Finchum pulls off second consecutive Kingsport Speedway NASCAR sweep

With daytime temperatures on Friday in the low 90s, Mother Nature threatened to wash out the night of racing at Kingsport Speedway as a summer thundershower moved into the Model City just as qualifying was getting started for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing program. But once rain ended, track drying measures proceeded and management decided to cancel qualifying and just start each division’s feature races according to the current point standings.

Chad Finchum of Knoxville looked impressive in pulling off his second consecutive sweep of twin 35-lap “Wallace Kia” Late Model Stock features, easily winning both races for his seventh and eighth victories this season.

The top four in points were inverted for start of the first race, placing Lee Tissot and Zeke Shell on the front row. Shell grabbed the lead over Tissot, current point leader Kres VanDyke, Finchum and Zack Walton on the start.

Tissot was feeling pressure immediately from VanDyke. Racing into the third turn on lap 4, VanDyke passed Tissot to move into second place and also opened the door for Finchum to overtake Tissot for position and take over third in the running order.

With Shell riding out front holding a 10 car-length advantage over VanDyke and Finchum, on lap 10 Finchum pulled alongside VanDyke to challenge for second. Two circuits later Finchum completed the pass and set his sights ahead on leader Shell.

Finchum pulled to Shell’s rear bumper on lap 19, and the following lap between turns three and four he made the pass for the lead. A strong run for Shell ended on lap 27, when the right-front tire went down (flat) and he slowly made his way into the pits.

Finchum would go on to win over VanDyke, Tissot, Walton and Joey Trent.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Ronnie McCarty, Tyler Goodwin, Austin Peters, Justin Fontaine and Wayne Hale.

The top four finishers from the first race were inverted for start of the second twin 35-lap feature, placing Walton and Tissot on the front row. Tissot jumped out to the lead over Walton, Finchum, VanDyke and McCarty.

Finchum got around Walton for second place on lap 2, and current rookie point leader Walton lost third to VanDyke on lap 4. Finchum was pressuring Tissot for the lead and on lap 6 racing up off (turn) two, Finchum made what would prove to be the race-winning pass.

With the race reaching the halfway mark, Finchum had pulled out to right at a half-straightaway advantage over Tissot and VanDyke, with Walton and McCarty close behind.

With the race running clean-and-green just like the opener, Finchum was on a roll and headed to yet another victory. He recorded his second win of the night over Tissot, who had his hands full trying to hold off the hard-charging VanDyke, Walton and McCarty.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Peters, Shell, Goodwin, Trent and Fontaine.

Nick Cole of Bristol hadn’t visited victory lane since winning three straight Street Stock races back in June. Cole powered ahead of Royce Peters off a double-file restart on lap 6, and once out front he never looked back en route to recording his fourth feature win of the season over Kirby Gobble, Peters, Jared Broadbent and Rob Austin.

Keith Helton jumped out to lead at start of the Pure 4 feature and led the opening 10 laps, before John Ketron of Kingsport barely nosed ahead on the following lap at the flag stand. The event’s first caution waved on lap 13, when Kenny Absher and Billy Ketron got together and Absher spun in the first turn.

While under caution, Helton’s engine began to sputter with an apparent fuel-pickup issue and he slowly made it into the pits to end his race prematurely.

Back under green John Ketron moved ahead of Billy Byington and his son, Jason Ketron. The elder Ketron rolled to his division-leading seventh victory over Byington, Jason Ketron, Chris Neeley and Lloyd Baker.

Kirby Gobble of Abingdon, Va., cruised to his seventh consecutive Mod 4 feature win over Rocky Yates, Billy Duty, Hershell Robinette and James Deese.

Rusty Clendenin of Church Hill continued his winning ways in Rookie Pure 4 action as he captured his fifth straight victory and, seventh overall this season. Clendenin was chased to the checkered flag by Brandon Crumbley, Jonathan Faris, Michael “Mook” Jeter and William Hale.

Kingsport Speedway PR