USAR: Hickory: Matt Carter race report

Carter Fifth at Hickory Motor Speedway Newton, NC (07-11-04): When Matt Carter arrives at Hickory Motor Speedway to race, the expectations are high. Carter, the reigning Track Champion, is a hit with the local crowd - a crowd that loves to...

Carter Fifth at Hickory Motor Speedway

Newton, NC (07-11-04): When Matt Carter arrives at Hickory Motor Speedway to race, the expectations are high. Carter, the reigning Track Champion, is a hit with the local crowd - a crowd that loves to see locals win touring races.

Carter definitely looked comfortable with the track. He finished 2nd in practice and qualifying 3rd.

"I was a little disappointed with where we qualified. I think we could've had the pole. I know I messed up on my second lap," said the Denver, NC, native who constantly strives to improve as a race car driver.

Wild weather loomed in the Hickory area as the green flag waved the 29-car field to life. Rain and threatening lightening would slow the race and eventually shorten it.

"We fell off a little at the start, but the track started coming to us," said Carter of race's early laps.

Carter's no. 22 HeavyTruckDealers.com/Black's Tire Ford Taurus seemed to improve with every caution and rain delay. The RBR crew got a chance to fine tune the chassis when the leaders pitted on lap 119.

The pit stop was fantastic, putting Carter back on track just behind eventual race winner Clay Rogers. However, there was no time to celebrate the great pit work as Carter's crew chief quickly called him back to the pit stall.

"We had a good pit stop, but I got together with Shane [Huffman, no. 84] when I left my stall. We had to come back in to get the left front fender pulled off of the tire," said Carter.

Restarting 14th was disappointing for Carter and the RBR crew, but it resulted in some really, really good racing action for Carter fans. His trip back through the field was jam-packed with 3-wide passes, Carter passing high, then low0x2022putting the no. 22 Taurus wherever he wanted it to go.

"It was fun coming back through the field," said Carter. "We had a good car. It went anywhere I wanted it to go. We needed that last caution to make up track position on the leaders, but I'm not sure we could've passed Clay [Rogers] or Shane."

The last caution quickly became a red flag at lap 193 and the USAR officials declared the race results final. Carter felt his car could've made it to the top three had the rain not washed out the final laps of the race. Instead, he finished fifth, marking his second top-five and 6th top-ten of the season.

Be sure to catch this weekend's action at Hickory Motor Speedway broadcast on SPEED Channel Thursday night, July 15th, at 8 PM Eastern, and check in at www.MattCarter22.com to keep up to date on Carter's news.

-mc-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers