Wade day celebrates after winning the 75-lap Southeast Truck Series feature Friday night at Kingsport Speedway. (photos by Randall Perry)
(Race Videos by Jeff Bobo. Photo gallery by Randall Perry. Final results are listed below the videos.)
KINGSPORT — So much for retirement.
Veteran local racer Wade Day, who mainly mentors young racers these days, proved he still has the hot shoe Friday night at Kingsport Speedway.
Day survived the carnage, took the lead early, and never looked back as the 17-truck field behind him was whittled down to nearly half that number by the end of the 75 lap Southeast Super Truck Series race. Many of the other survivors had shed substantial sections of sheet metal by the time the race ended.
The race got off to a bumpy start when series regular Matt Leicht of Arden, N.C., starting in the pole position, stalled at the drop of the green, causing an accordion style pileup that damaged seven trucks right off the bat.
The worst damage was suffered by 13-year-old Dallas, Texas driver Cole Glasson, whose severely shortened truck would return on lap 35 after making repairs to salvage a 10th place finish.
Local favorite Lee Tissot from Ashville, N.C., was fast qualifier, but with the inversion started third behind Leicht. Tissot lost his hood and fender in the initial wreck. He would restart at the back of the field, but his troubles for the night weren't over.
Early racing was fast and furious, with side-by-side action throughout the field. It took Day 13 laps to get past Easley, S.C. driver Tim Lollis for the lead, and from there Day never looked back.
On lap 35 a couple of N.C. drivers — Taylor Nesbitt and Tyler Worley — made contact coming out of turned four, slamming both trucks hard into the outside wall.
By then Tissot had worked his way back up to third, but he pitted under the red flag to replace a broken power steering pump.
Tissot restarted at the back of the much shortened field. He was able to work his way back up to third, despite the fact that his power steering never came back.
In the waning laps several survivors on the track resembled an open wheel modified/truck hybrid.
Greg Bohanan crashed in practice and started the race with no front fenders, hood, or bumper. He held onto the lead lap until retiring with about 10 laps to go with a mechanical problem, but still finished ninth.
Series favorite Kaleb Pressley was in and out of the pits after suffering front in damage in the initial pileup. His front bumper and hood were gone by the time he retired with overheating problems late in the race, though Pressley still ran enough laps to finish eighth.
Day, who was a track champion at Kingsport Speedway in the early 2000s, held off veteran racer Randy Porter for his 28th career victory at Kingsport Speedway. Porter, Tissot, Lawless and Dakota Slagle rounded out the top-5.
"Man, I don't really know what to say about getting a win in my first start with the Southeast Super Truck Series except, it's great," Day said. "I was kind of concerned a little following qualifying after seeing we were sixth on the (speed) chart, but I knew we had a really good truck. I really thought we'd qualifying better than what we did, to be quite honest. I felt like our truck would be really good during the race, and it turned out we were very good -- especially it seemed like when we could go several laps under green-flag racing conditions."
Prior to start of the 30-lap "Tony Ward Memorial" Street Stock event, Roger Clendenin drove Ward's No. 7 Chevrolet at front of the field in parade laps. Ward, from Kingsport, always one of the fan favorites and a longtime racer at both Kingsport Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway, passed away unexpectedly last year.
Nick Cole grabbed the early lead int he 30-lap Street Stock feature and won handily ahead of Alan Rich who then failed post-race technical inspection. That gave second to Rob Austin, with Chris Tunnell, Paul Shull and Sam P. Hurd rounding out the top five.
Kenny Absher led the first 20 laps of the 25-lap Pure 4 feature, but needed a caution late to cool off his tires. Defending track champion John Ketron grabbed the lead with five to go and held on for the win.
Rusty Clendenin of Church Hill recorded his second Rookie Pure 4 win of the season over Michael "Mook" Jeter, Brandon Crumbley, Craig Phelps and Andrew Hill.
75-Lap Southeast Super Truck feature
30-Lap "Tony ward Memorial" Street Stock Feature
25-Lap Pure 4 feature
SOUTHEAST SUPER TRUCK SERIES -- JUNE 6, 2014 -- KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY
1. Wade Day #2-Seymour, TN
2. Randy Porter #51-Easley, SC
3. Lee Tissot #88-Asheville, NC
4. Tim Lollis #50-Easley, SC
5. Dakota Slagle #13-Asheville, NC
6. Matt Leicht #23-Arden, NC
7. David Flynn #29-Maryville, TN
8. Kaleb Pressley #16-Candler, NC
9. Greg Bohanon #17-Leicester, NC
10. Cole Glasson #12-Dallas, TX
11. Taylor Nesbitt #92-Swannanoa, NC
12. Tyler Worley #84-Fairview, NC
13. Zack Franks #1-Asheville, NC
14. Ed Surrett #8-Asheville, NC
15. Kevin Leicht #25-Mills River, NC
16. Bennie Davis #66-Canton, NC
17. Justin Fontaine #21-Fletcher, NC
STREET STOCK (30 laps)
1) Nick Cole #63; 2) Rob Austin #25; 3) Chris Tunnell #6; 4) Paul Shull #48; 5) Sam P. Hurd #11; 6) Jamie Meadows #11; 7) Dennis Deese #24; 8) Steve Sims #10; 9) Danny Casteel #41; 10) Brian Russell #22 -- Did Not Pass Post-Race Tech: Alan Rich #03
PURE 4 (25 laps)
1) John Ketron #26; 2) Kenny Absher #11; 3) Jason Ketron #28; 4) Keith Helton #74; 5) Chris Neeley #94; 6) Brandon Sutherland #22; 7) Bruce Crumbley #33; 8) Jon Pittman #00; 9) Tim Abelseth #66; 10) David Trent #57; 11) B.C. Penley #44; 12) Boots Slagle #99; 13) Billy Byington #01; 14) Matthew Ford #97; 15) Todd Cross #41; 16) Kenneth Street #2; 17) Richard Quillen #14; 18) Mike Anderson #92; 19) Nick Jennings #16; 20) Dean Slagle #13; 21) Dylan Bates #6
ROOKIE PURE 4 (15 laps)
1) Rusty Clendenin #11; 2) Michael Jeter #53; 3) Brandon Crumbley #7; 4) Craig Phelps #00; 5) Andrew Hill #97; 6) William Hale #47; 7) James Deese #25; 8) Larry Stapleton #14; 9) Tammy Cross #41; 10) Larry Bowens #18; 11) Dennis Stanley #19