KINGSPORT, Tenn. (April 10) — Kingsport Speedway kicked off the 2015 racing season in the middle of March under sunny skies on a beautiful Saturday afternoon before a huge crowd. But Mother Nature hadn’t cooperated since, with the following two scheduled events falling victim to inclement weather.


Needless to say, both fans and race teams alike were ready for “The Concrete Jungle” to roar back to life with exciting NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action Friday night in the Model City for running of the Roger Neece Memorial.


Neece, from Clintwood, Va., a longtime fan favorite, lost his battle with cancer week before last. During a racing career spanning over two decades, Neece won 204 Street Stock features and 10 track championships between Kingsport Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway


With twin “First Kingsport Credit Union” Late Model Stock features scheduled, defending track champion Kres VanDyke of Claypool Hill, Va., and Ronnie McCarty of Kingsport, each captured victories.


Zeke Shell and VanDyke brought the 18-car field to the green flag in the first 35-lap event, and after racing side-by-side for a couple of laps VanDyke moved into the lead. But Shell wasn’t about to fade, as he stayed glued to VanDyke’s rear bumper.


Just behind the front-running trio of VanDyke, Shell and McCarty, another threesome in Wayne Hale, Lee Tissot and Tyler Goodwin were battling for real estate. With the race running clean-and-green in one of the most competitive Late Model Stock races at the track in quite sometime, Shell appeared to have the faster car but just couldn’t pull the trigger to shoot past VanDyke for the lead.


On both ends of the track, Shell would stick the nose of his car underneath VanDyke racing up off the corners. But VanDyke would power back ahead racing down the straightaway. All the while McCarty was lurking, waiting to pounce if VanDyke and Shell got together.


With the five-to-go signal from the flagman, Shell turned the pressure up a notch on VanDyke. On the white-flag lap, racing down the backstretch into the third turn Shell made a bold move to the inside of VanDyke. As they raced off the fourth turn for the victory, Shell’s hopes of winning ended as he spun down low on the track near the inside concrete retaining wall near entrance into the pits.


VanDyke, driving the Service Fuel Inc., Pizza Plus, Burger King, Wheel Chill, AR Bodies, Hy-Tec Specialty Coatings, RW Race Engines, Townsend Race Cars, Pro Image Graphics, No. 15 Chevrolet SS, captured the victory over McCarty, Hale, Tissot and Goodwin.


Completing the top 10 finishers were Justin Fontaine, Robbie Ferguson, Austin Peters, Kyle Barnes and Taylor Coffman.


It’s been said around racing for a long time that cautions breed cautions, and the second twin Late Model Stock feature turned into a case of “yellow fever” with numerous caution periods slowing the pace. On the first attempt to start the race, Joey Trent spun between turns one and two just as the field was getting up to speed to bring the event’s first caution out.


The second try at green proved to be successful, with McCarty and Hale racing door-to-door battling for the lead, and directly behind them VanDyke and Tissot alongside each other to complete the opening lap. The caution waved on lap 5 when Austin Peters spun between turns three and four.


Off the restart McCarty grabbed the lead over Hale, Tissot, VanDyke and Goodwin. Back outside the top-five, on lap 9 Fontaine was the first car to drop out of the race with damage from an on-track incident.


Coffman and Trent made contact on lap 12 coming off the fourth turn, with Trent sliding down against the inside wall to bring the caution out.


Goodwin and VanDyke were racing side-by-side jockeying for the third spot on lap 14, and coming off (turn) two Goodwin appeared to get a little loose. VanDyke got over against the outside concrete wall exiting onto the backstretch, while Goodwin’s car suddenly turned down the track and slammed nose-first hard into the inside wall where it sustained significant damage. Back behind them everybody had to take evasive action to avoid being collected, but unfortunately Royce Peters also saw his race come to an end during this caution period.


Once the field was finally able to start racing and not wrecking every few laps, the 28-year-old McCarty began to flex his muscle out front and put some distance between his Luv Homes of Kingsport, Ron’s Mobile Home Parts & Service of Kingsport, Corner’s Nest Antique Mall in Elizabethton, Bill Parsons Insurance Agency in Bristol, Va., A-Hood Bail Bonds, Charlie Long Race Engines, Marlowe Race Cars, Performancenter Racing Warehouse, No. 5 Ford Fusion and second-running Tissot.


Up-on-the-wheel and having a strong run in third place was Coffman, who was fending off advances from Barnes. After racing side-by-side for a few laps near the end of the race, Barnes got past Coffman for position.


With less than five laps remaining, Coffman’s hopes of recording his first-ever top five run at Kingsport Speedway ended when a tire started going flat. Both Ferguson and Shell got around Coffman on the final lap.


McCarty cruised to his second-ever NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victory over Tissot, with Barnes, Shell and Ferguson rounding out the top five.


Completing the top 10 finishers were Coffman, Hale, Allen Hawkins, Derek Lane and Rick Pannell.


Royce Peters looked like he was headed towards a flag-to-flag run to victory in the 30-lap Street Stock feature, but a late-race caution and ensuing restart proved to be costly as John Harrell of Surgoinsville powered into the lead as the race went back green. Harrell recorded his second consecutive victory over Peters, Chris Tunnell, Jared Broadbent and Mark Christian. Robbie Allison, son of late NASCAR star Davey Allison and the grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, finished sixth in his first Street Stock start.


Bruce Crumbley jumped into the lead at start of the Pure 4 feature, but his run out front proved to be short-lived as he was overtaken for the point by John Ketron just two circuits into the 25-lapper. Behind the leader there was a mad scramble for position involving Crumbley and the Ketron brothers, Billy and Jason, along with Tim Abelseth, Keith Helton, Chris Neeley and Dylan Bates.


Helton methodically worked his way around his fellow competitors to move into second place just before the race reach halfway, where he set his sights on John Ketron. Helton closed to the leader’s rear bumper with three laps remaining, and made a move at the start-finish line receiving the white flag to battle John Ketron for the lead.


They raced side-by-side around the .375-mile banked concrete oval on the final lap, and coming to the checkered flag it was a photo finish with Helton barely edging John Ketron to capture his second straight victory to begin the season. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Abelseth, Neeley and Billy Ketron.


Billy Duty of Abingdon, Va., grabbed the lead just two laps into the Mod 4 feature. Once out front Duty never looked back en route to getting the victory over Dennis Arnold, Jessie Amburgey, James Deese and Hershell Robinette.


Phillip Thompson of Knoxville made his first-ever start at Kingsport Speedway one to remember, as he won the Rookie Pure 4 feature over William Hale, Dwayne Banks, Andrew Hill and Larry Stapleton.


Derek Lane of Kingsport recorded the Legend victory over Trey Lane, Hannah Ottinger, Alexia Ray and Jerry Lane.


-Kingsport Speedway Press Release & Photo




Showing Finish Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown, Laps Completed In Parentheses

1. (2) Kres VanDyke #15-Claypool Hill, VA (35)
2. (3) Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN (35)
3. (4) Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN (35)
4. (5) Lee Tissot #7-Asheville, NC (35)
5. (8) Tyler Goodwin #64-Kingsport, TN (35)
6. (7) Justin Fontaine #60-Fletcher, NC (35)
7. (13) Robbie Ferguson #31-Jonesborough, TN (35)
8. (11) Austin Peters #66-Kingsport, TN (35)
9. (6) Kyle Barnes #0-Draper, VA (35)
10. (9) Taylor Coffman #30-Bean Station, TN (35)
11. (12) Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN (35)
12. (15) Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN (35)
13. (1) Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN (34)
14. (16) Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN (34)
15. (17) Derek Lane #67-Kingsport, TN (33)
16. (10) Royce Peters #38-Kingsport, TN (11)
17. (14) Trey Lane #28-Kingsport, TN (3)
18. (18) Jamie Harrison #76-Church Hill, TN (1)


Showing Finish Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown, Laps Completed In Parentheses

1. (2) Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN (35)
2. (4) Lee Tissot #7-Asheville, NC (35)
3. (9) Kyle Barnes #0-Draper, VA (35)
4. (13) Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN (35)
5. (7) Robbie Ferguson #31-Jonesborough, TN (35)
6. (10) Taylor Coffman #30-Bean Station, TN (35)
7. (1) Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN (35)
8. (12) Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN (35)
9. (15) Derek Lane #67-Kingsport, TN (34)
10. (14) Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN (34)
11. (17) Trey Lane #28-Kingsport, TN (34)
12. (18) Jamie Harrison #76-Church Hill, TN (22)
13. (11) Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN (18)
14. (8) Austin Peters #66-Kingsport, TN (17)
15. (5) Tyler Goodwin #64-Kingsport, TN (14)
16. (3) Kres VanDyke #15-Claypool Hill, VA (14)
17. (16) Royce Peters #38-Kingsport, TN (14)
18. (6) Justin Fontaine #60-Fletcher, NC (9)

STREET STOCK (30 laps)

1. John Harrell #19
2. Royce Peters #48
3. Chris Tunnell #6
4. Jared Broadbent #74
5. Mark Christian #43
6. Robbie Allison #12
7. Danny Casteel #41
8. Dennis Deese #24
9. Paul Shull #48s

PURE 4 (25 laps)

1. Keith Helton #9
2. John Ketron #27
3. Tim Abelseth #66
4. Chris Neeley #94
5. Billy Ketron #26
6. Bruce Crumbley #33
7. Jason Ketron #28
8. Dylan Bates #6
9. Billy Byington #01
10. Brandon Sutherland #5
11. Kenny Absher #11
12. Kevin Darnell #4
13. David Trent #57
14. Richard Quillen #15
15. Todd Cross #41

MOD 4 (25 laps)

1. Billy Duty #45
2. Dennis Arnold #7
3. Jessie Amburgey #17
4. James Deese #8
5. Hershell Robinette #9
6. Darrell Whitehead #43
7. Chris Amburgey #7
8. Kylin Hammer #2

ROOKIE PURE 4 (15 laps)

1. Phillip Thompson #33
2. William Hale #47
3. Dwayne Banks #4
4. Andrew Hill #69
5. Larry Stapleton #15
6. Robert Young #59
7. Scott Palmer #1
8. Daniel McMurray #0
9. Tammy Cross #41
10. Larry Bowens #18
11. Tyler Hollister #19
12. Dennis Stanley #21
13. Frank Dice #44
14. Craig Phelps #00

LEGEND (12 laps)

1. Derek Lane #19
2. Trey Lane #28
3. Hannah Ottinger #97
4. Alexia Ray #99
5. Jerry Lane #9

VanDyke, McCarty Help ‘The Concrete Jungle’ Roar to Life