Two hometown heroes proved that home track advantage has its perks this weekend as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series made its final stops for the season in Tennessee last weekend.
The first of two feature race stops began Friday night at 411 Motor Speedway, where Loudon, TN’s own Cory Hedgecock collected the biggest win of his career in front of a packed house. After qualifying inside the top 5, Hedgecock raced his way to the lead ahead of third place qualifier David Breazeale, on Lap 23. Despite two late race cautions, on laps 44 and 45 of the 50-lap event, the driver of the No. 9 held off charges from recent World of Outlaws winner Jimmy Owens to earn a hard-fought win.
“I am thrilled about this win,” said Hedgecock. “Knowing that the No. 57 of David Breazeale and 20 of Jimmy Owens were behind me definitely made me realize that winning this race was going to be tough, and knowing that I did so in my home state of TN is icing on the cake.”
Along with a home state win, Hedgecock earned his first $10,000 race paycheck of the season at the Seymour, TN track.
Although he came up short on Friday night at 411 Motor Speedway, Newport, TN’s own Jimmy Owens, better known as the Newport Nightmare, raced his way to his second World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series win of the 2018 season at the weekend’s second Tennessee stop at Volunteer Speedway.
After starting on the outside pole beside the No. 44 of Chris Madden, Friday night’s runner up finisher battled for the lead for the majority of the race until Owens successfully completed the pass on lap 47 of the 50-lap Sears Craftsman Feature.
This 50-lap event had zero cautions, which made it difficult for any of the remaining competition in the 24-car field to catch the two race leaders. This also made it difficult for Owens to finally race his way to the lead. Although he was sure that he would once again have to settle for a bridesmaid finish, Owens finally found the momentum he needed in the final three laps to pull the trigger and slide by Madden for the race lead and $10,000 feature race win.
“The track at Volunteer Speedway is just awesome,” said Owens. “In fact, it is one of those home town tracks where you don’t necessarily want to be leading early on, because there is no way to be sure that the track groove was going to be up high or down low – but the groove was pretty much wherever you wanted it to be on Saturday night. It was definitely one a heck of a race and I enjoyed every bit of it.”
Both Tennessee natives will have to rely on their skill outside of their hometowns throughout the remainder of the 2018 season to prove that they have what it takes to be called World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series champions.
Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series returns to racing action with a three-race swing at Stateline Speedway on June 14, Ransomville Speedway on June 15 and Wayne County Speedway on June 16.