Cory Hedgecock muscles way to Crate Late Model victory at Volunteer

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Cory Hedgecock

Along with the Spring Nationals race for Super Late Models, Volunteer Speedway also staged racing in its regular classes on Saturday night as part of the Scott Sexton Memorial. The Crate Late Model feature proved to be a wild one as numerous incidents added to the drama and rising tempers at the Bulls Gap, TN facility. In the end, it was Cory Hedgecock who came away from the track with a win that allotted him a $1,500 payday.

Trevor Sise set the pace in qualifying for the class by turning in a lap of 13.324 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval. Track officials made the decision to lock the top-16 into the feature so Josh Henry, Jesse Lowe, Cory Hedgecock, Greg Martin, Rusty Ballenger, Adam Tollivar, Kyle Courtney, Taran Hurst and Ruben Mayfield rounded out the top-10 on the starting grid.

Sise went straight to the lead at the start of the 30-lap feature with Henry, Lowe, Ballenger, Hedgecock and Courtney trailing. Hedgecock attempted to move forward early as he began working on Ballenger for fourth on the third lap. One lap later, Henry moved in and began to harass Sise for the lead of the race.

On lap 6, Henry executed a slide pass on Sise to take the lead only to see Sise retake the top spot with a crossover move coming off of turn 2. The lead swapping battle continued over the next couple of laps until the leaders found themselves among slower traffic.

The top-5 of Sise, Henry, Lowe, Ballenger and Hedgecock then ran in tight formation until the first caution of the event came out on lap 17. After having had a racy but relatively calm first half, the race took a dramatic turn.

On the ensuing restart, Sise broke away from the pack while Henry, Lowe and Hedgecock raced three-wide for the runner-up spot. The result of that hard racing was Henry being pushed into the outside wall on the backstretch on lap 18.

One lap after that restart, Hedgecock made an aggressive passing move on the inside of turn one and resulted in some contact and Hedgecock emerging from turn two with the lead.

A slower car spun on lap 23 and collected Ballenger, inflicting heavy damage to the right rear of that machine. After multiple issues as they tried to get the race back to green flag conditions, officials eventually decided to stop the affair after 23 laps.

Cory Hedgecock won over Trevor Sise, Jesse Lowe, Brandon Williams, Gary Crittenden, Adam Tollivar, John Llewellyn and Jeff Maupin.

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