A spring chill in the air around Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia didn’t keep the big crowd from being present Friday at Kingsport Speedway for running of the Easter Xtravaganza 160, which featured 160 laps of exciting green-flag racing action in six divisions.
Kres VanDyke of Claypool Hill, Va., remained perfect to start the season as he flexed his muscle by leading all 60 laps en route to capturing his second straight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock feature win.
Defending track champion Chad Finchum toured the .375-mile banked concrete oval quickest in qualifying with a lap of 15.154 seconds to narrowly surpass VanDyke’s time of 15.179, with Lee Tissot timing-in third at 15.189. Following an invert of the top three from time trials, Tissot and VanDyke brought the 18-car field to green from the front row.
VanDyke powered into the lead on the opening lap over Tissot, Finchum, Paul Nogradi Jr. and Zeke Shell. Shell moved around Nogradi for the fourth spot on lap 6 racing off turn two.
The 33-year-old VanDyke, driving the Service Fuel, Inc./Pizza Plus/Pro Image Graphics/84EXPO/RW Race Engines/Townsend Race Cars/No. 15 Ford Fusion, quickly began to distance himself from his closest challengers. With the race running caution free and VanDyke setting a blistering pace out front, at the halfway point he held a commanding 10 car length advantage over Tissot and Finchum, who had a rearview mirror full of Shell.