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Roberson pockets $3,000 for Volunteer Speedway ‘Crate Nationals’ victory

By Volunteer Speedway | 05 November 2017 | 2017 | | 0 Comments   

Roberson pockets $3,000 for Volunteer Speedway ‘Crate Nationals’ victory

BULLS GAP, Tenn. (Nov. 4, 2017) — The 44th season of racing at Volunteer Speedway began on a sunny Saturday afternoon back the first weekend in March under new management, with Mitch McCarter and family assuming operation of “The Gap.” The 2017 finale was headlined Saturday night by running of the $3,000-to-win Crate Nationals, showcasing Crate Late Models.

Logan Roberson of Waynesboro, Virginia, led flag-to-flag in winning the inaugural Crate Nationals in impressive fashion.

Jed Emert of Maryville captured his first-ever Sportsman Late Model victory, while Chris Rickett of Morristown picked up his eighth Modified Street win on the season.

Don Adams of London, Kentucky, recorded his second Open Wheel Modified victory this season, with John Stevens of Wallins Creek, Kentucky, winning his fourth Classic feature.

Four Crate Late Model heat races transferred the top four finishers from each into the Crate Nationals. Cory Hedgecock won the first heat over Jensen Ford, Ross White and Tyler Bare. Logan Roberson was victorious in the second heat over Drew Kennedy, Christian Hanger and Rusty Ballenger.

Jesse Lowe won the third heat over Jason Manley, Mack McCarter and Anthony White. The fourth heat race was won by Vic Hill over Jimmy Elliott, Bobby Mays and Jason Tramell.

Two last chance B-mains filled out the remainder of the 24-car starting field. The first 10-lap race was won by Greg Martin over Philip Thompson, Tim Maupin and Gary Crittenden. The second 10-lap race was won by Mike Weeks over Josh Henry, Keith Helton and Bryson Dennis.

Hedgecock and Roberson led the field to green from the front row, with Roberson rolling around the banking through turns one and two to power his way past Hedgecock into the lead racing down the backstretch, with Lowe, Hill and Ford in pursuit.

With both Hill (five-time Volunteer Speedway Super Late Model champion) and Ford having more experience at the track than Middle Tennessean Lowe, in the early laps Hill and Ford maneuvered their rides high up in the banking to carry momentum and drive past Lowe for position. But Lowe quickly closed right back in behind Hill and Ford.

Following a caution on lap 13 when Helton spun, off the ensuing double-file restart the action up front among Roberson, Hedgecock, Ford, Hill and Lowe was worth the price of admission in itself. Hedgecock was giving it his best effort to try and get around Roberson, while Lowe passed Hill to move into the fourth spot.

Ford was still riding the high line through the corners, but Lowe was getting around the bottom very well and he drove past Ford to move into third in the running order. Just before the halfway mark, three drivers that were having good runs including 2017 Volunteer Speedway Crate Late Model champion Ross White, Mays and Anthony White, each pulled into the pits prematurely ending their race.

Weeks had steadily worked his way forward from his 18th-place starting position into top 10 in the running order. After getting past Elliott and Manley to pull into seventh, behind his teammate Kennedy, they began to go to work on Ford for the fifth spot. With the laps winding down and Ford trying to hang on, both Kennedy and Weeks got around Ford on lap 42 between turns three and four.

But out front the race belonged to Roberson, who had led from the opening lap. He never missed a beat in running a flawless 51 laps to keep the hard-charging Hedgecock behind him the entire distance. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Lowe, Hill and Kennedy.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Weeks, Ford, Ballenger, Manley and Hanger. … Crittenden came home in the 11th position, and he was the final car on the lead lap.

“To come in here and outrun all of these local guys for this $3,000 Crate Nationals win is really awesome,” said a smiling Roberson following the race. “This was a really good field of cars here tonight. When you can beat Cory Hedgecock and especially a guy like Vic Hill, who’s got thousands of laps around this place and has won a lot of races and track championships too, you’ve accomplished something. Winning this Crate Nationals event, man, I couldn’t be any happier. It will definitely make the ride we have going back home up Interstate 81 not seem so long.

“I came down here back the first weekend in October mainly just to get some laps around these high banks. It was a really strong field of cars assembled that night and we didn’t qualify that well, we started inside of row three in the seventh spot. But as the race went on, our car got better and better and I just began to pick cars off and before I knew it I was running in second place. I managed to get around (Mack) McCarter for the lead coming off the fourth turn to take the white flag and held on for the win. I knew that night I had figured out where I needed to run my car around this place.”

Pole-sitter Tyler Smith and Travis Fultz battled side-by-side for the lead in the 25-lap Sportsman Late Model feature over the opening four circuits before Fultz pulled ahead, with Jed Emert, Heath Alvey and Adam Mitchell in tow.

Emert passed Smith for second on lap 5 racing off turn two, which opened the door for both Alvey and Adam Mitchell to drive by and drop Smith back to fifth in the running order. Smith lost another position on lap 12 when Preston Whitehead got around him to take over the fifth spot.

An incredible battle up front for the lead between Fultz and Emert, with the dynamic duo exchanging slide jobs on each end of the track in the corners on successive laps. But Emert got up on the wheel to get the job done with a pass on Fultz for the lead on lap 19, and once out front never looked back.

Emert captured his first-ever victory at the legendary Volunteer Speedway over Fultz, Alvey, Mitchell and Whitehead.

After setting fast-time in qualifying at 15.391 seconds to earn the pole starting position for the 25-lap Modified Street feature, Chris Rickett grabbed the lead on the opening lap over Michael Woods and Wayne Rader. There was good action behind them involving Shannon Emery, Eddie Stewart, David Clark, Brad Davis, Westley Lester and Willie Busler.

While Woods and Rader were battling for second, Rickett was putting some distance between himself and closest challengers. But Woods got in a good rhythm running around the bottom and began cutting into Rickett’s advantage, with Rickett running up in the banking through the corners.

In the waning laps Woods stuck his nose underneath Rickett in the corners on a few occasions, but Rickett held on to record his eighth win on the season. He was chased to the checkers by Woods, Rader, Stewart and Emery.

Chase King set fast-time in Open Wheel Modified qualifying at 15.260 seconds to nail down the pole starting position, and jumped out to the lead over Don Adams and Shon Flanary at start of the 25-lap feature. But Adams struck quickly, passing King for the lead on lap 2 between turns one and two.

Behind the lead trio the action was heated among Wayne James, Jody Puckett, Jimmy Dalton, Justin Blevins and Billy Palmer. With Adams having a clear view out front, King and Flanary were battling for second. Flanary rode the high-line, rim-riding up top in the banking, on lap 11 between turns one and two to pass King for the spot.

But there would be no denying Adams his second visit to victory lane at the track this season, with Flanary, King, James and Dalton rounding out the top five finishers.

John Stevens captured his fourth Classic feature win on the season over Eli Keck, Will Carey, Lee Merritt and Chris Worsham.


Showing Finishing Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver, Car Number

1. (2) Logan Roberson #17
2. (1) Cory Hedgecock #23
3. (3) Jesse Lowe #5
4. (4) Vic Hill #CVR1
5. (6) Drew Kennedy #K37
6. (18) Mike Weeks #37
7. (5) Jensen Ford #83
8. (14) Rusty Ballenger #29
9. (7) Jason Manley #32
10. (10) Christian Hanger #29
11. (23) Gary Crittenden #18
12. (8) Jimmy Elliott #J39
13. (16) Jason Trammell #97
14. (19) Philip Thompson #24T
15. (11) Mack McCarter #51
16. (22) Keith Helton #52
17. (17) Greg Martin #24
18. (9) Ross White #0
19. (24) Bryson Dennis #10
20. (12) Bobby Mays #25
21. (15) Anthony White #2
22. (21) Tim Maupin #3
23. (20) Josh Henry #B00 (Disqualified)
24. (13) Tyler Bare #30 (Disqualified)

Did Not Transfer: Chris Chandler #88, Eli Beets #109, Marty Calloway #7, Ryan Winchester #51, Michael Jenkins #31, Cameron Skinner #33, Tim Byrd #24, Warren McMahan #33, Kyle Courtney #171, Taran Hurst #22, Andy Ogle #68, Samuel Bryant #100, Bradley Llewelling #10B


1. Jed Emert #98
2. Travis Fultz #T0
3. Heath Alvey #7
4. Adam Mitchell #50
5. Preston Whitehead #81
6. Kenny Ford #61
7. Devin Bahhur #21
8. Tyler Smith #32
9. Bryan Cooper #15
10. Austin Atkins #4
11. Terry Stone #34
12. Andy Wilder #24
13. Floyd Self #3
14. Jake Whitehead #116
15. David Bullington #20
16. Joe Bray #76
17. Ray Jarnagin #773
18. Nicholas Shelton #9
19. Bubba Long #10
20. Donovan Long #15
21. Chris Raines #00
22. Terry Poore #1
23. Eugene Lawson #4

Did Not Start: Brandon Miller #89


1. Chris Rickett #36
2. Michael Woods #66
3. Wayne Rader #01
4. Eddie Stewart #119
5. Shannon Emery #M2
6. David Clark #1
7. Westley Lester #06
8. Willie Busler #31B
9. Nick Presley #69
10. McKenlee Hall #44
11. Isaiah Manis #8
12. Landon Steele #18
13. Brad Davis #88
14. Ben Sexton #6
15. Josh Driskill #00
16. Robbie Buchanan #P21
17. Jeff Ferguson #24

Did Not Start: Jason Rollins #01R


1. Don Adams #90
2. Shon Flanary #98
3. Chase King #44
4. Wayne James #4
5. Jimmy Dalton #2
6. Justin Blevins #50
7. Billy Palmer #36
8. Jody Puckett #J3
9. Robbie Comer #42
10. Josh Chesney #XXX
11. Jeff Akard #00
12. Terry James #J1
13. Tyler James #J4
14. Larry James #J2

CLASSIC (25 laps)

1. John Stevens #7
2. Eli Keck #8
3. Will Carey #16
4. Lee Merritt #14
5. Chris Worsham #78
6. Jason Saylor #5
7. Ryan Barley #3
8. Billy Woods #1
9. Michael Milsap #07
10. Richie Overholser #18
11. Chris Turner #58

Did Not Start: Chase Lawson #7


Volunteer Speedway (Recording Only): 423-235-5020
Volunteer Speedway General Manager): 865-257-7223
Joe Byrd (Tech Official): 865-776-1798