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Shell wins crash-shortened Kingsport race; Bayne OK after violent crash

Jeff Birchfield • May 5, 2018 at 8:02 PM

KINGSPORT — Zeke Shell raced to his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victory of the season and Trey Bayne walked away without major injury after the most frightening crash of his young career Friday night at Kingsport Speedway.

Shell had his No. 1 Budweiser Ford in the lead of the Late Model Stock feature when the race had to be stopped after 32 of the scheduled 60 laps for Bayne's accident. Bayne, driving the No. 21 Ford, came up the track and made contact with Derek Lane, which sent his car nose first into the wall and out of control. Bayne, the 14-year-old brother of NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne, then slammed backward into the metal gate in turn 1 — where cars enter the track at nearly full speed.

Bayne's legs were bruised and sore but minus any broken bones.

"Coming off turn 4, I was racing the 15 (of Bryson Dennis)," Bayne said. "Wade (Day, Bayne's spotter) was telling me outside, outside and then as soon as the 15 cleared me, I thought was I clear. Wade was yelling outside, outside, but it was too late and the 28 (Lane) got me.

"I was stomping around trying to find the brake, but it was tossing me around and I hit the clutch instead of the brake. It put me full speed backwards into the fence."

The broken turn 1 gate made it unsafe to continue, and the race was called official just two laps past the halfway point.

For Shell, it was more than being in the right place at the right time. The Johnson City driver won a third straight pole position at the three-eighths-mile concrete oval. Although the top three qualifiers were inverted at the start, he quickly established himself as the man to beat, moving in front of Kres VanDyke in a side-by-side battle on lap 18.

"We definitely needed the win," Shell said. "Our team morale has been up all year and we've had a blast. We finally got to show what we had, although I had plenty in reserve waiting on the end of the race. That just didn't happen due to the safety issues."

Shell now holds a six-point lead in the track's points standings over VanDyke, the defending track champion who finished as runner-up in the No. 15 Chevrolet.

VanDyke said he was lucky to race at all after blowing an engine on Friday. It was partly his fellow racers who helped get him back on track.

"We were fortunate to be here tonight after a motor failure yesterday in practice," VanDyke said. "Thanks to all our good friends around the racetrack community and all my guys, we're back here tonight."

VanDyke noted that drivers at the short track will be mad as hornets at each other one week and then come together to help each other the next.

"The little drama and conflict makes it interesting," he said. "But at the end of the day, everybody is a big family, although it's a competitive family."

Ronnie McCarty of Kingsport finished third, followed by Robbie Ferguson of Jonesborough and Nik Williams of Greeneville.

Bluff City’s Wayne Hale, the previous week's winner, finished sixth, and Joey Trent of Gray, Dillon Hodge, Dennis and Bayne rounded out the top 10.

Other race winners from Friday were Bruce Crumbley (Pure 4), Kevin Canter (Mod 4), Royce Peters (Mod Street) and Joey Sykes (Pure Street).


NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

Friday at Kingsport Speedway

(Car numbers in parentheses)


1. Zeke Shell (1) Johnson City

2. Kres VanDyke (15) Abingdon

3. Ronnie McCarty (5) Kingsport

4. Robbie Ferguson (7) Jonesborough

5. Nik Williams (32) Greeneville

6. Wayne Hale (19) Bluff City

7. Joey Trent (26) Gray

8. Dillon Hodge (5) Kingsport

9. Bryson Dennis (15) Greeneville

10. Trey Bayne (21) Knoxville

11. Derek Lane (28) Kingsport,

12.. Darin Silver (12) Spruce Pine, N.C.

13. Bret Baer (24) Greenback, Tenn.

14. Kyle Lockrow (7) La Plata, Md.

15. Billy Light (8) Bluff City

16. Rick Pannell (33) Kingsport

17. Mardy Roberts (55) Kingsport


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).

PURE 4 (30 laps)

1. Bruce Crumbley (33), 2. William Hale (47), 3. Paul Stanley (40), 4. Dustin Kestner (19), 5. Chad Jeffers (38), 6. Josh Detwiler (38), 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 (00).

MOD 4 (30 laps)

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).

PURE STREET (15 laps)

1. Joey Sykes (23), 2. Rob Austin (18), 3. David Strong (53), 4. Jason Herron (7), 5. Brian Eggers (74), 6. Ricky Payne (1), 6. Jay Swecker (77), 8. Jessica Payne (12), 9. Penny Hurd (11).

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