Race Weekend Central

Kaden Honeycutt Scores Top 10 After Roller-Coaster Night at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Kaden Honeycutt and the No. 45 Niece Motorsports team went on the ultimate racing roller coaster ride Friday night (April 5) at Martinsville Speedway. After multiple on-track incidents and some not-so-happy radio chatter during the 200-lap event, Honeycutt wound up with a top-10 finish, coming home ninth at race’s end. 

However, the fun didn’t stop with the checkered flag for Honeycutt, as he was called to the NASCAR hauler post race due to the on-track incident with Bret Holmes and Justin Carroll that saw Carroll’s No. 90 end up in the outside wall.

Along with his limited NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts with Niece, Honeycutt runs full-time in the zMAX CARS Tour Pro Late Model series and part-time in CARS’ Late Model Stock division. When he is in the No. 45, he looks to make the most of every opportunity. 

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The day started out solid for Honeycutt as he clocked in 10th in practice, just under two tenths off of Ty Majeski, who was fastest. The team found themselves slightly down the running order in qualifying, as Honeycutt timed in 17th during the time-trial session.

Once the green dropped on the 200-lap main event for the night, Honeycutt began his march forward. Picking off trucks one by one, Honeycutt drove the No. 45 up to ninth by the end of stage one at lap 50. 

The climb through the running order didn’t stop there, as Honeycutt again moved up by the lap-100 caution for the end of stage two, finding himself inside the top five in fifth. From that point on, things got messy. 

A pit stop put the No. 45 back in the pack for the stage three restart, which led to some hard racing with Daniel Dye as Honeycutt attempted to drive back through the field. The two swapped paint for multiple laps, with the end result being Honeycutt spinning on the back straightaway on lap 134.

With the team now behind the eight ball and running out of laps to make up the lost ground, the aggression began to ramp up as Honeycutt once again tried to drive back to the front of the pack. The only issue was the aggression began to rise for the others around the No. 45.

Push came to shove on lap 158, and a shove from the front bumper of Honeycutt’s No. 45 sent Holmes spinning into Carroll entering turn 1, ending Carroll’s night as his No. 90 slammed the outside wall. 

At that point, NASCAR came over the radio and called Honeycutt to the hauler post-race. 

As mayhem ensued in the closing laps at Martinsville, Honeycutt managed to sneak back through the field, and as the checkered flag fell on a wild race at Martinsville, Honeycutt still found himself with a top-10 finish in ninth. 

“We had a really good truck,” Honeycutt said. “Scored stage points, I mean I thought we had a great truck. Regardless of what everything happened, this ended up being a top 10.”

In regards to the two main incidents he was involved in, Honeycutt was critical of himself in the first incident, despite the hard racing with Dye. 

“In [turns] one and two I got down to the [No.] 43 and I barely moved him up,” Honeycutt said. “He just came right back down just a little bit and I nicked the curb and I spun myself out so, I didn’t do a very good job at that, at recovering.” 

As for the second incident, Honeycutt was much more apologetic to those involved, admitting he made a mistake entering turn 1. 

“I apologize also to Bret,” Honeycutt said. “I just messed up. I was so tucked up underneath him that I wasn’t paying attention to where the cones were in turn 1 and I just flat out hit him. So, not really an excuse but still have to fix that and not let that happen ever again.”

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When asked about the looming conversation with NASCAR post-race, Honeycutt seemed to understand the reasoning, while also pointing out some actions of others on track.

“Like I said, I screwed up, I hit ’em, and I spun [Holmes] out along with the No. 90,” Honeycutt said. “Just gotta not let that happen ever again. That’s not how I race, that’s not how I was raised to race. Unfortunately, half the field does it too, so if there’s anybody else that’s gonna be called to the trailer it’s gonna be about five or six of them that are gonna be at the trailer. That’s fine, I can be singled out, be an example, and we’ll move on to my next race at Kansas.” 

Honeycutt mentioned the next time he’ll be in the Niece truck will be at Kansas Speedway, which takes place on Saturday, May 4. With a month off now from the Truck Series for Honeycutt, he’ll have a lot to think over following a wild night and a top 10 at Martinsville, as he heads back to his CARS Tour commitments for the remainder of April.

About the author

Chase began working with Frontstretch in the spring of 2023 as a news writer, while also helping fill in for other columns as needed. Chase is now the main writer and reporter for Frontstretch.com's CARS Tour coverage, a role which began late in 2023.  Aside from racing, some of Chase's other hobbies include time in the outdoors hunting and fishing, and keeping up with all things Philadelphia sports related.

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