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Williams holds off Shell for sixth win of season

Johnson City Press • Updated Aug 31, 2019 at 5:07 PM

KINGSPORT — Nik Williams moved one step closer to a first track championship at Kingsport Speedway with his sixth win of the season Friday night.

Williams, the driver of the No. 32 Chevrolet, finished one car length ahead of defending track champion Zeke Shell in the No. 1 Ford in the 60-lap Late Model Stock feature for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

The two battled on the opening lap around the 3/8-mile concrete oval before Williams emerged with the lead. The Chuckey driver maintained the lead position throughout the race, even holding off Shell as the two drivers battled through lapped traffic.

Shell closed on the final lap, but wasn’t able to get a bump-and-run move for the win. With his second straight win on Friday, Williams holds a 10-point lead over Shell in the track championship standings.

“Second lap, I got around him and led all 60, but he gave me a good fight,” Williams said on the track’s “Behind Pit Wall” broadcast. “I just tried to hold him off.”

It was a struggle for Williams to race at all. The rear end and transmission went out on his car during the first practice and the team had to race back to the shop to get parts off their backup car to get back on track.

Danny O’Quinn, a former NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year from Coeburn, Va., had the fast time in qualifying in his No. 96 machine. After an inversion of top qualifiers, O’Quinn started third and wasn’t able to get around the top two.

Wayne Hale of Bluff City and Kingsport’s Derek Lane rounded out the top five. Lane held off Jonesborough racer Jerry Broyles for the fifth spot.

MOD SQUAD

Kingsport Trey Lane won for the ninth time this season in the Mod Street division. His No. 9 Dodge Challenger passed the No. 27 Chevrolet of Rusty Clendenin for the lead on lap 10. Clendenin finished second with points leader Kevin Wolfe in third. Paul Shull and Brian Young completed the top five.

Kevin Canter leads all divisions after his 15th win in the Mod 4 division. The Abingdon driver in the Dale Earnhardt-inspired black No. 3 finished 1.7 seconds ahead of runner-up Billy Duty, who put forth a strong effort in the No. 2 car. Chris Amburgey was third, followed by Dalton Thomas and Chris Coleman.

PURE SUCCESS

Kingsport driver Keith Helton scored his class-leading 11th win in the Pure 4 ranks. In a fierce six-driver battle for the win, Kenny Absher finished second followed by Billy Byington. William Hale, Bucky Smith and defending track champion Bruce Crumbley took the fourth through sixth positions.

Tony Dockery won for the third time in the last four Pure Street races. Points leader Doug Austin was second, followed by Bruce Blessing, the previous week’s winner. Gene Griffey was fourth with Mike Mays finished fifth.

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