SEYMOUR, Tenn. — JT Kerr was widely known in the East Tennessee racing community where he was very respected both as a driver and following his career behind the wheel as owner of JT Kerr Racing Equipment and Stinger Race Cars.
Cory Hedgecock of Loudon wrote his name in the 411 Motor Speedway record book Saturday night for the fourth straight year as winner of the JT Kerr Memorial, a victory worth $5,000 with the American Crate All-Star Series presented by PPM.
Previous JT Kerr Memorial winners were Chris Wilson (2012), Ronnie Johnson (2013 & 2014), John Owenby (2015), and Hedgecock (2016, 2017, & 2018).
Jesse Lowe of Crossville was fastest in qualifying from the strong 32-car field assembled with a quick lap at 14.134 seconds.
Hedgecock won the Quick 6 Dash over Jensen Ford, Lowe, Anthony White, Rusty Ballenger and Zach Sise, which determined the first three rows for the 40-lap main event.
Three eight-lap heat races transferred the top four finishers from each to the feature. Trevor Sise won the first heat over Clay Coghlan, Eli Beets and Pierce McCarter. Matt Long recorded the win in the second heat over Jake Teague, Bobby Mays and Greg Martin. Tyler Arrington won the third heat ahead of Jordon Horton, Jed Emert and Andy Ogle.
One B-main locked the top four finishers into the feature with Aaron Guinn winning over Chris Chandler, Michael Courtney and Shannon Emery. The final two starting berths were series provisionals awarded to Josh Henry and Michael Smith.
Hedgecock rocketed out into the lead at drop of the green flag over Ford, Lowe, Ballenger and Long. The first of what ultimately would be 11 cautions waved on lap 3 for Teague. Following each caution period, the racing action off the double-file restarts produced two- and three-wide battles for real estate which in turn led to a major case of “yellow fever.” Nothing major, just incidents involving spins, flat tires, mechanical failure and debris on the track.
The one constant in the race was Hedgecock clearly looked to have the car to beat, unless he experienced issues himself. Following each restart Hedgecock powered back out into the lead to leave those in pursuit to mix it up, and that they did. Good, hard racing between Ford, Lowe, Ballenger, Long, Trevor Sise, White and Arrington was worth the price of admission alone.
However, the trio of Long, Sise and Ballenger each dropped out of the race late in the event within a six-lap span. Both Long and Ballenger each got into the outside wall off turn two, with Ballenger’s car making significant impact after apparently breaking a right-rear wheel on lap 38.
The stage was set for a two-lap shootout for the $5,000 American Crate All-Star Series win, but Hedgecock wasn’t about to be gunned down after leading from the start. Hedgecock captured the victory over Lowe, Arrington, Ford and Chandler. … Completing the top 10 finishers were Courtney, Ogle, Beets, Guinn and Emery.
Dustin Diden of Wartburg grabbed the lead over Amos Bunch at the start of the Open Wheel Modified feature and would never relinquish the position as he captured his first-ever win at 411 Motor Speedway. The only thing slowing Diden were cautions, with two attributed to the James family. The first incident occurred on lap 3 involving father and son, Wayne and Tyler James, with Wayne spinning after contact from Tyler. And the second yellow waved on lap 17, when Tyler spun and also Bunch parked his ride with a badly smoking engine. … Back under green for a three-lap run to the checkered flag, Diden crossed the stripe first to get the victory over Jimmy Dalton, Billy Palmer, Robby Reagan and Jamie Mosley.
Defending Classic track champion Lee Merritt had dominated racing to this point in the season by capturing a division-leading five victories. Michael Millsap of Knoxville and Merritt were the fastest two qualifiers and while Millsap was searching for his first win, Merritt was hoping to add another notch on his belt. Unfortunately for Merritt, though, his race ended on lap 12 with apparent engine issues. That was all Millsap needed as he went on to record the victory over Richie Overholser, Shane Taylor, Tim Bounds and Eli Keck.
Josh Henry of Newport rolled to the Street Stock victory over Josh Driskill and Steve Owens.
Rain moved in before the Front Wheel Drive race could be run, so the class will run double features on Friday, June 14 for “Fast Friday @ 411 Motor Speedway.”
411 MOTOR SPEEDWAY – SEYMOUR, TN – JUNE 8, 2019 – OFFICIAL RACE RESULTS
AMERICAN CRATE ALL-STAR SERIES PRESENTED BY PPM – EIGHTH ANNUAL JT KERR MEMORIAL
Showing Finish Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown, Laps Completed In Parentheses, Earnings
1. (1) Cory Hedgecock #23-Loudon, TN (40) $5,000
2. (3) Jesse Lowe #5J-Crossville, TN (40) $2,500
3. (9) Tyler Arrington #002-Lebanon, VA (40) $1,500
4. (4) Jensen Ford #83-Johnson City, TN (40) $1,000
5. (20) Chris Chandler #8-Weaverville, NC (40) $800
6. (21) Michael Courtney #C11-Powell, TN (40) $675
7. (18) Andy Ogle #68-Cosby, TN (40) $625
8. (13) Eli Beets #109-Knoxville, TN (40) $575
9. (19) Aaron Guinn #97-Russellville, TN (40) $500
10. (22) Shannon Emery #52-Morristown, TN (40) $475
11. (24) Michael Smith #15-Crossville, TN (40) $450
12. (10) Clay Coghlan #6-Pigeon Forge, TN (39) $425
13. (5) Rusty Ballenger #29-Sevierville, TN (38) $375
14. (7) Trevor Sise #73-Knoxville, TN (33) $365
15. (8) Matt Long #55-Concord, NC (32) $355
16. (4) Anthony White #2-Clinton, TN (30) $350
17. (16) Pierce McCarter #71-Gatlinburg, TN (23) $350
18. (12) Jordon Horton #57-Sneedville, TN (22) $350
19. (14) Bobby Mays #25-Jonesborough, TN (22) $325
20. (15) Jed Emert #98-Maryville, TN (22) $325
21. (17) Greg Martin #24-Oliver Springs, TN (6) $325
22. (23) Josh Henry #B00-Newport, TN (4) $325
23. (11) Jake Teague #117-Petros, TN (4) $325
24. (6) Zach Sise #9-Knoxville, TN (3) $325
-411 Motor Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Tim Owens