Sunday June 4th, 2023 3:11AM

Last lap pass nets Ruggiero ASA Stars win at Hickory

By Series PR
  Contact Editor

Sixteen-year-old Gio Ruggiero passed current NASCAR Cup Series points leader William Byron in the last corner and beat him back to the line by just 0.036 to win his first-career ASA STARS National Tour Super Late Model Thursday night at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway.

“That’s not how I wanted to win the race,” Ruggiero said in victory lane. “But I didn’t come here to finish second. We were good on that long run there, I think I had something for them, but I think I just burned it up a little bit too much. But I got it done. That’s all that matters.”

For Byron, it’s his second-straight runner-up finish with the ASA STARS National Tour after also finishing second at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

“I didn’t see much. I just saw the whole right side of (Ruggiero’s) car in the left side of mine, about 20 times on the restart,” Byron said. “I don’t know man, I guess that’s how a kid like that races. But look at his right front. It’s destroyed. We had a good car, they were definitely strong too, but just bad racing.”

Byron took the win in the first stage, while Jesse Love was the winner of stage two.

It was a mixed bag for the top three drivers in points Thursday night. Ty Majeski came out the best out of the three, with a fourth-place finish. Lilburn, Georgia’s Casey Roderick finished one lap down in 12th after going into the night as the points leader. Senoia, Georgia’s Bubba Pollard fell out of the race with a mechanical issue and was scored 23rd.

Cole Butcher finished in third, with Majeski fourth, and Caden Kvapil in fifth.

Dawsonville, Georgia’s Chase Elliott, Stephen Nasse, Austin Nason, Jett Noland, and
Michael Hinde rounded out the top ten.

The ASA STARS National Tour next heads to the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday, June 18. For more information, visit STARSNationalTour.com.

ASA STARS National Tour
Hickory Motor Speedway – Hickory, NC
Tar Heel 250 – May 25, 2023

1. Gio Ruggiero
2. William Byron
3. Cole Butcher
4. Ty Majeski
5. Caden Kvapil
6. Chase Elliott
7. Stephen Nasse
8. Austin Nason
9. Jett Noland
10. Michael Hinde
11. Jesse Love
12. Casey Roderick
13. Ross Strmiska
14. Billy VanMeter
15. Matthew Craig
16. Albert Francis
17. Dustin Smith
18. Tyler Tanner
19. Jackson Boone
20. Blaine Rocha
21. Carson Hocevar
22. Kodie Conner
23. Bubba Pollard
24. Jake Finch
25. Tony Elrod

  • Associated Categories: NASCAR News, Other Motorsports
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Stock Car, Short Track, Asphalt, Late Model, ASA Stars
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