Nasse who was second in the most recent race at Five Flags. Derek Kraus posted eighth, Connor Okrzesik came from 25th to finish ninth and William Sawalich was 10th.

With the victory, Cole Butcher became the first driver to win back-to-back races in the ASA STARS National Tour era. Butcher now has three wins in the series and is tied with 2023 ASA STARS National Champion Ty Majeski for the most wins.

Brent Crews set fast time in Go Fas Qualifying marking the third different pole winner of 2024 and the seventh different pole winner in the last seven races.

Crews led the first 147 laps with the only real challenge coming from former NASCAR Cup Champion Chase Elliott who had a solid run going before his engine overheated while battling for the lead.

Crew then battled with Matt Craig who had lots of prior success in Super Late Models at Hickory with our series. Craig and Crews swapped the lead five times over a 30-lap period providing the crowd with some intense battling for the top spot. Crew was involved in a late wreck and failed to finish after leading the most laps.

After the second stage break, Roderick got around Craig on lap 219 and held the top spot until Butcher gained the lead with the final pass on lap 233. The race was slowed by 10 cautions with the final run going 10 laps green to the finish.

In case you missed the Tar Heel 250, MAVTV will air the event on Monday night, June 3 at 8:00 PM.

The ASA STARS National Tour will return to action in three weeks for a Wisconsin doubleheader on Father’s Day Weekend.

For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at starsnationaltour.com, or be sure to follow the series on social media (Facebook: STARS National Series | Twitter: @racewithstars | IG: @starsnational).


ASA STARS National Tour

Founded by Track Enterprises President Bob Sargent, The ASA STARS National Tour for pavement super-late model stock cars debuted in March 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America.

The ASA STARS National Tour is a ten-race championship series, offering a $100,000 point fund. The tour will visit ten different race tracks in 7 states in 2024, with the season beginning in February during Florida Speedweeks, and concluding in early November at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

Track Enterprises (TE) is a racing Promotions Company based in Illinois, which owns and operates the ASA STARS National Tour. In addition to the STARS National Tour, Track Enterprises owns and operates Championship Racing Association (CRA) and the ASA Midwest Tour. TE also has a strategic alliance and controlling interest in the ASA Southern Super Series.

ASA Tar Heel 250 Results:

  1. Cole Butcher

  2. Casey Roderick

  3. Dawson Sutton

  4. Matt Craig

  5. Josh Berry

  6. Bubba Pollard

  7. Stephen Nasse

  8. Derek Kraus

  9. Connor Okrzesik

  10. William Sawalich

  11. Conner Jones

  12. Austin Nason

  13. Dustin Smith

  14. Michael Hinde

  15. Billy VanMeter -1 lap

  16. Jett Noland -24 laps

  17. Brent Crews -54 laps

  18. Jackson Boone -66 laps

  19. Kyle Steckley -82 laps

  20. Chase Elliott -121 laps

  21. Caden Kvapil -132 laps

  22. Gavan Boschele -135 laps

  23. Justin Crider -143 laps

  24. Kodie Conner -216 laps

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