Kres VanDkyke continues to dominate the Concrete jungle, picking up his fifth Late Model Stock victory of the season on Friday night at Kingsport Speedway.
VanDyke, an Abingdon driver in the red No. 15 Chevrolet, started third, but moved to second on the opening lap. He passed Keith Helton for the lead on lap 3 and set sail out front as the race ran caution-free over 60 laps.
If VanDyke hadn’t been tough enough in recent weeks, he enlisted the help of former track champion Wade Day to help with the set-up.
“This thing was a hot rod, an amazing car,” VanDyke said. “I was here with Wade Day 10 o’clock this working on it. We had the Harrington engine we hadn’t run all year. We got this thing right, pretty bad to the bone. I give this win to my crew tonight. I just drove the car and they deserve every bit of this.”
Nik Williams from Chuckey set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 14.980 seconds (90.120 mph). With an inversion of the top-five qualifiers, it wasn’t until the 10th lap that he made a three-wide pass to move into second.
By that time, VanDyke was gone.
“He got through traffic really quick. He was out front and I was still in fourth or fifth,” Williams said. “By the time I got to second, he was about a straightaway ahead. I was trying to just ride, hoping the caution would come out.”
It never came out as behind them, Bryson Dennis and Wayne Hale waged a spirited battle for the third spot. Dennis, a Greeneville driver, emerged with the position in his white No. 15 Chevrolet after making multiple attempts to the inside of Hale’s No. 19 Toyota.
“It was a good run. We’re getting there, just a little too tight,” Dennis said. “We need to work a little more on the car to get it to turn. But we will be back here soon and hopefully run a little better. We’re making gains slowly, just need to get there faster.”
Hale raced on to finish fourth, while North Carolina driver Ashton Higgins rounded out the top five.
LATE MODEL STOCK CAR (60 laps)
1. Kres VanDyke #15
2. Nik Williams #32
3. Bryson Dennis #15
4. Wayne Hale #19
5. Ashton Higgins #9
6. Keith Helton #97
7. Allen Hawkins #14
8. Rick Pannell #33
9. Chris Tunnell #57
10. Matt Smith #27
11. Kyle Barnes #0