Last-Lap Pass Nets Gio Ruggiero First-Career Super Late Model win in the Tar Heel 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway
The Tar Heel 250 “Thursday Thunder In The Foothills” give fans the most exciting finish yet in the ASA STARS National Tour season.
16-year-old Gio Ruggiero passed current NASCAR Cup Series points leader William Byron in the last corner and beat him back to the line by just 0.036 to win his first-career Super Late Model race at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Ruggiero, who led most of the second stage, talked about the final lap and the move that landed him in victory lane.
“That’s not how I wanted to win the race,” Ruggiero said in victory lane. “But I didn’t come here to finish second. We were good on that long run there, I think I had something for them, but I think I just burned it up a little bit too much. But I got it done. That’s all that matters.”
For Byron, it’s his second-straight runner-up finish with the ASA STARS National Tour after also finishing second in the ECMD 150 at North Wilkesboro Speedway last Wednesday. He gave his point-of-view of the finish that was.
“I didn’t see much. I just saw the whole right side of his car in the left side of mine, about 20 times on the restart,” Byron stated. “I don’t know man, I guess that’s how a kid like that races. But look at his right front. It’s destroyed. We had a good car, they were definitely strong too, but just bad racing.”
Byron took the win in the first stage, while Jesse Love was the winner of stage two.
It was a mixed bag for the top three drivers in points Thursday night. Ty Majeski came out the best out of the three, with a fourth-place finish. Casey Roderick finished one lap down in 12th after going into the night as the points leader. Bubba Pollard fell out of the race with a mechanical issue and was scored 23rd.
Full results can be found below.
The ASA STARS National Tour heads to the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday, June 18 for the Father’s Day 100, co-sanctioned with the ASA Midwest Tour. Tickets can be purchased here.
For more information regarding the Southern Super Series, visit the series website at www.southernsuperseries.com
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)
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