By Robert Walden
Kingsport Speedway – Media/Public Relations
KINGSPORT, Tenn. (May 25, 2018) — Even with several high schools in the region holding graduation ceremonies, a great Memorial Day holiday weekend crowd gathered Friday at Kingsport Speedway for NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing at “The Concrete Jungle.”
Kres VanDyke of Abingdon, Va., captured the Late Model Stock Car victory, while Nick Cole of Bristol, Tenn., recorded the Modified Street win.
Keith Helton of Kingsport won the Pure 4 feature, while Brad Ball of Abingdon recorded the Mod 4 victory. Jay Swecker of Kingsport captured the Pure Street win, with Jeremy Mullins of Clintwood, Va., bringing home the Vintage class victory.
Kres VanDyke set fast-time in Late Model Stock Car qualifying at 15.085, but following roll of the dice producing an invert of the top five from time trials, 14-year-old rookie Trey Bayne (brother of NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series driver Trevor Bayne) and veteran Robbie Ferguson led the 16-car field to green from the front row.
Bayne and Ferguson raced door-to-door over the first couple of laps before Ferguson moved into the lead over Bayne, while behind them VanDyke, Zeke Shell, Ronnie McCarty, Wayne Hale, Dillon Hodge, Nik Williams, Joey Trent, Bryson Dennis and Derek Lane were jockeying for real estate. Racing off the fourth turn on lap 4, VanDyke got around Bayne and with the door open Shell also capitalized to drop Bayne back into the fourth spot.
While Ferguson was in command out front holding an eight car-length advantage over VanDyke and Shell, the action right behind them was good involving McCarty and Hale. With the race running clean-and-green from the start, Bayne began to slide back losing positions though he was up-on-the-wheel driving hard.
Bayne and Lane were racing hard when contact on the backstretch saw Lane scrape along the outside wall. The intensity between the duo carried over to the following lap racing into the first turn, when Lane had enough of Bayne and contact saw Bayne spin between turns one and two on lap 25 to bring out what would be the event’s only caution.
Off the double-file restart VanDyke grabbed the lead over Ferguson, with Shell wasting no time overtaking Ferguson to move into second place. But lap-after-lap leader VanDyke began to put distance between closest challengers to eventually stretch his advantage to a full-straightaway with 10 laps remaining.
VanDyke cruised to his second win of the season over Shell, Ferguson, McCarty and Hale. Completing the top 10 finishers were Williams, Dennis, Trent, Hodge and Darin Silver. … The top 8 cars finished on the lead lap.
Joshua Gobble grabbed the lead at start of the 30-lap Modified Street feature over Royce Peters, Trey Lane, Chase Dixon and Derek Lane. Just outside the top five Dennis Deese, Nick Cole, Alex Miller, Hannah Seal and Rusty Clendenin were battling for position.
Peters drove to the inside of Gobble racing into the first turn on lap 19, and racing up off (turn) two down the backstretch he pulled into the lead. However, just ahead between turns three and four Sammy Ferguson was blowing an engine dumping fluid on the track.
Peters, Gobble and Trey Lane got into the liquid and wrecked. Both Gobble and Lane retired to the pits with extensive front-end damage, while Peters was forced to rear of the field after entering the pits for attention from his crew.
Off the ensuing double-file restart, 14-year-old rookie Chase Dixon and Nick Cole battled side-by-side 4 laps for the lead before Cole moved to the point. Cole, a former track champion sped to the checkered flag to take his first victory in a couple of seasons, with Dixon, Peters, Clendenin and Miller rounding out the top five finishers.
You can always count on good, hard racing in the Pure 4 division. Brandon Sutherland jumped out to the initial lead over Kenny Absher, Keith Helton, Billy Byington and Bruce Crumbley. Sutherland, Absher and Helton raced up off the corners at times three-wide in the opening 10 laps.
Helton made his move around Absher taking away second on lap 10 racing off turn two and closing right in on leader Sutherland’s back bumper. Sutherland and Helton raced four laps side-by-side before Helton took the lead on lap 20. Once out front Helton never looked back en route to winning over Absher, Sutherland, Byington and William Hale.
Brad Ball bolted out of the gates early in the Mod 4 race by taking the lead and even though he stayed out front until the checkered flag waved, he was pressured from behind by Kevin Canter and David Brown. But there would be no denying Ball his third win on the season over Canter, Brown, Dennis Arnold and Zack Fritz.
Jay Swecker crossed the finish line third in the Pure Street feature, but when apparent winner David Strong and second-place Chris Neeley both failed post-race technical inspection, defending divisional champion Swecker recorded his first win of the season. Finishing behind Swecker were Brian Eggers, Dustin Smith, Kevin Darnell and Jessica Payne.
Jeremy Mullins captured the Vintage win.
KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY – FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES – LATE MODEL STOCK CAR (60 laps)
1. Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
2. Zeke Shell #1-Johnson City, TN
- Robbie Ferguson #7-Jonesborough, TN
4. Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN
5.WayneHale #19-Bluff City, TN
- Nik Williams #32-Greeneville, TN
7. Bryson Dennis #15-Greeneville, TN
- Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
- Dillon Hodge #5-Kingsport, TN
10. Darin Silver #12-Spruce Pine, NC
11. Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport,TN
12.Derek Lane #28-Kingsport, TN
- Trey Bayne #21-Knoxville,TN
14. Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN
- AustinBrooks #7-Kingsport, TN
- Mardy Roberts #55-Kingsport, TN
MODIFIED STREET (30 laps)
- Nick Cole #63
- Chase Dixon #07
- Royce Peters #42
- Rusty Clendenin #27
- Alex Miller #37
- Hannah Seal #55
- Dennis Deese #24
- Derek Lane#48
- Joshua Gobble #88
- Trey Lane#9
- Gene Griffith #19
- Sammy Ferguson #1
- Steven Roark #27
PURE 4 (30 laps)
- Keith Helton #9
- Kenny Absher #11
- Brandon Sutherland #48
- Billy Byington #11
- William Hale #47
- Paul Stanley #40
- Bruce Crumbley #33
- Jimmy Thomas #20
- Craig Phelps #00
- Dennis Stanley #21
- Bret Hall #7
- Larry Stapleton #15
- Josh Detwiler #38
- David Trent #57
- Bucky Smith #99
- Chris Stine #10
- Brian Eggers #13
MOD 4 (30 laps)
- Brad Ball #17
- Kevin Canter #3
- David Brown #77
- Dennis Arnold #7
- Zack Fritz #22
- Chris Amburgey #17
- DaltonThomas #22
- Billy Duty #1
- Jessie Amburgey #7
- James Deese #14
- Hershell Robinette #9
- Chris Coleman #20
- Kirby Gobble #78
- Jimmy Acito #57
PURE STREET (25 laps)
- Jay Swecker #77
- Brian Eggers #74
- Dustin Smith #5
- Kevin Darnell #4
- Jessica Payne #12
Did Not Pass Post-Race Technical Inspection: David Strong #53, Chris Neeley #2
VINTAGE (20 laps)
- Jeremy Mullins #06
- Calvin Crabtree #16Did Not Start: Tim Austin #11, Will Vannoy #72