KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Chad Finchum picked up where he left off last season by winning the Model City 175 at Kingsport Speedway.
Joey Trent had the field in tow for the season-opening Late Model Stock Car feature. As the field exited turn four to complete the opening lap, Wayne Hale would take over the lead.
With Hale now in command, Chad Finchum and Ronnie defending champion Ronnie McCarty began working their way through the field to second and third places, respectively. The first race’s first caution would wave on lap five when the No. 41 of Danny Casteel spun between turns one and two.
On the restart, Hale would battle with Finchum for the lead, with the 2014 track champion taking the spot one lap later. Hale would begin to slide backwards through the field, allowing McCarty and Kres VanDyke to gain another position on their trek to the front.
Finchum would continue to hold his position in the lead, while McCarty had raced his way into second place, and Kres VanDyke into third. With 20 laps remaining, Finchum and McCarty began to pull a comfortable lead over the rest of the field, and McCarty was gaining ground on the No. 19 machine.
15 laps later, Finchum began to pull away from McCarty, gaining a comfortable lead.
Finchum would lead the five remaining laps and claim the victory to kick off his return to “The Concrete Jungle.”
“We had an excellent race today,” said Finchum. “We loaded the car up at the end of the season last year and we hadn’t touched it until we came to test on Tuesday. We unloaded this morning and hadn’t touched a thing all day.”
“We didn’t decide to race the Late Model until about a month ago. We weren’t ready to race last week, so it worked in our favor that the season opener was pushed to this week.”
Finchum commented on the competition at Kingsport Speedway being some of the toughest around, and on how much he enjoys it.
“I really enjoy racing with all the competitors here; they put on a great race today. There used to be an old saying that if you could win here you could win anywhere, and that is still true Kingsport Speedway. The competition makes it really exciting to come and run here; I really love it here.”
“Everyone raced me really clean today, and I really want to thank Ronnie [McCarty]. He was at my back bumper and had the opportunity to move me, but he raced me clean,” added Finchum.
“I’m glad to support the racing in the area, and that we have a track like Kingsport to come and race at each week.
Not only was Team Finchum celebrating the victory today; they were also celebrating the birthday of Finchum’s father and car owner.
“When I was younger racing go-karts, we would race on my dad’s birthday and I was able to win for him, but today was the first Late Model win I’ve been able to get on his birthday. This was the icing on the cake to help celebrate.”
After an invert of six positions, Chris Tunnell found himself on point for the 35-lap Street Stock feature.
Jared Broadbent would waste no time getting to the front, grabbing the lead from Tunnell on the opening lap. 14 laps later, Broadbent would find himself under fire from Tunnell, as the Tyrod Racing member would take the lead on lap 15.
A spin with three laps remaining would bring the field under yellow flag conditions.
Back under green, Tunnell would battle with John Harrell for the top spot. Harrell would briefly take the lead with Tunnell pulling back alongside with two laps to go.
With the white flag waving, Tunnell and Harrell would continue to battle as the two raced into turn one. Exiting turn two, chaos would ensue with the two making contacting, and sending Harrell into the outside retaining wall.
With the caution displayed on the final lap, the field would be frozen, relegating Tunnell to the win over Broadbent and Royce Peters.
Billy Ketron would lead the field to the green for the season’s first Pure 4 feature. Ketron would lead for only a fraction of the lap before younger brother Jason Ketron took over the position.
The first caution would wave on lap 10 when the No. 59 machine of Robert Young slowed with a tire malfunction.
Working the restart, Jason Ketron would battle with his father John Ketron. With the two battling for the lead, Billy Byington would sneak into the picture and take over the lead.
Lap 25 would see another yellow flag displayed when Billy Ketron and Young tangled in turns one and two.
With the green flag back in the air for the restart, Byington would regain the lead and never relinquish.
Billy Duty took the lead to open the Mod 4 race. The race would be slowed by two caution periods over 25 laps.
Kirby Gobble would take the lead on the race’s final restart and drive on and never relinquish for the victory.
The first Pure Street race of the season would see Brad Ball and Marty Tunnell battle throughout the majority of the race.
On the final lap of the race, Ball and Tunnell would make contact on the backstretch, sending both machines out of control and into a partial spin. The two would regain control of their cars as the barreled into turns three and
Racing towards the checkered flag, Ball would pull ahead of Tunnell for the win.
Kingsport Speedway returns to Friday night next week on April 1. For up-to-date details, visit www.newkingsportspeedway.com. Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
-Kingsport Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Chad Fletcher