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Byrd, Lewelling, Owens, Chesney, Henry visit victory lane at Volunteer Speedway

By Volunteer Speedway | 08 July 2018 | 2018 | | 0 Comments   

Byrd, Lewelling, Owens, Chesney, Henry visit victory lane at Volunteer Speedway

BULLS GAP, Tenn. (July 7, 2018) — The weather around East Tennessee over the past couple of weeks has been hot and dry, with temperatures in the 90s. But rain moved into the region mid-afternoon Friday and then continued overnight into Saturday morning, threatening to wash out racing at Volunteer Speedway.

Track promoter Mitch McCarter is widely known and appreciated among fans and competitors for his willingness to hold racing if at all possible. Following all the rain that had fallen, just call the track crew magicians, because they worked their “magic” into getting the racing surface prepared throughout the daytime for racing on the high banks.

Great fields of cars were present, with 26 Crate Late Model, 25 Sportsman Late Model, 18 Modified Street, and 13 Classics to entertain the good crowd in the grandstands.

Tim Byrd of Jonesborough captured the Crate Late Model victory, while Bradley Lewelling of Knoxville recorded the Sportsman Late Model win.

Jimmy Owens of Newport captured the Modified Street win, while Josh Chesney of Maynardville recorded the Classic victory, with Shawn Henry of Newport taking the 602 Street win.

Three-time Crate Late Model track champion Tim Byrd was fastest on the clock at 13.919 seconds to earn the pole starting position, with current point leader Trevor Sise second quickest at 13.940.

Byrd powered out into the lead on the start over Michael Courtney, Sise, Jensen Ford and Ahnna Parkhurst. Ford passed Sise for third on lap 3 and began working on Courtney for second place. Racing off the fourth turn on lap 8, Ford drove past Courtney and set his sights ahead on leader Byrd.

Just outside of the top five in the running order, a whole gaggle of cars were battling for position racing two- and three-wide from fifth-place on back involving Jason Welshan, Ross White, Greg Martin, Adam Tolliver, Chase King, Josh Henry, Jason Cardwell, Ryan King, Rusty Ballenger, Bobby Mays, Andy Ogle, Chris Chandler and Gary Crittenden.

Courtney dropped out while running in fourth, and while Welshan, White and Martin worked their way into the top five, the race for the win was between Byrd and Ford. Byrd has been fast this year, but due to circumstances with the car the results just weren’t up to his standard. 

The race was Bryd’s to win, but should he make the slightest mistake Ford was waiting to pounce and capitalize. But the seasoned veteran Byrd stayed out front and captured his first win of the season over Ford, Welshan, White and Martin.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Chase King, Henry, Sise, Cardwell and Ryan King.

Zach Sise was fastest in Sportsman Late Model qualifying at 14.007 and Heath Alvey stopped the clocks second-quickest at 14.168. Sise jumped out to lead at the start over Bradley Lewelling, Jed Emert, Alvey and Dale Ball. The event’s first caution waved on lap 3 for a multi-car wreck between turns one and two involving Brandon Miller, Joshua Sneed, Nicholas Shelton and Mark Sexton.

Off the ensuing restart Sise powered back out ahead over Emert, and with the duo racing hard for the lead on lap 5 between turns one and two, Sise spun to bring out the caution. Both drivers were sent to the rear for the restart.

Lewelling was showing the way out front over Alvey, Brad Seagle, Ball and Jake Whithead. Seagle wasted no time getting past Alvey for second place as the raced off the fourth turn on lap 6. But Alvey wasn’t about to go down without fighting back, and on lap 12 he and Seagle got together to produce a caution – with Alvey pulling into the pits.

Back under green Lewelling quickly put some distance between himself, Seagle and Ball. Whitehead passed Ball for the third spot on lap 15 racing off the second corner. But with the laps winding down, out front there was no catching Lewelling as he recorded his first-ever victory at “The Gap” over Seagle, Whitehead, Ball and Sise.

Wayne Rader was fastest in Modified Street qualifying at 15.301, but the surprise of the night was “The Newport Nightmare” Jimmy Owens behind the wheel driving his older brother Kurt Owens’ car second-quickest at 15.479. Owens, a regular competitor with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and who back on June 2 had won the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series event at Volunteer Speedway, decided to come back home to where he began his racing career in the early ‘90s to “just have fun and spend time with family” after the Lucas Oil event scheduled this weekend was rained-out.

On the initial attempt to start the 20-lap feature, McKenlee Hall went for a wild ride, flipping multiple times at end of the front straightaway entering the first turn after tangling with Tyler Haynes. With the race finally under green, Owens grabbed the lead over Rader, Bubba Long, David Clark and Gary Blanken.

Both Clark and Blanken got around Rader and Long for position before lap 5, with Clark closing right in behind leader Owens. At the halfway distance Clark was challenging Owens by sticking his nose underneath the leader through the corners, but racing down the straightaway Owens maintained his lead. Owens would go on to capture the win over Clark, Blanken, Rader and Lance Creasman.

Lee Merritt was fastest in Classic qualifying at 17.333 to capture pole position for the 20-lap feature, with Josh Chesney close behind at 17.352 earning the right to start on outside of the front row. Merritt, the divisional point leader and also leading with seven feature wins on the season battled back and forth swapping the lead with Chesney in the early laps.

But when Merritt dropped out of the race with mechanical issues on lap 9, from that point Chesney cruised to his first-ever victory at Volunteer Speedway. Chesney was chased to the checkered flag by Eli Keck, Will Carey, Shaun Sise and Chris Worsham.

Shawn Henry captured the 602 Street victory over Rex Coffey, Josh Driskill and Brandon Johnson.


*** CLM results unofficial until tire testing results are returned ***

1. Tim Byrd #24
2. Jensen Ford #83
3. Jason Welshan #29W
4. Ross White #22
5. Greg Martin #24
6. Chase King #44
7. Josh Henry #B00
8. Trevor Sise #73
9. Jason Cardwell #07
10. Ryan King #30
11. Rusty Ballenger #29
12. Bobby Mays #25
13. Andy Ogle #68
14. Chris Chandler #8
15. Gary Crittenden #18
16. Chris Wilson #11
17. Jonathan Miracle #52
18. Jody Horton #56J
19. Jackie Hughes #27
20. Adam Tolliver #28
21. Kyle Courtney #171
22. Taran Hurst #22
23. Michael Courtney #C11
24. Ahnna Parkhurst #23
25. Scott Green #41
26. Grant Corum #49


1. Bradley Lewelling #10
2. Brad Seagle #31
3. Jake Whitehead #116
4. Dale Ball #16
5. Zach Sise #43
6. Jed Emert #98
7. Adam Mitchell #50
8. Kip Sawyer #44
9. Warren McMahan #33
10. Austin Atkins #14
11. Brandon James #J1
12. Nick Kniat #K0
13. Mark Sexton #7S
14. Joe Bray #76
15. Aaron Jones #7J
16. Heath Alvey #7
17. Kyle Manis #25
18. Joshua Sneed #79
19. Brandon Miller #89
20. Isaac Boring #00
21. Nicholas Shelton #9
22. Jimmy Calloway #5
23. Billy Woods #2
24. Terry Painter #H10

Did Not Start: Brandon Tipton #13


1. Jimmy Owens #14
2. David Clark #13
3. Gary Blanken #05
4. Wayne Rader #01
5. Lance Creasman #C8
6. Bubba Long #10
7. Nick Presley #69
8. Landon Steele #18
9. Jason Rollins #01R
10. Tyler Haynes #11
11. Brian Presley #B69
12. Bobbie Petty #21P
13. Robbie Buchanan #P21
14. Robbie Comer #42
15. Shannon Emery #M2
16. McKenlee Hall #44

Did Not Pass Post-Race Technical Inspection (DQd): Willie Busler #31B
Did Not Start: Wendell Spence #21

CLASSIC (20 laps)

1. Josh Chesney #XXX
2. Eli Keck #9
3. Will Carey #16
4. Shaun Sise #59
5. Chris Worsham #3
6. Charles Bates #27
7. Jimmy Rauhuff #14
8. Tony Trent #501
9. Todd Beeler #J23
10. Tyler Trent #61
11. Lee Merritt #14
12. Tim Bounds #11
13. Tim Stevens #11S

602 STREET (10 laps)

1. Shawn Henry #25
2. Rex Coffey #3
3. Josh Driskill #D00
4. Brandon Johnson #B01

Volunteer Speedway (Recording Only): 423-235-5020  www.VolunteerSpeedway.com
Volunteer Speedway (General Manager): 865-257-7223
Joe Byrd (Tech Official): 865-776-1798