Kingsport, TN — The place to be on Friday nights in the Model City and surrounding Tri-Cities and Southwest Virginia region is Kingsport Speedway for exciting NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing.
Kyle Barnes of Draper, Va., proved to be king of “The Concrete Jungle” with his second straight “First Kingsport Credit Union” Late Model Stock Car feature win. However, pending a post-race protest the official results won’t become final until a ruling by NASCAR on Monday.
Current Late Model Stock Car point leader Ronnie McCarty set fast-time at 15.066 seconds to earn the pole award, but roll of the dice inverted the top five from qualifying to place Joey Trent and Wayne Hale on the front row for the 60-lap main event.
Trent, a relative newcomer to stock car racing with only a few years of experience, jumped out to the lead on the start for the first time in his career pacing the field, followed by Hale, Barnes, Kres VanDyke and Taylor Coffman.
With the race running clean-and-green, top 12 in the running order were all on the same straightaway at lap 20. At the halfway distance Trent, Hale, Barnes and VanDyke had put a few car lengths between themselves and Ronnie McCarty, Coffman, Lee Tissot, Zeke Shell, Justin Fontaine, Austin Peters and Robbie Ferguson in the running order. The event’s first caution waved on lap 32, when Greg Bohanon Jr. dropped fluid on the track on the backstretch.
Following the lap 32 yellow, over the next seven circuits three additional cautions waved. For a spin involving Derek Lane and then for heavy contact between Fontaine and VanDyke exiting the second corner, plus an incident on lap 39 involving Tissot, Shell and which collected Ferguson between turns three and four.
Back under green Hale took the lead over Trent, with Barnes getting past McCarty for third. Trent began working the high-side around the .375-mile banked concrete oval to challenge Hale for the point and the duo raced hard door-to-door for several laps, with Barnes lurking in the wings.
Racing down the front straightaway on lap 50, just past the flag stand Barnes made a bold move to force his way inside of Hale. But with Trent on the outside of Hale, and Barnes attempting to make it three-wide entering the first turn, that wasn’t going to work.
Contact to the left side of Hale from Barnes moved Hale over into Trent, which sent Trent spinning between turns one and two and bringing out the caution. Both Hale and Trent were relegated to the tail of the field for the restart.
Off the ensuing double-file restart Barnes moved out front and went on to capture his second consecutive victory, being chased to the checkered flag by VanDyke, Shell, McCarty and Coffman.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Trent, Hale, Allen Hawkins, Rick Pannell and Bohanon.
Following the race, second-place finisher VanDyke protested the engine under hood of Barnes’ car and the Late Model Stock Car results are unofficial until ruling by NASCAR at first of the week.
Mark Christian jumped to the lead over Herb Mannette and John Harrell at start of the 30-lap Street Stock feature, with Harrell moving past Mannette for second place just before the opening lap was in the books. Racing up off (turn) two on the third lap, Harrell drove under Christian for the lead.
Harrell, from Surgoinsville, began to check out over his closest challengers. Both Jared Broadbent and Royce Peters worked past Christian on lap 6. Harrell held a half-straightaway lead at the halfway mark, and it appeared he would cruise to an easy victory.
But Broadbent and Peters began chipping away at Harrell’s advantage to pull to his rear bumper at the flag stand to begin the final lap. However, Harrell would not be denied his sixth victory in eight events this season in winning over Broadbent, Peters, Chris Tunnell and Paul Shull.
Chris Neeley grabbed the lead at start of the Pure 4 feature over Billy Ketron and Kenny Absher, with Jason Ketron, Keith Helton, Dylan Bates and Brandon Sutherland also right in the mix. After starting from rear of the field, John Ketron was rocketing his way forward and got around Helton for fifth on lap 11.
While Neeley and Billy Ketron were battling side-by-side for the lead, Neeley got out of shape between turns one and two on lap 16 losing a few positions to allow Billy Ketron move to the point. Billy was closely followed by his brother Jason in the running order, with Absher and the patriarch of the Ketron family, John in pursuit.
The Ketron brothers received the white flag while racing side-by-side. Racing down the backstretch on the final lap, each looking for their first win of the season, between turns three and four Absher and John Ketron tangled with each violently slamming the outside concrete wall, literally destroying John’s race car.
Jason Ketron of Kingsport narrowly edged Billy Ketron in a photo finish for the victory, with Neeley, Tim Abelseth and Bates rounding out the top five.
John Ketron was transported to the local hospital by ambulance for precautionary measures to be closely examined, which fortunately determined no major injuries and he wasn’t admitted.
Marty Tunnell of Wise, Va., emerged from a four-car battle to capture his first Pure Street victory of the season over Nasty Jones, Cody Dutton, Brad Ball and Hershell Robinette.
After recording consecutive runner-up finishes the past two races, William Hale of Kingsport was looking to advance one position in Rookie Pure 4 action. Hale moved into the lead early and rolled to his second victory this season over Dwayne Banks, Dennis Stanley, Robert Young and Larry Stapleton.
Trey Lane of Kingsport captured his second Legend victory over Derek Lane, Hannah Ottinger, Les Ottinger and Alexcia Ray.
Brayden Monteith of Piney Flats won the Kids’ Power Wheel race. The 3-year-old fourth generation racer hopes to someday follow in the footsteps of his great-grandfather (Wayne Snow), grandfather (Don Monteith), and father (Nate Monteith, two-time Kingsport Speedway and Tennessee State NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champion) competing in stock cars at “The Concrete Jungle.”
KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY – FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2015
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES “FIRST KINGSPORT CREDIT UNION” LATE MODEL STOCK CAR (60 laps)
*** Late Model Stock Car results unofficial until Monday (June 8) and ruling by NASCAR on post-race protest!
1. Kyle Barnes #0-Draper, VA
2. Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
3. Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN
4. Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN
5. Taylor Coffman #30-Bean Station, TN
6. Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
7. Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN
8. Allen Hawkins #76-Kingsport, TN
9. Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
10. Greg Bohanon Jr. #17-Leicester, NC
11. Lee Tissot #7-Asheville, NC
12. Austin Peters #66-Kingsport, TN
13. Robbie Ferguson #31-Jonesborough, TN
14. Justin Fontaine #60-Fletcher, NC
15. Derek Lane #28-Kingsport, TN
16. Tyler Goodwin #8-Kingsport, TN
17. Daryn Cockram #9-Blacksburg, VA
18. Jamie Harrison #14-Church Hill, TN
STREET STOCK (30 laps)
1 John Harrell #19
2. Jared Broadbent #74
3. Royce Peters #48
4. Chris Tunnell #6
5. Paul Shull #48s
6. Herb Mannette #11
7. Danny Casteel #41
8. Dennis Deese #24
9. Mark Christian #43
PURE 4 (20 laps)
1. Jason Ketron #28
2. Billy Ketron #26
3. Chris Neeley #94
4. Tim Abelseth #66
5. Dylan Bates #6
6. David Trent #57
7. Keith Helton #74
8. Brandon Sutherland #5
9. Billy Byington #01
10. Kevin Darnell #4
11. Kenny Absher #11
12. John Ketron #27
13. Richard Quillen #15
PURE STREET (20 laps)
1. Marty Tunnell #99
2. Nasty Jones #13
3. Cody Dutton #13x
4. Brad Ball #60
5. Hershell Robinette #52
6. Gary Crumbley #59
7. Travis Stoots #0
ROOKIE PURE 4 (15 laps)
1. William Hale #47
2. Dwayne Banks #4
3. Dennis Stanley #21
4. Robert Young #59
5. Larry Stapleton #15
6. Craig Phelps #00
7. Larry Bowens #18
8. Daniel McMurray #0
9. Alexcia Ray #99
10. Jerry Miller #13
LEGEND (12 laps)
1. Trey Lane #9
2. Derek Lane #19
3. Hannah Ottinger #28
4. Les Ottinger #97
5. Alexcia Ray #99
-Kingsport Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Randall Perry