KINGSPORT, Tenn. (May 23) — Kingsport Speedway kicked off the Memorial Day weekend Friday “Celebrating The Stars That Protect Our Stripes,” with NASCAR Salutes: United States Armed Forces Night at the Races.
In a special pre-race ceremony, the track honored active military expressing reverence, respect, and gratitude to all who proudly wear the uniform while defending our freedom and the sacrifices they have made in defending our nation, along with pausing to remember those who paid the ultimate price and died while protecting our country. All military, current and veterans who served, were admitted free for the night’s racing action at “The Concrete Jungle.”
Lee Tissot of Asheville, N.C., jumped into the lead at start of the 60-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock feature and proceeded to lead flag-to-flag for his first victory of the season, in an event that ran caution-free.
In qualifying, defending track champion Chad Finchum set fast-time at 15.240 seconds, while Ryan Stiltner was second quickest at 15.279. With the top-five from qualifying inverted, Kyle Barnes inherited the pole position with Tissot on the outside of the front row.
Tissot powered into the lead over Barnes at the start, while behind them Stiltner and Zeke Shell battled for the third spot, and Finchum and surprise visitor Nate Monteith were racing side-by-side for fifth place. Monteith, who won the 2011 and ’12 Kingsport Speedway and Tennessee State NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championships on the strength of 10 wins each season, was making his first start at the track since his last title campaign, chauffeuring a Zeke Shell Racing team-car.
Racing off (turn) two on lap 6, Finchum cleared Monteith for position, while directly ahead of them Shell moved into third over Stiltner. Shell passed Barnes to move into the runner-up position on lap 10 racing off the second corner.
Monteith got around Finchum on lap 11 racing off the fourth turn, but Finchum fought back to reclaim the spot just two circuits later.
Meanwhile, out front Tissot and Shell had put about 10 car lengths between themselves and their closest challengers at the 20-lap mark. Barnes drifted a little high exiting turn two on lap 24, with both Stiltner and Finchum taking advantage to drop him back two positions in the running order to fifth. With Barnes experiencing a deflating right-rear tire, Monteith passed him to move into the fifth spot on lap 27 racing off turn two.
With the race running clean-and-green and just 10 laps remaining, the front-running trio of Tissot, Shell and Stiltner caught the cars of Wayne Hale, Tyler Goodwin and Zack Walton, who were battling for position to stay inside the top 10.
Shell looked to possibly make a move to take the lead, if he could trap Tissot behind one of the cars about to be lapped. But Tissot, driving the Ken Daffron’s Dalton Direct Carpets of Kingsport/First Kingsport Credit Union/Jeff’s Auto Sales (Leicester, N.C)/Northeast State Community College Motorsports Program/Hunley Built Shocks/Five Star Race Car Bodies/Hess Racing Products Inc./Ford Racing/Signs by Roach Graphics/No 7 Ford Fusion, easily cleared all three cars and put some distance between himself and Shell. Tissot captured the Late Model Stock victory over Shell, Stiltner, Finchum and Monteith.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Barnes, current divisional points leader Kres VanDyke, Paul Nogradi Jr., Hale and Goodwin.
Rob Austin grabbed the lead at start of the 30-lap Street Stock feature over Jared Broadbent. Broadent got loose racing off (turn) two on the fourth lap, allowing both John Harrell of Surgoinsville and Nick Cole to get around and move into second and third in the running order. Harrell closed to rear bumper of Austin on lap 7 and began applying pressure for the lead, before finally moving ahead on lap 11 racing off the second corner. Once out front, Harrell went on to capture his second win of the season over Austin, Cole, Royce Peters and Broadbent.
Jon Pittman grabbed the early lead over Tim Abelseth in the 25-lap Pure 4 feature. But two-time divisional track champion John Ketron of Kingsport was on the move quickly, passing Pittman for the lead on lap 5 racing off turn two. With the elder Ketron making the pass, the door was open for his son, Jason Ketron, who graduated last Friday from Sullivan North High School, to get around Pittman for the second spot.
Caution waved on lap 17, when Bruce Crumbley and Abelseth were battling for fifth place and Crumbley got into Abelseth’s left-rear quarter panel to send him spinning in turn two, thus erasing a half-straightaway lead John Ketron held over Jason.
Off the double-file restart, both Ketron’s slid high up the track between turns one and two. And Kenny Absher capitalized to drop inside and challenge John for the lead. They raced side-by-side for four circuits before Absher moved into the lead. But John battled back to get alongside Absher coming to take the white flag.
Racing off turn two down the backstretch, Absher and John were door-to-door, and directly on their rear bumper was Pittman. Pittman dove to the bottom entering the third turn and the action was three-wide racing off the fourth turn for the win. John Ketron barely edged Absher and Pittman for his third victory of the season, with Bruce Crumbley and Jason Ketron rounding out the top five in the finishing order.
Rusty Clendenin of Church Hill joined his father, Roger Clendenin, current owner of RCR Race Cars, Parts and Repairs, as a feature race winner at Kingsport Speedway. The elder Clendenin won races and also track championships in the past on both asphalt and dirt in the Model City. With Rusty’s victory Friday on the concrete surface, the Clendenins now own victories on all three racing surfaces in the track’s history. Rusty won over James Deese, Michael Jeter, Jackson Austin and Brandon Crumbley.
The “Virginia Bandit” Duke Bare, from Meadowview, Va., outran Roby Orr, Brad Ball, Iggy Greer and Jeremy Draughn to record his first Pure Street win this season.
Trey Lane of Kingsport led a Lane family sweep in Legends action, beating his dad, Jerry Lane, and brother, Derek Lane, for his first win of the season. Finishing fourth and fifth were Hayden Ottinger and Hannah Ottinger.
Showing Finish Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown, Laps Completed In Parentheses
1. (2) Lee Tissot #7-Asheville, NC (60)
2. (3) Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN (60)
3. (4) Ryan Stiltner #22-Grundy, VA (60)
4. (5) Chad Finchum #19-Knoxville, TN (60)
5. (6) Nate Monteith #6-Bristol, TN (60)
6. (1) Kyle Barnes #15-Draper, VA (60)
7. (9) Kres VanDyke #15-Claypool Hill, VA (60)
8. (8) Paul Nogradi Jr. #02-Clinton, TN (60)
9. (13) Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN (59)
10. (10) Tyler Goodwin #64-Kingsport, TN (59)
11. (7) Zack Walton #1-Blountville, TN (59)
12. (16) Austin Peters #48-Kingsport, TN (59)
13. (18) Phil Harris #55-Johnson City, TN (58)
14. (15) Sam Steffey #35-Abingdon, VA (58)
15. (19) Luke Fox #94-Weaverville, NC (54)
16. (11) Justin Fontaine #60-Fletcher, NC (52)
17. (17) Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN (51)
18. (14) Greg Bohanon Jr. #17-Leicester, NC (5)
19. (12) Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN (1)
STREET STOCK (30 laps)
1) John Harrell #19; 2) Rob Austin #25; 3) Nick Cole #63; 4) Royce Peters #48; 5) Jared Broadbent #74; 6) Chris Tunnell #6; 7) Steve Sims #10; 8) Sam P. Hurd #11; 9) Mark Christian #43; 10) Brian Russell #22
PURE 4 (25 laps)
1) John Ketron #26; 2) Kenny Absher #11; 3) Jon Pittman #00; 4) Bruce Crumbley #33; 5) Jason Ketron #28; 6) Tim Abelseth #66; 7) Kenneth Street #01; 8) David Trent #57; 9) Nick Jennings #16; 10) Todd Cross #41; 11) Kenneth Street #2; 12) Richard Quillen #14; 13) Billy Ketron #59; 14) Brandon Sutherland #22 – Did Not Start: Keith Helton #74
ROOKIE PURE 4 (20 laps)
1) Rusty Clendenin #11; 2) James Deese #25; 3) Michael Jeter #53; 4) Jackson Austin #11; 5) Brandon Crumbley #7; 6) William Hale #47; 7) Craig Phelps #00; 8) Dwayne Banks #51; 9) Gary Crumbley #33; 10) Tim Jennings #16; 11) Chris Wilhelm #99; 12) Tammy Cross #41; 13) Larry Stapleton #14; 14) Larry Bowens #18; 15) Andrew Hill #97; 16) Seth Clement #02
PURE STREET (15 laps)
1) Duke Bare #52; 2) Roby Orr #81; 3) Brad Ball #17; 4) Iggy Greer #33; 5) Jeremy Draughn #7; 6) Rusty Ratliff #9; 7) Dean Deskins #13; 8) Nasty Jones #13
LEGEND (10 laps)
1) Trey Lane #28; 2) Jerry Lane #9; 3) Derek Lane #19; 4) Hayden Ottinger #94; 5) Hannah Ottinger #97

Tissot Dominates for First Kingsport Win in 2014