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Lane wins at Kingsport; Muddy Creek set to host Showdown

Jeff Birchfield • Oct 9, 2018 at 7:34 PM

Hometown driver Derek Lane charged from the back of the field to outrun the Gripp Limited Late Model Series regulars and win the second of two 35-lap features on Saturday night at Kingsport Speedway.

Lane, who ran second to North Carolina driver Alan Rich in the first 35-lap feature, had to start at the back of the 23-car field after failing to go straight to post-race tech inspection. He won a bet with his crew by passing seven cars on the first lap and proceeded to move forward.

He made it up to seventh before the first caution and eventually into second, setting up a duel with Rich for the victory. That didn't happen when Rich's ignition box faltered and retired him from the race.

Another late-race matchup failed to materialize when Terry Smith got into the back of Ralph Carnes' machine. In the end, Lane held off Tanner Brookshire for the victory at the 3/8-mile concrete oval.

"We had a bet going,” Lane said. “The most cars I had passed on the first lap was six at Newport. We ended up getting up passing seven. We knew we had a good piece. We just had to keep the nose clean, but get to the front fast enough where I had time at the end. I didn't want to mess with these guys' points. I just wanted to outrun them and that's what we did."

Zeke Shell, who recently won the NASCAR Late Model Stock season title as Kingsport as a driver, served as Lane's crew chief. It was a reunion as Shell was crew chief when Lane won the Newport Speedway track championship in 2017.

They had to overcome a major challenge when the car broke a ball joint and sent Lane's No. 28 Chevrolet into the wall during Friday practice.

"Starting about seven o'clock Friday night, Zeke didn't look up, re-built the entire right front suspension of this car," Lane said. "We kept tweaking on it all day to get it back like it was."

Their adjustments paid off as Lane held off Brookshire on a final green-white-checkered restart for the win.

Others among the top 10 included Kingsport Speedway regulars Dennis Deese, who normally runs in the Mod Street division, in eighth, Alex Miller of Erwin in ninth and Dale Cline in 10th.

Veteran racer Lee Tissot of Asheville captured a 75-lap feature for the Southeast Super Trucks race, beating teenager Ashton Higgins of Weaverville, N.C., for the win.

Keith Helton of Kingsport led track regulars William Byington, Kenny Absher and Josh Detweiler to win the Pure 4 division race. Other winners were: Donald Canipe in the Legends division and Sam Ferguson in the Pure Street class.

TOP GUN SHOWDOWN

Muddy Creek Raceway owner Sam Gammon saw the official announcement last week that the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series won't be coming back in 2019. The Tennessee National date is going to the WW Ranch Motocross track in Jacksonville for the new Florida National.

Officials from the sanctioning body had long expressed interest in returning to the Sunshine State for the first time since 1977.

This weekend, the Blountville track hosts the 31st annual Suzuki Top Gun Showdown. Action starts Friday with an open practice. Racing is scheduled for all day on Saturday with the Suzuki Top Gun Showdown main-event motos scheduled for Sunday. Camping is free with paid admission.

Local racing icon Mike Brown won the 250 Pro race at last year's showdown.

FALL CLASSIC

Aaron Guinn of Russellville pulled away from three-time Volunteer Speedway track champion Tim Byrd of Jonesborough to finish first in the 30-lap main event, which featured Crate Late Model vs. Sportsman Late Model cars.

Byrd set fast time in qualifying at the 4/10-mile dirt track and led the first 24 laps of the race before Guinn got him on the restart. Both top finishers were protested although it was found that both cars' engines were legal.

Action on the track included brothers Trevor and Zach Sise of Knoxville getting together on lap 11, triggering a multi-car crash which sent veteran driver Warren McMahan's car flipping multiple times. Everyone emerged from the accident with no major injuries.

Other winners were Brad Davis of Tazewell (Modified Street), Wade Rookard of East Bernstadt, Ky. (Open Wheel Modified), Josh Chesney of Maynardville (Classic), Joey Allen of Cosby (4-Cylinder) and Rex Coffey of Morristown (Street Stock).

SPORTSMAN SPECTACULAR

Todd McKinney of Elizabethton finished runner-up in the No Box division at the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit Sportsman Spectacular race at Farmington, N.C. on Saturday.

McKinney's .040 reaction time was faster at the start than race winner Phillip Harrison. McKinney went down the 1/8-mile track in 6.777 seconds at 100.99 mph

HOT SUMMER NIGHTS

Evan Hayworth of Piney Flats won two classes and was runner-up in another at Round 14 of the Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series last Saturday at the Appalachian Fairgrounds.

Houston Hayworth of Kingsport won the Unlimited C/D division and Cody Goode of Kingsport took the 65cc, 10-11 victory. Two Johnson City racers Madison Hensley (Women) and Riley Cash (65cc Beginner) as well a pair of Jonesborough riders Justin Carberry (250D) and Jake Hillman (51cc, 4-6) also captured wins.

Local riders to finish runner-up included: Alton Clark of Johnson City (ATV Novice), Lane Cash of Elizabethton (65cc Beginner), Bladen Farmer of Kingsport (51cc, 4-6), Lane Milhorn of Watauga (51cc, Multi-Speed) and Seth Fields of Church Hill (65cc, 7-9).

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