Cardwell scores SteelHead Nationals victory

Over 100 of the best drivers around filled the pit area of Tennessee’s action track for the 8th annual Steelhead Nationals. The excitement was building all week long in anticipation for what is always a great event and it didn’t disappoint.Greg Estes picked up the win earlier in the season in the Fall Brawl event earning himself $2,000. Tonight he would start his #31 machine on the pole alongside long time East Tennessee racer Shannon Emery. Estes took the lead when the green waved with Emery hot on his heels. A spin by Robby Buchanan brought out the early caution after just one lap. The night would end early for Jeff McLemore as he slowed on lap 4 and didn’t return to the race. Tazewell Speedway regular Tony Horton also had issues as he spun on lap 5 collecting the #11 of Tracy Wolfe. Once the race finally got going Estes began to stretch out his lead over Emery. A little further back Brad Davis and Gary Blanken battled for a spot inside the top 5. Jonathan Sims, who started in the second half of the field began to move up and by the half way point of the event was just outside the top 5. The battle for second heated up as Eddie Stewart looked inside Shannon Emery for position in the closing laps. Up front it was all Greg Estes as he scored another big win in the 2014 season.

1: #31 Greg Estes
2: #M2 Shannon Emery
3: #36 Chris Rickett
4: #88 Brad Davis
5: #30 Jonathan Sims
6: #5 Gary Blanken
7: #3 Michael Boyd
8: #31 Brady Lee
9: #00 Charles Devine
10: #56 Tony Horton
11: #P21 Robby Buchanan
12: #37 Shane Taylor
13: #119 Eddie Stewart
14: #27 Charlie Bates
15: #10 Dave Smith
16: #27 Dwayne Fox
17: #0z Jon Cook
18: #11 Tracy Wolfe
19: #J3 Jeff McLemore
20: #51 Pete Wright
DNS: #11 Dale Watson
DNS: #155 Eric Griffith
DNS: #5 Tony Simonic
DNS: Nick Barnard

Coming off a runner up finish last week, Rex Coffey set fast time in qualifying earning the pole position. The 2014 Sportsman Track Champion Wayne Rader would accompany him on the front row for the 25 lap feature. Trouble would find Anthony Burchett and Adam Mitchell early as they both had issues before a single lap was completed. Terry Poore, the 2014 Sportsman points runner up began picking off spots and moved into the 4th spot early on. Also on the move was Clyde Stanton in his 11c machine as he moved into the top 3 in chase of Coffey and Rader. A caution on lap 6 erased the gap Coffey had built up, putting Rader on his bumper. Justin Beeler took a look inside of Stanton several times trying to move into the top 4. Up front Coffey began to hit lap traffic allowing Rader to close in on him. Coffey worked his way through the slower traffic with precision and held on to pick up the victory.

1: #3 Rex Coffey
2: #01 Wayne Rader
3: #c11 Clyde Stanton
4: #2 Terry Poore
5: #12 Eric Register
6: #66 Justin Beeler
7: #14 David Kerr
8: #15 Wade Howerton
9: #14 Lee Merritt
10: #11 Kip Sawyer
11: #4M Jason Mullen
12: #42 Tony Lindsay
13: #74 Freddy Hillard
14: #41 Shorty Ledford
15: #69 David Macklin
16: #18 Anthony Burchett
17: #10 Adam Mitchell

Up next was the 50 lap 8th annual Steelhead Nationals. Cory Hedgecock and Jason Welshan lead the pack into the first turn as the green waved. It wouldn’t last long as Hedgecock spun in turn 4 collecting Brian Courtney, Ross White and Jason Trammell. Since a lap hadn’t been completed Hedgecock would get his spot back at the head of the field. Welshan picked up where he left off last time out and jumped to the lead over Hedgecock. By lap 7 Welshan had pulled out to a nice lead and looked to have the race in hand until a caution on lap 7 bunched the field back up. Hedgecock who had slipped back on the start of the race began to regain spots as he moved past Billy Ogle and into the number three spot. Jason Trammel saw his night come to an end on lap 18 as he retired from the event. Hedgecock had clearly found his groove and powered past Jason Cardwell into the runner up spot on lap 25. After a quick caution Hedgecock dove to the inside of the leader in turn 3 bringing the crowd to their feet. Lap after lap Hedgecock got a great run off the exit of turn number two and stormed to the back bumper of Welshan. The two thrilled the crowd as they waged war on one another for the top spot. Finally on lap 43 the tension boiled over as the two collided in turn number 4 sending Hedgecock hard into the outside wall and Welshan into the pits. With the two leaders now done for the night, the lead fell into the hands of Jason Cardwell who held off Billy Ogle to pick up the big win.

1: #07 Jason Cardwell
2: #66 Billy Ogle
3: #24 Greg Martin
4: #39 Eddie King JR
5: #97 Bobby Giffin
6: #0 Ross White
7: #B00 Josh Henry
8: #83 Jensen Ford
9: #00 Ruben Mayfield
10: #32 Jason Manley
11: #3 Steve Smith
12: #29 Jason Welshan
13: #23 Cory Hedgecock
14: #31 Greg Estes
15: #30 Ryan King
16: #2 Anthony White
17: #29 Rusty Ballenger
18: #71 Brian Courtney
19: #90J Jason Trammell
20: #12 Greg Huskey
DNS: #97 Keith Chapman
DNS #44 Chase King

John Byers used his number one starting spot to take the lead early on in the Mini Stock feature. Jason Gregory gave chase of Byers just ahead of the 2014 Mini Stock Track Champion Michael Courtney. However trouble would find Gregory as he spun his #21 machine while running in the second spot. Randy Powell showed his strength by taking the the 4th spot away on lap 6. Byers and Courtney had pulled away from the pack up front until a caution on lap 8. John Byers would hold on to win the feature.

1: #J7 John Byers
2: #41 Michael Courtney
3: #171 Kyle Courtney
4: #88 Randy Powell
5: #BA2 Bryant Idles
6: #7 Robert Burris
7: #25 Joe Myers
8: #21 Jason Gregory
9: #08 Chris Griffin
10: #9 Chris Johnston
11: #726 James Sharp
12: #18 William Talent
13: #18 Eric Webber
14: #01 Anthony Dixon
15: #21 Danny Pennington
16: #2 Todd Jones
17: #29 Mike Townsend
18: #322 Fireball Roberts
19: #17 Tyler Haynes
20: #7 Alex Squires

Philip Thompson picked up the win earlier in the year in the first Classic race at 411 Motor Speedway in the 2014 season. Tonight, would be no different. He put his #24 on the pole by winning his heat race and rocketed away from the other competitors. The night would go south quickly for Eli Keck after he slowed on the track bringing out the caution. Bart Baxter put on a show for the crowd as he picked off his fellow drivers one by one. After several laps he had moved himself into the 3rd spot just behind the race leaders. He wasn’t done just yet as he took over the runner up spot a few laps later. Robby Sands moved into the 3rd spot just behind Thompson and Baxter. When the checkered flag waved Thompson had built over a half track lead and scored another victory.

1: #24 Philip Thompson
2: #7 Bart Baxter
3: #5 Robby Sands
4: #7B Joe Keck
5: #99 Justin Overton
6: #34 Philip Shockley
7: #2 Chris Evans
8: #07A Adam Pressley
9: #Eli Keck
10:#07 Bobby Pressley
DNS: #88 Ritchie Overholser

Adam Beeler went flag to flag and picked up the win in the non qualifier event.

1: #1 Adam Beeler
2: #8 Chris Chandler
3: #21 Mario Gresham
4: #43 Ben Petrey
5: #2 Mitchell Childress
6: #7 William Overbey
7: #31 Brad Seagle
8: #79c Marty Calloway
9: #56 Jody Horton
10: #11 Anthony Arnwine









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