5 WEEKS=5 WINNERS…JOSH HEDGES CARRIES THE CHECKERED THIS WEEK ION A 30 LAP THRILLER
The unpredictability of the Everett’s Auto Parts Late Model series at Seekonk Speedway continued on Saturday night, as Joshua Hedges became the fifth different winner this season, picking up his first career title in the division.
Hedges started the 30-lap race in fifth position, and needed just 11 trips around the one-third mile track to progress into the lead. He held off a bevy of competitors, including fellow 2021 winners Vinny Arrenegado and Tommy Adams, for the victory, with Richie Murray ending as runner-up in just his second race since moving from Sport Trucks to Late Models.
Tyler Lallier and Nathan Tracey were on the first row to begin the contest, which actually had two starts due to a caution on Lap 1 prior to its completion, as Gerry DeGasparre Jr. had issues immediately and came to a halt after Turn 2. On the second attempt to start the race, Chase Belcher and Hedges moved by Tracey and up to second and third, with another caution flying on Lap 3 as Adams and Bobby Tripp made contact, leaving Tripp in the grass and Adams with some damage to the side of his No. 56 vehicle.
Belcher was able to move past Lallier on Lap 4 to take over the top spot, with Hedges marching up to second just two laps later. Charlie Rose, who missed the previous race after claiming three Top-6 finishes to begin 2021, marched up from his starting spot of seventh into third in eight laps. Hedges moved past Belcher on Lap 11, with the two beginning a lengthy duel to lead the 17-car field during the middle stages of the contest. Another battle was occurring a few spots back, with Arrenegado and Nick Uhrig trading paint for sixth on Lap 16, which would culminate in a caution flag as Uhrig spun out near the starting line with 11 laps to go.
Some three-wide racing commenced as the final third of the race began, with DeGasparre – who moved back through the field after his first-lap issues, Lallier, and Arrenegado battling for fifth with seven laps remaining. Rose and Belcher made some contact fighting for second place, which allowed Murray to move to the inside and up to third with five laps left. Belcher was back in fourth when DeGasparre lost control of the back end of his car on Turn 2 to bring out another yellow flag and end his impressive march from last to fifth. The restart had Murray move by Rose into second as the white flag waved, with Rose dropping back to fourth as he nearly spun out on the last lap.
Arrenegado claimed the final spot on the podium behind Hedges and Murray, with Rose, Belcher, Adams, Tracey, Ryan Soulliere, Ryan Flood, and Mark Hudson rounding out the Top 10. Come see if the Everett’s Auto Parts Late Models have their sixth different winner of the season on Saturday, June 12th, as they return for another 30-lap feature that is also part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.