KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Through the first three races to open the season at Tennessee’s Kingsport Speedway, Zeke Shell was a strong threat to visit victory lane, recording two runner-up finishes along with one third-place showing.
Friday night, the 30-year-old Shell sealed the deal, scoring the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car victory.
Shell was fastest in qualifying at 14.993 seconds, with Kres VanDyke second quickest at 15.190. Following the invert, Ronnie McCarty and VanDyke led the 17-car field to green from the front row, with Shell and Nik Williams in row two.
VanDyke and McCarty raced side-by-side the opening eight laps before VanDyke grabbed the lead. Behind the leaders, Shell, Robbie Ferguson and Williams were in tow. Shell got around McCarty for second just prior to caution flag on lap 15 when Mardy Roberts spun between turns one and two, collecting Rick Pannell in the process.
On the ensuing restart, VanDyke and Shell raced hard before Shell powered into the lead on lap 18. The duo clearly were the class of the field, pulling out to right at full-straightaway advantage over those in pursuit. The race would ultimately only last two more laps, as a serious crash on lap 32 quickly brought out the red flag to stop the field.
Rookie Trey Bayne, 14-year-old brother of NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series driver Trevor Bayne, made contact with Derek Lane near the flag stand and first turned across Lane’s nose into the outside wall, before wildly careening out-of-control and slamming violently into the turn one pit gate. The force of impact broke the pit gate, which led to decision by track management to end the night of racing due to being unable to safely make repairs to the damaged crossover gate.
Shell got his first win of the season over VanDyke in second, McCarty in third, Ferguson in fourth and Williams in fifth.
“I guess a win’s a win, whether you complete every scheduled lap or just get past the halfway point of the race,” Shell said in the pits while post-race technical inspection of the top-three Late Model Stock Car finishers was taking place. “We had a really good piece from time we first unloaded for practice, and I felt long as the driver didn’t mess up qualifying we’d be quickest – and ultimately we were the only car to be in the 14s (14.993 seconds). With the invert putting us starting from the second row, there on the beginning we were just riding behind (Kres) VanDyke and (Ronnie) McCarty as they raced side-by-side for several laps. Once VanDyke cleared McCarty to take the lead, I began working on McCarty for second.
“When the caution waved when the 55 (Mardy Roberts) and 33 (Rick Pannell) spun between turns one and two, I told my guys over the radio that we were going to take the lead off the double-file restart. VanDyke and I raced hard a couple of laps before I got past him, and we began pulling away from those (cars) behind us. It’s always good to get your first win of the season. With my dad (Pat Shell) and crew chief Danny Rollins calling the shots, we’re on a mission this season. We’re arriving at the track wanting to be fastest in qualifying and at night’s end parking in victory lane with a W (win). Taking home trophies is our goal each week.”
In other action, Royce Peters scored the Modified Street feature victory. Trey Lane finished in second, followed by Chase Dixon in third, Rusty Clendenin in fourth and Chris Tunnell in fifth.
Bruce Crumbley was the winner in the Pure 4 feature, with William Hale in second, Paul Stanley in third, Dustin Kestner in fourth and Chad Jeffers in fifth.
Kevin Canter held off David Brown for the Mod 5 feature victory. Kirby Gobble, Brad Ball and Freddie Taylor, Jr. rounded out the top five.
Joey Sykes took the Pure Street win over Rob Austin in second, David Strong in third, Jason Herron in fourth and Brian Eggers in fifth.
For more information on Kingsport Speedway, visit NewKingsportSpeedway.com.
Kingsport Speedway – Kingsport, TN
Race Results – May 4, 2018
Late Model Stock Cars
1. Zeke Shell #1 – Johnson City, TN
2. Kres VanDyke #15 – Abingdon, VA
3. Ronnie McCarty #5 – Kingsport, TN
4. Robbie Ferguson #7 – Jonesborough, TN
5. Nik Williams #32 – Greeneville, TN
6. Wayne Hale #19 – Bluff City, TN
7. Joey Trent #26 – Gray, TN
8. Dillon Hodge #5 – Kingsport, TN
9. Bryson Dennis #15 – Greeneville, TN
10. Trey Bayne #21 – Knoxville, TN
11. Derek Lane #28 – Kingsport, TN
12. Darin Silver #12 – Spruce Pine, NC
13. Bret Baer #24 – Greenback, TN
14. Kyle Lockrow #7 – La Plata, MD
15. Billy Light #8 – Bluff City, TN
16. Rick Pannell #33 – Kingsport, TN
17. Mardy Roberts #55 – Kingsport, TN
1. Royce Peters #42
2. Trey Lane #9
3. Chase Dixon #07
4. Rusty Clendenin #27
5. Chris Tunnell #6
6. Paul Shull #48
7. Alex Miller #37
8. Hannah Seal #55
9. Dennis Deese #24
10. Steven Roark #27
11. Sam Hurd #44
12. Nick Cole #63
13. Kevin Wolfe #17
14. Joshua Gobble #88
1. Bruce Crumbley #33
2. William Hale #47
3. Paul Stanley #40
4. Dustin Kestner #19
5. Chad Jeffers #38
6. Josh Detwiler #38D
7. Jimmy Thomas #20
8. Mike Nelson #17
9. Dennis Stanley #21
10. Chris Stine #10
11. Alexcia Ray #99
12. Nasty Jones #13
13. Anthony Watson #91
14. Kenny Absher #11
15. Josh Collins #77
16. Todd Duff #16
17. Larry Stapleton #15
18. David Trent #57
19. Craig Phelps #00
20. Brandon Sutherland #48
1. Kevin Canter #3
2. David Brown #13
3. Kirby Gobble #77
4. Brad Ball #17
5. Freddie Taylor, Jr. #16
6. Chris Amburgey #17
7. Billy Duty #1
8. Darrell Whitehead #43
9. Mike Pendergrass #2
10. James Deese #14
11. Zack Fritz #22
12. Jimmy Acito #57
13. Ted Glover Jr. #03
14. Jessie Amburgey #7
15. Dennis Arnold #7
1. Joey Sykes #23
2. Rob Austin #18
3. David Strong #53
4. Jason Herron #7
5. Brian Eggers #74
6. Ricky Payne #1
7. Jay Swecker #77
8. Jessica Payne #12
9. Penny Hurd #11