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Hedgecock, Welshan, Sise, Blanken, Merritt, Driskill capture Volunteer Speedway victories
Cory Hedgecock of Loudon captured the Steel Head Late Model victory, while Jason Welshan of Maryville recorded the Crate Late Model win, with Zach Sise of Knoxville bringing home the Sportsman Late Model victory.
Gary Blanken of Russellville captured the Modified Street victory, while Lee Merritt of Knoxville recorded the Classic win, with Josh Driskill of Newport taking the 602 Street Stock victory.
Austin Neely was fastest in Steel Head Late Model qualifying at 13.061 seconds to earn the pole starting position for 30-lap feature. Following two failed attempts to get the race under green, the third time proved to be the charm as Cory Hedgecock rocketed ahead of Neely racing off the second corner down the backstretch to take a lead he would never relinquish.
Hedgecock was setting a blistering pace out front as he stretched his lead over Neely, Barrett Lowe, Gary Crittenden and Greg Estes to almost a full-straightaway with 10 laps remaining. Caution waved on lap 18 when Josh Henry’s car began smoking and dropped fluid on the track.
Off the ensuing double-file restart Hedgecock once again flexed his muscle out front while behind him Lowe was getting past Neely into second place. Lowe got up-on-the-wheel and set chase after Hedgecock, and with a couple of laps to go he closed to within three car lengths. But Hedgecock was not going to be denied his second straight Steel Head Late Model victory as he beat Lowe, Neely, Crittenden and Estes.
Trevor Sise was fastest in Crate Late Model qualifying at 13.527 seconds to capture the pole starting spot, with Bobby Mays timing-in at 13.611 to start alongside Sise on the front row of the 25-lap feature.
Sise jumped out to the lead on the opening lap between turns one and two over Jensen Ford, Jason Welshan, Bobby Mays and Tim Byrd. But Sise’s race quickly ended on the second lap when he slowed to a stop high in the fourth turn with steering issues to bring the caution out.
Off the double-file restart Ford led Welshan and Mays, and the scenario was fixing to quickly turn out bad for Mays. Racing off into the third turn, Mays got sideways when he ran through fluid dropped on the track from Ford’s car. Mays was hit by Jordon Horton, Byrd and others which in turn caused Mays’ car to flip and necessitate the red flag be thrown for emergency personnel and track officials to quickly get to the accident scene. To cheers from the crowd Mays was able to climb from his badly damaged car.
While action was stopped for Mays wreck, Ford brought his car into the turn four pit opening and called it a night with a broken fan blade. Going back green Welshan was showing the way out front over Rusty Ballenger, Byrd, Jesse Lowe and Andy Ogle.
Welshan and Ballenger began pulling away from the field, but the action behind them between Byrd, Lowe, Ogle, John Llewellyn, Chris Chandler, Cory Hedgecock, Jody Horton, Jerry Green and Gary Crittenden was worth price of admission as they battled for position.
With five laps remaining Ballenger was glued to back bumper of leader Welshan, but the leader was not about to open the door to allow Ballenger to get around him. Welshan recorded his first win of the season over Ballenger, Byrd, Lowe and Hedgecock.
Zach Sise was quickest in Sportsman Late Model qualifying at 13.650 seconds, and on the start he shot out into the lead over Jed Emert, Heath Alvey, Brad Seagle and Vic Chandler. Racing into the first turn on lap 7, Dale Ball went to the inside of Chandler to take fourth spot.
Both Emert and Seagle dropped out early with mechanical issues, and Ball’s strong run ended on lap 11 when he slowed high in the banking between turns three and four to bring the caution out. Off the double-file restart Sise and Alvey began to put real estate between themselves and closest challengers.
With two laps remaining the front-running duo caught tail of the field to lap some slower cars, and the 18-year-old Sise worked the traffic with precise moves of a veteran chauffeur to hold Alvey off for his first win of the season. However, in post-race technical inspection Alvey’s car weighed light at the scales and he was disqualified. … Finishing behind Sise were Jesse Helton, Brandon Miller, Chandler and Nicholas Shelton.
Brad Davis grabbed lead at start of the Modified Street feature over Wayne Rader, Shannon Emery, Gary Blanken and Nick Presley. Rader dropped out early on lap 7 while pressuring Davis up front, but the ultimate heartbreak was for race-long leader Davis when the left-front suspension broke on his car between turns three and four just two laps from the finish. … That opened the door for Blanken to capture his third win of the season over Emery, Presley, Dustin Ratliff and Rocky Ogle.
Lee Merritt cruised to his fourth Classic win of the season over Tony Trent, Eli Keck, Chris Worsham and Josh Chesney. Shaun Sise and Tom Juhl Jr. crossed the start-finish line second and third, respectively, but each protested one another and the final outcome was both cars failed post-race technical inspection, thus they were disqualified.
Josh Driskill outran Wendell Williams, Shawn Henry and Daniel Reese to win the 602 Street Stock race.
STEEL HEAD LATE MODEL (25 laps)
1. Cory Hedgecock #23
Did Not Start: David Crabtree #C5, Dale Reed #52, Steve Pierce #57
CRATE LATE MODEL (25 laps)
Did Not Start: Josh Henry #B00, Justin Smith #7
SPORTSMAN LATE MODEL (20 laps)
1. Zach Sise #9
Did Not Start: Chris Coffey #97
MODIFIED STREET (20 laps)
1. Gary Blanken #05
Did Not Start: David Clark #13, Landon Steele #18
CLASSIC (20 laps)
602 STREET STOCK (12 laps)
Volunteer Speedway (Recording Only): 423-235-5020 www.VolunteerSpeedway.com