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Last-second pass propels Sise to victory at The Gap

Jeff Birchfield • Jul 30, 2019 at 9:47 PM

Knoxville driver Zach Sise was in the right place at the right time Saturday night at Volunteer Speedway.

Sise took advantage when leader Anthony White’s car suddenly slowed on the final lap in the Crate Late Model feature on the four-tenths-mile dirt track. Sise dove to the inside of White off turn 4 and won by just a couple of feet.

The win capped a furious charge for Sise, who made his way from fourth place to the lead over the final five laps.

Jensen Ford and Tim Byrd, the front-row starters and former teammates, got together on the opening lap of the race. Byrd slowed on lap 6 with a cut tire, while Ford set the pace.

Ford’s night soured when he hit a rut on the track and shot into the turn 2 wall.

White appeared on his way to the win before the late mechanical issue, but he finished second and Johnson City driver Tim Maupin was third. Despite his problems, Ford, also of Johnson City, finished 10th. Byrd, a Jonesborough racer who had won the previous two features, ended 13th in the 18-car field.

Jody Horton of Sneedville set the fast time and led all 25 laps of the Sportsman Late Model feature for his second straight win. Chris Coffey was runner-up, followed by Warren McMahan.

David Clark of Tazewell won for the fifth time this season in Modified Street. Wayne Rader passed Michael Wood late to finish second.

Kentucky driver John Stevens won for a division-leading sixth time this season in Classic but not before he had to fend off a tough challenge from second- and third-place finishers Chris McKinney and Lee Merritt for the win.

Austin Atkins of Morristown scored a second victory in Street Stock and Tommy Newton of Seymour won for a second time in Mini Stock.

This Saturday is Fan Appreciation Night at Volunteer Speedway. An adult grandstand ticket is $5 and kids 10-under will be admitted free. There will be live music, cold drinks from the concession stands and prize giveaways throughout the night.

Live music starts the evening’s entertainment at 5 p.m., followed by practice, qualifying and racing in six divisions.

KINGSPORT TWINS

Kingsport Speedway has another night of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action set for Friday night with a pair of features for the Pure 4 division.

The Late Model Stock division will have a 60-lap feature at the three-eighths-mile concrete oval. Other classes are Mod Street, Mod 4 and Pure Street.

While there have been lower car counts than some previous seasons, Kingsport is still strong in the overall scheme of things. The track had 13 Late Models for last Friday’s race, which is a better number than many speedways in the surrounding region — including Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia, which had 11 cars for its featured race.

PARKING LOT RACE

The parking lot between Bristol Motor Speedway and Bristol Dragway is scheduled to host an East Tennessee Region SCCA autocross event Sunday.

Cones are laid out for drivers to navigate while competing in different classes. This is one of three SOLO (autocross) events left on the calendar with races outside the Tennessee Smokies baseball stadium on Aug. 17 and a return to BMS on Sept. 22.

HAYWORTH TRIPLE

Evan Hayworth of Piney Flats won three races in the Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series at the Appalachian Fairgrounds on Saturday.

Jonesborough’s Justin Carberry won the 250D race ahead of Kingsport’s Dawson Ball and Justin’s brother Jacob Carberry.

Young riders Rylan Wicker of Johnson City and Jackson Horne of Kingsport each had a win and a runner-up finish. Peyton Green of Blountville posted a win in the College Boy Am division.

A pair of other Blountville riders, Justin Keith in 25+ and Zack Greene in 250C, posted runner-up finishes. Haley Ball of Kingsport was the Women’s runner-up and Mason Price of Kingsport was second in the 51cc, 4-6 group. Church Hill’s Seth Fields crossed the line second in the 65cc, 7-9 class.

The series shifts to Muddy Creek Raceway this Saturday.

Contact Jeff Birchfield at [email protected]

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