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Kerr scores big win at Volunteer Speedway

By admin | May 10, 2009

Kerr beats stellar field for ‘Friday Night Fights’ Volunteer Speedway victory


By Robert Walden


BULLS GAP, Tenn. (May 8) — With threatening weather all around the East Tennessee region throughout much of the daytime on Friday and continuing into the late-evening hours, somehow Volunteer Speedway was spared the wrath of Mother Nature. Within just a few miles of the track heavy rain was falling along with streaked lightning illuminating the skies off in the distance, while numerous funnel-cloud sightings were being reported by the National Weather Service, who had placed much of the region under tornado warnings.


Neither adverse weather conditions nor a stellar field of competitors proved to be a formidable challenger to Tommy Kerr of Maryville, as he was the last-man-standing following the “TSC Cars” Super Late Model 50-lap main event presented by Pizza Plus … earning $3,000 for the victory along with rights to be first driver to wear the title belt as “Friday Night Fights” champion.


Chad Ogle paced the 28-car field of Super Late Models in time-trials to nail-down the pole position after running a quick lap of 12.530-seconds (115.116 mph). The fastest 16 qualifiers were locked into the feature while the remainder of the 24-car starting lineup was determined through a 12-lap B-main, which was won by Steve Smith.


Rick Rogers jumped into the early lead over Kerr on the opening lap racing off turn two, with Ogle, Shon Flanary and Joe Armes in tow. Flanary slipped high in turn four on the fifth circuit, allowing Armes to drive under him into the fourth position.


With Rogers riding on the point, on lap 6 the cars of Bryan Hendrix and Jeff Neubert tangled directly in front of the leaders in turn two, forcing Rogers to loop his mount to avoid making contact with Hendrix and Neubert. As the caution was displayed, the cars involved would be relegated to the tail of the field for the restart, thus putting a damper on Rogers’ chances at victory.


Going back green the new leader was Kerr, who was closely followed by Ogle, Armes, Flanary and David Crabtree. Just three laps back up to speed, Armes slowed down the backstretch entering the third turn and stopped up high in the banking between (turns) three and four to bring out the caution.


With Armes dropping out of the top five in the running order, that moved Mark Vineyard into fifth place behind leader Kerr, Ogle, Flanary and Crabtree. Back green and before one lap could be completed the yellow flag was unfurled yet again, as racing into the third turn contact from behind sent Flanary spinning up the banking after contact from Crabtree.


Back under green Kerr remained on the point followed by Ogle, Crabtree, Vineyard and Rodney Kiker. Just behind the top-five a furious battle for position was being fought between Jeff Maupin, Dale Ball, Michael Smith, Brandon Kinzer, Kerry Jones and Vic Hill.


Ball was looking under Maupin in the corners while Smith had a rearview mirror full of Kinzer, with Kinzer getting around Smith for eighth on lap 13. Contact between Maupin and Kiker on lap 14 off turn two saw Maupin spin down to the inside wall on the backstretch, bringing out the caution.


The top five on the restart were Kerr, Ogle, Crabtree, Vineyard and Kiker. While they were running in single-file, rim-riding up high through the corners and rocketing down the straightaways, just behind them the man on the move was Hill, who started 15th and passed Smith to move into eighth on lap 16.


Ball and Kinzer battled side-by-side and door-to-door all the way around the track, never touching, for five laps … with Hill lurking behind the duo waiting to see who to follow. Kinzer finally dropped back in line behind Ball on lap 22, but he had Hill breathing down his neck trying to advance a position. Racing off turn two on lap 30, Hill passed Kinzer for seventh. Just one circuit later, Hill made the move past Ball into sixth. With Kiker directly in front riding in fifth, Hill continued charging forward as he passed Kiker on lap 33 for position.


Meanwhile, up front Kerr maintained the lead over Ogle, but by only four car lengths with ten laps remaining in the 50-lapper. With the leaders working lapped traffic, Ogle was just hoping Kerr would make a mistake. Hill was hard on the throttle, passing both Vineyard and Crabtree in the final five laps to settle into third.


Kerr, driving the Turner Industrial Supply Inc./Explosive Specialists Inc./Stowers CAT/Insurance Partners/ Bearden Oil Co./Ohlins Shocks/Bert Transmission/Storie Manifolds/Hoosier Racing Tires/Custom Race Engines/Blount Motorsports/Rocket Chassis/No. 4T Chevrolet Impala SS, would not be denied a visit to victory lane as he held off Ogle, Hill, Crabtree and Kiker for the $3,000 Friday Night Fights win.


Completing the top 10 finishers were Vineyard, Kinzer, Smith, Ball and Shannon Thornsberry.


Jonesborough’s Jerry Broyles recorded his first-ever “Courtesy Chevrolet” Pro Late Model feature win last fall in the track’s final race of the season, and he carried that momentum over into his first appearance of 2009 to now be the proud owner of a two-race win streak. Broyles grabbed the lead on the opening lap over pole-sitter Jensen Ford, and the 25-lap feature turned into a two-car battle up front among the duo.


With the race running caution-free, on several occasions Ford would stick the nose of his car up under Broyles racing off the corners. But the veteran Broyles slammed the door shut on each of the “young gun” Ford’s attempts to complete the pass for the lead. As the leaders worked lapped traffic just five circuits from the finish, Ford hoped to trap Broyles behind slower cars and then make his move to overtake Broyles for the point. However, Broyles would not be denied as he held off the determined Ford for the feature win. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Vic Chandler, Ricky Moore and Jackie Hughes.


Jason Welshan appeared headed to victory in the Steel-Head Late Model feature, leading the first 16 laps until his engine erupted in smoke. Capitalizing on the situation, Mark Leach of Andersonville, who had started alongside Welshan on the front row, brought the scheduled 25-lapper to a premature conclusion on lap 18 when Oscar McGown’s powerplant expired. Hugh Scalf’s motor had let go earlier in the race, thus leaving Leach alone on the track ahead of McGown, Welshan and Scalf to capture his first-ever victory at “The Gap.”


It’s said one’s first taste of victory is the sweetest! And it also goes without saying that Ray Jarnigan, from Thornhill, will never forget his first-ever “McDonald’s” Hobby Stock feature win. Jarnigan brought out the broom for a clean-sweep as he recorded fast-time in qualifying to earn the pole position for the 20-lap event, and he led flag-to-flag in winning over Mark Sturgill, Dennis Metcalf, Roger Hunter and Jamie Whitt.


Friday Night Fights at Volunteer Speedway paying $3,000-to-win in Super Late Models continues on Friday, May 15 … along with racing in Pro Late Model, Steel-Head Late Model and Hobby Stock. For more information, visit the track Web site at




1.      Tommy Kerr #4T-Maryville, TN

2.      Chad Ogle #10-Sevierville, TN

3.      Vic Hill #1-Morristown, TN

4.      David Crabtree #41-Maryville, TN

5.      Rodney Kiker #25-Greeneville, TN

6.      Mark Vineyard #4v-Powell, TN

7.      Brandon Kinzer #18-Allen, KY

8.      Michael Smith #4-Rogersville, TN

9.      Dale Ball #7-Johnson City, TN

10.  Shannon Thornsberry #17-Martin, KY

11.  Kerry Jones #6-Bristol, TN

12.  Rick Rogers #44-Knoxville, TN

13.  Chris Chandler #8-Weaverville, NC

14.  Jeff Neubert #30-Rockford, TN

15.  Shon Flanary #98-Mount Carmel, TN

16.  Joe Armes #77-Petros, TN

17.  Anthony White #2x-Clinton, TN

18.  Brad Coffey #88-Maryville, TN

19.  Steve Smith #3-Powell, TN

20.  Chris Meadows #33-Beckley, WV

21.  Bryan Hendrix #5-Knoxville, TN

22.  Jeff Maupin #0-Greeneville, TN

23.  Mike Hill #11-Rockwood, TN

24.  Randy Weaver #116-Crossville, TN


B-main results: 1) Steve Smith #3; 2) Randy Weaver #116; 3) Anthony White #2x; 4) Chris Meadows #33; 5) Mike Hill #11; 6) Brad Coffey #88; 7) Chris Chandler #8; 8) Jeff Neubert #30; 9) John Tweed #5T; 10) Brandon James #j1; 11) Larry Blankenship #32; 12) Daniel Baggerly #16


Did Not Make Field: John Tweed #5T-Greeneville, TN; Brandon James #j1-Newport, TN; Larry Blankenship #32-Mooresville, NC; Daniel Baggerly #16-Wytheville, VA




1) Jerry Broyles #72; 2) Jensen Ford #83; 3) Vic Chandler #88; 4) Ricky Moore #75; 5) Jackie Hughes #27; 6) Joe “Dirt” Good #911; 7) Heath Alvey #7; 8) Todd Brooks #T1; 9) Brian Westmoreland #8; 10) Tim Byrd #24; 11) Ken Wilkerson #21; 12) Dale Ball #2




1) Mark Leach #66; 2) Oscar McGown #11; 3) Jason Welshan #29; 4) Hugh “Wishbone” Scalf #56




1) Ray Jarnigan #73; 2) Mark Sturgill #4; 3) Dennis Metcalf #55; 4) Roger Hunter #7-11; 5) Jamie Whitt #j1; 6) Bobby Reed #54; 7) Mike Kelley #8; 8) Dwayne Sumner #16; 9) Chris Long #75; 10) Jesse Wilder #79; 11) Charlie Bates #27; 12) Devin Helton #17h; 13) Patrick Flannery #38; 14) Dale Reed #52; 15) Chuck Johnson #17; 16) Brandon Crawford #71; 17) Everett Cobb #13; 18) Duke Bare #B4; 19) Emory Harvey #74 – Did Not Start: Rick Fillers #21; Bradley Lewelling #10m


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