Holman crowned winner of Pro Cup Series Championship at Hickory
Holman was hands down the fastest person in the South, at the Hickory Motor Speedway last Saturday night. The veteran pulled away in the last 75 laps of the Bojangles 250 race from 14-year-old Todd Gilliland, and made his way to the Edelbrock Victory Lane, his sixth time in all twelve races this season.
An elated Holman said, “I always said no one is ever 100% happy at Hickory with their car; tonight I’ll take that statement back. Tonight I was completely happy with my car in the second half of this race. It would just roll through the turns just like I wanted it too.”
He added, “My guys made good adjustments throughout the day and got the car handling the way I wanted it. At the break there we just put on tires and filled it with fuel and went back racing. We didn’t make a single change and in the end it was the right call.”
Holman won the battle and the war, and received the 2014 X-1R Pro Cup Series champion’s trophy, a career first for the Abingdon, Virginia driver. He also racked up eight Mahle pole awards this season and took home US$68,925 in total.
Holman said, “What a year this was for us. I would have never dreamed we would have had the year we did even with the lower car counts at times. I still had to beat guys like JP Morgan, Gus Dean, and Brian Keselowski on a regular basis. Not to mention nights when guys like Clay Rogers and tonight Todd Gilliland come race, so it wasn’t easy by any means.
“My guys have worked their tails off all season and we just got on a roll towards the end of the year. This is what I do for a living and winning a championship for everyone at Henderson Motorsports and Food Country USA was my ultimate goal. Tonight looking back I can say we as team delivered that championship to all involved with this organisation and that means a lot to me as a person and a driver.”
Young Gilliland, son of NASCAR Cup driver, David Gilliland, driving a Late Model Stock Car, made Holman work hard for his victory. Together with veteran Clay Rogers, who started from sixth position, they both tracked down Holman through lapped traffic. When the race was yellow-flagged for debris, Gilliland took the opportunity to take the lead into the second half of the race, and winning himself the Roush-Yates Performance Parts Halfway Leader award. While the yellow flag was still out, Rogers, Coleman Pressley and Holman rounded up the top four.
The period of calm was interjected with a bit of alarm when Reid Wilson’s Bojangles Chevrolet went up in heavy smoke, though there was no evident fire. The expired engine forced Wilson to retire.
With the green flag waving again, the race was back in action and favouring Holman, who returned to the lead on lap 129, leading the rest around the .363 track. As he crossed the finish line with a 2.47-second gap from Gilliland, the last checkered flag was waved for the 2014 season.
Rogers finished third in a Pro Cup machine, racing for the JCR3 Racing team, followed by two Late Models driven by Steve Wallace and Alex Yontz, completing the top five positions.