Last-Lap Pass Nets Gio Ruggiero First-Career Super Late Model win in the Tar Heel 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway

ASA STARS National Tour Photo

The Tar Heel 250 “Thursday Thunder In The Foothills” give fans the most exciting finish yet in the ASA STARS National Tour season.

16-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 Super Late Model race at Hickory Motor Speedway.

Ruggiero, who led most of the second stage, talked about the final lap and the move that landed him in victory lane.

“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 in the ECMD 150 at North Wilkesboro Speedway last Wednesday. He gave his point-of-view of the finish that was.

“I didn’t see much. I just saw the whole right side of his car in the left side of mine, about 20 times on the restart,” Byron stated. “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. Casey Roderick finished one lap down in 12th after going into the night as the points leader. Bubba Pollard fell out of the race with a mechanical issue and was scored 23rd.

Full results can be found below.

The ASA STARS National Tour heads to the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday, June 18 for the Father’s Day 100, co-sanctioned with the ASA Midwest Tour. Tickets can be purchased here.

For more information regarding the Southern Super Series, visit the series website at Follow us on Facebook at Southern Super Series, on Twitter at @SoSuperSeries, and on Instagram at @officialsouthernsuperseries.

For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at, or be sure to follow the series on social media (Facebook: STARS National Series | Twitter: @racewithstars | IG: @starsnational).

ASA STARS National Tour
The ASA STARS National Tour debuted in March of 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America. Announced last October, many of the best drivers in America will compete in the ten-race national tour with a minimum $100,000 point fund. The championship team will be guaranteed $25,000.

The ASA STARS National Tour is made up of three races from each of the regional pavement Super Late Model Series under the Track Enterprises banner; the ASA CRA Super Series, the ASA Midwest Tour and the ASA Southern Super Series.

The Team Construction Winner’s Circle program has been announced as a part of the ASA STARS National Tour for licensed drivers/teams with perfect attendance. The program provides additional financial incentives to those teams who support the Series, thanks to Team Construction.

Track Enterprises, a Racing Promotions Company based in Illinois, will operate the ASA STARS National Tour. It announced the acquisition of the CRA sanctioning body in January and followed that up with the purchase of the Midwest Tour in July. In October, Track Enterprises President, Bob Sargent announced a partnership with the Southern Super Series which set the table for the formation of the ASA STARS National Tour.

Tar Heel 250 Results:

  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

Stage #1 Results:

  1. William Byron
  2. Gio Ruggiero
  3. Cole Butcher
  4. Jesse Love
  5. Bubba Pollard
  6. Ty Majeski
  7. Caden Kvapil
  8. Carson Hocevar
  9. Stephen Nasse
  10. Casey Roderick

Stage #2 Results:

  1. Jesse Love
  2. William Byron
  3. Ty Majeski
  4. Gio Ruggiero
  5. Jackson Boone
  6. Casey Roderick
  7. Kodie Conner
  8. Michael Hinde
  9. Cole Butcher
  10. Chase Elliott

Track Enterprises PR

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