SEYMOUR, Tenn. — After starting on the pole of a heat race but failing to win it Friday at 411 Motor Speedway, Cory Hedgecock knew he let a golden opportunity to start up front slip away.
"I know I kind of got behind there in the heat and everything," the 28-year-old Loudon, Tenn., driver said, "and I told Dad, 'We're going to win this thing somehow.' "
Rallying from his seventh starting spot in the 53-lap Schaeffer's Southern Nationals feature, the inside-running Hedgecock raced to the front, overtaking polesitter Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., on the 14th lap and dominating the rest of the way for his third career series victory. He took the checkers 4.127 seconds ahead of ninth-starting Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn., in becoming the eighth winner in eight miniseries races.
Behind Weaver, Pierce McCarter of Knoxville, Tenn., overcame a poor start to grab the last podium spot while series points leader Donald McIntosh of Dawsonville, Ga, finished fourth after challenging Bailes for the lead on the high side early. Cody Overton of Evans, Ga., rounded out the top five.
Bailes, who led the first 13 laps and was seeking his second series victory, ended up seventh.
"Man, I'm just glad we've finally got us another Super (Late Model) win. It's been a long time," Hedgecock said in victory lane. "We've worked our ass off on this new car, a Black Diamond. Ronnie Stuckey, (Anthony) Burroughs, B.J. Robinson, man, just everybody (from Stuckey Enterprises) that's helped on this car. It's a brand new Eagle powerplant and everything, and it drove real smooth."
Hedgecock added: "Dad was giving me some good signals and everything. I just kept looking up to that (lap counter) and I'd run a couple of laps, and it felt like 10. It's just been a long time, man. It feels like it's our first one again. I'm tickled to death, $10,000 definitely helps the race team."
Weaver, like Hedgecock, wished he'd have started closer to the front.
"I'm sure Cory's dad was giving him good signals, and when you can get to the front like that quick and set the pace, it's a lot easier. But hat's off to them. I know I've lucked up and beat him here a couple of times, and he definitely gave it back to us tonight," said Weaver, a series winner at Rome (Ga.) Speedway. "I just dug us a hole qualifying, starting ninth and having to get our way up through there. It's just part of the program, you know? I'm not one of them guys who said we needed a caution or need whatever. I just should've done a better job early tonight."
McCarter lined up third, but a poor start dropped him as far back as seventh before he started heading forward in the race's final 20 laps.
"I stepped on my you know what on that first lap. I thought I took Cory out. I thought I took the whole field out, really," McCarter said. "I needed to step on the gas pedal instead of the brake, I guess. We fell back there and we came back through pretty good. We had a great car. Congrats to Cory. He's good around this place. Man, any time he can jump out front like that, he's tough to (catch)."
The race's lone slowdown came on Ryan King's spin on the initial start and 10 of 24 starters completed 53 laps.
The final points race of the series is scheduled for Saturday at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway with another $10,053-to-win race while Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn., wraps up the tour with a non-points makeup event Sunday paying $4,053-to-win.
Row 1: Ross Bailes, Donald McIntosh
Row 2: Pierce McCarter, Cody Overton
Row 3: Ryan King, Jensen Ford
Row 4: Cory Hedgecock, Mack McCarter
Row 5: Randy Weaver, Sam Seawright
Row 6: Dale McDowell, Crabtree
Row 7: Michael Chilton, Dalton Cook
Row 8: Vic Hill, Garrett Smith
Row 9: Heath Hindman, David Payne
Row 10: Dalton Polston, Stacy Boles
Row 11: Kenny Collins, Jeff Neubert
Row 12: Benjamin Cranford, Ahnna Parkhurst
First consolation (top two transfer): Heath Hindman, Dalton Polston, Clay Coghlan, Benjamin Cranford, Kenny Collins, Jeff Neubert, Ryan Winchester. DNS: Kyle Strickler, Robby Moses.
Second consolation (top two transfer): David Payne, Stacy Boles, Ahnna Parkhurst, Dusty Carver, Mitchell Burke, Craig Greer. DNS: Dakota Smith.
(12 laps; top two transfer)
Row 1: Clay Coghlan, Heath Hindman
Row 2: Benjamin Cranford, Dalton Polston
Row 3: Jeff Neubert, Kenny Collins
Row 4: Kyle Strickler, Ryan Winchester
Row 5: Robby Moses
Row 1: David Payne, Stacy Boles
Row 2: Jed Emert, Dusty Carver
Row 3: Ahnna Parkhurst, Mitchell Burke
Row 4: Craig Greer, Steve Smith
Row 5: Dakota Smith
Heat race results
First heat (top four transfer): Ross Bailes, Ryan King, Randy Weaver, Michael Chilton, Clay Coghlan, Benjamin Cranford, Jeff Neubert, Kyle Strickler. DNS: Robby Moses.
Second heat (top four transfer): Pierce McCarter, Cory Hedgecock, Dale McDowell, Vic HIl, Heath Hindman, Dalton Polston, Kenny Collins, Ryan Winchester.
Third heat (top four transfer): Donald McIntosh, Jensen Ford, Sam Seawright, Dalton Cook, David Payne, Jed Emert, Ahnna Parkhurst, Craig Greer, Dakota Smith.
Fourth heat (top four transfer): Cody Overton, Mack McCarter, David Crabtree, Garrett Smith, Stacy Boles, Dusty Carver, Mitchell Burke. DNS: Steve Smith.
Friday’s action at 411 Motor Speedway is under a brief delay as track officials work to repair a section of the turn-four fence after a 602 Late Model climbed the wall during hot lap/qualifying. No injuries were reported.
Heat race lineups
(10 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Ryan King, Robby Moses
Row 2: Michael Chilton, Ross Bailes
Row 3: Randy Weaver, Kyle Strickler
Row 4: Clay Coghlan, Jeff Neubert
Row 5: Benjamin Cranford
Row 1: Cory Hedgecock, Pierce McCarter
Row 2: Dale McDowell, Kenny Collins
Row 3: Dalton Polston, Vic Hill
Row 4: Heath Hindman, Ryan Winchester
Row 1: Jensen Ford, Sam Seawright
Row 2: Donald McIntosh, Dalton Cook
Row 3: David Payne, Ahnna Parkhurst
Row 4: Jed Emert, Craig Greer
Row 5: Dakota Smith
Row 1: David Crabtree, Mack McCarter
Row 2: Garrett Smith, Cody Overton
Row 3: Stacy Boles, Dusty Carver
Row 4: Steve Smith, Mitchell Burke
Time trial results
Driver (car no.), hometown, time (unofficial)
Ryan King (1G), Seymour, Tenn., 14.025
Cory Hedgecock (23), Loudon, Tenn., 14.036
Robby Moses (21M), Maryville, Tenn., 14.057
Pierce McCarter (71), Knoxville, Tenn., 14.130
Michael Chilton (97), Salvisa, Ky., 14.160
Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 14.203
Ross Bailes (79), Clover, S.C., 14.245
Kenny Collins (1c), Colbert, Ga., 14.256
Randy Weaver (85), Crossville, Tenn., 14.314
Dalton Polston (00), Douglasville, Ga., 14.329
Vic Hill (1), Mosheim, Tenn., 14.363
Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 14.363
Clay Coghlan (6), Pigeon Forge, Tenn., 14.423
Heath Hindman (91), Signal Mountain, Tenn., 14.480
Jeff Neubert (86), Knoxville, Tenn., 14.509
Ryan Winchester (51w), Heiskell, Tenn., 14.521
Benjamin Cranford (93), Thomson, Ga., 14.610
Jensen Ford (83), Johnson City, Tenn., 14.052
David Crabtree (C5), Maryville, Tenn., 14.130
Sam Seawright (16), Rainsville, Ala., 14.158
Mack McCarter (51), Knoxville, Tenn., 14.205
Donald McIntosh (4T), Dawsonville, Ga., 14.286
Garrett Smith (10), Eatonton, Ga., 14.297
Dalton Cook (44D), Columbus, Ga., 14.328
Cody Overton (2), Evans, Ga., 14.457
David Payne (8), Murphy, N.C.,14.498
Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 14.499
Ahnna Parkhurst (23), Evans, Ga., 14.516
Dusty Carver (9), Englewood, Tenn., 14.561
Jed Emert (51), Maryville, Tenn., 15.023
Steve Smith (3), Powell, Tenn., 15.183
Craig Greer (7G), Cleveland, Tenn., 15.267
Mitchell Burke (54), Tazewell, Tenn., 15.335
Dakota Smith (3D), Powell, Tenn., 16.222
3 p.m.: Pit gates open
5 p.m.: Grandstands open
6:15. p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
7 p.m.: Competition begins
- Super Late Model hot laps
- Classic hot lap/qualifying
- Sportsman hot lap/qualifying
- B-hobby hot lap/qualifying
- Super Late Model qualifying
- 602 Late Models hot lap/qualifying
- Front-wheel drive hot lap/qualifying
- Super Late Model heats
- Classic feature (20 laps)
- Super Late Model consolations
- Sportsman feature (20 laps)
- B-hobby feature (20 laps)
- Super Late Model feature (53 laps)
- 602 Late Model feature (20 laps)
- Front-wheel drive feature (20 laps)