Mayhem in the Mountains
Jake Teague claims American Crate thriller at Smoky Mountain
Jake Teague took the lead with two laps remaining
The American Crate All-Star Series took to the track on Friday night at the Smoky Mountain Speedway. At the end of the night it would be Jake Teague who left the Maryville, TN facility with a $2,000 payday. It was the Petros, TN native’s second series win of the season after he crossed the finish line first then survived a protest at Wartburg Speedway earlier in the year.
Jensen Ford paced the field in qualifying as he was fastest among the 35 cars signed in for competition with a time of 17.644 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval. The top-6 cars from time-trials were locked into a Quick Six Dash that would set the first three rows in the feature race. Mark Whitener, Tyler Arrington, Trevor Sise, Jake Teague and Cory Hedgecock would join Ford in the dash race as a result of their qualifying efforts.
Jensen Ford earned the pole position for the feature by winning the Quick Six Dash ahead of Cory Hedgecock, Mark Whitener, Trevor Sise, Jake Teague, and Tyler Arrington.
Greg Martin won the first heat race of the night ahead of Zach Sise and Pierce McCarter while Bradley Lewelling won the second preliminary of the evening over Jeff Neubert and Shannon Emery.
It was Jesse Lowe who took the checkered flag in the third heat by beating out Andy Ogle and Michael Smith just before Rusty Ballenger won the fourth and final heat ahead of Aaron Guinn and Adam Ahl.
Bobby Mayes and Chris Chandler won the two B-main races used to set the remainder of the starting lineup for the main event.
At the start of the 30-lap feature it would be Hedgecock who bolted to the early lead and looked as if he might add a second feature trophy after having just won the Limited Late Model feature minutes before. However, his car suddenly slowed on the backstretch on the second lap of the race and he pulled off the track and out of the event.
Ford then inherited the lead and began to drive away from Whitener and Teague. But the same fate would befall the second as the first. In almost exactly the same location of the backstretch as where Hedgecock had slowed on lap 2, Ford dropped off the pace and out of the race on lap 10.
At that point the race lead fell to Whitener with Teague, Trevor Sise, Martin and Arrington trailing.
In a feature that would ultimately run caution free, slower traffic became a factor. The top-6 cars of Whitener, Teague, Sise, Martin, Lowe and Arrington ran in tight formation throughout most of the race’s second half as they clicked off laps and picked their way through the slower machines.
On lap 25 Martin was able to make his way around Sise to capture the third spot just behind the lead duo of Whitener and Teague. As the number of lap remaining dwindled, Teague drew closer and began to apply more pressure.
On lap 28 the driver of the No. 117 car saw his chance when Whitener briefly tangled with a slower car. Teague took his car to the high side of the track on the backstretch and passed by the No. 5 as they roared through turns three and four and toward the white flag.
Teague would sail under the checkered flag to score the win.
Feature Finish: 1. Jake Teague, 2. Mark Whitener, 3. Greg Martin, 4. Jesse Lowe, 5. Trevor Sise, 6. Tyler Arrington, 7. Zach Sise, 8. Rusty Ballenger, 9. Pierce McCarter, 10. Andy Ogle, 11. Aaron Guinn, 12. Michael Smith, 13. Eli Beets, 14. Anthony White, 15. Chris Chandler, 16. Adam Ahl, 17. Jeff Neubert, 18. Shannon Emery, 19. Deke Waters, 20. Bradley Lewelling, 21. Bobby Mayes, 22. Jensen Ford, 23. Josh Henry, 24. Cory Hedgecock
Cory Hedgecock dominates Late Model feature at Smoky Mountain
Cory Hedgecock led the Limited Late Model feature from start to finish
Along with the American Crate All-Star Series the Smoky Mountain Speedway also staged racing in the topless running Limited Late Model division. Cory Hedgecock came away from the Maryville, TN track with a winner’s check valued at $2,000.
David Crabtree set the pace in qualifying among the 19 cars signed in for competition by posting a lap of 17.454 seconds around the 4/10 to beat out Cory Hedgecock, Chase King, Jason Cardwell, Jason Trammell, Jordan Rodabaugh, Bobby Giffin, Ryan King, Roger Best and Justin Owens.
The field for the main event was set entirely from time-trials.
At the start of the 30-lap feature it was Hedgecock who jumped out to the early lead with Crabtree, Chase King, Rodabaugh and Cardwell following in his tire tracks. However, a lap 3 caution for top-10 running Trammel stalling on track slowed the action.
On the lap 3 restart Chase King moved around Crabtree to assume the runner-up position while Ryan King took sixth away from Giffin just one circuit later. All the while, Hedgecock was motoring away from the pack until another caution on lap 9 again brought the field back together.
The lap 9 restart saw Cardwell move around Crabtree to take third with Ryan King also following suit and grabbing the fourth spot. Crabtree’s night would get worse on lap 14 when his car stopped on track and he was forced to retire from the event.
Hedgecock built a lead of almost a full straightaway while Cardwell harassed Chase King for the runner-up spot behind the leader. But one final yellow flag would provide his pursuers with a final shot at Hedgecock with just two laps remaining in the feature.
But to no avail, Hedgecock drove on to the checkered flag without ever having faced a significant challenge for the top spot.
Feature Finish: 1. Cory Hedgecock, 2. Chase King, 3. Jason Cardwell, 4. Jordan Rodabaugh, 5. Ryan King, 6. Layne Clifton, 7. Michael Price, 8. Michael Rutherford, 9. Justin Owens, 10. Eric Webber, 11. Austin Neely, 12. Lynn Leach, 13. Tod Hernandez, 14. Daniel Richards, 15. Bobby Giffin, 16. David Crabtree, 17. Roger Best, 18. Jason Trammell, 19. Frank Merritt