November 12, 2011 – Volunteer Speedway recognizes 2011 champions at ‘Points Party’
Volunteer Speedway recognizes 2011 champions at ‘Points Party’
By Robert Walden
Volunteer Speedway Media/Public Relations
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (Nov. 12) — Points money and other contingency awards were doled out to drivers’ Saturday at Volunteer Speedway’s 2011 “Points Party at The Gap.”
Dale Ball, of Johnson City, has been racing since he was a 14-year-old teenager attending David Crockett High School in Jonesborough back in the 1970s. The 2011 racing season at Volunteer Speedway marked Ball’s 36th year strapped in behind the wheel of a race car. Throughout the years he’s won Late Model track championships at both Kingsport Speedway and Newport Speedway.
But his greatest accomplishments have happened racing on the high banks at The Gap, where Ball has visited victory lane in 6-Cylinder, Open Wheel Modified, Crate Late Model and Super Late Model competition.
Ball captured the 1999 Super Late Model title, to join his late father (Walter Ball – 1977 champion) as the only father-son duo to ever win Late Model championships at Volunteer Speedway. Ball won Pro (Crate) Late Model titles in 2008 and 2010.
Ball stormed out of the gate to open the 2011 season up with three straight feature wins, and he never looked back. Driving the Smith Brothers Harley-Davidson of Johnson City/Luke’s Pizza of Johnson City/Alan Poyner Enterprises/Mainline Communications/Jim Schweitzer Inc./Twin D Auto & Truck Sales of Johnson City/Steve Williams Enterprises/Advance Auto Parts/Envy Suspension & Race Consultants/Warrior Race Cars/No. 2 Chevrolet Impala – Ball earned five pole awards and recorded nine top-5 finishes and six feature wins en route to recording his third Fastrak Racing Series-sanctioned Pro (Crate) Late Model track championship over the past four seasons.
Rounding out the top five in points behind Ball were Jerry Broyles of Jonesborough, Ricky Moore of Mosheim, Todd Brooks of Greeneville, and Mike Smith of Rogersville.
Entering the 2011 racing season, Jamie Whitt of Wise, Va., set a goal of repeating his 2010 championship campaign when he recorded the Hobby Stock title. The 45-year-old Whitt got off to a good start by winning the first two races. Overall on the season, while driving the Norton (Va.) Auto Supply/B&D Repair/Baldwin Filters/Iron Horse Race Cars/No. 1 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Whitt earned six pole awards, recorded eight top-5 finishes and four feature wins to capture his second consecutive “Gunslingers of Kingsport” Hobby Stock championship.
Rounding out the top five in points behind Whitt were Shannon Davidson of Mooresburg, Dale Reed of Whitesburg, Dustin Shaver of Morristown, and Sue Curl of Erwin.
Bulls Gap’s Jesse Wilder opened the season with a third-place finish, followed by a runner-up effort in Road Warrior action. The third time out proved to be the charm for the 27-year-old East Tennessee State University Engineering graduate, as he visited victory lane for the first time ever in his racing career. Wilder decided he liked the checkerboard real estate so much he went on to win two more races (won three straight) during the season en route to capturing the Road Warrior championship, while driving the Greeneville Transmission/Wilder Enterprises/No. 79 Ford LTD.
Rounding out the top five in points behind Wilder were 17-year-old Kyle Hunter of Marshall, N.C., Robert Barndt of Newport, Brian Ellis of Erwin, and Billy Bernard of Newport.
Todd Brooks of Greeneville was recognized as the 2011 Volunteer Speedway Sportsman of the Year. Brooks is always available to help all drivers/race teams in the pits – he’s a friend to everybody.
Pro (Crate) Late Model competitor Ricky Moore of Mosheim picked up Best Appearing Car award for 2011 at Volunteer Speedway.
Ricky Shelton of Yuma, Va., picked up the 2011 Volunteer Speedway Most Improved Driver award.
Tim Maupin of Johnson City has professional ATV expert regional and national titles to his credit, but he strapped behind the wheel of a Pro (Crate) Late Model as a teammate with Dale Ball for the first time in 2011. Maupin’s quad racing experience transferred to a dirt late model, as he rolled to an impressive sixth-place finish in Pro Late Model points. For his racing efforts he was named 2011 Volunteer Speedway RPM Photos Rookie of the Year.
Pro Late Model racer Todd Brooks and Hobby Stock wheelman Dale Reed each received $100 graphics award certificates from Dean Jones at Primetime Designs.
The 2011 Volunteer Speedway Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Gary Myers of Greeneville. Myers’ accomplishments in racing speak for themselves.
He began building racing engines in 1976, and to quench his need for speed he first strapped in behind the wheel of a race car in 1979. Before hanging his helmet up for the final time following the 1993 racing season, Myers would visit victory lane on 104 occasions and capture Late Model track championships at Volunteer Speedway (1992), Kingsport Speedway (1985), and Newport Speedway in 1987.
Over the years Myers visited victory lane while competing in the 6-Cylinder division and also Late Model class at not only Volunteer Speedway, but at Kingsport Speedway, Newport Speedway, the old Davy Crockett Speedway in Rogersville, Smoky Mountain Speedway (Maryville), and also on the Indian reservation at Smoky Mountain Raceway in Cherokee, N.C.
A lot of racers’ will go through periods in their racing career when it just seems like everything goes their way, and they enjoy tremendous success. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient experienced great success chauffeuring the Barry Wright Race Cars dirt Late Model with the words “Wild Thang” along the sides of the car, when he got on a hot streak and won 17 consecutive races between Volunteer Speedway, Kingsport Speedway and Smoky Mountain Speedway.
The very first weekend he raced the “Wild Thang,” he won back-to-back races – first at Kingsport Speedway ($3,000 victory) on Friday, and then on Saturday he recorded a $5,000 victory at Volunteer Speedway. The $8,000 haul for the two nights of racing during that era in motorsports was enough to actually pay for the car in one weekend.
Undoubtedly the biggest win of his career occurred on the high banks at Volunteer Speedway, when he outran the national touring drivers with the Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series to visit victory lane in the first-ever HAT event at The Gap.
Racing for Myers was always a family affair, with his father (Fred) and brother (Danny) always helping at the track, and also back in the shop during the week working on the race car. With his son (Josh) having raced go-karts for the past 14 years, the father-son combination have won many races and championships. Plus, he still maintains a close connection to racers (round-track, drag racing, along with tractor and truck pulling machines) around East Tennessee through his business – Myers Engine & Machine, located on Asheville Highway in Greeneville, building high-performance racing engines.
Volunteer Speedway owners Joe and Phyllis Loven would like to thank everyone for their support of the track in 2011, and they along with all track personnel look forward to the start of the 2012 racing season next March.
© Copyrighted © photos courtesy of Randall Perry Motorsports Photography – http://www.rpmphotos.net/Volunteer Photos/. Do not reproduce without permission. Violators will be prosecuted under the “copyright law!” To purchase photos, contact Randall Perry at (423) 292-9774.
Dale Ball of Johnson City, Tenn., driving the Smith Brothers Harley-Davidson of Johnson City/Luke’s Pizza of Johnson City/Alan Poyner Enterprises/Mainline Communications/Jim Schweitzer Inc./Twin D Auto & Truck Sales of Johnson City/Steve Williams Enterprises/Advance Auto Parts/Envy Suspension & Race Consultants/Warrior Race Cars/No. 2 Chevrolet Impala, captured his second consecutive Fastrak Racing Series-sanctioned Pro (Crate) Late Model track championship in 2011, and third over the past four seasons (2008 and 2010).
Jamie Whitt of Wise, Va., captured the 2011 Volunteer Speedway “Gunslingers of Kingsport” Hobby Stock track championship while driving the Norton (Va.) Auto Supply/B&D Repair/Baldwin Filters/Iron Horse Race Cars/No. 1 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Jesse Wilder of Bulls Gap, driving the Greeneville Transmission/Wilder Enterprises/No. 79 Ford LTD, captured the 2011 Road Warrior track championship.
Gary Myers of Greeneville, 1992 Volunteer Speedway track champion along with capturing track championships at Kingsport Speedway and Newport Raceway during his time behind the wheel of a race car, and with 104 career feature victories, was the recipient of the 2011 Volunteer Speedway “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Pro (Crate) Late Model competitor Todd Brooks of Greeneville, Tenn., was named 2011 Volunteer Speedway “Sportsman of the Year.” Todd is always available to help out any driver/race team in the pits at the track – he’s a friend to everybody.
Pro (Crate) Late Model competitor Ricky Moore of Mosheim, Tenn., picked up “Best Appearing Car” award for 2011 at Volunteer Speedway.
2011 Volunteer Speedway – RPM Photos “Rookie of the Year” – Tim Maupin of Johnson City, Tenn. Maupin is a competitor in the Pro (Crate) Late Model division.
Ricky Shelton of Yuma, Va., picked up the 2011 Volunteer Speedway Most Improved Driver award.
Left-to-right: Volunteer Speedway owners Joe and Phyllis Loven, and emcee Doug Gillenwater.
Marketing Director Karen Tunnel (left), Volunteer Speedway owner Phyllis Loven (right).
Volunteer Speedway personnel left-to-right: Flagman Robbie “Checkers” Williams, Marketing Director Karen Tunnell, Race Director Ronnie Brackins, Grandstand Ticket Seller Sissy Crouch.
Volunteer Speedway Pro (Crate) Late Model competitors standing left-to-right: Ricky Moore, Dale Ball, Tim Maupin, Todd Brooks and Jerry Broyles.
Longtime racing veteran Roger Hunter (right), proudly stands beside his 17-year-old son Kyle, who during his rookie racing campaign finished second in 2011 Road Warrior points. Like father, like son – racing runs in the family! Roger and Kyle are dedicated to racing at Volunteer Speedway, and make the haul weekly down from the mountains of western North Carolina from the town of Marshall to race on the high banks at “The Gap.” Congratulations Kyle Hunter on your runner-up points Road Warrior points finish.
2011 Volunteer Speedway Pro (Crate) Late Model champion Dale Ball (left), and track flagman Robbie “Checkers” Williams.
Crew chief Tony Wheeler (left) and Ricky Moore (right). Moore finished third in Pro (Crate) Late Model points, while the duo picked up 2011 Volunteer Speedway Best Appearing Car award.
2011 Volunteer Speedway Pro (Crate) Late Model track champion Dale Ball (left), Robert Walden Media/Public Relations (right).