KINGSPORT, TN – Twin features for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car division highlighted the “Fast Friday at The Concrete Jungle” racing program at Kingsport Speedway, with Kres VanDyke of Abingdon, Virginia, and Zeke Shell of Johnson City, each visiting victory lane.
VanDyke was fastest in Late Model Stock Car qualifying at 15.177 seconds to earn the pole starting position for the first 35-lap feature. VanDyke grabbed the lead at start over Shell, Ronnie McCarty, Wayne Hale and Robbie Ferguson. Racing incidents early in the race parked three good competitors in Nik Williams, Austin Peters and Adam Gray.
During a long green flag stretch of racing, VanDyke was in command riding on the point leading Shell. With five laps remaining, Shell was right behind VanDyke hoping he might make the slightest mistake to open the door to get around him.
An interesting set of circumstances over the final three laps involved Ferguson and Joey Trent, who were running in the fourth and fifth positions, respectively. Racing into the first turn on lap 33, with Ferguson on the inside and Trent on the outside, Trent was forced up into the “loose stuff” and spun to bring the caution out and thus setting up a double-file restart with VanDyke and Shell alongside one another on the front row.
Back under green racing conditions, VanDyke took the lead over Shell. Behind them Ferguson and Hale were battling for real estate, with Derek Lane, Joshua Gobble, McCarty and Trent following. On the white flag lap between turns one and two Ferguson began to spin, and with nowhere to go Hale and Trent got collected in the three-car tangle.
With the caution flag waving the field was frozen, and VanDyke recorded his division-leading sixth feature win this season over Shell, Lane, Gobble and McCarty.
The top eight finishers from the first race were inverted for start of the second twin feature. Both Ferguson and Trent were running backup cars due to damage from the wreck, with each having to start at rear of the field.
The first attempt to go green was short-lived, with the opening lap not being completed. Trent was obviously displeased with Ferguson and the outcome in the first race, and between turns three and four contact was made with Ferguson’s car coming to stop high in the banking against the outside wall to bring the caution out.
The next try to start the race saw Hale surge into the lead over McCarty and Williams. Shell was on the move early in getting around Williams for the third spot on lap 4 racing up off (turn) two, and with the door open VanDyke got alongside Williams to overtake him for position.
McCarty made his move in getting past Hale for the lead on lap 6 racing off the fourth turn. Over the next lap and a half both Shell and VanDyke also worked their way around Hale and into second and third in the running order.
Shell began pressuring McCarty for the lead, but the two-time defending track champion McCarty was not going to give the position up without a valiant fight. Shell finally maneuvered his way past McCarty for the lead racing off the fourth turn on lap 12.
VanDyke moved behind McCarty and tried repeatedly lap-after-lap to get underneath him racing off the corners, but McCarty slammed the door shut on each occasion and wasn’t about to give the second spot up. While McCarty and VanDyke were battling, that allowed Shell to pull away from them and he cruised to a little over a half-straightaway margin of victory for his second win on the season.
Shell won over McCarty, VanDyke, Hale and Williams.
-Kingsport Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Kingsport Speedway