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Byrd edges Maupin, wins second straight at The Gap

By Jeff Birchfield • Jul 23, 2019 at 9:18 PM

It seems only the weather can slow down Tim Byrd these days.

Byrd, a Jonesborough racer, held off Johnson City driver Tim Maupin for his second straight flag-to-flag victory in the Crate Late Model division at Volunteer Speedway on Saturday night. It was the third straight week when Byrd was fastest in qualifying; rainy weather washed out the races the previous Saturday.

With the skies staying clear this time around, Byrd’s blue No. 24 Chevrolet again rolled around the four-tenths-mile, Bulls Gap dirt track in 12.959 seconds. He jumped out to an early lead over outside pole-sitter Gary Crittenden before Maupin emerged as his chief challenger.

Maupin got around Crittenden for second place and then applied the pressure to Byrd. While Maupin made up ground in the turns, Byrd was faster on the straightaways and held him off.

Another Jonesborough racer, Bobby Mays, qualified fourth and was running in the top five when involved in a multicar accident with Crittenden, Jordon Horton and Mike Smith on lap 24. Smith’s car flipped multiple times before coming to rest on the frontstretch. The Rogersville racer emerged uninjured from his badly damaged car.

Horton finished third, followed by Tyler Arrington and Ross White. Johnson City’s Jackie Hughes was ninth, and Mays ended 15th in the 16-driver field after the accident.

Jody Horton of Sneedville emerged from a large field of 27 entries to win his first Sportsman Late Model feature of the season. Horton led all 25 laps, although he had a serious challenge from Rex Coffey, who made repeated attempts to pass throughout the race.

Chris Coffey, James Parrott and Chris Raines rounded out the top five.

David Clark of Tazewell won for the fourth time this season in Modified Street. Eric Hux and Shannon Emery completed the top three after Gary Blanken, who crossed the finish line in second, had the wheelbase on his car fail post-race inspection.

There was another disqualification in Street Stock when apparent winner Chris Brady refused to have his car go through post-race inspection. The outcome handed the victory to Tazewell driver Jonathan Miracle.

Kentucky driver John Stevens continued his domination of the Classic division, and North Carolina racer Tim Bristol won in Mini Stock.

Another six-division weekly program is set for this Saturday.

ATTENTION MOPAR DRIVERS

Kingsport Speedway is hosting Mopar Street Car Night this Friday with Dodge, Plymouth, Chrysler and Ram owners able to drive their cars, trucks and other Mopar vehicles around the three-eighths-mile concrete oval before the start of the night’s races.

Action continues to stay heated at the “Concrete Jungle.”

Keith Helton and defending division champion Bruce Crumbley are in a virtual dead heat for the Pure 4 season points lead. Crumbley entered last Friday with a one-point lead over Helton only to see Helton win the race and Crumbley finish second.

Chuckey’s Nik Williams still leads the Late Model Stock class. Defending track champ Zeke Shell of Johnson City has a five-point lead over Gray’s Joey Trent for second.

BRISTOL DRAGWAY

Brendan Nuttall of Rutledge scored the home-track victory at Bristol Dragway in the 11-year-old category during the NHRA Jr. Drag League Eastern Conference Finals. Nuttall defeated Grant Cook, the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals champion, in the championship round.

Racers from Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania also picked up victories. Numidia (Pennsylvania) Dragway repeated as team champ.

Music takes center stage this Saturday in the form of the sold-out concert for country music legends Alabama at the Thunder Valley Amphitheater at Bristol Dragway.

HOT SUMMER NIGHTS

Round 11 of the Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series is scheduled for Saturday at the Appalachian Fairgrounds.

Local points leaders include Alton Clark of Johnson City (ATV Novice), Jake Hillman of Jonesborough (51 cc Open), Laken Cox of Limestone (65cc Beginner) and Anthony Fields of Bluff City in two classes.

Contact Jeff Birchfield by emailing [email protected]

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