Hale, Gobble, Ketron, Canter, Austin, Bare visit victory lane at Kingsport Speedway

Photo Credit: Randall Perry

By Robert Walden
Kingsport Speedway – Media/Public Relations

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (April 27, 2018) — Mountain Empire Fence Co. of Wise, Va., presented NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing Friday at Kingsport Speedway, and the good crowd in attendance on a chilly night was treated to great action in all six divisions.

Wayne Hale of Bluff City captured the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car victory, while Joshua Gobble of Abingdon, Va., recorded the Modified Street win,

John Ketron of Kingsport won the Pure 4 feature, while Kevin Canter of Abingdon recorded twin Mod 4 victories. Doug Austin of Castlewood, Va., captured the Pure Street win, with Duke Bare of Meadowview, Va., bringing home the Vintage class victory.

Zeke Shell was fastest in Late Model Stock Car qualifying at 15.033 seconds, with defending track champion Kres VanDyke close behind at 15.098. The top six from time trials were inverted, placing 14-year-old Sullivan South High School freshman Dillon Hodge on the pole, with Hale to his outside on the front row.

Hale powered into the lead at the start over Derrick Lancaster, Shell, Hodge and Robbie Ferguson. Both Ferguson and VanDyke got around Hodge on the third lap racing off the fourth turn, which also opened the door for Nik Williams to overtake Hodge for the sixth spot.

While the top six cars of Hale, Lancaster, Shell, Ferguson, VanDyke and Williams were running nose-to-tail at lap 20, behind them was a good battle for position among Hodge, Ronnie McCarty, Bryson Dennis, Taylor Coffman, Trey Bayne, Joey Trent and Derek Lane.

Allen Hawkins slowed in a shower of sparks coming from underneath the right-front of his car high in turn two on lap 23 to bring out what would be the only caution period in the 60-lap feature.

Off the ensuing double-file restart, Hale once again grabbed the lead while behind him Lancaster and Shell, along with Ferguson and VanDyke, battled side-by-side for position. Lancaster moved ahead of Shell racing up off (turn) two on lap 25, and the next circuit VanDyke passed Ferguson.

With the race running clean-and-green following the caution on lap 23, Hale remained in command out front. Shell turned up the pressure on lap 45 trying to get around Lancaster, and finally on lap 50 racing off the fourth turn Shell completed the pass. Over the next couple of circuits both VanDyke and Williams worked their way past Lancaster.

But there would be no catching the veteran Hale out front as he completed a flag-to-flag run to his first win of the season over Shell, VanDyke, Williams and Ferguson.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Lancaster, McCarty, Bayne, Lane and Dennis. … Twelve cars were running on the lead lap at the checkered flag.

Defending Modified Street champion Royce Peters jumped out to the lead at start of the 30-lap feature over Alan Rich, Trey Lane, Chase Dixon and Joshua Gobble (fast-time in qualifying at 15.892 seconds). Gobble quickly worked his way around young Dixon racing off turn two on the second lap.

Rich was pressuring Peters for the lead and on lap 4 racing off the fourth turn, contact from Rich spun Peters to bring out the caution. Both drivers were sent to rear of the field for the restart.

Back under green Lane got the lead over Gobble, but on lap 7 between turns one and two Lane got loose and spun at exit of the second corner. With drivers behind forced into evasive maneuvers, the opening closed for Kevin Wolfe and his car slammed hard first into the outside concrete wall and then in a fireball came sliding back down across the track and hit the inside retaining wall to see the red flag displayed so track safety crew could get to Wolfe’s badly damaged car. To cheers from the crowd, Wolfe was able to walk away from the grinding crash.

Off the double-file restart Gobble and Rusty Clendenin battled for the lead before Gobble took over the point. Racing action behind them saw Dixon, Chris Tunnell, Alex Miller, Paul Shull, and charging back up through the field were Lane, Rich and Peters.

Gobble led from lap 7 to the finish in winning over Lane, Clendenin, Rich and Dixon.

Hard racing, upset feelings among competitors (thrown helmet while the race was under caution), aggression behind the wheel, well you know that must mean Pure 4 excitement at its finest.

A strong field of 27 cars took the green flag and immediately the racing action was two- and three-wide all back through the field. Defending divisional champion Kenny Absher jumped out into the lead at start over Bucky Smith, Dylan Bates, Brandon Sutherland and John Ketron. Behind the top five in running order it was chaos with several drivers jockeying for real estate around “The Concrete Jungle.”

Absher, Bates, Ketron and Bruce Crumbley each led laps during the feature, but ultimately the sole survivor to emerge would be Ketron as he recorded his third straight victory. Ketron was chased to the checkered flag by Sutherland, Craig Phelps, Josh Collins and Alexcia Ray.

Kevin Canter brought out the broom for a little spring cleaning as he swept twin features for Mod 4. Canter set fast-time in qualifying at 16.691 seconds, and in the first race he outran Kirby Gobble, Billy Duty, Dennis Arnold and Dalton Thomas. … With the top-eight finishers from the opener inverted for the second race, Canter made a bold move on the opening lap running the high-line between turns one and two to pick off four positions, and as the field roared down the backstretch still running the outside groove he powered into a lead he would never relinquish. Canter won over Brad Ball, David Brown, Duty and Chris Amburgey.

Doug Austin got around early leader David Strong just before halfway in the Pure Street feature and once out front, Austin went on to capture the victory over Strong, Jason Herron, Brian Eggers and Penny Hurd.

The “Virginia Bandit” Duke Bare grabbed the lead at start of the 20-lap Vintage feature and won over William Jones, Calvin Crabtree and Will Vannoy.

KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY – FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2018 – MOUNTAIN EMPIRE FENCE CO. NIGHT AT THE RACES – RACE RESULTS

NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES – LATE MODEL STOCK CAR (60 laps)

1. Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN
2. Zeke Shell #1-Johnson City, TN
3. Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
4. Nik Williams #32-Greeneville, TN
5. Robbie Ferguson #7-Jonesborough, TN
6. Derrick Lancaster #25-Christiansburg, VA
7. Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN
8. Trey Bayne #21-Knoxville, TN
9. Derek Lane #28-Kingsport, TN
10. Bryson Dennis #15-Greeneville, TN
11. Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
12. Dillon Hodge #5-Kingsport, TN
13. Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
14. Mardy Roberts #55-Kingsport, TN
15. Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN
16. Taylor Coffman #30-Bean Station, TN
17. Joshua Gobble #25-Abingdon, VA
18. Darin Silver #12-Spruce Pine, NC

Did Not Start: Mike Looney #87-Catawba, VA

MODIFIED STREET (30 laps)

1. Joshua Gobble #88
2. Trey Lane #9
3. Rusty Clendenin #27
4. Alan Rich #03
5. Chase Dixon #07
6. Royce Peters #42
7. Alex Miller #37
8. Paul Shull #48
9. Chris Tunnell #6
10. Dennis Deese #24
11. Gene Griffey #1
12. Steven Roark #27
13. Sam Hurd #44
14. Hannah Seal #55
15. Kevin Wolfe #17
16. Nick Cole #63

PURE 4 (25 laps)

1. John Ketron #27
2. Brandon Sutherland #48
3. Craig Phelps #00
4. Josh Collins #77
5. Alexcia Ray #99
6. Jimmy Thomas #20
7. David Trent #57
8. Bruce Crumbley #33
9. Chad Jeffers #38
10. Chris Stine #10
11. Terry Earhart #38
12. William Hale #47
13. Dennis Stanley #21
14. Josh Detwiler #38
15. Todd Duff #16
16. Paul Stanley #40
17. Nasty Jones #13
18. Billy Ketron #26
19. Dylan Bates #6
20. Kenny Asbsher #11
21. Clint Dunn #98
22. Richard Quillen #21
23. Bucky Smith #99
24. Larry Stapleton #15
25. Cody Hilton #17
26. Robert Darnell #88
27. Richard Isaacs #7

MOD 4 #1 (15 laps)

1. Kevin Canter #3
2. Kirby Gobble #77
3. Billy Duty #1
4. Dennis Arnold #7
5. Dalton Thomas #22
6. Brad Ball #17
7. Jimmy Acito #57
8. Zach Fritz #22
9. Jessie Amburgey #7
10. Mitch Gibson #06
11. Chris Coleman #20
12. Ted Glover Jr. #03
13. Mike Pendergrass #2
14. Larry Bowens #18
15. David Brown #13
16. Chris Amburgey #17
17. Jack Clevenger #02

MOD 4 #2 (15 laps)

1. Kevin Canter #3
2. Brad Ball #17
3. David Brown #13
4. Billy Duty #1
5. Chris Amburgey #17
6. Dalton Thomas #22
7. Dennis Arnold #7
8. Zach Fritz #22
9. Jessie Amburgey #7
10. Larry Bowens #18
11. Jimmy Acito #57
12. Chris Coleman #20
13. Jack Clevenger #02
14. Mike Brooks #77

PURE STREET (20 laps)

1. Doug Austin #18
2. David Strong #53
3. Jason Herron #7
4. Brian Eggers #74
5. Penny Hurd #11
6. Anitra Little #67
7. Kevin Darnell #4
8. Bobby Durbin #95

VINTAGE (20 laps)

1. Duke Bare #2
2. William Jones #8
3. Calvin Crabtree #16
4. Will Vannoy #72

Did Not Start: Jeremy Mullins #06

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