Connect with us


Cole Butcher takes ASA Tar Hill 250 at Hickory

It’s becoming a dream season for the Maritime Canadian

Jason Reasin

Cole Butcher is on the kind of run that every short track driver dreams of right now.

Since 2022, the 27-year-old from Porter’s Lake, Nova Scotia has two Oxford 250 wins, another in the Red Bud 250, a pair of Easter Bunny 150s and now four wins under the ASA national and regional banner, including his third overall national triumph on Thursday night in the Tar Hill 250 at Hickory.

He made it look easy, methodically moving up from the 11th starting position, and really going from the moment that crew chief Bond Suss said it was time to go.

“It was really good at the end,” Butcher said. “We really struggled through the first segment. I kind of got in my own way. We kind of maintained with (Josh Berry) for most of the race and then picked him off and then Brent (Crews) spun out and some other guys too but we were just really good at the end.”

Brent Crews vs The World

Butcher’s Donnie Wilson teammate, Crews, appeared to have the car to beat for much of the race, leading the first 150 laps from the pole before getting into an intense series of tussles with Matt Craig, Kyle Steckly and Casey Roderick.

Crews traded several bump-and-runs with Matt Craig and then came together with Steckly, sending him around on Lap 160, and then his decisive incident with Roderick. At this point, Roderick was challenging Crews for second, and the slightest of contact between them sent the Wilson No. 24 around and into the outside retaining wall.

After the race, Crews said he felt used up by the two veterans especially.

“Led 140 laps and after that, started getting used up, I think,” Crews said. “That stuff happens and its going to take time getting everyone’s respect. I definitely won’t forget it. I’m going to have fast stuff when I come back and race with these guys again.”

Crews says the right-side damage didn’t help his turn but also believes he had a bad set of right sides, or at least inconsistent from those he raced on previously.

For his part in the ordeal, fourth-place finishing Craig said he watched how Crews was racing and said he raced the way he expected to be raced.

“It started when I was behind him watching him race the other cars,” Craig said. “Chase Elliott, he ran him quite dirty in my opinion. So, when I got to him, he started racing me dirty, ran me up the hill under caution, close to the wall. So, we started door banging and it was on from there.

“You know, I don’t think I’m a veteran yet but I’m getting to be a veteran so it feels like I’m having to teach these rookies sometimes how to race. It’s unfortunate that they come in and want to race like that because these cars are really expensive, cost a lot of money and we don’t need to be racing like that.”

Roderick vs Race Control

Roderick and Anthony Campi Racing were probably going to get beat by Butcher no matter what but they were certainly not helped by circumstances and race control.

For one, taking four tires at the stage two break had Campi reconsidering not going up on the track bar to help Roderick turn but a longer green flag run would have also helped that too. The race came down to a series of short runs.

But also, Roderick felt like Butcher took advantage of him on the restart because race control forced them to fire off Turn 4 together. Roderick was adamant that he did not have the leader’s advantage in such a short box and that Butcher was able to set him up.

“With Cole, he did what he had to do to win the race, but I am disappointed with the officiating,” Roderick said. “We have rules and you go by them, the other guy doesn’t and he gets away with it so what the hell we got rules for?

“That’s how I felt. Just let us restart on the backstretch. Wherever? Why have a restart box? He ran me up the race, which is fine, he’s doing what he had to do to win the race. I’m trying to play by the rules because I catch a lot of criticism when I do something wrong. They get after me. That’s the only thing I’m frustrated about.

“Moving forward, I’m firing off into (Turn) 3. I don’t give a flip. I don’t care. I don’t care. I’m going to make them put me in the back.”

Roderick and Campi spoke to both series promoter Bob Sargent and race director Scott Menlen after the race.

Beyond the restart, they were also just frustrated because they find themselves coming up short to the Wilson team a lot right now. As Campi put it, he had William Byron in this car at Hickory last year and got used up by Gio Ruggiero late. Now he has a top tier short tracker in Roderick in the car and felt like a win was taken from them.

It’s starting to sting.

“There is no one more motivated than ACR,” Roderick said. “I don’t think anyone is working harder than these guys. That’s why it’s frustrating for me, because I know how hard they’re working. They deserve wins and I keep falling short.”


ASA Tar Hill 250
Hickory Motor Speedway
May 23 2024

  1. Cole Butcher
  2. Casey Roderick
  3. Dawson Sutton
  4. Matt Craig
  5. Josh Berry
  6. Bubba Pollard
  7. Stephen Nasse
  8. Derek Kraus
  9. Connor Okresik
  10. William Sawalich
  11. Conner Jones
  12. Austin Nason
  13. Dustin Smith
  14. Michael Hinde
  15. Billy VanMeter
  16. Jett Noland
  17. Gio Ruggiero
  18. Brent Crewa
  19. Jackson Boone
  20. Kyle Steckley
  21. Chase Elliott
  22. Caden Kvapil
  23. Gavan Boschele
  24. Justin Crider
  25. Kodie Conner

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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *