The NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series made its way to the 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tenn. on Saturday night to complete their east Tennessee double header weekend after having raced at I-75 Raceway in Sweetwater on Friday evening. Series points leader Cory Hedgecock turned in a dominating performance as he led from flag-to-flag and took home the $4,000 first prize.
Hedgecock set the tone early as he led the way in qualifying by turning a lap of 14.484 seconds around the 3/8 mile clay oval The top-10 in time-trials were locked into the feature which placed Rusty Ballenger, Jimmy Elliott, Shep Lucas, Kyle Courtney, Logan Roberson, Ron Parker, Matt Henderson, Jason Manley and Jesse Lowe in the first five rows of the starting grid for the feature.
Jake Knowles and Walker Arthur won the two B-main races used to set the remainder of the starting lineup for the main event.
Hedgecock shot to the lead as soon as the green flag waved over the 40-lap feature race. Ballenger, Elliott, Courtney and Lucas offered chase in the early going. Lucas made an early move as he went by Courtney to take the fourth position on lap 2 while Elliott began to hound Ballenger for second at the same time.
The first of five cautions that would slow the feature waved on lap 4 when T.J. Brittain slowed on the track. Parker worked his way into the top-5 on the ensuing restart but the green flag action would be short-lived as a caution flag was again displayed to the field on lap 5 for a spin by Manley.
Knowles moved forward just after the next restart when he took the fifth spot away from Parker. The No. 66 car then went on the hunt for fourth as he began to pressure Lucas on lap 11.
Hedgecock pulled out to a relatively comfortable advantage but found himself in the midst of slower traffic by lap 12. The race leader made a bold three-wide move to put cars one lap in arrears on lap 16 while Elliott worked his way by Ballenger to grab the runner-up spot on that same circuit.
At the race’s midway point, the most intense battle was taking place at the back of the top-10 with Courtney, Lowe, Ross White, Colton Horner and Ronnie Johnson fighting for positions. Meanwhile, Hedgecock was logging laps with little challenge at the front of the pack.
The final yellow flag waved on lap 28 for a crash involving Courtney, Horner and Brandon Williams.
But that brief slowing of the pace did little to threaten Hedgecock’s command of the event as he pulled away on his way to victory.
Feature Finish- 1. Cory Hedgecock, 2. Jimmy Elliott, 3. Rusty Ballenger, 4. Shep Lucas, 5. Shep Lucas, 6. Matt Henderson, 7. Jesse Lowe, 8. Ron Parker, 9. Jake Knowles, 10. Ross White
*Finish results are unofficial