The Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series had originally been scheduled for a two-night weekend of racing in east Tennessee with a Friday night show set for Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap followed up by a Saturday evening race in Seymour at 411 Motor Speedway. Unfortunately, rain knocked out the event slated for Bulls Gap but the feature slated for Saturday went on as planned.
Cory Hedgecock came into the night trailing Devin Dixon in the series standings. However, things went very much the way of the Loudon, Tenn. driver as he won the feature at 411 and saw the series leader have his night end early with an engine failure.
Hedgecock began what would prove to be a night of dominance by setting fast time in qualifying with a lap of 14.360 seconds around the 3/8 mile clay oval. The field for the feature would be set entirely by time-trials which placed Riley Hickman, Dixon, Ronnie Johnson, Austin Smith, Landon Bagby, Michael Page, Oliver Gentry, Zach Pilcher and Jake Knowles in the top-10 on the starting grid.
Hedgecock bolted to the early lead as the green flag waved over the 50-lap feature with Dixon, Hickman, Smith, Johnson and Page trailing early on. Page moved early as he wrestled the fifth spot away from Johnson on the second circuit while Knowles followed to take sixth from the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame member.
Hedgecock pulled away from the pack by 10 car lengths in the early going while Smith pressured Hickman for the third position on lap 8. Pilcher, meanwhile, briefly took seventh away from Johnson.
Hedgecock found himself in traffic at lap 12 when he caught the tail of the field. By lap 17 he had put a full straightaway of distance between himself and second running Dixon. And by lap 21 he was knocking on the back door of the tenth place car in hopes of putting that machine a lap down.
A lap 24 caution for a spin by Chris Sizemore slowed Hedgecock’s furious pace briefly. But once green flag racing action resumed, the No. 9 car quickly jumped back out to a relatively comfortable advantage. But it was on that restart when Page made what had to be considered the move of the night when he went four-wide to catapult into the third position. At the same time, front row starting Hickman was drop kicked back to sixth.
Lap 31 proved to be a pivotal moment in the race and in the series standings when Dixon had his engine go up in smoke, forcing him to retire from the event.
Hedgecock again got away from the field on the ensuing restart from the Dixon caution with Page attempting to keep pace. The real battle was just behind the two lead machines as Knowles and Smith banged sheet metal twice as they fought over third.
Over the closing laps, no one had anything for Hedgecock as he sailed under the checkered flag to collect the $3,000 first prize.
Feature Finish: 1. Cory Hedgecock, 2. Michael Page, 3. Jake Knowles, 4. Austin Smith, 5. Oliver Gentry, 6. Ronnie Johnson, 7. Ryan King, 8. Landon Bagby, 9. Zach Pilcher, 10. Riley Hickman