posted May 27, 2001 06:44 PM
Ketron records second Kingsport Late Model victory
By Robert Walden
KINGSPORT, Tenn. (May 25) – Friday night at Galaxy Kingsport Speedway, Mark Ketron of Kingsport held off "young guns" Adam Dean and Kres VanDyke to record his second "Shoney’s" NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model Stock Car feature victory of the season.
Dean, of Bristol, set fast time of 15:457-seconds…93.160 mph over the 12-car field, with fellow LMS rookie-of-the-year contender VanDyke second quickest at 15:462. After the roll of the dice stopped on "three," VanDyke and Ketron led the field to green from the front row for the 50-lap feature.
At the stripe to complete the opening lap Ketron led VanDyke, Wayne Hale, while Dean and Jeff Berry were running door-to-door for the fourth spot. VanDyke dropped to the inside of Ketron racing into turn one on lap 2 to challenge for the lead. The duo raced side-by-side battling for the point until the event’s only caution flag waved on lap 5, when Bill Garrett and Reece Milton tangled in turn two and spun.
Milton and Garrett tagged on at the tail of the field for the restart with Ketron, VanDyke, Hale, Dean and Berry holding down the top five positions. Back under green, VanDyke, who finished a strong second last week to Robbie Ferguson, was riding in Ketron’s rear view mirror.
Riding up front Ketron and VanDyke were running nose-to-tail with a four car-length advantage over Hale, who had Dean glued to his rear bumper on lap 10. After working the low groove between turns one and two on lap 15, Wade Lopez passed Berry to move into the fifth position.
The top five remained the same as the 50-lapper reached halfway, but Dean was turning up the heat on a very cool night in East Tennessee on Hale trying to move into third place. After unsuccessfully making the bottom line work to his advantage, Dean moved up top on lap 30 racing into the first turn to pull alongside Hale. Racing off (turn) two down the backstretch, Dean got a good run to power past Hale into third.
While Dean had Ketron and VanDyke in his sights, VanDyke once again pulled to the inside of Ketron racing into the first turn on lap 33 to momentarily challenge for the lead. But getting a better run off the corner, Ketron would force VanDyke to drop back in line to protect the runner-up spot from Dean.
Working the high groove to perfection, Dean drove around the outside of VanDyke between turns one and two on lap 35 to move into second place. Dean dropped to the inside of Ketron racing off the corners on several occasions over the final 15 laps trying to make the pass for the lead, but Ketron continually slammed the door to protect the point.
As the checkers waved, Ketron, driving the McDonald’s-Chafin Enterprises/IBEW Local 934/Ketron Electric/Smoky Mountain Rod & Custom/Joey Robinson Race Engines/Townsend Race Cars/No. 26 Monte Carlo, held off a hard-charging Dean, VanDyke, Hale and Milton for his second victory of the season. Completing the top-10 finishers were Lopez, Garrett, Berry, Jeremy Pike and Rick Pannell.
"We didn’t have the fastest car tonight, but the fastest car doesn’t always win," said Ketron with a smile on his face after climbing from his winning ride in Victory Lane. "We put on four new tires tonight, but they just didn’t come in exactly the way we thought they would in the feature. Maybe the cool weather had something to do with that, but all I know is the car got real tight through the corners during the final half of the race. We were just real fortunate to hold on and win our second race, and I want to thank both Adam (Dean) and Kres (VanDyke) for running me such a clean race. Those two youngsters are really something else, and they’re going to win their fair share of races.
"Besides thanking all of my sponsors who help make it possible for me to be able to come out here and race every Friday night, I really need to thank my mom and dad for all of their support. I also can’t forget my girlfriend, Josie Hunt, for putting up with all of the hours it takes during the week for the crew and I to prepare the car. I’ve got a great bunch of guys who work on the car headed up by crew chief Mike Lloyd, Lee Bowman, Kevin Street, Shane Reed, Jason Merritt, and my son, David Ketron."
Bristol’s Tommy Spangler led wire-to-wire in winning the 30-lap "Allied Mortgage" Sportsman feature for the second straight week over Bill Garrett, Paul Shull, Caleb Holman and Rod Collins.
Stacey Castle of Church Hill visited victory lane for the third time this season after holding off Chris Neeley, Sam Ferguson, Scott Robinson and Don Davis in winning the 25-lap Street Stock feature.
Entering the night of racing at GKS in a three-way tie for the UMP Modified national points lead, Greeneville’s Jeff Maupin started from the rear of the field and charged to the front to take the lead on lap 15 en route to winning the 20-lap feature for the eighth-straight week. Maupin was followed to the checkers by Alton Satterfield, Randy Bethea, Sam Hurd and Ricky Thornburg.
Elmar Nicely of Kingsport led flag-to-flag in winning the 20-lap Charger feature for the third consecutive week over Scotty McMurray, Linton Perry, Bill Coleman and Tommy Rush.
Murfreesboro youngster Josh Adams cruised to the 20-lap Pro Challenge feature victory over Marty Arender, Jimmy Acito, Mark Dyer and Rusty Skewes.
Kelly Glass of Jonesborough held off Randy English, K.D. Knoedler, David Wright and Gerald Smith in winning the 20-lap Modified Lite feature.
Kingsport’s Darrel Gillespie recorded his fifth Legends feature victory of the season over Greg Turner, Ron Humble, Janice Humble and Ronnie McCarty.
Galaxy Kingsport Speedway will host another exciting Friday Night Thunder eight-division racing program on Friday, June 1. Highlighting the night of racing will be the Ferguson Enterprises-sponsored "Legends of the Past" which will recognize such legendary racers’ as Gene Glover, L.D. Ottinger and "The Ironman" Jack Ingram, all three former NASCAR Late Model Sportsman national champions. Also expected to be in attendance are John A. Utsman, Paul Lewis, Walter Ball and Bill Morton. For more information, contact the track office at (423) 288-5992.
"SHONEY’S" NASCAR LATE MODEL STOCKS (50-laps)
Mark Ketron #26-Kingsport, TN
Adam Dean #81-Bristol, TN
Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
Wayne Hale #19-Piney Flats, TN
Reece Milton #16-Kingsport, TN
Wade Lopez #83-Abingdon, VA
Bill Garrett #4-Johnson City, TN
Jeff Berry #61-Kingsport, TN
Jeremy Pike #25-Church Hill, TN
Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
Duke Bare #52-Rural Retreat, VA
Bill Lane #14-Kingsport, TN
"ALLIED MORTGAGE" SPORTSMAN (30-laps)
1) Tommy Spangler #28; 2) Bill Garrett #4; 3) Paul Shull #48; 4) Caleb Holman #77; 5) Rod Collins #29; 6) Bruce Blessing #00; 7) Tony Ward #7; 8) Wayne Salyers #5; 9) Jeff Collinsworth #26
STREET STOCK (25-laps)
1) Stacey Castle #11; 2) Chris Neeley #26; 3) Sam Ferguson #41; 4) Scott Robinson #22; 5) Don Davis #3; 6) Kenny Holder #28; 7) Wayne Gibson #25; 8) Brandon Holder #21; 9) Billy Babb #2; 10) Chuck Crigger #71; 11) Richard Adkins #18; 12) Mike Hayes #1; 13) Dale Spencer #15
UMP MODIFIED (20-laps)
1) Jeff Maupin #11; 2) Alton Satterfield #8; 3) Randy Bethea #6; 4) Sam Hurd #11h; 5) Ricky Thornburg #00; 6) Chap Slaughter #22; 7) Luke Boles #11x
1) Elmar Nicely #16; 2) Scotty McMurray #37; 3) Linton Perry #1; 4) Bill Coleman #15; 5) Tommy Rush #6; 6) Terry McMurray #17; 7) Tim White #12; 8) Chad Tolliver #0; 9) Rob Davenport #116; 10) David McMurray #38
PRO CHALLENGE (20-laps)
1) Josh Adams #12; 2) Marty Arender #5; 3) Jimmy Acito #46; 4) Mark Dyer #18; 5) Rusty Skewes #77; 6) Garland Worley #38˝; 7) Trevor Richardson #71; 8) Jeff Maupin #72
MODIFIED LITE (20-laps)
1) Kelly Glass #01; 2) Randy English #02; 3) K.D. Knoedler #4; 4) David Wright #36; 5) Gerald Smith #12; 6) Chris Manning #0; 7) Sam Couch #1
1) Darrel Gillespie #46; 2) Greg Turner #64; 3) Ron Humble #7; 4) Janice Humble #19; 5) Ronnie McCarty #5; 6) Rusty Tillison #18
Galaxy Kingsport Speedway: (423) 288-5992 www.GalaxyKingsport.com
Robert Walden-Public Relations/Media Contact (423) 928-9644 ROBWALD@prodigy.net