Finchum Captures Second straight Kingsport Speedway Victory

Finchum Captures Second straight Kingsport Speedway Victory

by July 13, 2013 0 comments

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (July 12) — With Mother Nature washing out last week’s racing program at Kingsport Speedway, competitors’ and fans’ alike were ready for “The Concrete Jungle” to roar back to life on DBR Roofing Supply Night at the Races in the Model City.

Chad Finchum of Knoxville currently leads the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series “Dalton Direct Carpets” Late Model Stock point standings, while also sitting eighth in the national NWAAS rankings. The 18-year-old grabbed the lead just four circuits into the 60-lap main event, and once out front he cruised to his second consecutive and fourth overall victory this season.

Hayden Woods was quickest in pole qualifying, stopping the clock at 15.132 seconds with Finchum just behind at 15.134.

Following an invert of the top four from qualifying, Ronnie McCarty and Zeke Shell led the field to green from the front row. McCarty moved into the lead over Shell, with Finchum getting around Shell for the second spot on lap 2. Finchum powered around McCarty for the lead on lap 4 and began to distance himself from his closest challengers.

Both Kres VanDyke and Daniel Pope II were on the early move, with each getting past Roger Powell, followed by Woods and Shell to settle into the third and fourth positions in the running order before 10 laps were on the scoreboard.

Up-on-the-wheel and smashing the loud pedal, Finchum had stretched his advantage over McCarty to a half-straightaway by lap 20. McCarty was also having a strong run, as he rode about 10 car lengths ahead of Pope. Woods and Shell were battling for the fifth spot, with Shell finally securing the position on lap 26 racing off turn two.

As the race reached the halfway point, Finchum just passed rookie Erika Schmidt who was having her best showing of the season by running in the 12th position. A solid run in the eighth spot for Ryan Stiltner ended on lap 41, when his engine went up in smoke and he slowly made his way into the pits.

A tight three-car battle for position involving Pope, VanDyke and Shell saw both VanDyke and Shell get around Pope on lap 43, moving them into third and fourth in the running order behind Finchum and McCarty. It appeared the race just might go caution-free, but on lap 50 Schmidt got loose and spun at the exit of the fourth turn to bring out the yellow.

Finchum and McCarty were on the front row for the double-file restart, with VanDyke and Shell lined up in row two. With waving of the green and the field racing down the front straightaway into the first turn, Woods had a right-rear tire go down and he spun between turns three and four to bring the caution back out. After quick attention from his crew, Woods rejoined the race in the seventh position, the last car running on the lead lap.

Back under green, Finchum moved back ahead of McCarty, who was feeling pressure from VanDyke. Racing off the fourth turn on lap 52, VanDyke got to the inside of McCarty to challenge for the position. The duo got together in turn one with McCarty, Pope and Mike Potter spinning, while several cars were forced to take evasive action to avoid being collected.

Ready for another double-file restart, Finchum smoothly moved back ahead over VanDyke and Shell. Woods got around Shell for third on lap 53 racing off the fourth turn and began attacking VanDyke wanting the second spot. Woods got to the inside of VanDyke racing down the backstretch into the third turn on lap 55, and resulting contact between turns three and four moved VanDyke up the track.

But VanDyke didn’t back down, as he stayed on the gas racing off the fourth turn on the outside of Woods. Contact along the front straightaway near the flag stand saw Woods spin across the nose of VanDyke’s car head-on into the outside wall, thus bringing out the caution.

Back under green for just one circuit, the yellow waved once again when Schmidt and Rick Pannell spun in turn two. Yet another double-file restart and Finchum was wondering if the race would ever finish.

With the green flag waving, Finchum pulled back into the lead and went on to take the checkered flag over VanDyke, with veteran Robbie Ferguson (2002 track champion) recording his best finish since the track reopened for weekly racing in 2011 coming home third, followed by Tyler Goodwin and McCarty.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Pope, Allen Hawkins, Joey Trent, Schmidt and Pannell.

Chris Tunnell of Wise, Va., is definitely one of the “good guys” in local short-track racing around Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, a longtime fan-favorite. The 51-year-old Tunnell has won three track championships at Lonesome Pine Raceway and 88 races during a career that began in 1990. But, he hadn’t won a race at Kingsport Speedway in a while.

Tunnell sped into the lead at start of the 30-lap Street Stock feature over Jared Broadbent and John Harrell. Harrell, leading the division this season with six victories, got around Broadbent on the second circuit and set his sights ahead on leader Tunnell. Over the course of the remainder of the race, when looking in his rearview mirror Tunnell saw Harrell glued to his rear bumper. Harrell stuck the nose of his ride under Tunnell on several occasions racing off the corners, but the veteran Tunnell never flinched en route to recording the crowd-pleasing victory – career win number 89. Tunnell was chased to the checkered flag by Harrell, Nick Cole, Broadbent and Rob Austin.

Twin 15-lap Pure 4 features were held and in the first race Dylan Bates jumped out into the lead on the start before being overtaken for the point on lap 2 by Chris Neeley. Kenny Absher, John Ketron and Jason Ketron were on the move and got around Bates to drop him back to fifth in the running order. Strong runs for both Absher and Jason Ketron came to an end on lap 11, as they retired to the pits.

Kingsport racers Neeley and John Ketron battled down to the wire for the victory, crossing the finish line side-by-side in what was determined to be a tie for the victory. Bates, Brandon Sutherland and Chris Steadman rounded out the top five at the checkered flag.

Billy Ketron grabbed the lead over Sutherland and Neeley at start of the second race. Lap 5 racing off turn two, both Neeley and John Ketron got around Sutherland for position. Just one circuit later, John passed Neeley racing off the fourth turn to move into the runner-up spot. But the 47-year-old John wasn’t going to be satisfied running second. He passed son Billy on lap 7 for a lead he would hold to the finish in winning for the second time on the night, and seventh time this season. The elder Ketron was trailed at the finish by Neeley, Billy Ketron, Sutherland and Absher.

Chris Steadman of Johnson City made a last-lap pass that moved into the lead in capturing his third Rookie Pure 4 feature win of the season. He was followed at the finish by Billy Byington, Brandon Sutherland, Brandon Byington and Michael “Mook” Jeter.

*** Note: The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series “Dalton Direct Carpets” Late Model Stock finish is unofficial at press time, due to a post-race protest. The official results will be certified on Tuesday. ***


Showing Finish Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown, Showing Laps In Parentheses

1. (3) Chad Finchum #19-Knoxville, TN (60)
2. (5) Kres VanDyke #15-Claypool Hill, VA (60)
3. (8) Robbie Ferguson #32-Jonesborough, TN (60)
4. (11) Tyler Goodwin #64-Kingsport, TN (60)
5. (1) Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN (60)
6. (7) Daniel Pope II #16-Smyrna, TN (60)
7. (12) Allen Hawkins #14w-Kingsport, TN (60)
8. (10) Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN (59)
9. (13) Erika Schmidt #14-Greenback, TN (59)
10. (15) Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN (58)
11. (16) Dean Barrett #82-Abingdon, VA (57)
12. (4) Hayden Woods #87-Piney Flats, TN (56)
13. (2) Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN (56)
14. (17) Mike Potter #8-Johnson City, TN (56)
15. (6) Roger Powell #21-Waynesville, NC (55)
16. (14) Justin Wright #21w-Kingsport, TN (54)
17. (9) Ryan Stiltner #22-Grundy, VA (39)
18. (18) Austin Peters #19x-Kingsport, TN (4)

Did Not Start: Lee Tissot #7-Asheville, NC – Royce Peters #38-Kingsport, TN

STREET STOCK (30 laps)

1) Chris Tunnell #6; 2) John Harrell #19; 3) Nick Cole #63; 4) Jared Broadbent #74; 5) Rob Austin #25; 6) Royce Peters #48; 7) Jeff Counts #11 – Did Not Start: David Schmidt #20

PURE 4 #1 (15 laps)

1 tie) John Ketron #26 & Chris Neeley #94; 3) Dylan Bates #6; 4) Brandon Sutherland #22; 5) Chris Steadman #14; 6) Billy Ketron #27; 7) David Trent #57; 8) Lloyd Baker #7; 9) Mook Jeter #53; 10) Derek Penley #38; 11) Brandon Crumbley #7; 12) Todd Cross #41; 13) Jason Ketron #28; 14) Kenny Absher #11; 15) Jay Swecker #77; 16) Tim Abelseth #96; 17) Jimmy Hillard #74

PURE 4 #2 (15 laps)

1) John Ketron #26; 2) Chris Neeley #94; 3) Billy Ketron #27; 4) Brandon Sutherland #22; 5) Kenny Absher #11; 6) Billy Byington #11; 7) Jason Ketron #28; 8) Dylan Bates #6; 9) David Trent #57; 10) Lloyd Baker #7; 11) Mook Jeter #53; 12) Jay Swecker #77; 13) Brandon Crumbley #8; 14) Jimmy Hillard #74; 15) Todd Cross #41; 16) Chris Steadman #14

ROOKIE PURE 4 (17 laps)

1) Chris Steadman #14; 2) Billy Byington #11; 3) Brandon Sutherland #22; 4) Brandon Byington #11; 5) Mook Jeter #53; 6) Brandon Crumbley #7; 7) Sam Manis II #06; 8) Dennis Deese #25; 9) #77; 10) Tammy Cross #41; 11) #1; 12) #97; 13) Brandon Crumbley #8

Press Release
Press Release, source information and photo credits are located at the bottom of the article.

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