Clean sweep for VanDyke in Kingsport Speedway NASCAR Late Model twins
By Robert Walden
Kingsport Speedway – Media/Public Relations
KINGSPORT, Tenn. (June 2, 2017) — Following a rainy spring around Northeast Tennessee that has forced Kingsport Speedway management to cancel several events due to inclement weather, beautiful sunny skies with temperature in the low 80s greeted race fans upon arrival Friday evening in the Model City.
With twin features scheduled for the headlining NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car division, Kres VanDyke of Abingdon, Va., pulled off the clean sweep in winning both races. VanDyke not only got to celebrate twice in victory lane, but with the two wins it allowed him to pad his points lead.
“We race to win, and we compete to hopefully win a track championship – it’s just that plain and simple,” said VanDyke while standing at back of his hauler in the pits following the night of racing at Kingsport Speedway. “We want to take home trophies and for bragging rights, get the feature winner’s sticker to place on the car.
“Our focus during the week back at the race shop preparing the car for the next event is, pay very close attention to making sure you’ve checked every key component of the car. That’s really the whole deal, if you’re going to contend for race wins. Don’t overlook anything in your maintenance program, and then come race night just give it your total best effort.”
VanDyke set fast-time in pole qualifying at 15.162 seconds, with Zeke Shell timing-in at 15.178.
On the start Shell got advantage over VanDyke, but caution waved on lap 4 when Adam Gray got loose in the corner turning sideways. With nowhere to go, Austin Peters ran up over left-front of Gray’s car getting airtime. Gray’s race ended prematurely, while Peters was able to continue.
On the ensuing double-file restart, Shell and VanDyke raced hard for the lead before Shell moved ahead. Behind them Nik Williams, Wayne Hale, Robbie Ferguson, Nate Monteith, Joey Trent, Peters andDerek Lane were battling for position. With the feature being just 35 laps in distance, it’s basically a sprint race where you “go hard” from the green flag to checkered flag.
With Shell riding out front, VanDyke was glued to his rear bumper and on several occasions sneaking peeks to the inside racing up off the corners. As laps were winding down, VanDyke stepped up the pressure in trying to work his way past Shell for the lead. Finally getting a good run to pull alongside Shell, they battled for the lead – and ultimately – the race win.
While Shell was running the high line and VanDyke on the bottom, on lap 32 Shell spun to bring the caution out, ending a strong run up front. Poised for a three-lap shootout to the finish, VanDyke went on to capture the victory over Williams, Ferguson, Trentand Monteith.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Peters, Lane, Shell, Darin Silver and David Strong.
The top eight finishers from the first race were inverted for the second 35-lap feature, placing Shell and Lane on the front row. Shell powered out into the lead at start over Lane, Peters, Trent and Ferguson. Trent passed Peters for the third spot on lap 3 racing off the fourth turn.
Meanwhile beginning to make a charge forward was VanDyke, as he around Monteith and Williams to close to fifth-running Ferguson on lap 8. Trent worked his way under Lane for second place on lap 10 racing off the fourth turn, and just one circuit later racing up off (turn) two, VanDyke got by Peters to take over the fourth spot.
Lane lost his grip on third when VanDyke passed him for position as they raced off into the first turn on lap 14. Next ahead was second-running Trent and VanDyke worked his way past him racing off the fourth turn on lap 17, setting his sights ahead on leader Shell.
With Shell holding a seven car length advantage over the hard-charging VanDyke, the last thing he wanted to see was a late race caution. Unfortunately for Shell, that’s what happened when Strong spun between turns three and four on lap 30.
For the double-file restart Shell chose the outside line, leaving VanDyke the inside as the race went back green. They ran side-by-side for two laps before VanDyke driving the Food City/Gripp Energy Drink/Italian Village of Kingsport/JJ’s Sports Bar & Restaurant of Abingdon, Va./Modern Chevrolet of Honaker, Va./Burger King/Service Fuel/No. 15 Chevrolet SS moved into the lead, and he held on to narrowly win by .582 seconds over Shell. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Trent, Lane and Ferguson.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Williams, Monteith, Hale, Rick Pannell and Gray.
“We had a really good race car tonight,” VanDyke stated. “We set fast-time in qualifying and battled with Zeke (Shell) for the lead in the early going of the first feature. He got the lead but we stayed right on his rear (bumper) and had a really good race there with the laps winding down for the win. With him spinning as only a couple of laps remained, we were able to get the victory. Due to the top eight finishers being inverted from the first race, that meant we really had our work cut out if we were going to win the second race. With Zeke (Shell) finishing eighth in the opener, he had the pole starting position for the second 35-lapper.
“Several good cars were ahead of me and I really felt like I would be able to work my way to the front, but I just had to be patient in the early laps with the field bunched so tightly together. After finally being able to get to second place, to be honest I didn’t think I’d be able to close in on Shell because not enough laps remained. We caught a lucky break with the car spinning with only five laps left, and then off the restart we were able to get out into the lead and go on for the victory. It’s awesome getting the two wins, but in winning both races it really helped us out points-wise, too. I want to thank all of the sponsors onboard with us this year, along with the support of my wife (Erin VanDyke, parents (Bayne and Peggy VanDyke), and the crew – Dinky Torbett, Jeremy Hughes, Chris Barbour, Jeremy Draughn, Jay Swecker and Jarrett Davis.”
Kevin Wolfe and Royce Peters engaged in battle for the lead racing door-to-door over the opening laps of the Modified Street feature, swapping paint on occasions, before Wolfe spun between turns one and two to bring the caution flag out.
For the double-file restart, Peters and Jared Broadbent brought the field back up to speed from the front row. The duo raced side-by-side for 12 laps, putting on a driving exhibition, before Peters moved into the lead on lap 22. Peters, from Kingsport, went on to capture his second consecutive and third overall victory this season over Broadbent, Wolfe, David Brown and Rusty Clendenin.
Billy Ketron jumped out to lead at start of the 30-lap Pure 4 feature over William Hale and Brandon Sutherland, but caution waved quickly on the second lap for a multicar incident between turns one and two involving Craig Phelps, Ben Barker, Kevin Darnell, Alexcia Ray and Cody Curtis.
Back under green the racing was intense, with cars running two- and three-wide jockeying for real estate. Billy Ketron was on the point followed by Sutherland and John Ketron, with Kenny Absher, Jason Ketron and Billy Byington in the mix. John Ketron got around Sutherland for second place on lap 6, with Absher working his way past Sutherland for the third spot just one circuit later.
During a long green flag run, the elder Ketron (John) passed son Billy for the lead and once out front, Billy had his hands full trying to keep Absher behind him. John Ketron, from Kingsport, went on to capture his second win on the season over Billy Ketron, Absher, Byington and Jason Ketron. … Absher and Billy Ketron entered the night of racing tied atop the point standings, and with the runner-up finish, Billy now holds a one-point advantage over the veteran Absher.
Defending Mod 4 track champion Kevin Canter had won all four races this season, but David Brown ofAbingdon, Va., had been knocking on the door with two second-place efforts. Canter grabbed the lead from Billy Duty on the third lap and rode out front until Brown got around him for the lead with eight laps remaining, and once out front Brown would not be denied his first victory of the season. Brown was trailed at the finish by Canter, Kirby Gobble, Duty and Jerry Miller.
The trio of Doug Austin, Jamie Meadows and Jay Swecker paced the field throughout the 25-lap Pure Street feature, with Austin taking the apparent victory. But his car did not pass post-race technical inspection, thus Meadows, from Castlewood, Va., was awarded the win followed by Swecker, Peter Alley, Bobby Talbert and Jeremy Draughn.
Kingsport Speedway takes next Friday (June 9) off, before returning to action on June 16 with Racers Reunion Night when several drivers from the past will gather to meet fans.
KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY – FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2017 – RACE RESULTS
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES – LATE MODEL STOCK CAR (Race #1 – 35 laps)
1. Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
2. Nik Williams #32-Greeneville, TN
3. Robbie Ferguson #40-Jonesborough, TN
4. Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
5. Nate Monteith #44-Bluff City, TN
6. Austin Peters #66-Kingsport, TN
7. Derek Lane #28-Kingsport, TN
8. Zeke Shell #50-Johnson City, TN
9. Darin Silver #12-Spruce Pine, NC
10. David Strong #53-Weber City, VA
11. Jamie Harrison #76-Church Hill, TN
12. Billy Light #8-Bluff City, TN
13. Mardy Roberts #4-Kingsport, TN
14. Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN
15. Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
16. Danny Casteel #41-Johnson City, TN
17. Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN
18. Adam Gray #37-Kingsport, TN
19. Sam Hurd #44-Kingsport, TN
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES – LATE MODEL STOCK CAR (Race #2 – 35 laps)
1. Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
2. Zeke Shell #50-Johnson City, TN
3. Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
4. Derek Lane #28-Kingsport, TN
5. Robbie Ferguson #40-Jonesborough, TN
6. Nik Williams #32-Greeneville, TN
7. Nate Monteith #44-Bluff City, TN
8. Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN
9. Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
10. Adam Gray #37-Kingsport, TN
11. Darin Silver #12-Spruce Pine, NC
12. David Strong #53-Weber City, VA
13. Billy Light #8-Bluff City, TN
14. Austin Peters #66-Kingsport, TN
15. Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN
16. Jamie Harrison #76-Church Hill, TN
17. Mardy Roberts #4-Kingsport, TN
18. Danny Casteel #41-Johnson City, TN
19. Sam Hurd #44-Kingsport, TN
MODIFIED STREET (30 laps)
1. Royce Peters #42
2. Jared Broadbent #74
3. Kevin Wolfe #17
4. David Brown #88
5. Rusty Clendenin #40
6. Paul Shull #48
7. Sam Hurd #11
8. Dennis Deese #24
9. Alan Rich #03
Did Not Start: Chris Tunnell #6, Bruce Crumbley #33
PURE 4 (30 laps)
1. John Ketron #27
2. Billy Ketron #26
3. Kenny Absher #11
4. Billy Byington #11
5. Jason Ketron #28
6. Brandon Sutherland #5
7. William Hale #47
8. Ben Barker #54
9. Levi Cox #1
10. Chad Jeffers #38
11. Craig Phelps #00
12. Jimmy Thomas #14
13. Larry Stapleton #15
14. Bobby Dublin #7
15. Josh Collins #77
16. Alexcia Ray #99
17. Michael Blair #84
18. Bucky Smith #99
19. Kevin Darnell #4
20. Cody Curtis #18
MOD 4 (30 laps)
1. David Brown #88
2. Kevin Canter #3
3. Kirby Gobble #77
4. Billy Duty #1
5. Jerry Miller #01
6. Hershell Robinette #9
7. Larry Bowens #18
8. Chris Amburgey #17
9. Jessie Amburgey #7
10. Ted Glover Jr. #03
Did Not Start: Dennis Arnold #7
PURE STREET (25 laps)
1. Jamie Meadows #11
2. Jay Swecker #77
3. Peter Alley #7
4. Bobby Talbert #67
5. Jeremy Draughn #7
6. Stacey Castle #11
7. Dustin Smith #5
8. Sam Hurd #11
Did Not Pass Post-Race Technical Inspection: Doug Austin #18