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Ryan Moore Rumbles At Hickory

HICKORY, N.C. — While weather affected qualifying, it was more than a beautiful day at Hickory Motor Speedway for Ryan Moore who won Friday night’s Easter Bunny 150.

After the invert PASS modified graduate Ryan Ripley inherited the pole to the inside of former Oxford 250 Champion Outlaw Eddie MacDonald. While MacDonald has raced everywhere with success, this was his first attempt to conquer the famous three-eighths-mile of Hickory Motor Speedway.

MacDonald got the jump on the initial start and took the lead but lap 14 brought out the first caution of the race collecting Mike Hopkins, Corey Cassagrande, Jason Corliss and a half dozen other competitors. 

Most were able to continue on albeit with significant damage. That was the first slow down of the event but it wouldn’t be the last. Three laps after the restart the first red flag of the evening flew after an enormous impact from polesitter Ryan Ripley head on into the turn-one concrete.

Outlaw Eddie MacDonald continued to lead until the Nick Loden came to the lead. Nick was a three-time winner in four attempts with a different touring series at Hickory in 2021 and showed significant speed. Nick’s father Andy is a three-time champion at Hickory. Only Ralph Earnhardt and John Settlemyre have more. 

While things were looking good for Loden the third caution flag fell on the event when former PASS National Champion Mike Hopkins took a hit to the backstretch inside retaining wall after contact with Rodney Brooks. The yellow eventually turned to a red flag while race track personnel had to repair the catch fence. 
As the sun started to set at 7:45, Nova Scotia native Cole Butcher started to come to life. Butcher took the lead from Loden on lap 51 after a single car spin and the fourth incident of the race. Shortly after, Austin MacDonald made contact with Nick Jenkins brand new Davis Chassis Works on lap 54. Jenkins went for a spin causing a multi car incident collecting many contenders including the youngsters Isaac Bevin, Kate Re and defending Easter Bunny winner Derrek Griffith.

The Canadian Butcher would then be forced to hold off five-time PASS North Champion and fast qualifier D.J. Shaw. Shaw momentarily shot to the lead on lap 54, but it was short lived as Butcher took back the lead a lap later. While they battled for the top spot, Ryan Moore and late model superstar Joey Pole started making their way forward. 

On lap 74, Hendrick Motorsports employee Tyler Church takes a spin and rests the field for the sixth time. The field would keep it clean for 51 laps before early leader Nick Loden went for a spin coming out of turn number two. That set up an epic battle between Butcher, Shaw and Moore. 

Five laps after the restart, Moore tot into the back of Butcher moving him up the track, and another lead change ensues. Shaw attempted to take advantage of Butcher’s misfortune and spun, putting Garrett Hall in third.

Moore continues to lead through the restart but after the ninth caution of the evening for a Tyler Church spin, Garrett Hall takes over the top spot for a second before chaos breaks loose once again.
Moore won by .396 seconds over Butcher.

Joey Polewarczyk came home third, while Gabe Brown and Austin MacDonald filled the top five.

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