Kingsport, TN — With scattered rain falling around Northeast Tennessee and nearby Southwest Virginia late Friday evening, the precipitation stayed away from Kingsport Speedway for Lyon Metal Roofing Night at the Races in the Model City.
Kres VanDyke of Abingdon, Va., the defending track and Tennessee State NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion, led flag-to-flag to capture his fourth “First Kingsport Credit Union” Late Model Stock Car victory of the season.
Zeke Shell toured the .375-mile banked concrete oval fastest at 15.085 seconds in qualifying to earn the pole award. Following the roll of the inversion dice, the top-three were inverted putting VanDyke and Ronnie McCarty on the front row for the main event.
VanDyke surged into the lead over McCarty and Shell at the start, with Shell immediately pressuring McCarty for second. Racing off the second corner on lap 6, Shell moved past McCarty for the position and pulled right in behind leader VanDyke.
Over the next few laps, Shell tried dropping to the inside of VanDyke on both ends of the track in the corners sneaking a peek trying to get by the leader. But VanDyke was up-on-the-wheel getting the job done in holding Shell off from overtaking him out front.
Halfway into the 60-lap feature, VanDyke still had Shell riding in his rearview mirror with McCarty running a strong third and the top eight cars in the running order all on the same straightaway. The event’s only caution waved on lap 46 for debris on the track in the fourth turn off Bruce Blessing’s car.
With VanDyke and Shell on the front row for the double-file restart, Shell looked to possibly power his way into the lead. But VanDyke would have none of that scenario as he once again drove back out ahead over Shell and McCarty.
A disappointing end for Taylor Coffman on the restart, when his car failed to come up-to-speed due to a faulty plug wire issue and he slowly brought his ride into the pits after running fifth the entire race right on the rear bumper of Justin Fontaine.
But out front the race belonged to VanDyke, driving the Service Fuel Inc./Pizza Plus/Burger King/Wheel Chill/AR Bodies/Hy-Tec Specialty Coatings/RW Race Engines/Townsend Oliver Racing Performance (TORP Chassis)/Pro Image Graphics/No. 15 Chevrolet SS to his fourth victory over Shell, McCarty, Fontaine and Joey Trent.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Allen Hawkins, Austin Peters, Rick Pannell, Coffman and Blessing.
“This is an awesome win for our race team,” said a smiling VanDyke after climbing from his car in victory lane. “What a week we’ve had after unfortunately getting collected in a wreck not our fault on the first lap of the race last Saturday night at Lonesome Pine Raceway and tearing the car up badly. I can’t thank all of my guys who help work on the car enough for the hours spent back at the race shop just in order so we’d be able to race tonight. After we got back to the shop and unloaded the car to actually see just how severe the damage was, it was major.
“We had to take the whole front body off the car and take the engine out and then strip all the suspension components off to get down to just the frame, before we could take the car Townsend Oliver Racing Performance (TORP Chassis) to let them put a new front-clip on the chassis. We got the car back to our race shop in Abingdon late Wednesday evening and less than 48 hours later we’re sitting parked in victory lane at Kingsport Speedway. This win tonight is all thanks to all of my crew guys and the great sponsors we have on the race car. None of this would be possible without having great support behind me.”
With “The Concrete Jungle” taking a week of for summer break, McCarty will enter the next scheduled race over the Fourth of July holiday weekend on Friday, July 3 holding a 17-point lead in the Late Model Stock Car standings over VanDyke.
Royce Peters jumped out to the lead at beginning of the Street Stock feature over Jared Broadbent and John Harrell and showed the way out front for the opening seven circuits, when his engine suddenly erupted in a major way sending up a plume of smoke to bring the caution flag out. Off the ensuing double-file restart, Harrell, from Surgoinsville, powered into the lead over Broadbent and never looked back on the way to capturing his division-leading seventh victory over Paul Shull, Broadbent, Robbie Allison and Dennis Deese.
Keith Helton of Kingsport took the lead at start of the Pure 4 feature over the Ketron brothers, Billy and Jason. But on the move early was Dylan Bates, who unfortunately had an apparent first-ever victory taken away last week when his car failed post-race technical inspection due to a ride height infraction.
Bates passed Jason for the third spot on lap 3, and a couple circuits later he moved around Billy to take over second. Bates set his sights ahead on leader Helton. With the race running clean-and-green, Bates began slicing into Helton’s advantage and closed to his back bumper with five laps remaining.
Racing off the fourth turn to the flag stand to receive the white flag, Bates pulled to the inside of Helton. The duo raced the final lap side-by-side, with Helton barely edging Bates in a photo finish for his fourth victory of the season. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were John Ketron, Billy Ketron and Jason Ketron.
The “Virginia Bandit” Duke Bare, had his hands full the entire 20-lap distance in the Pure Street feature battling Brad Ball. But Bare, from Meadowview, held off the hard-charging Ball to get his first win of the season over Ball, Marty Tunnell, Nasty Jones and Cody Dutton.
Chris Wilhelm of Fall Branch looked strong running out front en route to recording his second Rookie Pure 4 victory over Ben Barker, Dwayne Banks, William Hale and Craig Phelps.
KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY – FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2015
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES “FIRST KINGSPORT CREDIT UNION” LATE MODEL STOCK CAR (60 laps)
1. Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
2. Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN
3. Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN
4. Justin Fontaine #60-Fletcher, NC
5. Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
6. Allen Hawkins #76-Kingsport, TN
7. Austin Peters #66-Kingsport, TN
8. Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
9. Taylor Coffman #30-Bean Station, TN
10. Bruce Blessing #55-Gate City, VA
11. Jamie Harrison #76-Church Hill, TN
12. Tyler Goodwin #8-Kingsport, TN
13. Adam Bolyard #26-Gray, TN
14. Wayne Hale #7-Bluff City, TN
STREET STOCK (30 laps)
1. John Harrell #19
2. Paul Shull #48
3. Jared Broadbent #74
4. Robbie Allison #12
5. Dennis Deese #24
6. Todd Duff #16
7. Royce Peters #48
8. Danny Casteel #41
9. Mark Christian #43
PURE 4 (25 laps)
1. Keith Helton #74
2. Dylan Bates #6
3. John Ketron #27
4. Billy Ketron #26
5. Jason Ketron #28
6. Kenny Absher #11
7. Brandon Sutherland #5
8. Billy Byington #01
9. Kevin Darnell #00
10. Chris Neeley #94
11. Richard Quillen #15
12. Bruce Crumbley #33
13. David Trent #21
14. Tim Abelseth #66
PURE STREET (20 laps)
1. Duke Bare #52
2. Brad Ball #60
3. Marty Tunnell #99
4. Nasty Jones #13
5. Cody Dutton #1
6. Gary Crumbley #59
7. Travis Stoots #0
ROOKIE PURE 4 (15 laps)
1. Chris Wilhelm #99
2. Ben Barker #54
3. Dwayne Banks #4
4. William Hale #47
5. Craig Phelps #00
6. Robert Young #59
7. Larry Bowens #18
8. Jerry Miller Jr. #13
9. Wes Fields #11
10. Larry Stapleton #15
11. Dennis Stanley #21
12. Alexcia Ray #99
13. Robert Smith #1
Story: Robert Walden – Photo: Randall Perry