The American Crate All Stars Series joined in with the Spring Nationals on Saturday night at Smoky Mountain Speedway. Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, TN turned in a dominating performance to earn the $2,000 first prize for Crate Late Model cars on the Maryville, TN track.
Hedgecock’s domination began at the very outset when he set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 16.97 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval. That time bettered the efforts of Ross White, Tyler Arrington, Jensen Ford, Greg Martin and Matt Long. Those six drivers were locked into a fast car dash race that would set the starting grid for the feature.
Hedgecock would start the feature from the pole as a result of his win in the dash race over Arrington, White, Martin, Ford and Long.
Jake Teague won the first heat race of the night for those not locked into the dash by beating out Chris Chandler and Jason Cardwell while Bradley Lewelling took the second preliminary ahead of Clay Coghlan and Aaron Guinn.
Michael Courtney won out in the third and final heat over Brandon Williams and Chip Brindle.
Hedgecock bolted to the lead at the start of the 30-lap feature with Arrington, White, Martin and Ford trailing. Martin took third away from White on the second circuit as Hedgecock began to pull away from the pack.
On lap 6 Martin continued his march forward as he passed by Arrington to take the runner-up position. White then attempted to follow Martin and also move around Arrington on lap 7. However, the two cars touched and White was sent spinning. Ford was also collected in the incident and was eliminated from competition.
Lewelling brought out a lap 8 caution when he slowed on track.
On the ensuing restart, Teague moved into the third spot while Long took fifth. The No. 117 then began to work on Martin in hopes of moving into second. At the same time, Williams and Coghlan fought over seventh with Coghlan eventually claiming the position.
Over the second half of the race Hedgecock would extend his advantage and ultimately sail under the checkered flag with a lead of more than a straightaway.
Feature Finish: 1. Cory Hedgecock, 2. Greg Martin, 3. Jake Teague, 4. Tyler Arrington, 5. Matt long, 6. Michael Courtney, 7. Clay Coghlan, 8. Jason Cardwell, 9. Andy Ogle, 10. Brandon Williams, 11. Aaron Guinn, 12. Chris Chandler, 13. Eli Beets, 14. Michael Smith, 15. Anthony White, 16. Bradley Lewelling, 17. Chip Brindle, 18. Kenny Ford, 19. Austin Langley, 20. Ross White, 21. Bobby Mays, 22. Jensen Ford, 23. Mike Smith, 24. Josh Henry