Tweed, Byrd, Sise, Rickett, Adams, Keck capture Volunteer Speedway ‘Fan Appreciation Night’

Photo Credit: Todd Reinerio

By Robert Walden
Volunteer Speedway Media/Public Relations

BULLS GAP, Tenn. — With Volunteer Speedway offering $5 grandstand admission Saturday for the always popular Fan Appreciation Night, the largest weekly crowd of the season enjoyed an action-packed six division racing program with a total car count of 115 gathered in the pits.

John Tweed of Greeneville captured the Steel Head Late Model victory, while Tim Byrd of Jonesborough recorded the Crate Late Model win. Zach Sise of Knoxville took the Sportsman Late Model victory, with Chris Rickett of Morristown getting the Modified Street win. Don Adams of London, Kentucky, captured the Open Wheel Modified win, with Eli Keck of Corryton recording the Classic victory.

Chase King was fastest in Steel Head Late Model qualifying at 13.477 seconds, with Greg Estes second quickest on the clock to nail down the outside front row starting berth for the 30-lap feature. Following two flawed attempts to begin the race by King and Estes, the second row of Bobby Mays and John Tweed were moved up a row to let them try getting the field up to speed.

During the week Tweed serves as President and CEO of Landair Transportation headquartered in Greeneville, but when the weekend rolls around he enjoys getting behind the wheel of a dirt late model at “The Gap.”

On the start Tweed powered into the lead over Estes, Eddie King Jr., Mays and Mike Weeks. Outside the top five Chase King, Layne Clifton, John Llewellyn, Jody Horton, Michael Smith, Josh Henry and Jason Cardwell were jockeying for position.

With Tweed in command out front leading, running positions were being exchanged between King Jr. and Weeks, with Weeks moving into second and setting his sights ahead on Tweed. Mays got around King Jr. for the third spot on lap 17 racing off the second turn down the backstretch and he quickly closed in behind Weeks.

Tweed was feeling pressure from Weeks, but he remained calm and hit his marks lap-after-lap to maintain his advantage at leading the race. A late caution on lap 28 set the stage for a classic shootout for the win, when Llewellyn slowed exiting the fourth turn onto the front straightaway.

Tweed smashed the loud pedal to rocket out ahead over Weeks and Mays on his way to capturing his first-ever Steel Head Late Model victory, and on the white flag lap racing off the fourth turn to the flag stand Mays shot to the inside of Weeks to barely nose him out for an apparent second-place finish. But it proved to be disappointment for Mays when crossing the scales post-race and his car weighed 10 pounds light and was disqualified.

Tweed got the win over Weeks, King Jr., Estes and Chase King.

Tim Byrd jumped out into the lead at start of the 30-lap Crate Late Model feature over Josh Henry, Tim Maupin, Ross White and Danny Yoder. The event’s first caution waved on lap 3 when Preston Whitehead spun in the fourth turn.

On the ensuing restart, with Byrd flexing his muscles to show the way out front, Maupin’s night ended prematurely with a broken rear axle sending him into the pits. Byrd owns three Crate Late Model championships (2013, 2015 and 2016) at Volunteer Speedway, but the current campaign has not produced results he’s accustomed to.

But Byrd finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together to capture his first win of the season by leading flag-to-flag, with White, Rusty Ballenger, Henry and Mack McCarter rounding out the top five finishers.

Zach Sise scored his first-ever win at “The Gap” last month and starting the 20-lap Sportsman Late Model feature from the front row he was looking to take another trophy home. Pole-sitter Matt Tharp and Sise led the stellar 25-car field to green and it was Sise grabbing the lead over Tharp, while Jed Emert, Brad Seagle, Chris Coffey, Andy Ogle, Kevin Lewis, Rex Coffey, Heath Alvey and Warren McMahan battled for real estate behind the front-running duo.

With Sise showing the way out front, Tharp was riding on his back bumper and on occasion sticking his nose underneath the leader in the corners, hoping young Sise would make a mistake. But the 17-year-old Sise clicked off flawless laps en route to recording his second feature win on the season over Tharp, Seagle, Emert and Ogle.

Austin Atkins jumped out to the lead at start of the 20-lap Modified Street feature over Chris Rickett, Kurt Owens, Brad Davis and Jeffrey Melton, setting the pace out front for the first eight laps, Atkins tangled with a slower car while working lapped traffic between turns one and two and came to a stop high in the banking to bring the caution out.

Back under green Rickett led Owens and Davis, while behind them battles for position involved Melton, Shannon Emery, Wayne Rader, Parker Estes, Nick Presley, Jon Cook and Blake Kelley. Tough luck for both Davis and Melton with the laps winding down, as Davis spun while negotiating lapped cars between turns three and four on lap 16, and Melton was spun between turns one and two and had to be towed into the pits with apparent rear-end issues.

But there would be no denying Rickett from capturing his division-leading seventh win of the season over Owens, Emery, Rader and Estes.

Shon Flanary set fast-time over a strong 17-car Open Wheel Modified field in qualifying at 14.751 seconds, but it was Don Adams powering into lead at the start. While Flanary kept pace with Adams in the early going, he was eventually passed for the runner-up position by Chase King. Adams was chased to the checkered flag by King, Flanary, Brad Hall and Jeff Hamby.

Eli Keck captured his second Classic victory on the season over Chris Worsham, Jesse Hickman, Tony Trent and Chris Nix.

VOLUNTEER SPEEDWAY – SATURDAY, AUGUST 26, 2017 – FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT

STEEL HEAD LATE MODEL (30 laps)

1. John Tweed #5
2. Mike Weeks #K37
3. Eddie King Jr. #39
4. Greg Estes #31
5. Chase King #44
6. Michael Smith #4
7. Josh Henry #70
8. Jody Horton #56J
9. Jason Cardwell #07
10. Layne Clifton #23
11. Ellery Leake #34
12. Gary Crittenden #18
13. John Llewellyn #2
14. Mitchell Childress #71
15. Dale Reed #52
16. Trevor Sise #73
17. Kevin Jackson Jr. #20

Did Not Pass Post-Race Technical Inspection (Light At Scales): Bobby Mays #25

Did Not Start: Brandon Tipton #4

CRATE LATE MODEL (30 laps)

1. Tim Byrd #24
2. Ross White #0
3. Rusty Ballenger #29
4. Josh Henry #B00
5. Mack McCarter #51
6. Gary Crittenden #18
7. Drew Kennedy #K37
8. Brad Hall #52
9. Chris Chandler #88
10. Jordon Horton #56J
11. Kenny Ford #61
12. Taran Hurst #22
13. Michael Jenkins #31
14. Danny Yoder #2
15. Preston Whitehead #81
16. Tim Maupin #3
17. Josh Fields #11
18. John Llewellyn #2

Did Not Start: Chuck McMurray #00, Wesley Johnson #16

SPORTSMAN LATE MODEL (20 laps)

1. Zach Sise #9
2. Matt Tharp #43
3. Brad Seagle #31
4. Jed Emert #98
5. Andy Ogle #68
6. Rex Coffey #2
7. Heath Alvey #7
8. Chris Coffey #97
9. Warren McMahan #33
10. Brandon Miller #89
11. Kevin Lewis #K15
12. Tyler Smith #32
13. Floyd Self #3
14. Grant Corum #49
15. Ray Jarnagin #773
16. Adam Mitchell #50
17. Nicholas Shelton #9
18. David Bullington #20
19. Richard Adkins #73
20. Tyler Pearson #00
21. Kyle Manis #25K
22. Cory Summers #18
23. Chris Long #75
24. Justin Talley #23
25. Tony Jones #25

Did Not Start: Michael Boyd #3

MODIFIED STREET (20 laps)

1. Chris Rickett #36
2. Kurt Owens #14
3. Shannon Emery #M2
4. Wayne Rader #01
5. Parker Estes #31
6. Nick Presley #69
7. Blake Kelley #K5
8. Jon Cook #0z
9. Kaleb Trent #3
10. Chris Brady #77
11. Brad Davis #88
12. Mike Williams #119
13. Shawn Henry #C5
14. Logan Cobb #4
15. Jeffrey Melton #4M
16. Sam Ferguson #1
17. Tony Reed #17
18. Charles Bates #27
19. Chris Hickman #9
20. Tracy Wolfe #11
21. Landon Steele #18
22. R.J. Mayes #6M
23. Austin Atkins #14
24. Brandon Johnson #J5

OPEN WHEEL MODIFIED (20 laps)

1. Don Adams #90
2. Chase King #7
3. Shon Flanary #98
4. Brad Hall #47
5. Jeff Hamby #15
6. Joey Cotterman #29C
7. Wayne James #4
8. Jody Puckett #J3
9. Greg Brown #313
10. Tyler James #J4
11. Jamie Mosley #11
12. Jeff Akard #00
13. Don Scalf #77
14. Dustin Diden #112
15. Dustin Duncan #21
16. Coty Adams #2

Did Not Start: Terry James #J1

CLASSIC (20 laps)

1. Eli Keck #8
2. Chris Worsham #78
3. Jesse Hickman #69
4. Tony Trent #501
5. Chris Nix #77
6. Shaun Sise #59
7. Richie Overholser #18
8. Russell Hefty #0
9. Lee Merritt #14

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*