Johnson City Press Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Follow me on:


Sports Sports Columns Jeff Birchfield NASCAR/Racing

X Games will have local flavor

May 27th, 2014 8:21 pm by Jeff Birchfield

X Games will have local flavor

Mike Brown will look to pick up his third X Games gold medal on June 5-8 in Austin, Texas.

Justin Matney will try to win his first X Games medal of any color that same weekend.

Brown, the motocross legend from Johnson City, will be one of the favorites in the Moto X Enduro X competition. Brown won his first X Games gold at Los Angeles in 2012 and followed it up last year by winning the gold in Barcelona, Spain. 

Brown, who also has a silver medal from the X Games, continues to outrun riders half his age. Last season, the 42-year-old finished a close runner-up in the GEICO Endurocross Series championship standings and that accomplishment came a dozen years after he won the AMA 125cc National Championship.

Still going strong, Brown finished 11th at the series’ last race in Las Vegas. 

Matney, a 30-year-old from Bristol, Virginia, will compete in the Stadium Super Trucks event.

Matney, who races for the Bristol-based RPM Offroad, drove a Chevy Silverado to first place in Class 1 at the 2013 Baja 500. It was an event which former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Robby Gordon won the overall title in the Trophy Truck category. 

Over the past couple of years, Matney has been one of the top drivers in the SCORE Desert Series, winning 11 races in Nevada last January.

Matney and the rest of Stadium Super Truck drivers are scheduled to compete at the X Games on June 8.

———

Veteran short track racer Lee Tissot of Asheville picked up his first win of the season at Kingsport Speedway last Friday night, leading all 60 laps of the NASCAR All-American Series Late Model Stock feature.

Although defending track champion Chad Finchum was fastest in qualifying, an inverted top-five put Kyle Barnes on the pole and Tissot on the outside of the front row. Tissot immediately jumped to the lead, while Johnson City driver Zeke Shell powered his way from a fourth-place start to the second in just 10 laps.

They ran that way until the end with Ryan Stiltner finishing third behind Tissot and Shell. Finchum took fourth after a tough battle with two-time track champion Nate Monteith, who was driving a second Zeke Shell Racing car.

Barnes wound up sixth, while 2013 Daniel Boone graduate Tyler Goodwin was 10th. Also in the rundown, Johnson City driver Phil Harris was 13th and Joey Trent of Gray finished 19th.

In Street Stock, John Harrell of Surgoinsville passed Rob Austin for the lead on lap 11 of the 30-lap race for his second win of the season. Kingsport’s John Ketron led his son Jason to a 1-2 finish in the Pure 4 division and Rusty Clendenin of Church Hill won in Rookie Piure 4.

Other winners were Duke Bare of Meadowview, Virginia, in Pure Street and Trey Lane of Kingsport in the Legends division. 

Kingsport Speedway has another six-division racing program scheduled for this Friday night.

———

Warren McMahan of Dandridge led flag-to-flag to win Saturday night’s 30-lap Crate Late Model feature at Volunteer Speedway, but the real action was behind him.

That was where defending track champion Tim Byrd of Jonesborough passed Ricky Moore of Greeneville three times before getting the runner-up spot. A caution flag waved off Byrd’s first two passes.

Byrd finished second in the race, with Johnson City’s Tim Maupin taking third. 

Chris Ferguson of Mt. Holly, North Carolina, won a 40-lap feature for the Carolina Clash Late Model Series, and Kentucky driver Brad Neat finished second. 

Five-time track champion Vic Hill of Morristown posted an eighth-place run, one spot ahead of Jonesborough’s Bobby Mays.

Cory Hedgecock passed Trevor Sise with three laps to go in a battle of Knoxville drivers to take the 40-lap Steel Head Late Model feature and Gary Blanken won the 25-lap Modified Hobby feature.

Volunteer Speedway doesn’t have another race on the schedule until the Scott Sexton Memorial Super Late Model feature on June 14.

———

Ethan Ford of Jonesborough was a finalist in the DER Bracket Series at Bristol Dragway on Saturday and a winner on Sunday.

Ford captured the Junior Dragster, Division 1 trophy one day after finishing second to Tyler Clark the day before.

Lucas McKinney of Elizabethton was also a finalist Saturday as runner-up to Gabe Ellison of Rogersville in Junior Dragster, Division 2.

Ellison’s older brother, Mitch, won the Super Pro race, while other Saturday winners were: Chester Lay in Pro, Jason Nelson in Sportsman, Jason Haynes in Motorcycle and Dylan Stapleton in Trophy.

Nelson and Stapleton completed weekend sweeps on Sunday, while Danny Shortridge Jr. and Richard Newman won Super Pro and Pro races, respectively.

Other Sunday winners included veteran Motorcycle campaigner Jerry Turner of Piney Flats and Dylan Howard in Junior Dragster, Division 2. 

The NOPI Nationals return to Bristol Dragway for the first time since 2005 this weekend. The event includes drag racing for Pro Mods, Top Dragsters and Bikes. There will also be a car show with over 100 classes and drifting exhibitions throughout the weekend.

———

The Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series returned to the Appalachian Fairgrounds last Saturday night with Will Andrews of Hampton winning two classes.

Brock Byrd of Unicoi was the runner-up to Andrews in the 65cc 

Unlimited 7-11 division.

Jeffrey Bowman and Noah Worley posted a 1-2 finish for Johnson City riders in the 85cc D Beginner class, while Chris Furches of Jonesborough captured the ATV Youth title. Chelsea Taylor of Elizabethton won the Women’s 85cc division over the Jonesborough pair of Nicole and Riley Horton.

Other runner-up finishers included Bailey Hughes of Hampton (125cc 2-Stroke), Wyatt Luther of Erwin (ATV Youth) and Nicholas Spurlock of Jonesborough (51cc Beginner). 

Bakersville, North Carolina was well represented in the ATV divisions with Ryan Hoyle winning the ATV Intermediate race and Jeremy Buchanan edging Justin Ricker in the ATV Novice after the two split moto wins.

Racing is scheduled at the Appalachian Fairgrounds again this Saturday night.

Follow Jeff Birchfield on Twitter. Like him on Facebook.

comments powered by Disqus