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Sports Jeff Birchfield NASCAR/Racing

Old rivals at it again at Kingsport

April 23rd, 2014 7:29 pm by Jeff Birchfield

Old rivals at it again at Kingsport

The boys were back at it at Kingsport Speedway.

Old rivals Zeke Shell and Lee Tissot clashed again in last Friday night’s Late Model Stock feature.

The two drivers, who have a history of racing each other hard and wrecking on occasion, tangled on lap 46 while battling for third-place. Who was at fault likely depends on who you ask. Tissot had a little advantage going into turn one, but neither driver seemed willing to give an inch.

Tissot appeared to come down the track, while Shell didn’t cut him any slack. The result was the right front fender of Shell’s Ford hit the left rear fender of Tissot’s Chevrolet. Both drivers spun out and the radiator was torn up on Shell’s car.

In the pits after the accident, Shell walked up to the edge of the track, with the what were you thinking gesture. 

After finishing runner-up in the points each of the last two seasons, Shell has looked at this year as being his best chance to win the track championship. The Johnson City driver got off to a strong start with a second-place finish in the season opener, but he took a hit in the points with the accident. He finished 16th in the race and fell from second to eighth in the standings, 32 points out of the lead.

Tissot had started on the front row, but he didn’t have anything for the No. 15 Chevy of Kres VanDyke who led all 60 laps.

Besides taking his second straight win at Kingsport, VanDyke also won the next night at Lonesome Pine (Va.) Raceway.

Defending track champion Chad Finchum was the pole sitter, but he started third after an inversion of the fastest qualifiers. Finchum worked his way around Tissot for second, but he was unable to hold on to the runner-up spot. He was passed by Ryan Stiltner with eight laps to go.

Behind the top three, Derrick Lancaster and Tissot rounded out the top five.

Other finishes included Gray drivers Tyler Goodwin and Joey Trent in ninth and 10th, respectively, and Johnson City driver Phillip Harris in 14th, two spots ahead of Shell.

John Harrell of Surgoinsville led flag-to-flag to win the Street Stock feature, while the Pure 4 race featured a fierce battle among Kingsport drivers.  Kenny Absher grabbed the lead from Keith Helton on lap 2, and then held off a last-lap charge from John Ketron for the win.

Brandon Crumbley of Kingsport emerged victorious over Mook Jeter and James Deese to win the Rookie Pure 4 race, while Roby Orr of Glade Spring, Va., won the Pure Street feature. Jerry Lane of Kingsport outran his sons, Derek and Trey, to win the Legends race.

There is another six-division program of racing set for Kingsport Speedway this Friday night.

Practice begins at 6 p.m. followed by qualifying at 7 p.m. and racing  at 8 p.m.

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Jason Welshan won the 30-lap Crate Late Model feature at the “Walter Ball Memorial” at Volunteer Speedway this past Saturday night. The Maryville driver appeared on his way to a clean sweep when he was sidelined by mechanical failure just over halfway into the Steel Head Late Model feature.

Warren McMahan of Dandridge finished second in the Crate race, while defending track champion Tim Byrd of Jonesborough was third. Tim Maupin of Johnson City finished fifth.

Greg Estes, a frequent winner at Tazewell Speedway, took advantage of Welshan’s misfortune to win the Steel Head race. Knoxville driver Cory Hedgecock was the runner-up, while Bobby Mays of Jonesborough finished ninth.

Jamie Whitt of Wise, Va., stayed perfect in the Modified Hobby division with his third win of the season. He held off a final-lap bid by Greg Estes’ daughter, Parker, at the finish.

The next night of racing at Volunteer Speedway is scheduled for May 10 highlighted by a $4,000-to-win race for the Super Late Models.

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The DER Bracket Series will take the weekend off at Bristol Dragway.

There are actually ties at the top of the point standings in two divisions. Carl Widener of Elizabethton and Jason Nelson of Bluff City each have 187 points in the Sportsman division, while Candis Bise of Elizabethton and Jordan Nelson of Bristol are tied with 165 points in the Trophy division.

Some of the other early leaders include Kenneth Street in Super Pro and three-time defending track champion Tim Griffith in Pro.

The Roadrunner Markets Street Fights are on tap for tonight at Thunder Valley. Gates open at 5 p.m. with racing to start at 6 p.m. Spectators can enter for free by presenting a receipt of purchase of a Pepsi and Frito-Lay product at any Roadrunner Markets location.

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The Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series kicked off at the Appalachian Fairgrounds last Saturday with Jonesborough’s Trey Emert taking the win in two divisions (Unlimited B and College Boy 14-24 Yrs.). Another Jonesborough rider, Chris Furches, was the ATV Youth winner.

There were a trio of Carter County winners.

Wesley Keylon of Elizabethton topped the 450D class, and Chelsea Taylor of Elizabethton won the Women’s 85cc race. Bailey Hughes of Hampton captured the 125cc 2-Stroke victory. 

A pair of riders from across the mountain in Bakersville, N.C., Justin Ricker and Zachary Renfro, won ATV novice races.

While the racing is going on at the fairgrounds, over 1,200 tons of dirt has been moved at Muddy Creek Raceway in preparation for the Lucas Oil Pro Motorcross Tennessee National on June 28. 

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