Cory Hedgecock scores biggest career win in Sexton Memorial

Cory Hedgecock led all 52 laps to get the win

Cory Hedgecock has won numerous features around the east Tennessee region including a World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series events at 411 Motor Speedway. But on Memorial Day he scored his biggest career victory when he captured the $10,052-to-win Scott Sexton Memorial at the Seymour, Tenn. facility. The Schaeffer’s Oil Iron-Man Late Model Series race played out in front of a huge crowd on Monday evening.

Dale McDowell led Group A qualifying when he toured the 3/8 mile clay oval in 13.095 seconds to better the efforts of Cory Hedgecock, Colton Burdette, Nick Hoffman and Bobby Giffin.

Dustin Linville was quickest in Group B time-trials and overall with a lap of 12.985 seconds to beat out Dakotah Knuckles, Jason Hiett, Robby Moses and Zack Dohm.

Dale McDowell won the first heat race of the night by topping Colton Burdette, Ryan King and Jake Knowles while Cory Hedgecock took the second preliminary ahead of Nick Hoffman, Booger Brooks and Michael Chilton.

Jason Hiett was the victor in the third heat race over Dustin Linville, Zack Dohm and Kyle Hardy just before Scott James triumphed in the fourth and final heat when he beat out Donald McIntosh, Pearson Lee Williams and Bob Gardner.

David Crabtree and John Ownbey won the two B-main race used to set the remainder of the starting lineup for the main event.

Hedgecock wasted no time in jumping to the lead when the green flag waved over the 52-lap feature with Hiett, McDowell, James and McIntosh in his wake. On the third circuit, James took the third position away from McDowell as Hedgecock began to slip away from the competition.

By lap 7 the top-6 cars driven by Hedgecock, Hiett, James, McDowell, McIntosh and Burdette had left the rest of the field behind as they rode in single-file formation around the track.

A lap 9 caution slowed the pace of the race when Jensen Ford came to a stop on the track. A crash on the ensuing restart resulted in damage to the cars of King, Dohm and Joey Standridge.

When the racing action resumed, Burdette began his climb forward by passing McIntosh for fifth on lap 10. Moments later, McIntosh found himself embroiled in a battle with Hoffman and King for positions 6-8 that saw those car go three-wide. King appeared to have won that battle but just after taking the sixth spot, he spun to bring out a caution on lap 19.

Just after the green flag waved to restart the high speed action, Hiett, James and Burdette fought three-wide for second. Burdette was able to get by James for third and immediately began to pressure Hiett for the runner-up position.

Brooks went on the charge on lap 21 when he passed McDowell for fifth only to have the veteran racer return the favor one lap later. Brooks then regained the spot on lap 23. McDowell slowed and dropped from the race on lap 25.

Brooks moved up to challenge James for fourth on lap 30 but a yellow flag would wave to hinder that effort when McIntosh slowed on lap 33. Under that caution period Brooks would also retire from the feature. McIntosh’s slowing car almost doomed Hedgecock as he narrowly avoided hitting the prone machine.

On the race’s final restart, Burdette was able to pass by Hiett to claim second while Hardy moved into the top-5.

After a brief challenge from Burdette on lap 42, Hedgecock drove on to the win.

Feature Finish: 1. Cory Hedgecock, 2. Colton Burdette, 3. Jason Hiett, 4. Scott James, 5. Kyle Hardy, 6. Camaron Marlar, 7. David Crabtree, 8. Jake Knowles, 9. Pearson Lee Williams, 10. Bob Gardner, 11. Nick Hoffman, 12. Joey Standridge, 13. Donald McIntosh, 14. Michael Chilton, 15. Booger Brooks, 16. Ryan King, 17. Dale McDowell, 18. Zack Dohm, 19. John Ownbey, 20. Jensen Ford, 21. Robby Moses, 22. Dustin Linville

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