Monteith Pads Point Lead following Third Kingsport Speedway Late Model Stock Victory
Defending Kingsport Speedway Late Model Stock champion Nate Monteith of Blountville entered Mobil 1 Night at the Races in the Model City leading the track point standings, plus he was ranked second in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points.
Monteith passed Daniel Pope II for the lead on lap 23 and, once out front never looked back en route to capturing his third victory this season and 60th of his career.
Hayden Woods set fast-time at 15.242 seconds in qualifying, but with an invert-five the 16-year-old rookie was relegated to starting inside third row for the 60-lap “Dalton Direct Carpets” Late Model Stock main event.
Leading the field to green from the pole position was 15-year-old Blake Jones, with Monteith flanked to his outside on the front row. At drop of the green, the duo raced side-by-side down the front straightaway into the first turn. And the battle for the lead continued, door-to-door around the .375-mile banked concrete oval until Jones moved ahead of Monteith on lap 6 as they raced off the second corner.
With Monteith up on the high-side, Pope followed behind Jones to pull alongside Monteith and challenge for second. Racing off the fourth turn on lap 8, Pope completed the pass for position. The event’s first caution waved on lap 11, when Ronnie McCarty spun in the first turn after some contact with Tam Topham.
The top five on the restart were Jones, Pope, Monteith, Ryan Stiltner and Paul Nogradi Jr. Pope wasted no time back under green to pressure Jones for the point. Racing into the first turn on lap 13, Pope got to the inside of Jones. But the teenage wheelman Jones wouldn’t go down without a fight, trying to hold on to the front-running position.
Just behind Jones and Pope, Monteith was lurking. With Jones and Pope battling side-by-side racing down the backstretch into the third turn, Monteith attempted to go below Pope and make it three-wide between (turns) three and four. Racing up off the fourth turn, Pope moved ahead of Jones into the lead, with Monteith riding on Pope’s rear bumper to overtake Jones for the second spot at the flag stand.
Just outside of the top five in the running order, on lap 18 racing off turn two Zeke Shell got around Wayne Hale for sixth. Back up at front of the field, Pope had Monteith breathing down his neck wanting the lead. Monteith got inside Pope to mount a challenged on lap 21, and racing up off the second corner on lap 23 Monteith completed the pass to move ahead.
Shell moved under Nogradi racing off turn two on lap 32 into the fifth spot, and just five circuits later on lap 37, Shell passed Stiltner between turns one and two and moved into fourth place. With the door open, Nogradi stayed glued to Shell’s rear bumper and followed his tracks to pass Stiltner to move into fifth.
On lap 42 between turns three and four, a modern-day episode of “All In The Family” played out without Archie Bunker starring in the lead role. Instead, the participants were father and son, Royce and Austin Peters. Twenty-year-old Austin attempted to go inside his father, Royce, to make a pass for ninth place. But the duo tangled and Royce spun to bring out the caution flag.
Monteith led Pope, Jones, Shell and Nogradi going back green. As the field raced down the front straightaway into the first turn, Jones tried to get inside of Pope for the second spot. But instead, contact was made with Pope spinning to quickly bring the caution back out. Both Pope and Jones were sent to the rear of the field to restart – Pope for bringing the caution out, and Jones for aggressive driving.
Poised for a run to the checkers, Monteith, driving the True Line Construction Co./KBM Commercial Properties/Pizza Plus/BSA Security Co./Performancenter Racing Warehouse/Upchurch Racing Engines/Griffin Radiators/Circle Racing Wheels/Pro Fabrication Exhaust/Hayworth Racing Brakes/Amsoil/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions/Five Star Race Car Bodies/ProParts Engineering Performance/The Joie of Seating/Sherwin-Williams/ Primetime Designs Race Decals/WD Performance/Monteith Racing/No 44 Chevrolet Impala, quickly (shifted) up through the gears to begin putting some distance between himself and Shell.
Monteith just clicked off consistent laps to the finish to record his third win, with Shell, Nogradi, Stiltner and Wayne Hale rounding out the top five.
Completing the top-10 finishers were Woods, Pope, Jones, Austin Peters and Royce Peters.
“We made some significant changes to our car since the last race a couple of weeks ago, and let me just say – it’s good, very good,” said the 30-year-old Monteith following the race. “We took the car over to Performancenter Racing Warehouse in Statesville, N.C., and we changed to their new front-clip. We brought the car to the track yesterday for open practice and it was just unbelievable in the difference how the car drove. Needless to say, I’m very pleased with what the change did for the car. It drove like a dream tonight.
“We’ve not just focused on the chassis itself. We’ve also made a switch with our engine program to Upchurch Racing Engines, and what an awesome motor we had under the hood tonight. There are so many people I need to thank, because everybody at Monteith Racing plays key roles in us running so strong. And I can’t forget the great sponsor support we receive, because it helps make all of our on-track success become reality. Running good and winning races, that’s what we’re all in this deal for.”
Rob Austin grabbed the lead over John Harrell and Joey Sykes at start of the 30-lap Street Stock event. Making a return to action after missing the entire month of April after blowing an engine, defending division champion Jeff Counts got around Sykes for third on lap 3 racing off the second corner. With Austin showing the way out front, Counts pressured Harrell for the second spot for many circuits before finally getting past him on lap 12 racing off the fourth turn.
Roger Neece moved under Harrell for third place on lap 14 as they raced into the first turn. Austin continued leading Counts and Neece until the caution waved on lap 23, for a spinning Roby Orr in turn three.
Back under green, the 56-year-old veteran racer Neece was on the prowl. He passed Counts for second on lap 26 as they raced off the second corner. Hard on the throttle, smashing the loud pedal driving the Johnson Chevrolet of Clintwood/Pro Image Racing Graphics/84EXPO.com/No. 22 Chevrolet Camaro, Neece got around Austin for the lead racing off the fourth turn on lap 28. Once out front he would not be denied his sixth visit to victory lane as he held off Counts, Austin, Paul Shull and Harrell for the win.
Jeremy Hughes jumped into the lead over Kenny Absher and Keith Helton at start of the 20-lap Pure 4 feature. Helton got around Absher for second on the third circuit, while one lap later John Ketron also passed Absher to move into the third spot.
Helton got under Hughes on lap 7 as they raced off turn two and moved into the lead. John Ketron got alongside Hughes to challenge for second on lap 8 entering the first turn, and getting a good run up off (turn) two he passed Hughes to set his sights on the race leader Helton.
During the second half of the race, behind Helton and John Ketron, Absher, Jason Ketron, Chris Neeley and Hughes jockeyed for position.
On the final lap as Helton and John Ketron raced into the first turn, contact by John Ketron from behind turned Helton sideways. But Helton maintained the lead racing off turn two down the backstretch.
Between turns three and four, John Ketron, driving the ServPro of Kingsport Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration/K&K Auto/No. 26 Honda, passed Helton for the lead and held on at the start-finish line to capture his fourth victory. Behind John Ketron and Helton at the stripe were Jason Ketron, Absher and Neeley.
Tyler Goodwin of Kingsport, chauffeuring the Bank of Tennessee/Bancsec Inc./Rockstar Graphix/McAulay Motorsports/No 64 ride, captured his eighth consecutive Legends victory over Zack Walton, Drew Shortridge, Greg Turner and Aaron Lawson.
Tim Abelseth had the GPS set and appeared headed towards a stop in victory lane until a fuel-pressure issue on the final lap allowed Jimmy Hillard of Knoxville to get by and win the Rookie Pure 4 feature. Hillard, driving the 4 Way Mini Storage/Hillbilly Auto Parts/Performance Auto Works/No. 74 Honda, was chased to the checkers by Dylan Bates, Abelseth, Robin Hughes and Brandon Byington.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES “DALTON DIRECT CARPETS” LATE MODEL STOCK (60 laps)
Showing Finish Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown
1. (2) Nate Monteith #44-Blountville, TN
2. (7) Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN
3. (8) Paul Nogradi Jr. #02-Clinton, TN
4. (3) Ryan Stiltner #22-Grundy, VA
5. (11) Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN
6. (5) Hayden Woods #87-Piney Flats, TN
7. (4) Daniel Pope II #16-Smyrna, TN
8. (1) Blake Jones #80-Sevierville, TN
9. (13) Austin Peters #66-Kingsport, TN
10. (10) Royce Peters #38-Kingsport, TN
11. (12) Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN
12. (15) Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
13. (14) Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
14. (16) Dean Barrett #82-Abingdon, VA
15. (6) Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN
16. (9) Tam Topham #21-Wytheville, VA
17. (17) Robbie Ferguson #32-Jonesborough, TN
18. (18) Zach Franks #1-Avery Creek, NC
“ABSOLUTE PLUMBING” STREET STOCK (30 laps)
1) Roger Neece #22; 2) Jeff Counts #11; 3) Rob Austin #25; 4) Paul Shull #48; 5) John Harrell #19; 6) Jared Broadbent #74; 7) Chris Tunnell #6; 8) Rick Smith #33; 9) Joey Sykes #23; 10) Roby Orr #52; 11) Tony Ward #7
PURE 4 (20 laps)
1) John Ketron #26; 2) Keith Helton #9; 3) Jason Ketron #28; 4) Kenny Absher #11; 5) Chris Neeley #94; 6) Jeremy Hughes #57; 7) Billy Ketron #27; 8) Dan Hall #88; 9) David Trent #57; 10) Josh Evans #74; 11) Glenn Hughes #75; 12) Darby Fleenor #66
LEGENDS (20 laps)
1) Tyler Goodwin #64; 2) Zack Walton #38; 3) Drew Shortridge #32; 4) Greg Turner #64; 5) Aaron Lawson #31; 6) Adam Gray #37; 7) Jacob Owens #8; 8) Adam Boatman #75
ROOKIE PURE 4 (10 laps)
1) Jimmy Hillard #74; 2) Dylan Bates #6; 3) Tim Abelseth #66; 4) Robin Hughes #75; 5) Brandon Byington #11; 6) Danny Pless #5; 7) Pie Short #1
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