Elizabethton drivers earn Bristol Dragway titles

Jeff Birchfield • Sep 18, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Elizabethton racer Carl Widner won his fourth consecutive Sportsman championship in the DER Bracket Series at Bristol Dragway over the weekend.

Widner drove his Buick Regal to a 363-352 win over Ed Cannon, another Elizabethton racer. It’s the second straight runner-up finish in the points for Cannon.

Jesse Edens, also from Elizabethton and in his familiar red Mustang, won the Pro division title 539-495 over Jake Ball. Lucas McKinney of Elizabethton was fourth in that class and Widner posted a sixth-place finish.

Larry Snead of Bristol was champion in the featured Super Pro class. Emily Ward, from right across the Carter County border in Elk Park, N.C., won the Trophy division.

Knoxville rider Bryce Acuff overtook six-time Motorcycle track champion Jerry Turner from Bluff City to win that division. Ethan Ford of Jonesborough won the final race of the season Sunday in Junior Dragster, Division 3, and that helped him defeat Paige Smith and Vance Houston 297-275 for that title.

Other Junior Dragster champions were: Forrest Radford from Radford, Va., in Division 1 and Sawyer Atkins of Burnsville, N.C., in Division 2.

Rain ended eliminations after round 2 on Saturday, but there was a full day of racing Sunday.

Allen Byrd of Church Hill won in Super Pro. Jamie Holston of Wytheville, Va., won in Pro. John Isom of Bristol (Sportsman), Ward (Trophy) and Rick Perry of Knoxville (Motorcycle) were other winners.

Ford and Atkins won their respective Junior divisions with Kentucky racer Brayden McCown emerging the Division 1 winner.

Bristol Dragway will host Thunder Valley Mayhem as part of the Bristol Chevy Show on Sept. 26-29. The event features Pro Mods, Jet Cars, fireworks and more. There will be bracket racing from the Super Pro, Pro, DOT and True Street divisions.

The Bandit Big Rig Series will conclude its season at Bristol Motor Speedway on Oct. 12.

It will feature the world’s fastest semi-trucks racing around Bristol’s high-banked, .533-mile short track. There will be a truck show and kids activities throughout the day.


Kingsport Speedway will host the Southeast Super Trucks Series this Saturday.

Besides the main event, there will be features for the Limited Late Model, Legends, Front Wheel Driver and Carolina Vintage Series. It will be the last races of the season at the 3/8-concrete oval.


Johnson City racer Mike Potter moved a step closer to the Super Cup Stock Car Series Southern Division title with a pair of top-10 finishes at Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway on Saturday.

The 70-year-old veteran had finishes of eighth and seventh at the track located an hour outside of Pittsburgh. Potter needs only to start the next race at Old Dominion (Va.) Speedway to lock up the Southern Division title.

Potter won in August at Midvale (Ohio) Speedway and has eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 16 starts this season.


A handful of local drivers raced in twin Late Model Stock features at Motor Mile (Va.) Speedway on Sept. 7.

Kres VanDyke of Abingdon finished second to track champion Mike Looney in the first race and third in the second race. Wayne Hale of Bluff City and Bryson Dennis of Greeneville were eighth and ninth in the first race and flip-flopped positions in the second race.

Joey Trent of Gray finished 12th in the opening race and 11th in the nightcap.


A pair of Johnson City racers posted runner-up finishes last weekend at Volunteer Speedway.

JC’s Tim Maupin finished second to Knoxville’s Zach Sise in the 30-lap Crate Late Model feature. It was the second win of the season for Sise, while Maupin extended his lead in the track championship standings.

Gary Crittenden finished third, followed by Terry Poore and Jonesborough driver Tim Byrd. Jackie Hughes of Johnson City came through with an eighth-place finish.

Johnson City’s Chuck Killian finished runner-up behind Chris McKinney of Harriman in the Classic division race. John Stevens was third with another Johnson City driver, Jim Canning Jr., coming in fourth and Chad Manning fifth.

Aaron Guinn of Russellville won for the third time in three starts in the Sportsman Late Model division. Logan Hickey of Morristown led flag-to-flag for his third win of the season in Modified Street.

Jason Rollins of Parrottsville scored his first-ever victory in Street Stock and Michael Courtney of Knoxville won in his first start of the season in Mini Stock.


Malakian Shipley of Gray rode his Kawasaki to victory in the 85cc, 9-15 division in the South Carolina State Championship at the South of the Border MX complex over the weekend. Shipley, the nephew of local racer Izayah Shipley, won his first moto and finished runner-up in the second race to beat South Carolina rider Ryder Walden for the overall title.

Mike Brown, the former 125cc national champion from Johnson City now living in Bristol, Va., finished second to Luke Neese of Jamestown, N.C., in the 450 Pro race. Brown, 47, rode his Yamaha to the win in the first moto and finished runner-up to Neese in the second race.

Brown won two other races in the Ultra Series the previous day. Chris Furches of Jonesborough won the ATV Intermediate title.

Motocross returns to the local area with Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series at the Appalachian Fairgrounds on Saturday.

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