Randy Weaver slides to All-Star Crate win at Smoky Mountain

Randy Weaver used a slide to job to take the lead on lap 19

With race tracks finally being allowed to re-open around Tennessee, the American Crate All-Star Series went to the Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, TN to open its 2020 season. At the end of the night, it was veteran racer Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn. who made a mid-race move to grab the lead before going on to claim the $3,000 first prize.

The top-6 in qualifying would go to a dash race that would set the first three rows on the starting grid for the feature race.

Cory Hedgecock proved to be fastest in qualifying among the 41 entrants with a lap of 16.886 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval beating out Eli Beets, Randy Weaver, Trevor Sise, Jensen Ford and Michael Bland.

Justin Smith actually turned the fastest lap in qualifying but his time was disallowed when his car was deemed to be too light in tech inspection.

Hedgecock won the dash race ahead of Weaver, Beets, Ford, Sise and Bland.

Dillon Brown took the first heat race of the night over Adam Ahl and Cameron Weaver while Clay Coughlan scored the win in the second preliminary ahead of Nick Schalger and Zach Sise.

Jake Teague was the winner of the third heat as he beat out Brett Wyatt and Colton Proffitt just before Ross White was victorious in the fourth and final heat of the night with Terry Poore and Bradley Lewelling trailing.\

Drew Kennedy and Logan Roberson won the two B-main races used to set the remainder of the starting grid for the main event.

Weaver looks to the inside of Hedgecock

At the start of the 35-lap feature it was Hedgecock who shot to the early lead ahead of Weaver, Beets, Sise and Ford. Hedgecock quickly attempted to assert his dominance when he pulled away from the rest of the pack by almost a full straightaway by the fourth lap.

However, Weaver, using a higher line on the track began to reel the race leader in to the point that he was right on the rear spoiler of the No. 23 machine by lap 10. At that point, the top-5 of Hedgecock, Weaver, Beets, Sise and Ford had separated themselves from the rest of the field.

With Weaver looking to make a move to the outside of Hedgecock as the two cars raced down the backstretch, Hedgecock found himself pinned behind the slower car of Rusty Ballenger. Contact between the leader and Ballenger about to be lapped sent Ballenger spinning to bring out a caution.

After the restart, Weaver dogged Hedgecock for several laps by making moves to the outside. But on lap 19, the No, 116 car blasted into turns three and four on the inside then slid up the track in front of the Hedgecock car. Weaver was able to maintain the lead following the slide job.

Jake Teague(117) passing by Clay Coghlan to move up through the field

Over the closing laps, Weaver pulled out to a relatively comfortable margin while Sise, Ford and Teague battled for position just behind the lead duo.

In the end, it was Weaver who would sail under the checkered flag to collect the victory.

Feature Finish: 1. Randy Weaver, 2. Cory Hedgecock, 3. Eli Beets, 4. Trevor Sise, 5. Jake Teague, 6. Logan Roberson, 7. Ross White, 8. Dillon Brown, 9. Breatt Wyatt, 10. Nick Schlager, 11. Cameron Weaver, 12. Tyler Arrington, 13. Jensen Ford, 14. Colton Proffitt, 15. Terry Poore, 16. Clay Coughlan, 17. Bradley Lewelling, 18. Zach Sise, 19. Chris Chandler, 20. Adam Ahl, 21. Michael Bland, 22. Drew Kennedy, 23. Rusty Ballenger, 24. Aaron Guinn

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