J.J. Hickle (ASCS photo)
J.J. Hickle (ASCS photo)

Hickle Rules Devil’s Bowl

MESQUITE, Texas — Three trips to the Devil’s Bowl Speedway in 2021 and three trips to victory lane later, J.J. Hickle added his name to the list of winners at the 48th running of the Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals and Lanny Edward Memorial with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network.

“I grew up racing on bigger tracks and just feel at home here,” commented Hickle. “It’s Jane’s [Worden] birthday this weekend, so we had to get her the checkered flag she was looking for. It’s awesome to come to such a prestigious place like this and be fast.”

Hickle’s fifth SawBlade.com A-Feature victory of the season, came after he was the third driver to lead the event. Johnny Herrera led the first 12 circuits.

Wheeling the SawBlade.com No. 28 for Scott Bogucki, the wily veteran found traffic on lap 10. Reducing a half straightaway lead down to car lengths, Dylan Westbrook was on Herrera for the point in less than a lap. Working around slower cars, Westbrook found the line on the No. 28, with the AFEX Graphics No. 63 following into second.

Working low on the Hills Racing No. 47x, Hickle shot under Westbrook for the top spot on lap 15.

“Dylan and I have raced a lot against each other of the past few months, and that was a deal where I was trying to figure out what he’s thinking and see if I can make something else work and it looked like he was rolling the middle pretty well, so I started working the bottom and started gaining and just focused on staying with him until the right time where I could clear him,” Hickle said. “With a guy like that, if you show him the bottom, he’s going to go there. I just had to be patient and not show my hand too early.”

Caution on lap 17, Hickle had a new pursuer in the form of Blake Hahn. Locked in the championship battle with the No. 52, clean air was the advantage for Hickle as the field went back to green. Putting over a second on Hahn before the race’s final stoppage working lap 23, the restart put the field back to lap 22.

Trailed by Hann for a couple of laps, Hickle steadily pulled away over the final five rotations, with the Jane and Ivan Worden owned entry finding the finish 2.685 seconds ahead of Blake, with Sam Hafertepe Jr. rolling from 12th to third in the Hills Racing No. 15h.

Dylan Westbrook ended up fourth with Johnny Herrera fending off Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for fifth.

The finish:

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 63-JJ Hickle[5]; 2. 52-Blake Hahn[8]; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[12]; 4. 47X-Dylan Westbrook[4]; 5. 28-Johnny Herrera[2]; 6. 17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[9]; 7. 8M-Kade Morton[10]; 8. 44-Chris Martin[14]; 9. 53-Jack Dover[11]; 10. 7M-Chance Morton[19]; 11. 76-Zane Lawrence[23]; 12. 3W-Willy Reed[24]; 13. 88-Travis Reber[20]; 14. 45B-Casey Burkham[16]; 15. 45-Martin Edwards[1]; 16. 17B-Ryan Bickett[18]; 17. 2X-Tucker Doughty[7]; 18. 23B-Steven Shebester[13]; 19. 22X-Marcus Thomas[15]; 20. 19-Scott Evans[21]; 21. 12H-Tony Bruce Jr[17]; 22. 95-Matt Covington[3]; 23. 67-Tyler Courtney[6]; 24. 6-Kaden Taylor[22]

error: Content is protected !!