posted June 09, 2001 04:37 AM
Stiltner comes home for Kingsport Late Model victory
By Robert Walden
KINGSPORT, Tenn. (June 8) – Keith Stiltner of Grundy, Va., a former two-time (1998 & ’99) track champion at Galaxy Kingsport Speedway, came back home Friday for his first visit to the track this season on Gatorade/Hardee’s Make A Wish Kids’ Night at the Races. When the checkered flag waved on the 50-lap "Shoney’s" NASCAR Late Model Stock feature, Stiltner was in familiar territory – parked in victory lane.
Stiltner, competing full-time this year with the Columbia, S.C.-based touring American Racing Association Late Model Series, paced the 18-car LMS field in qualifying by turning a fast-lap of 15:410-seconds, but that was only good enough for the fourth starting position after the invert. Leading the field to the green flag from row one were Reece Milton and Kres VanDyke.
Milton quickly asserted himself on the opening lap by grabbing the lead over VanDyke racing off the second turn, with Stiltner and Mark Ketron running door-to-door battling for the third spot, and Robbie Ferguson running fifth. Stiltner moved into third on lap 2, and at the same time pulled along the outside of VanDyke to contend for second place.
At the start/finish line to complete lap 3, Stiltner passed VanDyke for the runner-up spot, now setting his sights on the race leader Milton. Getting a good run off (turn) four, Stiltner pulled to the inside of Milton racing into the first turn on lap 5 to take a lead he would never relinquish. The slide backward for Milton was just beginning, as on the same circuit both Ketron and VanDyke moved into the second and third spots.
Next in line to drive around Milton were Ferguson, Adam Dean and Jeff Berry, dropping Milton back to seventh place on lap 9. The event’s first caution waved on lap 12 when young teen-ager Danny O’Quinn made contact with the outside concrete wall on the backstretch. The resulting right-front suspension damage forced Q’Quinn to roll to a stop in turn four, and thus into the pits ending his night.
The top five lining up on the restart were Stiltner, Ketron, VanDyke, Ferguson and Dean. With Stiltner slowly picking the pace back up, the fourth-running Ferguson dropped to the inside of VanDyke accelerating off turn four. But track officials brought the black flag out the next time around for Ferguson jumping the restart, forcing him to make a fast run down pit road for a quick stop-n-go penalty stop. Without going down a lap to leader Stiltner, Ferguson came back on the track running in 15th position.
With Stiltner cruising out front in the lead, VanDyke was all over Ketron challenging for second place. On lap 20 between turns three and four, VanDyke drover under Ketron for the position.
Halfway into the 50-lapper Stiltner had a three car-length advantage over VanDyke, Ketron, Dean and Berry. Running sixth through tenth were Milton, Michael Chaney, Wade Lopez, Larry Utsman and Ferguson, who had fought his way back into the top-10.
With the leaders encountering lapped traffic, Stiltner had the hard-charging VanDyke glued to his rear bumper on lap 30. Ketron, Dean, and Berry were running nose-to-tail battling for positions three through five.
After falling back early in the race, Milton had settled down and found a comfortable rhythm to give Berry a fit for fifth place. Milton passed his car-owner (Berry) for the position on lap 35, but getting loose in turn two on lap 41, Milton looped his mount to bring out the final caution.
With the field tightened up for a nine-lap sprint to the checkers, Stiltner, driving the RACE Mining/Looney’s Bit Service/Taylor Hydraulics/Race-Scan Communications/Big & Little Tire/Kowalsky Race Engines/Townsend Race Cars/No. 22 Grand Prix – held off the 20-year-old VanDyke, Ketron, Dean and Berry at the finish.
Completing the top-10 finishers were Chaney, Utsman, Lopez, Milton and Rick Pannell.
"First of all, let me say it feels real good to be back home here at Kingsport Speedway," said Stiltner, after climbing from his car on the front straightaway in Victory Lane. "We made the decision to go out on the road this year and run all the ARA events, and this is really the first opportunity we’ve had to get back here to race this season. We had a really good car here tonight, and hopefully we can carry the momentum from here over to the Hickory (N.C.) Speedway for the ARA race on Saturday night and win us one of those races.
"It really takes a total team effort to travel everywhere we do racing with the ARA and run competitive every week. The cars have to be prepared real well. We’ve got a great bunch of guys assembled working on this car and that’s why we’re in the top-10 in ARA points. I want to thank my dad, Ervin Stiltner, and then we’ve got Bear Hunley, his sons Kenny and David, Kenny’s son Kent, John Estes, Gary Smith, Gary Hurley, Greg Potter, Charlie Gray and Larry Collins."
Bristol’s Tommy Spangler passed early race leader Paul Shull on lap 20 for the lead in the 30-lap "Allied Mortgage" Sportsman feature en route to his third consecutive victory. Finishing behind the race winner Spangler and runner-up Shull were Caleb Holman, Bruce Blessing and Rod Collins.
Chuck Crigger of Surgoinsville held off Stacey Castle, Chris Neeley, Don Davis and Billy Babb to capture his fifth 25-lap Street Stock feature victory of the season.
Arriving at the track this week standing all alone atop the UMP Modified national point standings, Greeneville’s Jeff Maupin continues to be the dominant force in the open wheel ranks. Maupin started from the tail of the field and raced into the lead on lap 4 en route to winning the 20-lap feature for the ninth straight week. At the finish he was followed by Chap Slaughter, Alton Satterfield, Bobby Buckles and Bob Mungall.
Kirby Gobble of Abingdon, Va., led flag-to-flag in winning the 20-lap Modified Mini feature over T.J. O’Quinn, Herschel Robinette, Scott Anderson and Kevin Sweet.
Big Stone Gap, Va.’s Linton Perry captured his third Charger 20-lap feature win of the season over Scotty McMurray, Elmar Nicely, Doyle McMurray and Bill Coleman.
Young 14-year-old Josh Adams of Murfreesboro roared to yet another Pro Challenge feature victory over Brad Housewright, Barry Shelton, Garland Worley and Raymond Williams.
Kingsport’s Ronnie McCarty captured his first-ever Legends feature win over Rusty Sarver, Janice Humble, Ron Humble and Greg Turner.
Kelly Glass of Jonesborough won for the second straight week in the Modified Lite division over Tom Buckingham, Gerald Smith, Randy English and Chris Manning.
Galaxy Kingsport Speedway will host another exciting nine-division racing program next Friday, June 16 as Ferguson Enterprises presents Kids’ Night at the Races. For more information, contact the track office at (423) 288-5992.
"SHONEY’S" NASCAR LATE MODEL STOCKS (50-laps)
Keith Stiltner #22-Grundy, VA
Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA
Mark Ketron #26-Kingsport, TN
Adam Dean #81-Bristol, TN
Jeff Berry #61-Kingsport, TN
Michael Chaney #24-Abingdon, VA
Larry Utsman #23-Bristol, TN
Wade Lopez #83-Abingdon, VA
Reece Milton #16-Blountville, TN
Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
Alan Hawkins #77-Kingsport, TN
Clyde Jones #7-Kingsport, TN
Bill Garrett #4-Johnson City, TN
Robbie Ferguson #32-Jonesborough, TN
Duke Bare #52-Rural Retreat, VA
Wayne Hale #19-Piney Flats, TN
Danny O’Quinn #01-Coeburn, VA
Donnie Henry #27-Church Hill, TN
"ALLIED MORTGAGE" SPORTSMAN (30-laps)
1) Tommy Spangler #28; 2) Paul Shull #48; 3) Caleb Holman #77; 4) Bruce Blessing #00; 5) Rod Collins #29; 6) Tony Ward #7; 7) Jeff Collinsworth #26; 8) Wayne Salyers #5; 9) Bill Garrett #4; 10) Mark Smith #9
STREET STOCK (25-laps)
1) Chuck Crigger #71; 2) Stacey Castle #11; 3) Chris Neeley #26; 4) Don Davis #3; 5) Billy Babb #2; 6) Scott Robinson #22; 7) Jay Swecker #77; 8) Mike Hayes #1; 9) Wayne Gibson #25; 10) Tony Vance #7; 11) Kenny Holder #28; 12) Roy Holder #21; 13) Matt Smith #33; 14) Sam Ferguson #41; 15) William Menoit #77
UMP MODIFIED (20-laps)
1) Jeff Maupin #11; 2) Chap Slaughter #22; 3) Alton Satterfield #8; 4) Bobby Buckles #00; 5) Bob Mungall #7; 6) Coni Morales III #3; 7) Randy Bethea #6; 8) Luke Boles #11z
MODIFIED MINI (20-laps)
1) Kirby Gobble #88; 2) T.J. O’Quinn #37; 3) Herschel Robinette #9; 4) Scott Anderson #31; 5) Kevin Sweet #94; 6) Don Emmert Jr. #2; 7) Jeff Roark #21; 8) Luke Fox #94; 9) Mike Brooks #7
1) Linton Perry #01; 2) Scotty McMurray #37; 3) Elmar Nicely #16; 4) Doyle McMurray #73; 5) Bill Coleman #15; 6) Don Williams #17; 7) Tim White #12; 8) Chad Toliver #0; 9) Gene Cato #38
PRO CHALLENGE (20-laps)
1) Josh Adams #12; 2) Brad Housewright #46; 3) Barry Shelton #72; 4) Garland Worley #38½; 5) Raymond Williams #X; 6) Trevor Richardson #71; 7) Brett Shelton #15
1) Ronnie McCarty #5; 2) Rusty Sarver #89; 3) Janice Humble #19; 4) Ron Humble #7; 5) Greg Turner #64; 6) Rob Varney #8; 7) Butch Ilrich #15; 8) Rusty Tillison #18; 9) Bill Bradley #23; 10) Brian Bounds #33; 11) Steve Roberts #25; 12) Darrel Gillespie #46; 13) Adam Sarver #50
MODIFIED LITE (20-laps)
1) Kelly Glass #01; 2) Tom Buckingham #22; 3) Gerald Smith #12; 4) Randy English #02; 5) Chris Manning #0; 6) Cargus Worley #36; 7) Gregg Glass #1; 8) James Worley #37
Galaxy Kingsport Speedway: (423) 288-5992