Full night of racing excitement at Newport Speedway
Last updated: 12:10 PM, 04/01/2009
NEWPORT, TN. - One rainy week away from
Newport Speedway gave race fans and drivers a
needed opportunity to rekindle their cars and
spirits. As a result, race spirit spilled all
over the 4/10-mile Newport Raceway in one of
the wildest nights of racing the speedway has
A season-best 19 Late Model cars signed in
for twin 35-lap feature races. In what was a
pre-cursor of the evening theme, there was
trouble on the opening lap.
Bill Holt of Blairsville, GA and Mark Ketron
of Kingsport, TN each qualified with times of
13.270 seconds (108.515 miles per hour).
Ketron would start from the pole position
with Holt outside row one. Outside was the
bad side as Holt bobbled in turn four, spun
and was subsequently pile-driven by five
After the carnage had been removed, Holt,
Randy Ollis of Candler, Toby Hopkins of
Hendersonville, NC and Kyle Broadbent of
Spruce Pine, NC were all out. Duane Reese of
Black Mountain, NC suffered damage but
With many of the top contenders out of
action, Mark Ketron rolled out to a 10-length
lead. Second place Jamie Sutton held off
Dennis Queen of Waynesville, NC and Mitch
West of Marshall.
Sutton lost that position to West on a lap 24
restart brought out when Queen spun the
lapped car of newcomer Bill Lane from
Kingsport. West, who started seventh, reeled
Two additional caution flags late in the race
gave West opportunities to overtake Ketron,
but his Chevrolet Monte Carlo suffered a cut
tire late in the race allowing Ketron to pull
away and win for the seventh time by 1.63
seconds over Sutton. Reece recovered from the
opening lap melee to finish third while Queen
settled for fourth ahead of Ketron's brother
John, who scored his best finish of the
season in fifth place. West fell to sixth as
he limped across the finish line.
A streamlined field of 13 battled after the
midnight hour in Twin 2. Queen started from
the pole position and found himself under
fire from Sutton, West and Ketron and Reese
in a wild five-car scramble that lasted into
Ketron and Sutton lost position as both were
penalized for causing a lap 12 caution when
Sutton sent Ketron spinning through turn two.
West moved ahead to third on the start and
passed Reese for second moments later.
Sutton found himself relegated to the back of
the grid for the second time when he spun
John Ketron, again the incident occurring
exiting turn two. West won the battle through
the gear box and passed Queen with 15 laps
Reese followed West taking second. A late
spin set up a two-lap dash to the finish
line. West held on for his second win of the
season, besting Reese, Queen, Ketron and
Chalk up another Super Late Model win for the
"locals." One week ago, Buddy Ball of Cosby,
TN broke the North Carolina/Knoxville, TN
strangle hold on the Super Late Model class
by leading all 60 laps en route to his first
win of 2001.
Ball won the pole position through inversion
and for the second race in succession, found
himself at the head of a challenging 15-car
field. Those 15 qualifers compiled the
fastest and deepest starting grid this season
at Newport as Weaverville racer Jeff Myers
scorched the Newport asphalt with a clocking
of 12.790 (112.588 mph) seconds to win fast
Ball would fall under attack immediately as
point leader Brian Payne of Knoxville
hungered for his first win since May of this
year. Myers charged early, pressing Payne as
Mike Pressley of Candler became the third
racer on the rear deck of the leader.
Myers would be the first to fall, looping in
turn three during lap 13. Ball, Payne and
Pressley raced away from Weaverville's Jeremy
Bailey and Ronnie Romines of Knoxville.
Pressley overhauled Payne during lap 19.
Bailey attempted to keep Payne trapped on the
outside edge, but spun the Payne Chevrolet
forcing the third caution of the night. Both
drivers were charged with necessitating the
caution period and restarted at the back of
Pressley had actually grabbed the lead away
from Ball on lap 22, but Myers spun for the
second time forcing caution flag number five.
Ball reassumed the lead when Payne pitted and
Pressley parked his Monte Carlo for the night
with unknown mechanical problems.
Romines made his charge at Ball, but the
former track champion sporting the lone Ford
Taurus in the field fell behind by 6.30
seconds. Myers, worked his Monte Carlo
through traffic for the second time during
the 60-lap main event and passed Romines with
12 laps remaining.
Ball had his lead trimmed to 1.1 seconds at
the finish, but that was more than enough
working margin to capture his second win in
succession. The Cosby driver has led the last
120 laps at Newport.
Myers and Romines had a post race incident
but retained their second- and third-place
finish. Wayne Webb of Cosby had his best
effort since opening night, placing fourth.
Kevin McCurry also completed one of his best
outings in recent weeks, rounding out the top
An evening of wild race action and wild
demolition continued in the Rookie division.
Jerry Brock of Corbin, KY led Clint Watkins
of Waynesville as the field worked the final
lap. During lap 20, third-place Steve Penley
of Leicester, NC and Jimmy Elliott Jr. of
Woodbine, KY hit in turn three. Elliott Jr.
had his Pontiac Firebird flip upside-down in
turn three as Penley's machine lay prone in
Richard Snoddy of Etowah, NC, Dave Reece of
Canton, NC, Phillip York of Asheville and Tim
Masters of Asheville each slammed into the
pile forcing the red flag to fly. Elliott Jr.
was pulled immediately from his prone racer
and all parties involved escaped serious harm
in the wreck.
After a 15-minute delay, five of the original
14 starters found themselves in a one-lap
trophy dash. Brock bested Watkins to the
finish, but lost out on a race win during
Watkins was awarded his first win of 2001
besting Eugene Norton of Marshall and
Jonathan Fleming of Fletcher, NC.
It was a mild-mannered Street Stock race with
no wild crashes or crazy finishes. John Clark
did not seem to mind an uneventful drive to
his second win in succession.
Roger Powell of Asheville took the early lead
from his pole position. Clark passed Donnie
Buckner of Asheville and subsequently
overtook Clark by lap four. Clark eased out
to a 15-length advantage as Powell fell under
fire from Sevierville racer Dave Hans as well
as Mark Rader of Morristown, the only driver
of the top five challengers who has not
scored a win in 2001.
The second and last caution of the race
occurred with eight laps remaining. Hans blew
a motor in his Monte Carlo and lost out on
another possible top -five finish. Rader took
control of second place when he forced
Powell's Camaro to the top of the raceway.
By the time Rader had cleared Powell, Clark
had amassed a 4.0-second lead which Rader
trimmed to less than two seconds at the
Point leader Spencer Lemmerman continued to
forge his way to a track championship with
his third place finish. Marty Taylor of
Keavy, KY rounded out the top five.
Both a big crash and a spectacular finish in
Winston Mini activity. An opening lap
collision collected four cars in the 13-car
Billy Morie of Morristown raced into first
place on the restart, but was quickly
overwhelmed by Jackie Miller of Wise, VA.
Newcomer Jeff Singletary of Wilmington, VA
joined the fray as three cars battled for the
win. Miller dominated but began to fade late.
Singletary made up enough ground to have an
opportunity for a last lap pass. The
Wilmington driver charged through the final
turn and dropped to the apron of the raceway
trying to shorten the distance to the finish
Miller held on by less than three feet as
Singletary's charge came up short. Morie
crossed the stripe less then .5 seconds
behind the top finishing pair. Tony Taylor of
Candler and Josh Gant of Swannanoa, NC
rounded out the top five.
Thirty Enduro cars, thirty laps and no
caution flags. Danny Tracy of Newport found
that recipe to his liking as he looked to
earn his first Enduro win of 2001.
Tracy overhauled three-time winner Thomas
Cooke of Marshall during lap three and looked
to be on his way to that maiden win.
An inordinate quantity of lapped traffic can
change the complexion of an Enduro race
quickly. For Tracy, three lapped cars spun in
front of his Monte Carlo exiting turn two
with eight laps to go, ending his bid for a
Cooke maintained his charge, grabbed the lead
and wedged two lapped cars between his
Oldsmobile Omega and second place Charles
Allen of Marshall to win his fourth event of
Mike Presnell of Cosby trailed Allen by less
than one length at the finish. Sonny
Leatherwood of Hartford and Chad McGaha of
Newport trailed the leader by over one-half
lap at the finish, but claimed the remainder
of the top five positions.
Results From Saturday August 11, 2001
Super Late Model (60 laps)
1. Buddy Ball, Cosby, TN, 60;
2. Jeff Myers, Weaverville, NC, 60;
3. Ronnie Romines, Knoxville, TN, 60;
4. Wayne Webb, Cosby, TN, 60;
5. Kevin McCurry, Candler, NC, 60;
6. Brian Payne, Knoxville, TN, 60;
7. Ed Surrett, Asheville, NC, 60;
8. Jeremy Bailey, Weaverville, NC, 59;
9. Clyde Flowers, Asheville, NC, 59;
10. Chad Garrett, Asheville, NC, 58;
11. Jonathan Storms, Woodbine, KY, 58;
12. Mike Pressley, Candler, NC, 3;
13. Jerry Mears, Leicester, NC, 60;
14. Burt Cable, Maryville, TN, DNS;
15. Mike Bargo, Corbin, KY, DNS.
Lap Leaders: Ball 1-60.
Fast Qualifier: Myers 12.790 seconds (112.588
miles per hour).
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