Kingsport, TN – With heavy rain falling at times during the day on Friday, followed by scattered showers at night around Northeast Tennessee and nearby Southwest Virginia, Kingsport Speedway somehow managed to escape any downpours and was able to get WQUT 101.5 FM Night at the Races in Friday.

The Fourth of July is known for fireworks, and both Kres VanDyke of Abingdon, Va., and Zeke Shell of Johnson City, lit up the nighttime skies for NASCAR Whelen All-American Series “First Kingsport Credit Union” Late Model Stock Car victories to kick off the Independence Day holiday weekend with a bang in the Model City.

Ronnie McCarty was quickest in time-trials, but following an invert of the top three from qualifying Ryan Stiltner who was making his first start of the season at “The Concrete Jungle” and VanDyke started the first 35-lap twin feature from the front row.

VanDyke wasted no time in flexing his muscle to take the lead on the start, as he powered ahead of Stiltner between turns one and two on the opening lap. With the race running clean and green and top 12 cars in the running order all on the same straightaway as the race reached the halfway point, VanDyke was enjoying the view from out front.

VanDyke, the defending track champion, driving the Service Fuel Inc./Pizza Plus/Burger King/Wheel Chill/AR Bodies/Hy-Tec Specialty Coatings/RW Race Engines/Townsend Oliver Racing Performance (TORP Chassis)/Pro Image Graphics/No. 15 Chevrolet SS, recorded his fifth victory of the season over Stiltner, Shell, Zack Walton (making his first start in 2015), with Derek Lane bringing home a career-best fifth-place finish.

Completing the top 10 finishers were McCarty, Lee Tissot, Joey Trent, Austin Peters and Taylor Coffman.

Zeke Shell took the second half of the Kingsport double-header. (Track PR Photo)

Zeke Shell took the second half of the Kingsport double-header. (Track PR Photo)

Shell and Stiltner brought the 18-car field to green from the front row in the second 35-lap event, with the duo racing side-by-side the opening two circuits before Stiltner moved into the lead. With the race reaching the lap 10 mark, the top four cars of Stiltner, Shell, VanDyke and McCarty were running nose-to-tail and pushing each other down the straightaway. The race’s only caution flag waved on lap 14, when Trent and Tyler Goodwin tangled and spun in turn two.

For the double-file restart Stiltner chose the outside line and thus giving the inside to Shell. Back under green conditions they raced side-by-side for the next eight circuits before Shell moved into the lead on lap 22. VanDyke began pressuring Stiltner for second, and finally pulled the trigger to shoot past and take the position on lap 28 racing off the second corner.

But Shell, driving the Tennessee Hills Distillery/Capone’s of Johnson City/Vape On/Pat & Danny’s Pit Stop Garage/Shell Media (Printing, Design, Graphics, Wraps, Promotions, Marketing, Advertising) of Johnson City/Roush Yates Performance Products/Performancenter Racing Warehouse/LTO-PRW Chassis/Bobby Myers Performance Racing Engines/No. 97 Ford Fusion, would go on to capture his second win of the season over VanDyke, Stiltner, McCarty, and another fifth-place effort for Lane.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Walton, Justin Fontaine, Wayne Hale, Coffman and Peters.

Royce Peters grabbed lead at start of the Street Stock feature over Keith Stiltner and John Harrell. Stiltner moved around Peters for the lead on the second lap, with Harrell also getting past Peters. Harrell, sitting atop the point standings and also with seven victories this season, stayed glued to Stiltner’s rear bumper while occasionally taking a look underneath the leader racing up off the corners.

With Stiltner being forced to move up off the bottom groove he’d been protecting through the corners while in the process of going around a slower car between turns one and two, that allowed Harrell to get to the inside of Stiltner racing down the backstretch into the third turn on lap 19. What occurred is contact into the left side of Stiltner from Harrell as they raced off the fourth turn led to Stiltner spinning and ultimately backing down hard against the inside concrete wall to bring out the caution. Stiltner was done with a badly torn-up race car, and Harrell also saw his race come to premature end as track officials parked him due to the incident.

Jared Broadbent of Bakersville, N.C., roared into the lead over Peters off the restart and went on to record his third victory and in the process closed to within four points in the standings behind Harrell.

The action each week in the Pure 4 division keeps fans on edge of their seats, because there’s usually around 8-10 competitors’ racing within inches of one another all with the same thing on their mind – winning. And, sometimes what unfolds leads to hot tempers and bent sheet-metal.

At start of the 20-lap feature Dylan Bates and John Ketron raced hard for the lead, while behind them it was a “wild scramble” for real estate involving Brandon Sutherland, the Ketron brothers Billy and Jason, Kenny Absher, Tim Abelseth, Bruce Crumbley and Keith Helton. Three wide while racing off the fourth turn on lap 5, with Helton on the bottom and the Ketron brothers to the outside, that led to an incident along the front straightaway with Billy hitting the inside wall and Helton getting turned up into the outside wall to bring the caution out.

Off the ensuing double-file restart, Abelseth, from Bristol, grabbed the lead and never looked back en route to capturing his second win of the season over Crumbley, Absher, Bates and Jason Ketron.

Just call Rocky Yates “Mr. Perfect.” The Abingdon, Va., driver has only competed in two Mod 4 races this season – but he’s won both. And for the second straight race he also started from the back of the field and stormed his way to the front. Yates recorded the win over Joshua Gobble, his father Kirby Gobble, Billy Duty and Chris Amburgey.

Chris Wilhelm of Fall Branch captured his second consecutive and third overall Rookie Pure 4 victory this season in winning over Dwayne Banks, Ben Barker, William Hale and Larry Stapleton.

Duke Bare of Meadowview, Va., along with Brad Ball and Marty Tunnell, dueled the entire distance in the Pure Street feature before the “Virginia Bandit” Bare scored his second victory of the season. Finishing behind Bare were Ball, Tunnell, Nasty Jones and Cody Dutton.



1. Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
2. Ryan Stiltner #22-Grundy, VA
3. Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN
4. Zack Walton #38-Blountville, TN
5. Derek Lane #28-Kingsport, TN
6. Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN
7. Lee Tissot #7-Asheville, NC
8. Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
9. Austin Peters #66-Kingsport, TN
10. Taylor Coffman #30-Bean Station, TN
11. Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN
12. Justin Fontaine #60-Fletcher, NC
13. Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN
14. Greg Bohanon Jr. #17-Leicester, NC
15. Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
16. Jamie Harrison #76-Church Hill, TN
17. Logan Jones #77-Fredericksburg, VA
18. Tyler Goodwin #64-Kingsport, TN


1. Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN
2. Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
3. Ryan Stiltner #22-Grundy, VA
4. Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN
5. Derek Lane #28-Kingsport, TN
6. Zack Walton #38-Blountville, TN
7. Justin Fontaine #60-Fletcher, NC
8. Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN
9. Taylor Coffman #30-Bean Station, TN
10. Austin Peters #66-Kingsport, TN
11. Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN
12. Greg Bohanon Jr. #17-Leicester, NC
13. Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
14. Lee Tissot #7-Asheville, NC
15. Jamie Harrison #76-Church Hill, TN
16. Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
17. Logan Jones #77-Fredericksburg, VA
18. Tyler Goodwin #64-Kingsport, TN

*** Late Model Stock Car results unofficial until first of the week, due to MSD boxes taken from top three finishers for further inspection by NASCAR officials.

STREET STOCK (30 laps)

1. Jared Broadbent #74
2. Royce Peters #48
3. Robbie Allison #12
4. Terry Stone #34
5. Dennis Deese #24
6. Keith Stiltner #22
7. John Harrell #19
8. Paul Shull #48
9. Brad Ball #2
10. Todd Duff #16

PURE 4 (20 laps)

1 Tim Abelseth #66
2. Bruce Crumbley #33
3. Kenny Absher #11
4. Dylan Bates #6
5. Jason Ketron #28
6. David Trent #57
7. Jay Swecker #77
8. Richard Quillen #15
9. Jackie Jackson #16
10. Brandon Crumbley #7
11. John Ketron #27
12. Billy Ketron #26
13. Keith Helton #74

Did Not Pass Post-Race Inspection: Brandon Sutherland #5
Did Not Start: Billy Byington #01

MOD 4 (20 laps)

1. Rocky Yates #3
2. Joshua Gobble #88
3. Kirby Gobble #77
4. Billy Duty #45
5. Chris Amburgey #17
6. Darrell Whitehead #43
7. Jessie Amburgey #7
8. Jerry Miller #01
9. Dennis Arnold #7
10. James Deese #25

ROOKIE PURE 4 (15 laps)

1. Chris Wilhelm #99
2. Dwayne Banks #4
3. Ben Barker #54
4. William Hale #47
5. Larry Stapleton #15
6. Craig Phelps #00
7. Dennis Stanley #57
8. Larry Bowens #18

Did Not Start: Robert Smith #1

PURE STREET (15 laps)

1. Duke Bare #52
2. Brad Ball #60
3. Marty Tunnell #99
4. Nasty Jones #13
5. Cody Dutton #1

Story & Photos: Robert Walden PR


Southeast: Shell & VanDyke Crush the Concrete Jungle