Matt Leicht Leads Flag-to-Flag For Kingsport Speedway Southeast Super Truck Victory
The Southeast Super Truck Series made its first of two scheduled visits in 2012 to compete at Kingsport Speedway Friday night, and Matt Leicht of Arden, N.C., looked like he had driven many laps around the .375-mile banked concrete oval.
Leicht jumped into the lead on the opening lap over Kenneth Headen, Kevin Leicht, Justin Sorrow and Jeff Myers and never looked back, leading all 60 circuits to record the victory. Kevin Leicht got around Headen for second racing off the fourth turn on third lap, and Matt and Kevin began to put some real estate between their trucks and the rest of the field.
Behind the Leichts, the battle for position from third in the running order back to the eighth spot among Headen, Sorrow, Jeff Myers, Mart Nesbitt, David Flynn and Ed Surrett was heated on this cool night in East Tennessee. Nesbitt got under Myers between turns three and four on lap 8 to move into fifth place, and immediately began pressuring Sorrow for the fourth spot.
With the race running clean-and-green, out front Matt and Kevin began turning the race into a two-truck runaway as they pulled out to a full-straightaway advantage over their closest challengers as the event reached halfway on lap 30, with Matt pocketing the T&R Mobile Home Parts cash leader bonus award. The event’s first caution waved on lap 37 for Ron Hall, thus erasing the distance leader Matt and second-running Kevin had built up.
The double-file restart had Matt and Kevin Leicht on the front row, with Headen and Sorrow behind in the second row. Just four laps back under green and the caution waved when Flynn got into rear of Sorrow between turns one and two sending Sorrow spinning.
The next attempt to go back green saw the caution quickly wave for a scary incident between turns three and four before one lap was in the book, which saw Kevin Leicht spin and fire briefly engulfed the truck. Kevin hurriedly exited the truck unhurt, but his race was over. The mounts of Sorrow, Nesbitt, Myers and Surrett all suffered some sheet-metal damage during close-quarters action but were able to continue.
Matt Leicht and Headen brought the field back up to speed for the next restart, and Leicht jumped out ahead over Headen and Sorrow. After knocking on the door for several circuits, Nesbitt finally got a good run on the inside racing up off (turn) two on lap 53 to overtake Sorrow for third.
With 10 laps remaining, Headen was within striking distance of leader Leicht. Late in the race and most competitors’ in the field had brightly glowing right-front brake rotors entering the corners. It appeared Leicht was having to back off towards end of the straightaway before Headen, thus allowing Headen to close right upon the leader’s back bumper.
But Leicht would not be denied, as he held off the hard-charging Headen to complete a flag-to-flag run for the victory. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Nesbitt, Sorrow and Flynn.
Myers, David Messer, Pete Messina, John Shuryan and Surrett finished sixth through tenth – with the top 10 trucks all on the lead lap at the checkered flag.
To say veteran racer Roger Neece, of Clintwood, Va., is off to a hot start to begin the 2012 racing season would be an understatement. Chris Tunnell led the first couple of laps before Neece, driving the Johnson Chevrolet of Clintwood/Pro Image Racing Graphics/84EXPO.com/No. 22 Chevrolet Camaro, moved to the point. And once out front, Neece never looked back en route to his fifth consecutive “Absolute Plumbing” Street Stock victory. Neece was trailed at the finish by Rob Austin, Roby Orr, Tunnell and Tony Ward.
Kenny Absher was making his first start of the season, and it looked like it might find him parked in victory lane as he led the opening seven laps before being passed for the lead by Chris Neeley. Things went from bad to worse for Absher, when he and John Ketron tangled while battling for the runner-up position on lap 8 racing off the fourth turn and both ended up wrecked against the outside wall just past the flag stand.
Kingsport’s Jason Ketron, driving the ServPro Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration of Kingsport/K&K Auto/No. 28 Honda, passed Neeley on lap 11 racing off turn two and went on to capture his first-ever Kingsport Speedway Pure 4 feature win. Finishing behind Jason Ketron were Neeley, Keith Helton, Billy Ketron and Jeremy Hughes.
Tyler Goodwin of Kingsport, 16-year-old Daniel Boone High School student, remained perfect on the season by winning his fifth straight Legends feature behind the wheel of No. 64 Bank of Tennessee/Bancsec Inc./Rockstar Graphix/McAulay Motorsports ride. Goodwin was chased to the checkers by Zack Walton, Aaron Lawson, Jacob Owens and Adam Gray.
Making just his second-ever start in auto racing, 15-year-old Dylan Bates of Kingsport, driving The Nutty Java of Kingsport/Vinyl Frontier/No. 6 Chevrolet Cavalier, looked like a seasoned veteran in cruising to his first-ever Rookie Pure 4 feature win over Danny Pless, Jimmy Hillard, Robin Hughes and Pie Short.
SOUTHEAST SUPER TRUCK SERIES (60 laps)
1. Matt Leicht #21
2. Kennth Headen #33
3. Mart Nesbitt #92
4. Justin Sorrow #9
5. David Flynn #09
6. Jeff Myers #2m
7. David Messer #16
8. Pete Messina #16
9. John Shuryan #30
10. Ed Surrett #8
11. Kevin Leicht #2
12. Ron Hall #44
13. Davey Smart #14
14. Tyler Worley #59
“ABSOLUTE PLUMBING” STREET STOCK (30 laps)
1) Roger Neece #22; Rob Austin #25; 3) Roby Orr #62; 4) Chris Tunnell #6; 5) Tony Ward #7; 6) Brian Mock #61
PURE 4 (25 laps)
1) Jason Ketron #28; 2) Chris Neeley #94; 3) Keith Helton #9; 4) Billy Ketron #27; 5) Jeremy Hughes #57; 6) Lee Shults #74; 7) Glenn Hughes #75; 8) David Trent #57; 9) Duke Bare #1; 10) Kenny Absher #11; 11) John Ketron #26
LEGENDS (20 laps)
1) Tyler Goodwin #64; 2) Zack Walton #38; 3) Aaron Lawson #31; 4) Jacob Owens #8; 5) Adam Gray #37; 6) Brian Tinker #14; 7) Hubert Whitehead #3; 8) Drew Shortridge #32
ROOKIE PURE 4 (10 laps)
1) Dylan Bates #6; 2) Danny Pless #5; 3) Jimmy Hillard #74; 4) Robin Hughes #75; 5) Pie Short #1; 6) Tim Abelseth #66; 7) Kelly King #76
Kingsport Speedway is located at 2961 North John B. Dennis Highway. For more information, call the office at (423) 288-5992, track promoter Robert Pressley at (828) 215-2077, or visit the Web site at www.NewKingsportSpeedway.com