KINGSPORT, Tenn. — The Asheville, N.C.-based Southeast Super Truck Series made its second visit this season to Kingsport Speedway for Whelen Night at the Races on Friday.
Lee Tissot of Asheville, a weekly regular competing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series who has 10 career wins at “The Concrete Jungle,” now has his name written in the Southeast Super Truck record book after rolling to a convincing victory in the 75-lap main event.
Heading into the Model City, the Southeast Super Truck point battle was tight with Kevin Leicht of Mills River, N.C., holding a slim two-point advantage over both Tim Lollis of Easley, S.C., and Dakota Slagle of Asheville, who were tied for second-place in the standings.
Tissot set fast-time in qualifying with a quick lap at 15.630 seconds, but following the invert he started the race outside of the second row alongside Kevin Leicht.
Matt Leicht and 16-year-old Justin Fontaine, a rookie competitor this season in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Kingsport Speedway, brought the field to the green flag from the front row. Matt Leicht grabbed the lead at the start and the veteran Tissot made a move to quickly get around Fontaine for the second position.
Racing up off (turn) two on lap 6, Tissot drove by Matt Leicht to take a lead he would never relinquish. And things only got worse for Matt Leicht, as his truck’s engine developed a hole in the oil filter on lap 11 and dumped fluid onto the track entering the third turn.
When Matt Leicht spun between turns three and four, with Fontaine right behind him and with nowhere to go, he was collected along with Ed Surrett and David Flynn also getting involved to first bring the caution out, and then the red flag to allow for the track safety crew to clean the oil off the racing surface.
Off the ensuing double-file restart Tissot powered out ahead of Kevin Leicht and Lollis to resume his run out front. With the race running clean-and-green, Tissot began to start putting some real estate between his Jeff’s Auto Sales/Universal Construction/Jeff Caldwell Racing/No. 88 Chevrolet and his closest challengers. By lap 35, Tissot had pulled out to a 10 car-length advantage over Kevin Leicht and behind him it was another eight truck lengths back to Lollis.
Lollis was beginning to feel pressure from Kaleb Pressley and Cole Glasson just past halfway in the race. Pressley got around Lollis for third on lap 42 and with the door open, Glasson also passed Lollis and moved into fourth in the running order. Lollis began slowing on the backstretch on lap 45 and coasted around to the front pit entrance in the fourth turn with mechanical issues ending his race.
A good battle for third developed between Pressley and the 14-year-old Glasson, with the duo racing eight laps side-by-side before Glasson took the position on lap 58.
But out front there would be no catching Tissot, who captured his second series victory in 2014 over Kevin Leicht, Glasson, Pressley and Fontaine.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Surrett, Tyler Worley, Slagle, Bennie Davis and Lollis.
“Man, what a great feeling to finally be able to get this 88-truck in victory lane,” said a smiling Tissot after the race. “I got a Southeast Super Truck win earlier in the season driving Jeff Myers’ truck, and to get this win tonight while driving Jeff Caldwell’s truck, it’s special because he and I have been racing friends for many years now dating back to when we raced together at the old Asheville Motor Speedway. I can’t thank Jeff (Caldwell) enough for the opportunity he gives me to not only drive his truck, but also for him sponsoring me on the J&J Racing car that I race for father and son, Jeff and Jason Herron, weekly here at Kingsport Speedway in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
“We had a really great truck tonight. We were good during the afternoon in practice and then we backed that up by setting fast-time in qualifying. Sure, as a racer you don’t really care much for being inverted after qualifying. But we moved into the lead early on and the truck just drove very well. During the race, though, it’s good I was able to build up a pretty good lead because there towards the end, we began having some brake issues.”
Royce Peters of Kingsport jumped out to the lead at start of the 30-lap Street Stock feature over Chris Tunnell and Kirby Gobble.
Behind them on lap 4, things quickly got interesting after points leader Nick Cole passed Rob Austin (second in points) racing off turn two for the fourth spot in the running order. Racing into the third turn at end of the backstretch, Austin slammed into Cole’s left-rear quarter panel to spin Cole and then Austin hit the outside concrete wall to end his night with a badly damaged race car. Austin apparently had a stuck throttle (gas pedal) issue and that was the reason he drove off hard into the corner making contact with Cole.
Back under green Peters led Tunnell and Jared Broadbent. While Peters was in command out front, behind him Broadbent was pressuring Tunnell for second and eventually made the pass for position on lap 10. Peters looked to be on his way to a clean run to victory, but a late race caution when David Schmidt slowed to a stop on the backstretch set up a green-white-checkered shootout to the finish.
But Peters came out firing and would not be denied his second straight Street Stock victory, his fourth overall on the season over Gobble, Tunnell, Broadbent and Doug Austin.
Tim Abelseth of Bristol, who graduated back in May from Tennessee High School, had a best finish of fifth-place on three occasions this season. But the 18-year-old turned in a strong performance en route to impressively capturing his first-ever Pure 4 feature win over John Ketron, Kenny Absher, Chris Neeley and Dylan Bates.
Just call him “Mr. Mod 4,” as Kirby Gobble of Abingdon, Va., recorded his eighth straight feature win over Billy Duty, Rocky Yates, Duke Bare and Joshua Gobble.
Rusty Clendenin of Church Hill added yet another notch to his victory lane belt this season with his division-leading eighth Rookie Pure 4 win. He was chased to the checkered flag by Brandon Crumbley, William Hale, James Deese and Craig Phelps.
Derek Lane of Kingsport captured his fourth Legend victory over Jerry Lane, Hannah Ottinger, Trey Lane and Les Ottinger.
-Kingsport Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Randall Perry
SOUTHEAST SUPER TRUCK SERIES – SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 – KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY
Showing Finish Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown
1. (4) Lee Tissot #88-Asheville, NC
2. (3) Kevin Leicht #25-Mills River, NC
3. (5) Cole Glasson #12-Dallas, TX
4. (10) Kaleb Pressley #16-Candler, NC
5. (2) Justin Fontaine #21-Fletcher, NC
6. (8) Ed Surrett #8-Asheville, NC
7. (11) Tyler Worley #84-Fairview, NC
8. (9) Dakota Slagle #13-Asheville, NC
9. (12) Bennie Davis #66-Canton, NC
10. (6) Tim Lollis #50-Easley, SC
11. (7) David Flynn #29-Maryville, TN
12. (1) Matt Leicht #23-Arden, NC
STREET STOCK (30 laps)
1. Royce Peters #48
2. Kirby Gobble #3
3. Chris Tunnell #6
4. Jared Broadbent #74
5. Doug Austin #21
6. Sam P. Hurd #11
7. Nick Cole #63
8. David Schmidt #20
9. Todd Duff #16
10. Rob Austin #18
11. Danny Casteel #41
12. Dennis Deese #24
PURE 4 (25 laps)
1. Tim Abelseth #66
2. John Ketron #27
3. Kenny Absher #11
4. Chris Neeley #94
5. Dylan Bates #6
6. Billy Taylor #14
7. David Trent #57
8. Bruce Crumbley #00
9. Jay Swecker #77
10. Todd Cross #41
11. Darrell Whitehead #44
12. Richard Quillen #14
13. Jason Ketron #28
14. Mark McCrary #99
15. Keith Helton #14
16. Billy Byington #01
17. Billy Ketron #26
MOD 4 (20 laps)
1. Kirby Gobble #88
2. Billy Duty #45
3. Rocky Yates #3
4. Duke Bare #2
5. Joshua Gobble #77
6. James Deese #5
7. Chris Amburgey #7
8. Luke Fox #94
9. Jessie Amburgey #17
ROOKIE PURE 4 (20 laps)
1 Rusty Clendenin #11
2. Brandon Crumbley #7
3. William Hale #47
4. James Deese #66
5. Craig Phelps #00
6. Michael Jeter #53
7. Dennis Stanley #19
8. Chris Wilhelm #99
9. Chris Hill #14
10. Larry Stapleton #14
11. Tammy Cross #41
12. Larry Bowens #18
13. Dalton Lady #15
LEGEND (12 laps)
1. Derek Lane #19
2. Jerry Lane #9
3. Hannah Ottinger #97
4. Trey Lane #28
5. Les Ottinger #94