King, Martin, Alvey, Rickett, Merritt visit victory lane at Volunteer Speedway

By Robert Walden
Volunteer Speedway Media/Public Relations

 

BULLS GAP, Tenn. — There was no foolin’ around Saturday on April Fool’s Day at Volunteer Speedway, it was all pure-speed racing excitement on the high banks at “The Gap.”

 

Ryan King of Seymour won for the second consecutive week in Steel Head Late Model, with Greg Martin of Knoxville winning in Crate Late Model, Heath Alvey of Dandridge in Sportsman Late Model, Chris Rickett of Morristown in Modified Street, and Lee Merritt of Knoxville taking the Classic victory. For Martin, Alvey and Merritt, they each wrote their names in the Volunteer Speedway record book with their first-ever victories at the track.

 

King powered into the lead on the start of the 30-lap Steel Head Late Model feature over pole-sitter Jason Cardwell and Josh Henry. With the race running clean-and-green, leader King was setting a blistering pace out front, while Cardwell, Henry, Bobby Mays, Michael Smith, John Tweed and Dale Ball were giving chase.

 

The event’s only caution waved on lap 15, when third-running Henry drifted high between turns three and four and spun.

King brought the field back up to speed off the restart leading Cardwell and Mays. The action intensified behind them as Smith, Tweed and Ball battled for positions. Ball got around both Tweed and Smith to move into fourth in the running order.

Also up-on-the-wheel charging back forward was Henry, as he quickly got around Tweed and Smith to move into the fifth spot. Henry battled for a few circuits with Ball before passing him for fourth place on lap 26 between turns one and two.

 

But out front there would be no catching King, as he sped to victory over Cardwell, Mays, Henry and Ball.

 

Ross White jumped out into the lead at start of the 30-lap Crate Late Model feature over Greg Martin, Adam Tolliver, Tim Byrd and Bryson Dennis. Caution quickly waved working the second lap when Tolliver spun in the fourth turn.

The yellow was unfurled yet again on the fifth circuit when Dennis Stiles spun in the fourth turn. Before one lap was completed off the restart, Byrd and Dennis tangled on the front straightaway just past the flag stand to end Byrd’s race with a badly damaged race car, while Dennis was sent to the rear for the next attempt to go green.

With the field finally back up to speed, White was leading Martin and Danny Yoder. Just behind the front trio Rusty Ballenger, Gary Crittenden, Kenny Ford and Vic Chandler were jockeying for real estate.

White and Martin were putting on a show battling for the lead lap-after-lap, before Martin was finally able to pull off the pass to move ahead right before the 20-lap mark. Once out front, Martin drove to victory over White, Ballenger, Crittenden and Yoder. … With Byrd being eliminated in an early race crash, he picked up the $100 Hard Luck Award on the night from McCarter Brothers Racing.

 

Heath Alvey set fast-time in Sportsman Late Model qualifying at 13.746 seconds to win the McCarter Brothers Racing $100 pole award, and then proceeded to lead the 20-lap feature flag-to-flag for the victory over a strong 21-car field.

Alvey jumped out to the lead at start over Brad Seagle and Jed Emert. Caution waved on lap 8 when Brandon Taylor spun in the fourth turn. The yellow waved once again on lap 10, when Chuck McMurray and Richard Adkins spun between turns one and two.

 

Back under green Alvey was in command out front, with Emert getting around Seagle for second place on lap 12. Alvey cruised to victory over Emert, Seagle, Warren McMahan and Rex Coffey.

 

Chris Rickett grabbed the lead over Brett Miller and Gary Blanken on the start of the 20-lap Modified Street feature and never looked back en route to capturing his second win of the season. Rickett was chased to the checkered flag by Miller, Blanken, Bartley Grant and Tracy Wolfe.

 

Lee Merritt held off a hard-charging Richie Overholser racing off the fourth turn to the checkered flag to get the Classic victory. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Eli Keck, Tony Trent and Chris Worsham.

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 2017 – VOLUNTEER SPEEDWAY – BULLS GAP, TN – OFFICIAL RESULTS

 

STEEL HEAD LATE MODEL (30 laps)

1. Ryan King #30
2. Jason Cardwell #07
3. Bobby Mays #25
4. Josh Henry #B00
5. Dale Ball #2
6. Michael Smith #4
7. John Tweed #5
8. Austin Neely #3
9. Taran Hurst #22
10. Dale Reed #52
11. Shane Taylor #37

Did Not Start: Trevor Sise #73

 

CRATE LATE MODEL (30 laps)

 

  1. Greg Martin #24
  2. Ross White #0
  3. Rusty Ballenger #29
  4. Gary Crittenden #18
  5. Danny Yoder #2
  6. Kenny Ford #61
  7. Bryson Dennis #15
  8. Vic Chandler #88
  9. Stephen Martin #46
  10. Adam Tolliver #28
  11. Vance Surratt #56
  12. Tristan Clawson #32
  13. Preston Whitehead #81
  14. Tim Byrd #24
  15. Tim Maupin #3
  16. Dennis Stiles #00

 

SPORTSMAN LATE MODEL (20 laps)

1. Heath Alvey #7
2. Jed Emert #98
3. Brad Seagle #31
4. Warren McMahan #33
5. Rex Coffey #222
6. Wayne Rader #01
7. Adam Mitchell #50
8. Chris Coffey #97
9. Tyler Pearson #00
10. Terry Poore #2
11. Ray Jarnagin #773
12. Floyd Self #3
13. Bubba Long #10
14. Mike Kelley #8
15. Grant Corum #49
16. Brandon Taylor #55
17. Tyler Smith #32
18. Chuck McMurray #00
19. Richard Adkins #73
20. David Bullington #20
21. Kyle Cole #18

Did Not Start: Zach Sise #9, Terry Stone #34

 

MODIFIED STREET (20 laps)

1. Chris Rickett #36
2. Brett Miller #47
3. Gary Blanken #5
4. Bartley Grant #43
5. Tracy Wolfe #11
6. Jeffrey Melton #4
7. Bret Banks #3
8. Freddie Hillard #74
9. Jason West #35
10. Jon Cook #0z
11. Tony Reed #17
12. Blake Kelley #K5
13. Brandon Tipton #93
14. Jeff Ferguson #24
15. Charles Bates #27

Did Not Start: R.J. Mayes #6m

 

CLASSIC (20 laps)

1. Lee Merritt #9

  1. Richie Overholser #18
  2. Eli Keck #8
  3. Tony Trent #501
  4. Chris Worsham #78
  5. Chris Nix #44

 

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