Riley Hickman Repeats at Rome Speedway 100 Lap Series Finalenesmith
ROME, GEORGIA – The competitors of the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series have been putting on fantastic races all over the Southeast United States for the 2017 campaign. The 2017 season concluded Sunday evening in front of an absolutely packed house at Rome Speedway in Rome, GA to decide who would pocket $10,000 in the series finale. At the end of the 100 lap grind, it was the #R1 CVR Race Cars chassis of Riley Hickman from Ooltewah, Tennessee who was able to fend off a late charge from #85 Ronnie Johnson from Chattanooga, Tennessee to claim the $10,000 payday in the Hoosier Race Tire South 100 presented by Sunoco Race Fuels to close the season over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The events got kicked off with a tremendous turnout for the race fans to meet their favorite drivers at the Chevy FanZone where the competitors put their machines on display for fans to see them up close, take pictures, and receive autographs. As the sun set, the action picked up as the twenty-four competitors would go into preparation for the 100 lapper. In addition to the big $10,000 to win finale, another $10,000 was on the line for the National Championship. The Top 4 in points (Austin Smith, Devin Dixon, Jake Knowles, and Cory Hedgecock) were separated by a mere 24 points going into the finale at Rome Speedway. Hickman would quickly get on a roll showing his determination in becoming the repeat winner of the season finale by setting fast time in Knowles Race Parts and Bodies qualifying. Ronnie Johnson, winner the previous evening in the #85 Capital Race Cars chassis would also lock himself in the 100 lap event as the top qualifiers from Group A and B would lock into the feature. Everyone else went into two B-Main Qualifier Races to decide the feature line up.
Local favorite from Lithia Springs, Georgia #00 Dalton Polston showed a very strong car to hold off everyone in heat race one where he picked up the win. The same was showed in heat race two by the performance of #18x Michael Page from Douglasville, Georgia giving them the perfect opportunity for the 100 lap feature to quickly make moves on front row starters Hickman and Johnson.
After driver introductions concluded, two special grand marshals, Alice Kay and Eva Vaughn, gave the command to fire the engines with the crowd behind them. The final 4-wide salute of 2017 was given to the packed faithful at Rome and the race was on! The opening twenty-five laps saw the yellow wave four times. Quickly on the jump was Hickman pulling away from all contenders and showing the early momentum. Caution one would come out on lap 8 when #35 Matt Helbing spun out solo in turn two. On the restart Hickman would pull away again while everyone was staying on the bottom, #85 Johnson and #01 Travis Pennington were trying to make something work racing the top of the half mile to reel in the leader. The caution would come out again off turn four on lap 16 when #35 Helbing would spin and in the process collected the #58 of Dixion that was racing inside the top five and contending for the championship.
The Hickman show continued on each restart as he would pull away and then catch up to the back markers to begin lapping the field. In pursuit hot and heavy was Johnson, Knowles, Page, Dixon and Pennington. The yellow would fall a few more times for single car problems for #88 Russ Ogletree, #03 Oliver Gentry cutting down a tire and #30 Ryan King stalling on the track. The final caution of the six total for the 100 lap race would come out on lap 37 with a multicar incident off turn two involving, #51 Randy Dillard, #01 Tate McCollum and #30 Ryan King.
This final caution would set up a sixty three lap run to the finish under the green. Hickman on the restart would continue to do what he had since the opening lap, pull away and chop off the field one lap car at a time with Johnson, Knowles, Page and others trying all they could to figure out a way to get to the rear spoiler of the CVR Race Cars chassis #R1. This would go on until about lap 89 when Hickman was starting to have difficulty moving by a few fast contenders that were determined to stay on the lead lap. Johnson would take advantage of this opportunity and reel in the leader, at one point getting up side by side to him. To no avail Hickman wouldn’t flinch or be denied as he would cross the line at Rome Speedway to take the checkered flag, the “Golden Helmet” and the $10,000 to win the Chevy Super Series finale two seasons consecutive. Johnson settled for second while Page, Dixon and #87 Zach Pilcher rounded out the top five at the finish. With the 4th place finish #58 Devin Dixon was able to gain enough points to rally around #84 Austin Smith to become the 2017 Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series National Champion and 2017 Cruise with the Champions Rookie of the Year. Hickman won the battle, Dixon won the war, and great pages of racing history were written to conclude a competitive yet enjoyable 2017 season for “America’s Leader in Racing”.
Rome Speedway – “Hoosier Race Tire South 100 Presented by Sunoco Race Fuels” – Sunday September 3rd, 2017
1st #R1 Riley Hickman
2nd #85 Ronnie Johnson
3rd #18x Michael Page
4th #58 Devin Dixon
5th #87 Zach Pilcher
6th #66 Jake Knowles
7th #01 Travis Pennington
8th #00 Dalton Polston
9th #84 Austin Smith
10th #92 Rodney Martin
11th #19 Landon Bagby
12th #03 Oliver Gentry
13th #J0 John Owenby
14th #34 Chad Walllace
15th #44 Colby Kilgore
16th #9 Cory Hedgecock
17th #24 Barry Goodman
18th #30 Ryan King
19th #31 Tyler Millwood
20th #10 Matthew Turner
21st #01 Tate McCollum
22nd #51 Randy Dillard
23rd #88 Russ Ogletree
24th #35 Matt Helbing
For more information, you can visit the series’ official website at www.525superseries.com.
You can also find us on all of your favorite social media outlets as well:
Facebook – Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series
Twitter – @525SuperSeries
Instagram – @chevysuperseries_525
Chevrolet Performance Parts is the Title Sponsor of the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series. Hoosier Racing Tire is the “Official Tire” of the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series.
Sunoco Race Fuel is the “Official Race Fuel” of the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series. Cruise With The Champions is the “Rookie of the Year” Official Sponsor of the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series.
Knowles Race Parts and Bodies is the “Fast Time Award” Sponsor for the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series.
Freestyle Graphix is the “Official Banner and Wrap Company” of the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series.
Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series Contingency Sponsors are CrateInsider.com, Gresham Racing Parts, Beyea Headers, Out-Pace Performance, and Knowles Racing Parts and Bodies.