His No. 15 Chevrolet set the fast time in qualifying at 15.085 seconds (89.493 mph) around the 3/8-mile concrete oval, but he started fifth in the Late Model Stock feature after an inversion of the top-five qualifiers.
No problem, as VanDyke quickly worked his way to second place and then passed leader Robbie Ferguson’s No. 7 Ford on a double-file restart on lap 25. Once out front, the Abingdon, Va., driver pulled away to win by 10 car lengths over Zeke Shell and Ferguson.
VanDyke, the defending track champion, said the car felt good from the time he and the crew unloaded it off the trailer. With the veteran Ferguson lined up beside him on the restart, he knew he had to take advantage of the opportunity to get around him.
"I love racing against Robbie. We’ve raced against each other and I’ve watched him for years," VanDyke said. "It’s hard to get around Robbie and he’s not going to leave the door open for long, so you have to take it when you can it."
In a battle of Washington County drivers, Shell from Johnson City also made the pass of Jonesborough racer Ferguson after the two battled side-by-side for several laps. He was particularly complimentary of the way they raced each other.
"He put up a good battle," Shell said. "Not many people can battle side-by-side that late in the race and trade paint as little as we did. It was a good race and I enjoyed it."
Shell had won the previous two races at Kingsport. However, his No. 1 Ford was a little off the pace of the VanDyke’s Chevy. Shell said it was a result of missing the set-up, which caused a bad push in the turns.
"It was our own doing where we tried something new, so I can go home with my head held high," Shell said. "There is no speed limit in racing, so I’m not going to stop until I don’t have to lift off the gas. We’ll come back next week with something new and hopefully find something that can’t be beat."
Ferguson was also a little off on his car’s set-up. After the last race on May 10, the track announced a rules change to give the teams an option to run built shocks more in line with other NASCAR tracks instead of a standard shock that was being used solely at Kingsport.
"The last race, I had an idea what I needed to work on," Ferguson said. "By the time that piece came in, the rules changed on the shocks. We’re not like a Monster Cup team where we have a bunch of parts on the shelf. We made some calls and got some shocks over here. But the 1 and the 15 continue to set the benchmark and that’s who we have to beat."
REST OF THE TOP 10
Two-time track champion Ronnie McCarty and Bluff City driver Wayne Hale rounded out the top five.
Nik Williams was sixth, followed by Bryson Dennis, Joey Trent, Dillon Hodge and Darin Silver. Williams and Trent raced the previous weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, while Silver had his uncle, local racing legend Brad Teague, in his pits helping with the No. 12 Chevrolet.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Hodge, a 15-year-old Sullivan South student, provided a glimpse into the future with an intense side-by-side battle with pole sitter Trey Bayne, the 14-year-old brother of NASCAR Cup Series driver Trevor Bayne.
Bayne finished 13th after getting spun by Derek Lane, which brought out the race’s only caution. But Hodge was thrilled with their earlier battle and also to bring his loose-handling race car home with a top-10 finish.
"I battled Trey for a lot of laps and it was awesome," Hodge said. "I guess it looked like two veterans out there. It’s hard to believe we’re 14 and 15 years old out here competing with these guys. We both still have a lot to learn and there’s plenty to be gained. It just takes a little time and experience to get there."
Brad Ball of Abingdon recovered from an early spin to win the Mod 4 feature. Keith Helton from Kingsport won the Pure 4 race, while Nick Cole of Bristol was the Mod Street winner after the top three cars got in a wreck as the result of a lapped car blowing an engine and dumping oil on the track.
Jay Swecker was awarded the Pure Street win after the top two cars failed post-race inspection. Jeremy Mullins won a 10-lap match race over Calvin Crabtree in Vintage cars.
(Results unofficial, will Be certified Monday)
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES
Late Model Stock Car (60 laps)
1. Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA 2. Zeke Shell #1-Johnson City, TN 3. Robbie Ferguson #7-Jonesborough, TN 4. Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN 5. Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN 6. Nik Williams #32-Greeneville, TN 7. Bryson Dennis #15-Greeneville, TN 8. Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN 9. Dillon Hodge #5-Kingsport, TN 10. Darin Silver #12-Spruce Pine, NC 11. Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN 12. Derek Lane #28-Kingsport, TN 13. Trey Bayne #21-Knoxville, TN 14. Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN 15. Austin Brooks #7-Kingsport, TN 16. Mardy Roberts #55-Kingsport, TN
MODIFIED STREET (30 laps)
1. Nick Cole #63 2. Chase Dixon #07 3. Royce Peters #42 4. Rusty Clendenin #27 5. Alex Miller #37 6. Hannah Seal #55 7. Dennis Deese #24 8. Derek Lane #48 9. Joshua Gobble #88 10. Trey Lane #9 11. Gene Griffith #19 12. Sammy Ferguson #1 13. Steven Roark #27
PURE 4 (30 laps)
1. Keith Helton #9 2. Kenny Absher #11 3. Brandon Sutherland #48 4. Billy Byington #11 5. William Hale #47 6. Paul Stanley #40 7. Bruce Crumbley #33 8. Jimmy Thomas #20 9. Craig Phelps #00 10. Dennis Stanley #21 11. Bret Hall #7 12. Larry Stapleton #15 13. Josh Detwiler #38 14. David Trent #57 15. #11 16. Bucky Smith #99 17. Chris Stine #10 18. Brian Eggers #13
MOD 4 (30 laps)
1. Brad Ball #17 2. Kevin Canter #3 3. David Brown #77 4. Dennis Arnold #7 5. Zack Fritz #22 6. Chris Amburgey #17 7. Dalton Thomas #22 8. Billy Duty #1 9. Jessie Amburgey #7 10. James Deese #14 11. Hershell Robinette #9 12. Chris Coleman #20 13. Kirby Gobble #78 14. Jimmy Acito #57
PURE STREET (25 laps)
1. Jay Swecker #77 2. Brian Eggers #74 3. Dustin Smith #5 4. Kevin Darnell #4 5. Jessica Payne #12
Did Not Pass Post-Race Technical Inspection: David Strong #53, Chris Neeley #2
VINTAGE (20 laps)
1. Jeremy Mullins #06 2. Calvin Crabtree #16
Did Not Start: Tim Austin #11, Will Vannoy #72