The Hickory, N.C., driver, who swept Super Cup races at Kingsport in 2018, held off a furious charge by his former NASCAR Cup Series driver Mike Potter of Johnson City to win Friday’s 50-lap race.
Potter, 69, was running down the driver almost half his age when a late caution for Marc Jones’ blown motor bunched up the field. With the tires on Ebeling’s Ford Fusion cooling down during the break which included a red-flag stoppage, he got away from Potter’s No. 14 Chevrolet SS on the restart and drove away to the win.
Ebeling was a former driver for Potter, who still considers him a good friend. Nevertheless, Potter was disappointed to finish second, feeling he had the car and position to win if not for the late caution.
“I could have gotten Ben if it had gone green all the way,” Potter said. “He was better on the short run, but I was better on the long run. We drove each other clean. He drove for me last year and I’d race Ben as clean as I’d race anybody in the world. He’s my friend and a good guy.”
Ron Langdon from Long Island, N.Y., finished third in his Chevrolet after battling Potter tough for several laps for the runner-up position. Bill Ashton from Uniontown, Pa., finished fourth in another Chevrolet.
With the strong finish, Langdon extended his lead in the national point standings over Kevin Kromer. Potter moved to third in the national standings and pulled away from Jones in the Southern Division standings. The next race in the Super Cup Series is scheduled for July 13 at Jennerstown, Pennsylvania.
HELTON WORKS THE TRAFFIC
Keith Helton of Kingsport successfully navigated traffic to pull away to the win the Pure 4 division race which featured 24 cars.
Helton was challenged most of the race by Brandon Sutherland, who pulled into the pits with five laps to go. Helton had built up a big lead by that point over Josh Detwiler in the 30-lap, caution-free race to win by a comfortable margin.
“It’s a lot of fun when we can go green like that and show how we can work the traffic,” Helton said after his seventh win of the season. “It’s sometimes who gets the lucky breaks or luck of the draw on how you end on those situations. The more cars you have, it brings out more who looks ahead and who drives more by the hood ornament. You have to set people up way before you get to them.”
Bruce Crumbley rounded out the top three, followed by Bucky Smith and William Hale.
Doug Austin of Castlewood, Va., and defending track champion Jay Swecker of Kingsport swapped the lead multiple times in the Pure Street feature before Austin emerged with his eighth win of the season. Swecker held on to second as Tony Dockery made it a three-way battle for the win.
Dennis Arnold of Meadowview, Va., won his second straight Mod 4 feature, with Chris Amburgey and Billy Duty rounding out the top three. Trey Lane in his Dodge Challenger held off the Chevrolet Camaros of father and son Royce and Austin Peters to capture his third Mod Street win of the season.
Kingsport Speedway will return to its normal racing program next Friday night, headlined by the Late Model Stock division for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.