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Tar Heel 250 at Hickory Speedway

The current leader in ASA STARS points, Cole Butcher from Porters Lake, NS, is on a winning streak. He recently secured a close victory in the latest ASA Southern Super Series race at Mobile International Speedway (AL). Now, Butcher is looking ahead to racing at one of his favorite tracks, the renowned Hickory Motor Speedway (NC).

Butcher has a successful history at the venue, with three previous wins in other series and a third-place finish last year in the STARS National Tour Tar Heel 250 at Hickory. During the race, Butcher started in fifth position and led for 13 laps before crossing the finish line in third place, just behind the near photo finish between William Byron and race winner Gio Ruggerio.

Ruggerio, currently third in the overall standings, is also set to race at Hickory, aiming to repeat his first STARS win. Both Ruggerio and Butcher are part of the Donnie Wilson Motorsports team and will be joined by teammate Brent Crews, who claimed victory in the Red Eye 50 Super Late Model race at New Smyrna earlier in the year. Crews finished fourth in his first STARS Tour race at the Clyde Hart Memorial 200 in New Smyrna.

Another pair of teammates, Dawson Sutton and Gavin Boschele from Rackley WAR Racing, will be seeking success at Hickory as well. Sutton was leading at Five Flags Speedway in the previous event before a mechanical issue forced him out of the race.

The Tar Heel 250 will feature notable NASCAR drivers, including Chase Elliott and Josh Berry. Elliott, who finished 6th in the event last year, will be joined by Berry, who returns to Hickory with an impressive track record of nearly 50 wins, with 40 of them achieved in the track's weekly series, placing him third all-time behind Max Prestwood and Dennis Setzer.

The upcoming race will also showcase a competition between the ASA Southern Super Series and the ASA STARS Nation Tour, marking the third and final combination race for the first half of the season. The next combination event will be the All-American 400 at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (TN).

Casey Roderick currently leads the ASA Southern Super Series standings and is in second place in the ASA STARS National points ranking. Despite winning the first ASA STARS event last year at Five Flags Speedway, Roderick has faced challenges in finding victory since then. Nevertheless, he remains a strong contender, consistently leading laps in his last three STARS events dating back to 2023.

Bubba Pollard is aiming to bounce back from a Did Not Finish (DNF) at Five Flags. He has a history of success at Hickory Motor Speedway and was a strong contender last year until steering problems cut his night short.

Matt Craig, a four-time race winner, and Kaden Kavpil, with five wins at Hickory in the Carolina Pro Late Model Series, are among the drivers with extensive experience at the track.

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