Zeke Shell was the class of the field at Kingsport Speedway this past Friday night .The Johnson City driver led flag-to-flag in the 60-lap Late Model Stock feature for his third win of the season.
In what was called the most dominant performance of the year, Shell started on the outside pole of the front row, but left Ronnie McCarty of Kingsport in the dust on the opening lap.
Shell’s No. 97 Ford easily pulled away on several restarts. He had taken the white flag when the caution came out for the final time following contact between the cars of McCarty and the previous week’s winner Lee Tissot as they were battling for second.
McCarty took the runner-up spot followed by Chad Finchum of Knoxville. Paul Nogradi Jr. of Clinton and Virginia driver KresVanDyke rounded out the top five.
Tyler Goodwin, a 17-year-old who attends Daniel Boone High School, finished seventh and Tissot wound up 10th following his last-lap spin.
Nogradi had the fastest lap in qualifying, but Shell and McCarty started ahead of him due to an inversion of the top four qualifiers.
There was also a big shift in the point standings following the race.
Daniel Pope II of Smyrna entered the night as the points leader, but an engine failure relegated him to a 17th-place finish. In the process, he dropped to fourth in the standings.
Finchum now holds a 291-286 points lead over Shell. Van Dyke is third with 284 points, followed by Pope at 280 points.
In other races, Nick Cole of Bristol pushed his No. 63 Chevy past Kingsport’s Royce Peters on lap 7 of the 30-lap Street Stock feature and led the rest of the way, taking his fifth win of the season.
John Ketron passed Kenny Absher on lap 15 of the Pure 4 race, but Absher fought back to reclaim the lead with two laps to go for his first win of the season.
Another Kingsport driver, Bruce Crumbley, piloted his Honda Prelude to victory in the Rookie Pure 4 race, while Jacob Owens of Bean Station and Derek Lane of Kingsport split 10-lap feature victories in the Legends division.
The Kingsport Speedway community is grieving the loss of longtime competitor Tony Ward this week. Ward, who drove his blue No. 7 Nova to a ninth-place finish in last Friday’s Street Stock race, died on Saturday as the result of a massive heart attack.
Ward and Rick Pannell were the only two drivers to run every race at Kingsport since the track reopened in 2011. A tribute to Ward will be part of the NASCAR Weekly All-American Series program on Friday night.
Trevor Bayne’s second Nationwide Series victory at Iowa on Sunday marked a major milestone for the Ford Motor Company.
The Knoxville driver’s victory in the No. 6 Mustang was the 200th in the series for the car manufacturer and the 999th all-time victory for Ford in NASCAR’s top three series.
Making it sweeter, Bayne had to rally to pass Austin Dillon’s Chevy to take the lead with 11 laps to go.
“I am so proud of this team and what they accomplished,” Bayne said. “We got caught in traffic. We raced pretty hard and caught a door on the straightaway and I got Dillon loose once. We raced clean and we got by him and we were able to drive away.”
The victory capped off a memorable week for Bayne, 22, who got married on Tuesday.
Scott Bloomquist also had a memorable week, although for many of the wrong reasons, charged with threatening an employee with a pistol earlier in the week.
It didn’t affect the Mooresburg driver on the race track. He captured his sixth Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora (Ohio) Speedway.
Bloomquist took the lead from Jimmy Mars on lap 65 and dominated the remainder of the 100-lap race to win the $100,000 top prize.
Amateur motocross racers were at Muddy Creek Raceway on Sunday, June 2, one day after the Tennessee National for the AMA Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series.
Hunter Hobbs of Johnson City won both motos in the Schoolboy 12-16 class. He also finished second to Paden King of Bluff City in Collegeboy Amateur 14-24, and placed third in 125cc 2-stroke amateur division.
Other winners included: Isaiah Osborne of Johnson City who captured both motos to win the 250D Extra race, and Morgan Payne of Butler, who won both motos in the ATV Intermediate class
Also, Matthew Campbell of Johnson City finished second in the 250D race.
The completion of the “Scott Sexton Memorial 52” for the Southern All-Star Racing Series is scheduled for Friday night at Volunteer Speedway.
Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C. was leading Georgia driver Dale McDowell on June 1 when rain stopped the Super Late Model race after 17 laps.
Besides that race being completed, a 30-lap feature for the Crate Late Models and a 20-lap feature for the Modified Hobby Division is on the schedule.