Hedgecock picks up second Steelhead Nationals championship

After two straight rain-outs the fans packed into Tennessee’s action track for six classes of racing highlighted by the 9th annual Steelhead Nationals paying $3,500 to win.
Up first on the docket was the 20 lap Street Stock feature. Eddie Stewart had set quick time in qualifying with a 17.531 lap but made hard contact with the wall after completing his lap. The damage would be too severe for him to continue so the pole sitter would have to watch the race from the pits. The trouble wasn’t over as multiple time winner in 2015 Chris Rickett slammed the wall on the start ending his night. Finally the green waved to get things going and Colby Taylor put his #15 machine on the point and set sail with Pete Wright and Dale Watson giving chase. Watson put the pressure on wright early, trying to get the runner up spot. The strong run for Wright hit a roadblock as he spun coming off turn four slowing the pace. Back under green, Colby began to slowly inch away from the field as the laps ticked off. Watson, being the crafty veteran searched around the track until he found the best line and began to eat away at the lead. As the two leaders battled it out Jeff McLemore continued his drive through the pack and into the top five from his 10th starting position. Halfway through the race and the top two had raced away from Jerry Hux who held down third. Watson would keep the pressure on but Colby would hold on to pick up his first win of 2015.
1: #15 Colby Taylor
2: #11 Dale Watson
3: #01 Jerry Hux
4: #3 Austin Neeley
5: #J3 Jeff McLemore
6: #11 Tracy Wolfe
7: #88 Sam Burgess
8: #155 Eric Griffith
9: #10 Brian Leyhew
10: #2 Steve Hillard
11: #35 Jason West
12: #33 Ron Patterson
13: #51 Pete Wright
14: #38 Cody Thompson
15: #6 Scott Atkinson
16: #99 Dale Watson
17: #14 Lee Merritt
18: #36 Chris Rickett
19: #31 Brady Lee
20: #119 Mike Williams
The 20 lap Mini Stock feature was up next and it was Danny Tullock who took the lead at the start of the feature just ahead of Chris Griffin and 2015 Mini Stock Champion John Byers. The top three immediately began to drive away from the pack as the early laps ticked off. Byers wasn’t in the mood to waste time and he pulled alongside Griffin for the second spot after just three laps. However the night had more than a few bumps in the road, the first being on lap 6 as he spun in two sending him to the rear of the field. 7 laps on the scoreboard and Griffin was all over the back of Tullock for the lead. After being sent to the rear because of his spin Byers had already moved back up into third. After dogging him for 3 quarters of the race, Griffin made his move with just 5 laps left and took the lead away. The night wouldn’t get any better for Byers who spun for a second time with just 3 laps left and retired for the night. Griffin would hold on for the final restart to pick up the win.
1: #c8 Chris Griffin
2: #77 Danny Tullock
3: #88 Shannon Raley
4: #22 Tim Kilby
5: #t6 Cindy Poore
6: #J7 John Byers
DQ: #54 Samuel Fox
To say the Classic Car feature was intense would be an understatement. The chaos started on the very first lap with Philip Thompson getting caught up in the 3 wide situation that sent him spinning down into the infield. It was a night Thompson would wanna forget as he was involved in several incidents throughout the night. The 2015 Classic Car Champion Justin Overton was working the inside line of Adam Pressley trying to wrestle the top spot away. The two inched away from the chaotic battle from 3rd on back. Charlie Tharp saw his strong run come to an end as he pulled off the track before the finish. The ongoing fued between Thompson and Joe Keck boiled over again on lap 11 as the two made contact and spun in turn four. Both drivers would end up being DQ’ed for the night. Overton would make a late charge again on Pressley but it would be Adam Pressley who picked up his first win of 2015.
1: #07 Adam Pressley
2: #98 Justin Overton
3: #8 Eli Keck
4: #13J Joel Wolfenbarger
5: #07a Bobby Pressley
6: #7 Charlie Tharp
7: #18 Rusty Welch
8: #7 John Stevens
9: #2 Chris Evans
DQ: #24 Philip Thompson
DQ: #88 Joe Keck
It was time for the 9th annual Steelhead Nationals. 51 laps for $3,500 to win and it was Ruben Mayfield who set fast time with a 15.908 lap time in qualifying. Eddie King Jr had issues before the race even went green as he pulled off the track. Hedgecock jumped out to the lead ahead of Chase King and John Gill. As the top two inched away the battle was on for 5th between Jason Trammell and Bobby Giffin. As they raced hard that allowed Ross White to close in and put his name in the mix for a top 5 spot. The first caution waved on lap 7 for Bobby Mays who spun in turn two. On the restart John Gill pounced on Chase King and took the runner up spot away. Brad Hall started the race in the top 10 but slipped back after suffering a big push in turn four. You could throw a blanket over the top three as they pulled away from the pack. Hedgeock would have his hands full with lap traffic as he and Mays got together allowing Gill to close back in on him. The top three put on an amazing show for the fans with King again working the low line trying to get back into second position. 32 laps on the board and Hedgeock was once again pulling away from Gill and King. The race would run caution free and despite heavy lap traffic, Hedgeock would hold on to pick up his second Steelhead Nationals Championship.
1: #23 Cory Hedgecock
2: #66 John Gill
3: #44 Chase King
4: #07 Jason Cardwell
5: #51 Mack McCarter
6: #32 Jason Manley
7: #90 Jason Trammell
8: #1 Adam Beeler
9: #97 Bobby Giffin
10: #63 Josh Collins
11: #5m Scott Shelton
12: #23 Tim Damron
13: #23 Layne Clifton
14: #00 Ruben Mayfield
15: #25 Bobby Mays
16: #0 Ross White
17: #47 Brad Hall
18: #15k Mike Weeks
19: #73 Trevor Sise
20: #39 Eddie King Jr
DNS: #68 Andy Ogle
DNS: #18 Scotty Gardner
DNS: #31 Greg Estes
DNS: #37k Drew Kennedy
The Open Wheel Modifieds took to the track for their second appearance of 2015 with Blake Brown taking command of the 20 lap feature on the start. After a quick caution Brown rocketed away from the field clearly having the dominate car on the night. The night wouldn’t last very long for Billy Palmer who pulled off the track after just a handful of laps. After just 6 laps Brown was already driving away to a big lead over Don Adams and Mikah Reams. Reams picked up the win a few weeks back and looked strong again as he worked the high line trying to get past Adams. The lead kept getting larger and larger for Brown who was now a full straight ahead of his closest competitor. The caution would erase that lead however on lap 17 for Ben Petry who went for a spin. Wayne James has won a ton of Open Wheel races over the years and he reminded everyone of how he did that by using the high line and rocketing down the back and into the 4th position. More trouble for Petry who spun again with just three laps left ending his night. Brown held on for the final circuits to pick up the victory.
1: #99 Blake Brown
2: #19 Mikah Reams
3: #90 Don Adams
4: #4 Wayne James
5: #17 Jeff Watson
6: #23 John Smith
7: #82 Wade Bookard
8: #48 Keith Denny
9: #29c Joey Cotterman
10: #21 Dustin Duncan
11: #92 Matthew Hopper
12: #142 Virgil Parriman
13: #7 Kenneth Reams
14: #3 Jared Reams
15: #36 Billy Palmer
16: #29 Dustin Bransum
DQ: #43 Ben Petry
The final race of the night was the 20 lap Sportsman feature. Former Mini Stock Champion Michael Courtney made the move up to the Sportsman division and the success was immediate as he set quick time in qualifying with a 16.056 lap time. The green wouldn’t be out very long as Chris Beeler and Marcum tangled in turn two. It was a battle of the Courtney’s with Michael Courtney jumping out with the lead ahead of youngster Kyle Courtney and 2014 Champion Wayne Rader. Brad Seagle began to draw a bulleyes on the back of Courtney for the second spot as Michael Courtney pulled away with the lead. At the halfway mark he was all over the back of the #71 machine and eventually made his move and took the spot away. Kyle Courtney looked to have handling issues late in the race as the car picked up a bad push off turn four. Up front it was all Courtney who dominated in route to the victory.
1: #c11 Michael Courtney
2: #31 Brad Seagle
3: #01 Wayne Rader
4: #71 Kyle Courtney
5: #14 David Kerr
6: #07 Bradley Lewelling
7: #22 Anthony Liford
8: #c11 Clyde Stanton
9: #74 Dalton King
10: #99 Tim Cooper
11: #98 Jed Emert
12: #20 James Weaver
13: #24 Chris Beeler
14: #2 Terry Poore
15: #11 Cody Smith
16: #46 Stephen Martin
17: #44 Caleb Marcum
18: #15 Rex McKinney
DNS: #68 Shannon Reese

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