KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Mother Nature threatened to wash out Whelen Night at the Races with a pop-up shower Friday evening near race-time at Kingsport Speedway. But following track drying fans were treated to an exciting seven division NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing program at “The Concrete Jungle.”
Kres VanDyke and Zeke Shell battled throughout the “First Kingsport Credit Union” Late Model Stock Car feature, with Shell finally getting past VanDyke to take the lead 16 laps from the finish. Shell would take the checkered flag for his apparent third victory of the season, but following post-race technical inspection he was disqualified and thus moving VanDyke up one finishing position to give him his seventh win of the season.
Wayne Hale, fresh off his first win this season last week, was fastest in qualifying with a lap at 15.091 seconds, with current point leader Ronnie McCarty second quickest at 15.162. But the roll of the dice produced an invert of the top five cars from time trials, which put Lee Tissot on the pole and VanDyke on the outside of the front row for the 60-lap main event.
VanDyke jumped out into the lead over Tissot, Shell, McCarty and Hale at the start. Hale got under McCarty between turns one and two just two laps in to move into fourth in the running order. Shell pulled alongside of Tissot racing off (turn) two on lap 5 to challenge for second, and two circuits later Shell took the position.
Shell quickly closed to leader VanDyke’s rear bumper, and on occasion would sneak peeks to the inside racing up off the corners. But each time VanDyke would slam the door shut to maintain his view out front. At the halfway distance with the race running clean-and-green, VanDyke still led Shell, Tissot, Hale and McCarty.
The event’s only caution waved on lap 34 when Chad Ball got into the back of Austin Peters between turns one and two and sent Peters spinning. Both were sent to the tail of the field for the restart, Peters for spinning to bring the caution out and Ball for turning Peters.
VanDyke pulled back out ahead of Shell on the restart, followed by Tissot. Shell really turned the pressure up on VanDyke wanting the lead, while Tissot had his hands full with trying to hold Hale back. Hale got around Tissot for third on lap 38, with Shell moving to the inside of VanDyke to challenge for the lead. After racing side-by-side around the .375-mile banked concrete oval for six laps, Shell completed the pass on VanDyke to take the lead.
Shell clicked off perfect laps without missing a beat down the stretch to take his apparent third win in 2015, only to see it taken away during post-race technical inspection. With all drivers moved up one finishing position, VanDyke, from Abingdon, Va., recorded his seventh victory followed by Hale, Tissot, McCarty and Justin Fontaine.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Tyler Goodwin, Robbie Ferguson, Peters, Derek Lane and Ball.
Bounty hunters were out looking to try and collect $200 offered by Bloomingdale Car Care to any driver that could beat Street Stock points leader John Harrell, who entered the night with a division-leading 10 victories. Jared Broadbent grabbed the lead at start over Sam P. Hurd, Paul Shull, Harrell and Mark Christian. Harrell passed Shull for third racing off the second corner on the fourth circuit to close right behind Hurd, who was chauffeuring a new ride and running behind leader Broadbent.
Jon Pittman was making his first-ever start in a Street Stock after previously competing in the Rookie Pure 4 division before moving up to Pure 4. After some jawing back-and-forth during the week on social media between Pittman and Robbie Allison, the two tangled on lap 8 between turns three and four when Allison spun Pittman to bring the caution flag out. With the lead trio of Broadbent, Hurd and Harrell working their way past Pittman and Allison, as Pittman was sent spinning by Allison he collected an innocent Hurd who made contact with the fourth turn outside concrete wall. Pittman would continue with sheet metal damage, while Allison was parked by the track race director over the incident.
Off the double-file restart Broadbent and Harrell battled side-by-side for five laps before Harrell moved into the lead. Harrell, from Surgoinsville, would go on to capture his 11th victory over Shull, Broadbent, Christian and Danny Casteel.
Kenny Absher led the first 14 laps of the Pure 4 feature until Tim Abelseth got into the left-rear quarter panel of John Ketron at end of the backstretch entering the third turn, spinning Ketron to bring out the caution flag. Off the ensuing restart Absher failed to come up to speed due to mechanical issues, thus moving his teammate Byington into the lead.
Byington, from Kingsport, held Billy Ketron off for his second victory of the season followed by Jason Ketron. John Ketron and Abelseth worked their way back to round out the top five finishers from their early race incident.
Kirby Gobble of Abingdon, Va., passed Billy Duty to take the lead on lap 13 of the Mod 4 feature and once out front went on to capture his third consecutive and fifth overall victory this season. Gobble was chased to the checkered flag by Duty, Dennis Arnold, Hershell Robinette and Jerry Miller.
Marty Tunnell of Wise, Va., recorded his fourth straight and fifth overall Pure Street feature win this season in outrunning Nasty Jones, Michael Deskins, Brad Ball and Dennis Arnold.
Ben Barker of Bluff City rolled to his third Rookie Pure 4 win over Dennis Stanley, Dwayne Banks, William Hale and Larry Stapleton.
Trey Lane of Kingsport captured his fifth Legend victory over John Bays, Hannah Ottinger, Les Ottinger and Alexcia Ray.
With NASCAR racing at Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend, Kingsport Speedway will take Friday (Aug. 21) night off. The next event in the Model City will be Championship Night at the Races on Friday, Aug. 28.
-Kingsport Speedway Press Release & Photo
KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY – FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015 – WHELEN NIGHT AT THE RACES
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES “FIRST KINGSPORT CREDIT UNION” LATE MODEL STOCK CAR (60 laps)
1. Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
2. Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN
3. Lee Tissot #7-Asheville, NC
4. Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN
5. Justin Fontaine #60-Fletcher, NC
6. Tyler Goodwin #64-Kingsport, TN
7. Robbie Ferguson #31-Jonesborough, TN
8. Austin Peters #38-Kingsport, TN
9. Derek Lane #28-Kingsport, TN
10. Chad Ball #30-Wytheville, VA
11. Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN
12. Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
13. Jamie Harrison #76-Church Hill, TN
14. Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
15. Jared Broadbent #9-Bakersville, NC
Did Not Pass Post-Race Technical Inspection: Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN
STREET STOCK (30 laps)
1. John Harrell #19
2. Paul Shull #48
3. Jared Broadbent #74
4. Mark Christian #43
5. Danny Casteel #41
6. Dennis Deese #24
7. Jon Pittman #16
8. Sam P. Hurd #11
9. Robbie Allison #12
10. Royce Peters #48
PURE 4 (20 laps)
1. Billy Byington #01
2. Billy Ketron #26
3. Jason Ketron #28
4. John Ketron #27
5. Tim Abelseth #66
6. David Trent #57
7. Dylan Bates #6
8. Bruce Crumbley #33
9. Kevin Darnell #4
10. Richard Quillen #15
11. Kenny Absher #11
MOD 4 (20 laps)
1. Kirby Gobble #77
2. Billy Duty #45
3. Dennis Arnold #7
4. Hershell Robinette #9
5. Jerry Miller #01
6. Chris Amburgey #7
7. Darrell Whitehead #43
8. James Deese #25
9. Jessie Amburgey #17
10. Kylin Hammer #42
PURE STREET (20 laps)
1. Marty Tunnell #99
2. Nasty Jones #13
3. Michael Deskins #60
4. Brad Ball #52
5. Dennis Arnold #59
6. Travis Stoots #0
7. Hershell Robinette #9
ROOKIE PURE 4 (15 laps)
1. Ben Barker #54
2. Dennis Stanley #21
3. Dwayne Banks #4
4. William Hale #47
5. Larry Stapleton #15
6. Larry Bowens #18
7. Robert Young #59
8. Craig Phelps #00
9. Alexcia Ray #99
10. Daniel McMurray #0
LEGEND (12 laps)
1. Trey Lane #9
2. John Bays #19
3. Hannah Ottinger #28
4. Les Ottinger #97
5. Alexcia Ray #99