Strickler Sets The Pace In Race For Hope

Kyle Stricker was the fastest driver in Race For Hope 74 time trials Tuesday night at Batesville Motor Speedway. (Mike Spieker photo)

BATESVILLE, Ark. — Kyle Strickler was the fastest driver in time trials for Mark Martin’s Race For Hope 74 at Batesville Motor Speedway Tuesday night.

Strickler ran a lap of 16.542 seconds around the high-banked three-eighths mile clay oval, averaging 81.610 mph.

By being the fastest in time trials, Strickler has locked himself into Saturday night’s $20,000-to-win, 74-lap main event. Strickler was also the fastest qualifier in the inaugural running of the Race For Hope 74 last year.

Jake O’Neil, Wendell Wallace, Zack VanderBeek, and Tom Berry rounded out the top five.

A total of 114 IMCA Modifieds recorded a time during qualifications, with more entries expected for the opening night of racing on Wednesday. That set a Race For Hope record, compared to last year’s 91 entries.

Wednesday through Friday’s program will feature 15 qualifying heat races with a nightly feature, where the top eight finishers will automatically transfer into Saturday’s main event.

On Saturday, the night will be highlighted by the 74-lap, Race For Hope 74 feature. During the race, a mandatory fuel stop will take place on lap 40.

Also on the card Saturday will be the State’s Race. The fastest car from each state that did not make the main event will race for $1,000 to win.

The Manufacturers’ Race will also be $1,000 to win. The fastest participating manufacturer not locked into the main event will be eligible to compete.

Qualifying times from Tuesday will be used to determine the lineups of the State’s Race and Manufacturers’ Race.