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Cory Hedgecock Grabs Greenville Speedway's Rumble on the Gumbo Night 2 Victory
Greenville, MS - 2016 NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series National Champion Cory Hedgecock drove his Eagle Racing Engines/Cushman sponsored Rocket Chassis to victory lane on night 2 of the Rumble on the Gumbo Nationals at Greenville Speedway in Greenville, MS. Hedgecock's win capped a solid weekend performance as the Loudon, TN driver looks to defend his 2016 National Championship and leaves Greenville with the points lead after the first two events.
33 NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series competitors entered the evenings events which got started with Sunoco Race Fuels Group Qualifying. The top 4 qualifiers from both Group A and Group B would lock into the 50-lap main event. When the checkered fell on Group A it was Hedgecock who would set atop his group with a time of 16.320 while Group B would be topped by a local driver that has many laps around the gumbo-clay of Greenville, Duke Palasini, with a lap time of 16.257 seconds.
Two Knowles Race Parts and Bodies B-Mains would follow qualifying to set the remainder of the 24-car starting field. B-Main #1 win would go to Milton, FL driver Joseph Joiner in the Cole Services sponsored ride. Southaven, MS competitor Bubba Wilburn would drive his Jamie's Discount Muffler sponsored GRT Race Car to victory in B-Main #2.
With the 24-car starting field set, Hedgecock and Palasini would lead the stampeded to the green flag at the ultra-racy ¼ mile oval located at the Washington County Mississippi fairgrounds. The swarm would enter turn 1 of the first lap when the first of 3 caution flags would wave when several cars made contact leading to the 23 of Ahnna Parkhurst coming to a stop at the infield in turn 2. The field would quickly reassemble and race back to the green flag with drivers making quick moves to determine their preferred line around the speedway.
The racing action quickly escalated with drivers moving around the wide racing surface at will, and positions being swapped throughout the field. Hedgecock had used the early racing action to establish a sizable lead on drivers who were racing for position behind him. The second caution period of the race would come on lap 13 for a spin by Michael Blount in turn 2. After the quick caution period competitors quckly got back to business with more elbows up racing action.
While Hedgecock had established a multi car length lead again, 11th starting Brandon Williams had his B&R Kustoms CVR Race Car moving forward through the field using an extremely low line around the speedway to pick off competitors in his march towards the front. As the laps began to wind down 9th starting Joseph Joiner and Williams were in a heated battle for the second position. With the battle for second allowing Hedgecock to seemingly cruise towards the end of the race the yellow lights would light up for the final time on lap 48 for Hunter Lewis' #7 machine in turn 3 setting up a 2-lap dash to the finish.
Hedgecock used his leader position to get a good restart, but Williams was not going down without a fight. He was able to clear Joiner as the white flag waved. Hedgecock kept his distance as Williams used a power slide move in turn 2 to try and make up the margin. With one more corner to make a charge at race-long leader Hedgecock, Williams utilized his ultra low line to try and reel him in but Hedgecock would prove too much as he flashed under the Sunoco Race Fuels checkered flag 0.764 seconds ahead of Williams.
The NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series takes a short break after the season opening trip to Greenville, but action will return for competitors on Friday and Saturday May 5th and 6th for a Double Header Weekend at "The Hornet's Nest" - Talladega Short Track. Friday May 5th will be a 40-lap, $2,000 to win event which will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of racing at TST, followed by a 50-lap, $2,500 to win race on Saturday night May 6th. The race weekend coincides with the NASCAR festivities that take place across Speedway Boulevard at the Talladega Super Speedway. For more information visit Talladega Short Track's official website at www.TalladegaShortTrack.com or call the speedway at 256-831-1413.
For more information about the NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series, please visit the official website at www.nesmithracing.com.
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NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC is the Official Title Sponsor of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series.
Contingency Sponsors Include: Crate Insider.com, AR Bodies, FreeStyle Graphix, and Knowles Racing Parts and Bodies.
2017 Chassis Sponsors are Trak-Star Race Cars, Warrior Race Cars, Rocket Chassis, GRT Race Cars, and CVR Race Cars.