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Ivey Captures $5000 Bill Hendren Memorial Victory

Utilizing the outside lane on a double file restart midway through the race, Trent Ivey grabbed the lead away from pole sitter Ryan Atkins and paced the field the rest of the way to pick up the SRI Performance Bonus Race presented by RockAuto.com and his 2nd consecutive Bill Hendren Memorial win Saturday night at Cherokee Speedway. 35 SECA Late Models signed in as the prestigious event made its inaugural appearance at the storied Gaffney, South Carolina venue.

Super Late Model veteran Chris Ferguson posted a blistering lap to lead the star studded field in time trials Ferguson, Ivey, Atkins, and 2017 Skyler Trull Memorial winner Timbo Mangum captured heat race victories. The 4 heat race winners were then entered into the redraw which sent Atkins and Ferguson to Row 1 while Mangum and Ivey settled for the 3rd and 4th starting positions respectively.

Numerous members of the Hendren Family were on hand as the 24 car field prepared for the 60 lap battle ahead Picking up where he left off at March Madness, Atkins slid past Ferguson at the drop of the green to take the lead with Ferguson and the rest of the field in tow. As Ferguson looked to pressure Atkins and Mangum solidified his position in 3rd, the rest of the field wasted no time in jockeying for valuable track position. One unfortunate caution in Turns 1 & 2 early in the event ended the night prematurely for several drivers who were attempting to avoid the incident but simply had nowhere to go. Atkins maintained his lead through multiple double file restarts as Timbo Mangum forged his way into the runner-up spot only to have his charge towards the front halted by contact with lap traffic.

The Lap 35 caution brought the field together for another double file restart and Ivey, who inherited the runner-up spot from Mangum, wasted no time in challenging for the lead as he slid by Atkins on the ensuing restart. Ivey built a small lead while Atkins regrouped and Ferguson tried to reel in the lead duo. With the laps winding down and Ivey working the middle and upper grooves, Atkins mounted one last charge on the bottom but it was to no avail as Ivey would lead the rest of the way. He was followed to the checkered flag by Atkins, Ferguson, Owen Osteen, and Hard Charger Dennis “Rambo” Franklin.

Discussions about the 2018 Bill Hendren Memorial between the Hendren Family, Cherokee Speedway, and the South Eastern Crate Association are already underway. Details will be released once they are reviewed and finalized as plans for enhancing the event are currently being explored.

Partners of the South Eastern Crate Association include: City Chevrolet Performance, Hoosier Racing Tires, SRI Performance, RockAuto.com “The Official Auto Parts of the South Eastern Crate Association”, FK Rod Ends, VP Racing Fuels “The Official Racing Fuel of the South Eastern Crate Association”, JRi Shocks, Heintz Performance, Bilstein Shocks, Big A's Custom Graphics, JRS Competition Finishes, Ntense Graphics, ARbodies, Velocita, Flag To Flag, & Thomas Clarke Performance