LOUDON, Tenn. — There was never a doubt that one day Cory Hedgecock of Loudon would be a racer. For most young kids when they’re growing up, their parents attempt to keep them in a quiet environment. But that wasn’t the case for Hedgecock.
Even as a young boy, Cory loved hearing the sound of a racing engine. And that was probably a good thing, considering the Hedgecock family has been in the business of building racing engines since before Cory was born.
When the Hedgecock name is mentioned in motorsports, it commands attention from all over the United States. Cory’s grandfather, Mike Hedgecock, founded Eagle Racing Engines in East Tennessee over 30 years ago and during that time they’ve put the horsepower behind many record setting runs for some of the top motorsports teams.
Eagle Racing Engines has powered drivers to 14 drag racing national championships.
Many years of hard work and dedication has earned the business a solid reputation of quality, performance and ongoing service after the sale. Eagle customers demand engines that are performance driven and quality engineered.
Cory’s father, Chad Hedgecock, is quite an accomplished drag racer with numerous event wins across the United States throughout an illustrious career that saw him ultimately capture an International Hot Rod Association World Championship.
Following in his father’s footsteps, young Cory started out racing Junior Dragsters at age 7 and continued until he was 15 years old, and that’s when he moved up to driving Super Pro and Top Dragsters. Competing in the Winter Series back in 2010, with events scheduled at South Georgia Motorsports Park near Valdosta, and in the Sunshine State at Bradenton Motorsports Park and West Palm Beach International Raceway, Cory became the youngest driver to ever win a Winter Series event when he scored two victories; a $5,000 triumph and also a $10,000 payday.
Cory first got behind the wheel of a dirt late model as a teenager in mid-2011, competing in the Crate Late Model division at 411 Motor Speedway, located just outside of Knoxville in Seymour. It’s a safe assumption to say making the switch from drag racing in a straight line to standing on the throttle and going in circles wheeling a dirt late model has paid off for Hedgecock.
During the 2012 racing season at 411, Hedgecock captured three late model wins, two chauffeuring a Crate Late Model and one Limited Late Model victory.
“You know, I was very fortunate to have enjoyed a good bit of success in drag racing,” said the humble Hedgecock while looking back on his time spent drag racing. “I don’t necessarily know that I had added pressure to win races since my dad had won a lot, but I guess I might’ve put pressure on myself to win. With me starting racing Junior Dragsters at age 7, unless you’ve ever attended a Junior Dragster event you just don’t have a clue how competitive the racing is.
“Once I moved up to running Super Pro and Top Dragster, I won some good-paying money races. I won two Winter Series events and doing that was really a big deal in drag racing, especially accomplishing what I did as a teenager. All I know is when I began racing, I wanted to win. Hey, that’s what racing is all about – winning. You want to take the trophy back home. I learned from an early age that you’ve got to work on your equipment back at the shop, and when you get to the track you take care of business. That’s what I grew up seeing, my grandfather and dad working on the drag car. It’s all about being well-prepared, because if you don’t work on and maintain your stuff, then you’re not going to win.”
The 20-year-old Hedgecock is having an outstanding 2013 racing season, with four total wins. A week ago he tackled the high banks at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, where he set fast-time and led flag-to-flag for the $2,000 victory.
This past Saturday night at 411 in the Limited Late Model division, Hedgecock started from outside of row one and grabbed the lead at the start and never looked back en route to capturing his third win at the track.
To go along with the four feature wins, on the season Hedgecock has recorded eight pole awards, including one stretch of five consecutive races starting from the pole position. He also has a total of 12 top-five finishes.
“Overall we’ve had a really good racing season, we really have,” said Hedgecock from the shop while taking a break from working on his dirt late model. “It was a really big deal for our race team to go up to Volunteer Speedway last week and bring home the $2,000 win. That was a stellar field of cars up there with 38 Limited Late Models present.
Then this past Saturday at 411 Motor Speedway, we had a really good car. We just barely missed setting fast-time and wound up second quickest. But we jumped out to the lead on the start and led the entire race for the victory.
“Making the transition from drag racing to driving a dirt late model, that was a big change for me and the type of racing I’d grown up around. But I’m getting to the point to where I’m feeling pretty comfortable driving these (dirt late model) cars. Sure, I’m still learning. But I develop a better understanding of what it takes to drive the car each race I run.”
Besides driving the dirt late model on weekends, Cory works alongside his grandfather and father during the week at Eagle Racing Engines.
“I’ve got to say, getting to work with and be around my grandfather and father every day, it just doesn’t get any better than that,” said a smiling Hedgecock. “Sure, I guess there are times we might get on one another’s nerves a little, but it’s all about family. Growing up as a boy and hanging around the race engine business, I knew that’s what I wanted to do one day. I wanted to build race engines and also drive a race car.
“Going racing with my family on the weekends, what boy wouldn’t love doing that? I guess you could say I’m living the dream, getting to race a dirt late model. I love it. Who knows where racing will take me. But I know I’m very appreciative for all the racing opportunities my family has given me. I’m truly blessed and thankful.”
Drivers and race teams all across the United States, for your oval track and drag racing engines, visit the Eagle Racing Engines 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, Hoosier Racing Tire South by Pup, and American Racer Tires 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.