Shell Survives For Kingsport Stock Car Score

Zeke Shell in victory lane Friday at Kingsport Speedway. (Randall Perry Photo)
Zeke Shell in victory lane Friday at Kingsport Speedway. (Randall Perry Photo)

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Zeke Shell earned his first win of the season at Kingsport Speedway in late model stock car competition Friday night.

Joey Trent earned the late model stock car pole qualifying award with a fast-time of 15.140 seconds, but with the roll of the dice the top four qualifiers were inverted for the 60-lap feature.

Shell and Bryson Dennis started from the front row, with Shell jumping out to the lead over Dennis, Nik Williams, Trent, Wayne Hale and Derek Lane. Williams was pressuring Dennis trying move up to second and all the while out front leader Shell was putting several car lengths between himself and closest challengers. Racing into the first turn on lap five, Williams made his move to the inside of Dennis to take away the second spot.

With Shell riding on the point with Williams in pursuit, a good four-car battle for position was taking place between Dennis, Trent, Hale and Lane. Williams closed the distance between himself and Shell on lap 22 as he pulled to the leader’s back bumper. At the halfway point in the race, Shell and Williams had pulled away to a full straightaway advantage over Dennis, Trent, Hale and Lane.

Williams, already a three-time winner this season and not wanting to just ride behind Shell, on several occasions stuck his nose to the inside of the leader as they raced off the corners. But each time Shell managed to close the door and maintain his position. The last thing Shell wanted to see was a late race caution, but that’s what happened when Trent and Hale got together between turns three and four on lap 51 with both cars spinning.

Shell chose the inside line for the double-file restart and back under green he and Williams raced into the first turn, with Shell getting the advantage to retake the lead. Williams wasn’’t going to be defeated without giving up a fight, that much was a given.

With each attempt Williams tried in getting around Shell, the race-long leader thwarted. Behind Shell and Williams the action was intense, just good ol’ short-track racing. Racing is a contact sport, and contact was definitely occurring involving the quartet of Dennis, Hale, Trent and Lane.

Shell received the white flag with Williams glued to his back bumper. A little contact between turns one and two allowed Williams to get a good run on Shell racing up off turn two down the backstretch.

Shell held his line going into the corner and quickly picked the throttle back up to power off the fourth turn headed to the checkered flag to record the victory over Williams. They were followed by Dennis, Hale, Trent and Lane.

Other winners on Friday night at Kingsport included Royce Peters (modified street), Bruce Crumbley (pure 4), Kevin Canter (mod 4) and Tony Dockery (pure street).