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Doug Barnes Sweeps Hickory Opening Night Twin 40s

AirDoug intends to compete for the NASCAR Weekly Championship

Jordan Powell

With a goal towards contending for the NASCAR Weekly Series National Championship, Doug Barnes traveled to Hickory Motor Speedway on Opening Night and swept the Twin 40s.

Early points leader: Air Doug

The victories were also his first-ever at the Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars as the Maryland native is planning to travel more this season in pursuit of Weekly Series points. The second victory was more challenging than the first as it came from eighth due to an eight-car invert from the opener he won from the outside pole.

Barnes was up to third by a caution for a Landon Huffman spin on Lap 11 and he took the lead from Tyler Matthews on the outside on Lap 20. Barnes and fastest qualifier Kade Brown finished 1-2 in both races.

“I wish we could do this all the time,” Barnes said. “I wouldnt have said all that stuff I said about how hard this place is. This is a really good start with 16 cars, full points, and three wins to start the year and a national championship bid. I can’t get over this man. Just good racing. I’m having a lot of fun. It’s hard racing but clean and there was a lot of respect shown as we came back up through the top-five. I appreciate that and looking forward to coming back next week.”

Brown suffered some fender damage in the second race while battling Tyler Matthews for a podium but it was just because he was trying to stay ahead of Barnes while coming up through the field.

“I knew the 88 was good behind us with the invert and I was just trying to make as much speed as I could,” Brown said. “I apologize to (Matthews) because I didn’t mean to get into him like that.

“I was trying to get away from the 88 because he was so good tonight. We got some things to improve on and we’ll make it better.

Meanwhile, Matthews opened his season with a sixth place and third place finish with Kres VanDyke Performance.

“It was an up and down day for us,” Matthews said. “We were real close in qualifying. I thought the car would go one way after qualifying and it went the other way. So we rode around and took care of the tires, made some damn fine adjustments for the second race, and tried to put some space between us and the 88 in the second race but got bit by the caution.”

Barnes won the first race leading all but one lap from the outside pole. That was marred by a massive crash on Lap 33 when Austin McDaniel attempted to take leaders Barnes and Brown three-wide, jammed on brakes, spun and triggered a stack up behind them. All told, the crash took out the tire barrier in Turn 1 and involved Landon Huffman, Brent Crews, Vicente Salas, Akinori Ogata, Clark Houston, Landon S. Huffman.

Landon Huffman is the defending track champion and was inbvolved in both that Race 1 crash and a Race 2 crash with finishes of 13th and 9th.

But the night belonged to Air Doug, which is also the name of his popular YouTube channel.

“So once again, I remind everyone to check out Air Doug on YouTube, 5 p.m. and we’re going to talk about it,” Barnes said.

He might soon be talking about a national championship bid in person, too.

Twin 40 No. 1

  1. Doug Barnes
  2. Kade Brown
  3. Charlie Watson
  4. Annabeth Barnes-Crum
  5. Bryson Ruff
  6. Tyler Matthews
  7. Justin Campbell
  8. Skyler Chaney
  9. Lanie Buice
  10. Joey Braun
  11. Paige Rogers
  12. Hunter Deshauntelle
  13. Landon Huffman
  14. Austin McDaniel
  15. Vicente Salas
  16. Akinori Ogata
  17. Brent Crews
  18. Clark Houston
  19. Landon S Huffman
  20. Michael Bumgarner
  21. Toni Breidinger

Twin 40 No. 2

  1. Doug Barnes
  2. Kade Brown
  3. Tyler Matthew
  4. Bryson Ruff
  5. Joey Braun
  6. Annabeth Barnes-Crum
  7. Lanie Buice
  8. Charlie Watson
  9. Landon Huffman
  10. Michael Bumgarner
  11. Clark Houston
  12. Justin Campbell
  13. Austin McDaniel
  14. Skyler Chaney
  15. Toni Breidinger
  16. Hunter Deshauntelle
  17. Paige Rogers

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

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