LOUDON, Tenn. (Oct. 29, 2013) — When lights come on in Hollywood movie studios, leading actors and actresses bask in the limelight.
During the 2013 racing season, the spotlight has brightly shined on Cory Hedgecock as he’s earned the nickname “Showtime.” The 21-year-old from Loudon has recorded the most late model dirt-track wins of any driver in East Tennessee.
Hedgecock’s accomplishments are quite remarkable, considering this is just his second full season racing a dirt late model car. Hedgecock swept the racing action over the weekend at Smoky Mountain Speedway and 411 Motor Speedway, pulling off a doubleheader sweep for the second time this season.
Friday night at Smoky Mountain Speedway, located in Maryville, Hedgecock started things off in qualifying for the NAPA Auto Parts $2,000-to-win Tennessee State Championship by lowering the Limited (Steel Head) Late Model track record from 16.154seconds to 15.850 for the 24 cars that timed-in.
At drop of the green for the feature, Hedgecock jumped out into a lead he would never relinquish en route to easily recording his 10th victory of the season over Josh Henry, Jason Welshan, Bobby Giffin and Ruben Mayfield.
“Man, nights like we had Friday at ‘The Mountain’ is really what makes it fun to drive a race car,” said Hedgecock while reflecting on his strong performance. “As a racer, it just puts you in a good mind-set when you know before you even arrive at the track that you stand an excellent chance of winning. And that’s how I feel, especially when we’re racing at Smoky Mountain Speedway, that unless something goes wrong with a mechanical issue, we’ve got a good shot at winning the race.
“With a strong field of 24 cars present for the race, for us to come right out of the gate and considerably lower the track qualifying record, we couldn’t wait for the green flag to wave to begin the race. I love to race, but it was just unbelievably cold Friday and I wanted to get the race started and get it over with as quickly as possible. We had an awesome car, and I kept getting signals from my (crew) guys that I had a big lead. To be able and win the Tennessee State Championship event for Limited Late Models, that’s a very cool deal.”
Next up for Cory Hedgecock Motorsports was unloading the race car back at the shop early Saturday morning to prepare it for racing that night at 411 Motor Speedway, located right outside of Knoxville in Seymour.
For the second straight night, Hedgecock set fast-time at 15.091 seconds during qualifying. But due to having won his last two starts at 411, Hedgecock was relegated to starting from third on the grid.
Hedgecock got off to a rough start, dropping back to fifth in the running order before he began working his way forward. With six laps remaining in the 30-lap feature, Hedgecock got around Rusty Ballenger for the lead and went on to record his 11th Limited Late Model win of the season. Finishing behind Hedgecock and Ballenger were Brad Seagle, Pierce McCarter and Ruben Mayfield.
“I don’t really know what to say, we’ve had a phenomenal season,” said Hedgecock. “We had a great car Friday night at Smoky Mountain Speedway, then we made some changes at the shop Saturday to get ready for racing at 411 Motor Speedway, and once again we unloaded with a fast car. We backed our practice speed up and posted fast-time in qualifying.
“Due to 411’s rules, if you win two races in a row you are moved back to a third-place starting position. But I felt confident we’d be able to race our way to the front. However, with track conditions being what they were, it was tough going in the early part of the race. After I got up to second behind (Rusty) Ballenger, he was running a strong race and I had to work on him. Once I got around him for the lead, over the remaining laps I was able to put some distance between us.”
Not only has Hedgecock captured 11 Limited (Steel Head) Late Model victories this season, he’s also set new track qualifying records at both Smoky Mountain Speedway and 411 Motor Speedway.
“We’ve had an awesome racing season, we really have,” stated Hedgecock. “Before the season started did I think in just my second season driving a dirt late model that I’d reach double digits in the win column and also be able to set two new track qualifying records? I thought we’d be very competitive at each race we’d show up at, and if you’re competitive and put yourself in position to run up front – you’re going to challenge for race wins.
“We’ve got great Eagle Racing Engines horsepower under the hood, and my dad’s (Chad Hedgecock) got a really good understanding of our Rocket race car. No matter what track we go race at, he’s got a setup that will work. My family’s racing background mainly was in drag racing, with both my dad and I driving drag cars before I decided to start racing a dirt late model halfway through the 2011 racing season. My grandfather (Mike Hedgecock) built some dirt motors back in the day, and that was really our family’s involvement in dirt racing. The success we’ve had racing this year together as a family, it’s truly something special.”
The next event for Cory Hedgecock Motorsports will be the third annual Triple Crown at Smoky Mountain Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 2. Headlining the program will be the Southern Regional Racing Series Super Late Models for a $3,000-to-win event, with the Limited Late Models competing for $2,000-to-win, with $1,000-to-win races for both the Crate Late Model and Street Stock divisions.
Drivers and race teams all across the United States, for your oval track and drag racing engines, visit the Eagle Racing Engines of Loudon website at www.EagleRacingEngines.com or give them a call at (865) 408-1000.
Supporters for Cory Hedgecock Motorsports in 2013 on the No. 23 Chevrolet Camaro include: K&P Used Cars, Total Communication, Renegade Racing Fuels & Lubricants, MikeAndGina.biz, Shy Shocks, Stealth Racing Carburetors, Timeless Memories Photography, Eagle Racing Engines, Rocket Chassis, ET Graphics, Scotty Evans, Hoosier Racing Tire South by Pup, American Racer Tire South by Jeff Treece.
To learn more about possible sponsor opportunities with Cory Hedgecock Motorsports, contact Cory Hedgecock at (865) 809-8515. To keep up with Cory’s racing, visit his website at www.CoryHedgecock23.com or follow him on Facebook at Cory Hedgecock Motorsports.