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Posted: Monday, June 9th 2014 at 2:00pm

Day scores Southeast Super Truck victory at Kingsport

By Robert Walden
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Wade Day scored the Southeast Super Truck Series victory in his first start in the series Friday night at Kingsport Speedway. / Photo: RPM Photos
KINGSPORT, TN — The Southeast Super Truck Series made its first of two scheduled visits this season to Kingsport Speedway in Kingsport, TN on Friday, with a big crowd of fans present from around Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

There’s an old saying that once you leave home, you can’t go back. But Wade Day, from Seymour, TN, proved that to be wrong as the former Kingsport Speedway champion made his first-ever Southeast Super Truck Series start one to remember by parking in victory lane. Day moved into the lead on lap 13 of the 75-lap event and once out front remained there until the checkered flag waved for his 28th career victory at the track.

Lee Tissot set fast-time at 15.569 seconds, but following the invert of the top three from time trials Matt Leicht started from the pole and Randy Porter on the outside of the front row, with Tissot inside of row two beside of Tim Lollis.

On the first attempt to start the race, with the green flag waving it appeared Matt Leicht missed a shift and behind him mass chaos ensued with trucks wrecking all along the front straightaway. Besides Leicht, also involved were Tissot, David Flynn, Dakota Slagle, Kevin Leicht, Kaleb Pressley, Cole Glasson and Bennie Davis. With the red flag displayed while the track safety crew cleaned the accident scene, the pits were busy with activity as crews tried to pull mangled sheet-metal to get their truck back on-track for the race.

The second try to get under green proved to be much more successful. Over the first five circuits Porter and Lollis raced side-by-side before Lollis moved ahead. But lurking right behind them was Day.

Day rode to the outside of Porter on lap 10, racing between turns one and two and moved into second, setting his sights ahead on Lollis. Some say the number 13 is unlucky, but for Day it was lucky as he passed Lollis for the lead on lap 13 – also bringing Porter along for the ride into the runner-up position.

Tissot was working his way back forward after getting caught up on the opening lap wreck. He passed Zack Franks for the fourth spot on lap 16 racing off turn two and, just two circuits later he got around Lollis for third. Caution waved on lap 28, when Pressley stopped high between turns one and two, which erased almost a full-straightaway advantage Day and Porter held over Tissot.

The race was only back under green for six circuits before caution waved on lap 34 for debris on the track. Off the next restart, Day once again jumped back out into the lead over Porter and Tissot.

There’s a saying around racing that cautions breed cautions. On lap 35, racing off the fourth turn, Tyler Worley and Taylor Nesbitt wrecked hard with Worley making heavy contact with the outside concrete wall. The caution quickly was unfurled and then the red flag to stop the field so emergency crews could get to both Worley and Nesbitt to check on their conditions. After catching their breath, thankfully both climbed from their badly damaged trucks to cheers from the crowd.

With several trucks still in action showing “battle scars” from a tough night of racing at “The Concrete Jungle,” over the last half of the race Day showed the way out front leading Porter, while Tissot was having to manhandle his truck after losing power steering.

The veteran racer Porter, a three-time track Late Model Stock champion in the Palmetto State at Greenville-Pickens Speedway who also competed regularly back during the 1990s in the NASCAR Busch Series (known today as the Nationwide Series), pressured Day over the final 10 laps of the race for the lead.

But the 41-year-old Day, driving the Myers Auto Sales/Weaverville Tire & Wheel/Catch 22/No. 2 Chevrolet, would not be denied his first-ever Southeast Super Truck Series victory, with Porter, Tissot, Lollis and Slagle rounding out the top five at the checkered flag. The top seven trucks finished on the lead lap.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Matt Leicht, Flynn, Pressley, Greg Bohanon and Glasson.

“Man, I don’t really know what to say about getting a win in my first start with the Southeast Super Truck Series except, it’s great,” said Day in victory lane. “I was kind of concerned a little following qualifying after seeing we were sixth on the (speed) chart, but I knew we had a really good truck. I really thought we’d qualifying better than what we did, to be quite honest. I felt like our truck would be really good during the race, and it turned out we were very good – especially it seemed like when we could go several laps under green-flag racing conditions.

“That’s when we would kind of put some separation between us and (Randy) Porter and Lee (Tissot). But both those guys are tough, hard-nosed racers and I knew they weren’t going to let me get completely away from them. There’s several good trucks with this series and for us to be able get the lead early like we did on lap 13, and then stay out front until the checkered flag and get the victory, man, it just doesn’t get any better. I really want to thank Jeff Myers who owns the truck for giving me the opportunity to drive for him here at Kingsport Speedway.”

Prior to start of the 30-lap “Tony Ward Memorial” Street Stock event, Roger Clendenin, owner of RCR Race Cars & Parts in Church Hill and builder of Ward’s race car, drove the No. 7 Chevrolet at front of the field in parade laps. Ward, from Kingsport, always one of the fan favorites and a longtime racer at both Kingsport Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway, passed away unexpectedly last year.

Nick Cole of Bristol has been a model of consistency during the 2014 racing season in the Street Stock division, having recorded three runner-up finishes and also three third-place runs through the first six races to solidly plant him atop the point leaderboard. But, Cole was still searching for that elusive first trip to victory lane.

Cole began the evening by setting fast-time at 15.912 seconds, and following an invert of the top-two from qualifying he started on the outside of the front row beside Alan Rich. The duo raced side-by-side for the first two circuits before caution waved when Jamie Meadows spun exiting the fourth turn onto the front straightaway.

Off the double-file restart, Cole jumped out ahead of Rich and with the race running clean-and-green following the early caution period all the way to the finish, Cole drove to his first win of the season. Rich crossed the stripe just behind Cole, but his car failed post-race technical inspection and thus Rob Austin, Chris Tunnell, Paul Shull and Sam P. Hurd rounded out the top five finishers.

John Ketron of Kingsport grabbed the lead at start of the Pure 4 feature over his son Jason Ketron and Kenny Absher. But Absher was quickly on the move getting around the younger Ketron for second on lap 2 and began mounting a challenge on the elder Ketron for the lead. Just as Absher was making his move to take the lead, a multi-car wreck in the fourth turn collected Dylan Bates, Dean Slagle, Nick Jennings, Mike Anderson and Boots Slagle.

Off the double-file restart Absher moved ahead of John Ketron for the lead. But working his way forward after starting from the sixth row, Keith Helton passed Brandon Sutherland for fifth on lap 7 and one circuit later Helton got around Chris Neeley to move into fourth in the running order.

With Absher riding on the point, behind him the Ketrons were battling for second place. John got around Jason for the position on lap 11 racing off turn two, which also opened the door for Helton to drive past Jason into third. But Jason Ketron fought back to reclaim the spot two laps later.

Racing down the backstretch into turn three on lap 19, John Ketron drove to the inside of Absher to challenge for the lead and (racing) off the fourth turn he moved ahead. Once out front he went on to capture his fourth victory of the season, with Absher, Jason Ketron, Helton and Neeley rounding out the top five finishers.

Rusty Clendenin of Church Hill recorded his second Rookie Pure 4 win of the season over Michael “Mook” Jeter, Brandon Crumbley, Craig Phelps and Andrew Hill.

Kingsport Speedway - Kingsport, TN
Race Results - June 6, 2014

Southeast Super Trucks
1. Wade Day #2-Seymour, TN
2. Randy Porter #51-Easley, SC
3. Lee Tissot #88-Asheville, NC
4. Tim Lollis #50-Easley, SC
5. Dakota Slagle #13-Asheville, NC
6. Matt Leicht #23-Arden, NC
7. David Flynn #29-Maryville, TN
8. Kaleb Pressley #16-Candler, NC
9. Greg Bohanon #17-Leicester, NC
10. Cole Glasson #12-Dallas, TX
11. Taylor Nesbitt #92-Swannanoa, NC
12. Tyler Worley #84-Fairview, NC
13. Zack Franks #1-Asheville, NC
14. Ed Surrett #8-Asheville, NC
15. Kevin Leicht #25-Mills River, NC
16. Bennie Davis #66-Canton, NC
17. Justin Fontaine #21-Fletcher, NC

Street Stocks
1. Nick Cole
2. Rob Austin
3. Chris Tunnell
4. Paul Shull
5. Sam P. Hurd
6. Jamie Meadows
7. Dennis Deese
8. Steve Sims
9. Danny Casteel
10. Brian Russell

Pure 4
1. John Ketron
2. Kenny Absher
3. Jason Ketron
4. Keith Helton
5. Chris Neeley
6. Brandon Sutherland
7. Bruce Crumbley
8. Jon Pittman
9. Tim Abelseth
10. David Trent
11. B.C. Penley
12. Boots Slagle
13. Billy Byington
14. Matthew Ford
15. Todd Cross
16. Kenneth Street
17. Richard Quillen
18. Mike Anderson
19. Nick Jennings
20. Dean Slagle
21. Dylan Bates

Rookie Pure 4
1. Rusty Clendenin
2. Michael Jeter
3. Brandon Crumbley
4. Craig Phelps
5. Andrew Hill
6. William Hale
7. James Deese
8. Larry Stapleton
9. Tammy Cross
10. Larry Bowens
11. Dennis Stanley
Associated Categories: Sports News, Professional Sports, NASCAR

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