HEDGECOCK SWEEPS NeSMITH LATE MODEL SEASON OPENER AT HOME TRACK

hedgecockVLi75040816SWEETWATER, TN – Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, TN swept the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series season opener on Friday night at I-75 Raceway driving the Eagle Racing Engines Rocket. Hedgecock was the fast qualifier with a new track record, and then led all 40 lap of the main event to capture his first career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series victory.

“It feels good to finally win one of these NeSmith Late Model races and to do it here close to home is even more special,” Hedgecock said. “We’ve led a lot of laps in these races, but we could never get the win. This is how you like to win races by setting fast time and then leading all of the laps.”

Riley Hickman of Cleveland, TN finished second in the Hickman Manufacturing CVR, and John Ownbey of Cleveland, TN took the third spot in the Sam’s Restaurant Equipment Special. Richie Stephens of Smith Station, AL was the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Race after a fourth-place effort driving the K&J Trucking Special.

Chase Edge of LaFayette, AL drove the Edge’s Gas Company Special to a fifth-place finish, and Scott Dedwylder of Vossburg, MS was sixth in the Scott’s Body Shop Special. Donald McIntosh of Dawsonville, GA finished seventh in the Billy Kennedy CVR, and Brandon Williams of Crossville, TN took the eighth spot in the Autozone CVR.

Jeremy Shaw of Millport, AL started 21st in the Summit Resources Trak-Star and finished ninth to earn the Beyea Headers Hard Charger of the Race Award. Jason Manley of Loudon, TN rounded out the Top 10 in the Mighty Muffler and Brake CVR.

The top nine qualifiers broke the track record of 13.552 seconds set last season by Matt Henderson of Loudon, TN. Hedgecock took Fast Time honors with a lap around I-75 Raceway in 13.302 seconds for a new track record. In other preliminary action, the two ten-lap B-Main Races were won by Anthony White of Clinton, TN in the Stone Plus Special and Williams.

Hedgecock took the lead at the drop of the green flag followed by Hickman, Henderson, Edge and Ownbey. On lap two, Henderson tried to drive his Rebel Diesel Duayne Hommel Tribute Rocket to the inside of Hickman to challenge for the second spot in turn three. The two cars got together and spun, triggering a multi-car pile-up and bringing out the first of five caution flags.

Henderson was ticketed with the caution flag and had to go to the rear of the field for the Dixie-Style Double-File Restart. The field went back to green flag action, but not for long, as the defending and three-time NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN cut down a left-rear tire on lap four.

On the restart, Adam Gauldin of Talladega, AL spun his Adam Gauldin Racing GRT out of the eighth spot in turn two. Michael Blount of Sumrall, MS cut down a left-front tire on lap five to bring out the fourth caution flag. Hedgecock had Hickman, Edge, Ownbey, Stephens, Dedwylder, Ross White of Knoxville, TN in the R.T. Clapp Professional Car Care Special, Williams, McIntosh and Shaw doubled up behind him for the restart.

When the green flag came back out, Edge, Ownbey and Stephens broke out three wide in turn two to battle for the third spot. By the time they got back to the start/finish line, Stephens held the third spot with Ownbey in fourth, and Edge fell back to the fifth spot.

Hedgecock reached the cars on the tail of the lead lap by the 12th lap, and Hickman began to chip away at the leader’s 12 car-length advantage. With Hickman on his rear bumper, Hedgecock got a break when the fifth and final caution flag came out on lap 27 with Gauldin stalled on the high side of turn two.

Track conditions led NeSmith Late Model officials to call for a single-file restart with Hedgecock leading Hickman, Stephens, Ownbey, Edge, Dedwylder, McIntosh, Williams, Shaw and Manley. On the restart, Ownbey got to the inside of Stephens in turn three, and he then drove under the Rocketman coming off the fourth turn to take the third spot.

Hedgecock once again encountered lapped traffic on lap 35 and Hickman closed in and looked like he was going to make it a hard fought battle to the checkered flag. Hedgecock was up to the challenge, as he was able to put a lapped car between himself and Hickman with three laps to go. That move sealed the deal for Hedgecock as he took the checkered flag with a 1.532 second margin of victory.

The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series returns to I-75 Raceway on Saturday night for Round 2 of the 2016 season with a $2,500-to-win 50-lap main event.

For more information and rules about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at www.nesmithracing.com, or visit the series on Facebook at NeSmith Racing. Becoming a fan of the NeSmith Racing Facebook page will make you eligible for special prizes that will be given away each month. You can follow us on Twitter @NeSmithRacing.

OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 1 AT I-75 RACEWAY IN SWEETWATER, TN ON 4/8/16:

POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON
1. 1 23 Cory Hedgecock Loudon, TN 40 $2,000
2. 2 R1 Riley Hickman Cleveland, TN 40 $1,000
3. 7 J0 John Ownbey Cleveland, TN 40 $700
4. 3 00 Richie Stephens (R) Smith Station, AL 40 $550
5. 4 18 Chase Edge LaFayette, AL 40 $500
6. 10 33 Scott Dedwylder Vossburg, MS 40 $425
7. 13 K37 Donald McIntosh Dawsonville, GA 40 $375
8. 12 95 Brandon Williams (R) Crossville, TN 40 $350
9. 21 1s Jeremy Shaw Millport, AL 40 $325
10. 8 32 Jason Manley Loudon, TN 40 $300
11. 5 H2 Matt Henderson Loudon, TN 40 $275
12. 23 25 Justin McRee Woodstock, AL 40 $250
13. 20 32h Greg Huskey Knoxville, TN 40 $225
14. 22 19 Marcus Minga Shannon, MS 40 $200
15. 14 15 Jason Britton (R) Alexander City, AL 39 $175
16. 19 00m Ruben Mayfield Lenoir City, TN 39 $150
17. 24 121 Michael Blount Sumrall, MS 38 $140
18. 17 5 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN 38 $125
19. 15 30 Ryan King Seymour, TN 37 $125
20. 6 0 Ross White Knoxville, TN 25 $125
21. 9 17 Adam Gauldin (R) Talladega, AL 25 $125
22. 16 22 Will Roland (Y) Jasper, GA 3 $125
23. 18 10 Matthew Turner Dawsonville, GA 3 $125
24. 11 2x Anthony White Clinton, TN 1 $125

ENTRIES: 27
FAST QUALIFIER: Hedgecock, 13.302 Seconds (New Track Record)
PROVISIONALS: McRee and Blount
LEAD CHANGES: None
LAPS LED: Hedgecock, 1-40
BEYEA HEADERS HARD CHARGER OF THE RACE: Shaw (started 21st and finished 9th)
SUNOCO YOUNG GUN OF THE RACE: Roland
CRUISE WITH THE CHAMPIONS ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Stephens
CAUTIONS: 5
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.532 Seconds
TIME OF THE RACE: 39 Minutes and 47.668 Seconds
NEXT RACE: April 9, I-75 Raceway, Sweetwater, TN, 50-laps $2,500-to-win

QUALIFYING (Top 10 Transfer To Main Event):

POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS 1ST LAP 2ND LAP TIME
1 23 Cory Hedgecock Loudon, TN Rocket 13.524 13.302 13.302
2 R1 Riley Hickman Cleveland, TN CVR 13.388 13.376 13.376
3 00 Richie Stephens – R Smith Station, AL Scorpion 13.400 13.602 13.400
4 18 Chase Edge LaFayette, AL Mastersbilt 13.418 13.504 13.418
5 H2 Matt Henderson Loudon, TN Rocket 13.439 13.620 13.439
6 0 Ross White Knoxville, TN Mastersbilt 13.575 13.487 13.487
7 J0 John Ownbey Cleveland, TN Longhorn 13.523 13.493 13.493
8 32 Jason Manley Loudon, TN CVR 13.550 13.510 13.510
9 17 Adam Gauldin – R Talladega, AL GRT 13.520 13.534 13.520
10 33 Scott Dedwylder Vossburg, MS Capital 13.560 13.558 13.558
11 2x Anthony White Clinton, TN Longhorn 13.576 13.606 13.576
12 95 Brandon Williams – R Crossville, TN CVR 13.783 13.580 13.580
13 00m Rubin Mayfield Lenoir City, TN CVR 13.598 13.849 13.598
14 19 Marcus Minga Shannon, MS Rocket 13.823 13.638 13.638
15 37k Donald McIntosh Dawsonville, GA CVR 13.954 13.649 13.649
16 15 Jason Britton – R Alexander City, AL Pierce 13.855 13.700 13.700
17 9 Heath Hindman Signal Mountain, TN Mastersbilt 13.774 13.794 13.774
18 22 Will Roland – Y Jasper, GA Warrior 13.799 14.050 13.799
19 30 Ryan King Seymour, TN Stinger 13.825 13.937 13.825
20 10 Matthew Turner Dawsonville, GA Turner 14.457 13.833 13.833
21 5 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN Trak-Star 14.635 13.851 13.851
22 32h Greg Huskey Knoxville, TN Pierce 13.882 14.235 13.882
23 24 Barry Goodman Spring City, TN Rocket 13.914 14.268 13.914
24 29 Rusty Ballenger Sevierville, TN Mastersbilt 14.053 13.944 13.944
25 25 Justin McRee Woodstock, AL HRRC 14.147 13.948 13.948
26 121 Michael Blount Sumrall, MS HRRC 14.198 14.734 14.198
27 1s Jeremy Shaw Millport, AL Trak-Star 14.287 14.459 14.287

B-MAINS (10 Laps – Top 6 Transfer To Main Event):

1ST B-MAIN: 1. A. White; 2. McIntosh; 3. King; 4. Johnson; 5. Mayfield; 6. Shaw; 7. Goodman; 8. Hindman; 9. McRee.

2ND B-MAIN: 1. Williams (R); 2. Britton (R); 3. Roland (Y); 4. Turner; 5. Huskey; 6. Minga; 7. Blount; 8. Ballenger.

NeSMITH CHEVROLET DIRT LATE MODEL SERIES POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 4/8/16:

1. 23 Cory Hedgecock – 100
2. R1 Riley Hickman – 96
3. J0 John Ownbey – 94
4. 00 Richie Stephens (R) – 92
5. 18 Chase Edge – 90
6. 33 Scott Dedwylder – 88
7. K37 Donald McIntosh – 86
8. 95 Brandon Williams (R) – 84
9. 1s Jeremy Shaw – 82
10. 32 Jason Manley – 80
11. H2 Matt Henderson – 78
12. 25 Justin McRee – 76
13. 32h Greg Huskey – 74
14. 19 Marcus Minga – 72
15. 15 Jason Britton (R) – 70
16. 00m Ruben Mayfield – 68
17. 121 Michael Blount – 66
18. 5 Ronnie Johnson – 64
19. 30 Ryan King – 62
20. 0 Ross White – 60

R – Denotes Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Year Candidate

Y – Denotes Sunoco Young Guns Challenge Series Driver
NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC of Claxton, GA is the Title Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC is the nation’s number one GM Powertrain and Performance Dealer six years running, with free delivery anywhere in the Southeast. Chevrolet Performance Parts is an Official Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. Hoosier Racing Tire is the Official Tire Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. RockAuto.com is an Official Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. Beyea Headers is the NeSmith Late Model Hard Charger Sponsor. Sunoco Race Fuels is the Official Race Fuel of the NeSmith Late Models. Panama City Cycles is the Official ATV Provider of the NeSmith Late Models. AR Bodies is an Associate Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. NeSmith Late Model Contingency Sponsors for 2016 are CrateInsider.Com, Integra Racing Shocks, Image Screen Printing, and Gresham Race Parts. 201 Chassis Sponsors are Trak-Star Race Cars, Warrior Race Cars, Rocket Chassis, GRT Race Cars, and CVR Race Cars.

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