Benji Hicks working to develop a niche for Double Nickel Race Cars

Benji Hicks

There is no doubt that Rocket Chassis and Longhorn Chassis dominate the Dirt Late Model racing industry. But there are certainly others who have their own programs and are looking to chip away at the market share controlled by those two manufacturers. One such operation looking to find its own place in that realm is Double Nickel Race Cars. This relatively new brand is being developed by Mt. Airy, North Carolina native Benji Hicks.

Although he is only 28 years of age, Hicks brings a wealth of experience and know-how to the field. After earning a college degree from Forsyth Tech in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Hicks immediately went to work within the industry.

“It all really started years and years ago before I had any experience,” Hicks explained in an interview with “I went to college and got a degree in Race Car Technology then got a job at Longhorn and worked there for about three years. I started the BHR Fabrication thing and was doing some parts here and there and bodies and setup stuff. I went and worked at Barry Wright’s then decided to move back home. It’s always been a lifelong dream to build my own chassis and this was the perfect opportunity to do it. We hit the ground running and it took off from there.”

In its relatively short time of existence, the new race car has made waves. Ross Bailes scored a $10,000 victory in the Southern All-Star Series season opener at Georgia’s Screven Motor Speedway back in February while driving a Double Nickel Race Car owned by Billy Hicks.

Benji Hicks has yet to win a Super Late Model race in one of his cars but he has found victory lane in the Crate Late Model division. That, combined with the Bailes win and a second-place effort in the Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals event at Senoia(GA) Raceway shows that progress is being made.

“We haven’t picked up any Super wins ourselves yet but we got several Crate wins and we’re running competitive against a lot of bigger name chassis brands which is very pleasing to me,” Hicks pointed out. “A lot of hard work goes into these things and I really only have one other guy who helps me, my brother-in-law Brian, he’s been with me through the whole thing. I ended up having to hire somebody else here recently to help keep up with the parts side of it. Things are looking good right now, we’ve just got to keep on keeping on and stay on the cutting edge of technology and develop as we go.”

Benji Hicks aboard his own Double Nickel

Billy Hicks is the uncle of Benji Hicks. Bailes says that was a major contributing factor in the change from Longhorn to Double Nickel for the No. 79 team.

“It’s pretty similar to what we were running but there’s a few adjustments that we’ve had to do a little different but it’s been a good car so far,” Bailes told “We ran good with it down in Florida. Benji kind of went on his own chassis deal. Billy thought it would be best to work with him to try to make it better as a whole.”

Obviously, Hicks hopes this recent success causes his business to flourish.

“Anybody in the chassis business wants to sell as many as they can,” he declared. “As long as every car I have out there is running competitive but there’s going to be nights when you have bad finishes and stuff is going to go wrong. That’s just part of it. But to be competitive on a national tour like if Ross was to go run the World of Outlaws or Lucas or if I ever got the opportunity sometime later in life or any of my customers is a goal of mine. If I had one of those drivers on a national tour to call me and want to get some cars and get my name out there even bigger, that’s really my end goal. I definitely would like to get on a national tour and be able to run competitive with these bigger name chassis manufacturers.”

Ross Bailes in the Billy Hicks-owned Double Nickel

Bolstered by his strong early season runs, Bailes believes good things are ahead for his team and their new machine.

“I think so. I’m looking forward to this year and getting it dialed in really well.”

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