KINGSPORT — Nik Williams made a daring four-wide pass for the lead Friday night to capture his second straight Late Model Stock victory at Kingsport Speedway.
Williams was running third in his black No. 32 Chevrolet when Brad Housewright got to the inside of leader Magnum Tate coming off turn 2 on lap 25 of the 60-lap feature.
Seeing an opening, Williams dove to the inside of both. They approached a lapped car on the backstretch and Williams had the lead by the time they exited turn 4.
From there, Williams pulled away from Housewright to score the win in the NASCAR Advance Auto Weekly Series. After going winless all of last season on the three-eighths-mile concrete oval, the 2019 track champion is 2-for-2 to start 2021.
Williams said he couldn’t hesitate when it came time to make the winning pass.
“My car didn’t come in the first of the race. I thought that might be my only opportunity so I took it,” said the Chuckey driver. “That might have been the only opportunity I got unless I roughed somebody up. Turns out, it was a good move.
“I feel so good for my team after last year was such a rough year. It’s so good to be here in victory lane.”
Housewright navigated his way through the traffic to finish second and said he feels it’s only a matter of time before his white No. 88 Chevrolet is parked in victory lane.
“It got a little crazy. I was hoping the No. 32 was going to be a little more patient, but it’s racing,” the Kingsport driver said. “We’re getting a little better every week. Tonight the longer we ran, the car got better. Nik got out to the lead, but after that, our lap times were neck and neck.”
Tate, a 17-year-old from Greenville, South Carolina, making his Kingsport debut, held on for third. He pushed his black No. 41 Chevy to the limits and the right front tire blew after the race.
Still, Tate enjoyed his first trip to the “Concrete Jungle.” He took the lead from pole-sitter Joey Trent on the opening lap and pulled away early before Williams and Housewright reeled him back in.
“The name really fits here. This place is awesome,” Tate said. “I really enjoyed racing here and hope I can come back here soon. We beat on each other a little, but the guys raced me clean and I had fun.”
The third through sixth positions saw a tight battle. Wayne Hale finished fourth, followed by Trent and Derek Lane.
Kevin Wolfe, another 2019 track champion who went winless last season, returned to victory lane with a pass of Rusty Clendenin on lap 11 of the Sportsman feature.
The race got off to a wild start when pole-sitter Chris Tunnell spun on the first lap after contact with Austin Brooks.
Clendenin, who won the season opener, pulled out front before Wolfe chased him down and made the winning move. Clendenin held on for second.
Brooks was third, Tunnell fourth and Brayden Goddard fifth.
Jay Swecker scored an emotional victory in the Pure Street division, holding off a tough challenge from Tony Dockery at the end for the checkered flag.
Swecker, like Williams and Wolfe, is a former track champion who went winless last season, but his victory meant so much more.
The Kingsport driver had surgery during the offseason to remove a brain tumor. Friday also was his 53rd birthday and several family members were in attendance, including his sister visiting from Maryland.
“We’ve been through so much. It means a whole lot,” Swecker said, tears flowing. “Blowed the old car up last week, I put the old motor I had back in it and we didn’t practice until today. Come out and here we are in victory lane.”
Dockery, who got into an earlier tussle with Rob Austin, finished second. Billy Walters, Austin and Ricky Payne completed the top five.
Keith Helton recovered after nearly spinning in his orange No. 9 Saturn and passed Billy Byington with six laps to go for the Pure 4 win.
Helton had fallen to fifth after contact with Johnny Harris but powered back to the front.
Kingsport drivers claimed the top five spots. Byington took the runner-up position, Kenny Absher was third, Bucky Smith fourth and Bruce Crumbley fifth.
Five-time defending Mod 4 champion Kevin Canter overcame an early bobble to pass Chris Amburgey on lap 11 of the 25-lap feature, the second straight week Canter and Amburgey crossed the finish line 1-2.
Jerry Miller was third Friday ahead of Billy Duty and Ted Glover.