Jesse Lowe Pushes Through Adversity for First Win of 2023
The series visited Ponderosa Speedway for the first time in history this past Friday night with thirty-two cars signing in for AAS competition. The beautiful scenery around the track and perfect weather made for a prime night for dirt track racing!
We broke into two groups for BHR Fabrication Qualifying due to the heat and the likelyhood the track would change. Jeff Watson would go the fastest in Group A and the fastest overall with a time of 13.506. Zach Sise would go the second fastest in Group A turning a time of 13.899 while AJ Hicks took the third best time at a 14.015. Group B was loaded with Jesse Lowe going the fastest with a 13.937. Cory Hedgecock clocked in just behind Lowe at a 13.966 while Justin Ratliff was also right in the mix in the third spot at a time of 13.994.
The Race Track Connection Dash was won by Jesse Lowe over Jeff Watson while Cory Hedgecock brought the #23 home third! Dirt2Media Heat One was won by Jeremy Strunk over Calvin Carlton and Gunner Johnson. Outside Groove Heat Two went to Logan Walls over Elliott Despain and Duke Lowe. Steve Peeden was running in position to transfer until a last lap run in with the infield tractor tire unfortunately ended his night early. FMS Rapid Graphix Heat Three was won by Ethan Toedter in his first series start with Zane Powell and Justin Smith coming home second and third. PPM Racing Products Heat Four went to Josh Dietz over Tyler McGowan and Jason Wheatley. ATC B-Main 1 would transfer Jordan Hedge and Sylvan Schuette into the show with ATC B-Main 2 allowing Tommy Carlton and Bradley Strong to race in. Provisionals for the night were taken by Baillie Lowe and Josh Vinyard.
The field was set for the Hall of Fame 30 and the race was on. Jesse Lowe jumped to the early lead with Cory Hedgecock and Jeff Watson hot on his heels. We learned post race that Lowe lost power steering on lap four which made the run on the track even more impressive. A couple of cautions flew throughout the event and Hedgecock would close in on Lowe each time. On the final couple laps of the even Hedgecock tried a different line to get around Lowe, but it was to no avail. Lowe fought the car all race long with no power steering to put the #5J in AAS Victory Lane for the first time this season! He also tightened the points lead up to 0 as we head into the highest paying race in series history! Cory Hedgecock would cross the line second with Mr. Kentucky Zach Sise right behind finishing third. Weekly Points Leader AJ Hicks had a strong fourth place run with Josh Dietz worked his way to a fifth place finish. A couple of locals, Ethan Toedter and Tyler McGowan had great runs to finish sixth and seventh. The Hyperco Hard Charger Jason Wheatley finished eight with Eliott Despain and Logan Walls rounding out the top ten.
We'd like to thank Brandon Hardgrove and Jessica Lonesky as well as the whole staff, all the fans, drivers, and teams who supported the event at Ponderosa Speedway!
We'd also like to thank all the partners who make it possible: Dirt2Media, PPM Racing Products, Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet, Chevrolet Performance: Vehicles, Parts, Racing, Pro Fabrication "Official Header of the AAS," Mahle, Super Clean "Official Cleaner of the AAS," Outside Groove, FMS Rapid Graphix, Race Track Connection, Beckley Motor Speedway, O'Reilly Auto Parts "Official Auto Parts Store of the AAS," Smash-It by BWR, American Racer, Wieland "Official Aluminum of the AAS," BHR Fabrication and Double Nickle Race Cars, Fast Lane Fabrication, Warrior Race Cars, WV Fireworks Outlet, TNT Race Cars, KRC Power Steering, Peeping Dragon Photography, Terror Race Cars, ATC Bolts and Fasteners, PopBit, MD3, Hyperco, Burgess Consulting, ML Performance Midwest, Massey Powersports, Pro-Built Motorsports, East TN Racers Recovery and Fast Fab