KINGSPORT, Tenn. — With scattered rain around the East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region threatening once again this summer to wash racing out at Kingsport Speedway, showers steered clear of The Concrete Jungle and fans were treated to one of the wildest nights of racing action this season.
Nate Monteith entered the night of racing atop the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock point leaderboard, while also sitting fifth nationally in points and leading the Tennessee state standings.
The 30-year-old further aided his cause by winning both twin 30-lap events on Xtreme Trophies and More Night at the Races for his 10th visit to victory lane this season and 67th career victory.
Matt Bowling, current points leader at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, made his first-ever appearance at the track look like he was a seasoned veteran with many laps under his belt as he set fast-time at 15.279 seconds over the stellar 25-car NASCAR Whelen All-American Series “Dalton Direct Carpets” Late Model Stock field.
With an invert-four following qualifying, Adam Long and Lee Tissot brought the field to green from the front row. Completing the opening lap, Long and Tissot were battling for the lead side-by-side, while behind them Bowling, Monteith and Zeke Shell were in tow.
Long cleared Tissot to assume the lead on lap three racing into the first turn, and just two circuits later Monteith got around Bowling for the third spot racing off the second corner.
With Long in command riding out front, he suddenly slowed exiting the fourth turn to bring the caution out on lap seven following his car making contact with the inside retaining wall, which resulted in a flat left-side tire.
Tissot led Monteith, Bowling, Shell and Paul Nogradi, Jr. on the ensuing restart. Back up to speed, action was fast-and-furious back through the field amongst several competitors. But up front the focus was on the battle for the lead, with Monteith getting to inside of Tissot to challenge for the lead on lap 11 racing into the first turn. You just can’t beat good short-track racing featuring door-to-door action for the lead, and Tissot and Monteith dueled for four circuits before Monteith moved into the lead on lap 15 racing off turn two.
The top-seven of Monteith, Tissot, Bowling, Shell, Nogradi, Blake Jones and Anthony Anders were running nose-to-tail around the .375-mile banked concrete oval when caution waved on lap 19 after Wayne Hale spun in turn four.
Going back green Monteith was primed-and-ready for an 11-lap sprint to the checkers. Getting up through the gears on the restart without spinning the rear tires under acceleration off turn four, Monteith clicked off consistent laps without making a mistake to win over Tissot, Bowling, Shell and Nogradi.
Anders, Jones, Hayden Woods, Ryan Stiltner and Robbie Ferguson completed the top-10 finishers.
Shell and Bowling led the field to start in the second 30-lap feature from the front row, with Shell moving into the lead over Bowling while Monteith and Tissot battled for the third spot. Caution quickly waved in the event on lap two, which turned into a red-flag situation, after Tiffany Walker backed into the outside concrete wall at exit of turn two. Complaining of back and neck pain, emergency personnel were forced to cut the roof away from the car before extricating her to receive treatment.
Shell led Bowling, Monteith, Tissot and Nogradi on the restart. Monteith got around Bowling for second racing off the fourth turn on lap four, leaving the door open for Tissot to waltz right on in to take over third and dropping Bowling back to fourth in the running order. Monteith got to inside of Shell to pass for the lead on lap six racing off (turn) two, leaving Shell to battle trying to hold his ground over Tissot. Shell lost the spot to Tissot on lap eight, with Tissot setting his sights ahead on leader Monteith.
During a long green flag run, both Monteith and Tissot separated themselves from their closest challengers to hold right at a three-quarters straightaway advantage over Bowling, Shell and Nogradi when caution waved on lap 20 after Nogradi spun between turns one and two.
Back under green, Monteith hit his marks over the final 10 circuits to complete the sweep of both feature races in winning over Tissot, Bowling, Long and Anders.
Completing the top-10 finishers were Jones, Shell, Woods, Ferguson and Stiltner.
John Harrell (street stocks), Keith Helton (Pure 4), Tyler Goodwin (Legends Car) and Brandon Byington (Rookie Pure 4) were also winners Friday.