Kingsport Times-News: Arrington digs the dirt, wins in Clay Valley grand opening
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Arrington digs the dirt, wins in Clay Valley grand opening

Kevin Mays • Mar 24, 2019 at 1:39 AM

COEBURN — Tyler Arrington survived five caution laps and a field of 10 cars Saturday to win the Crate Late Model division in the first dirt-track racing at Clay Valley Speedway.

The former asphalt track known as Lonesome Pine Raceway was dormant for the past couple of years before new owners purchased it and converted it to a dirt track.

ARRINGTON WINS FEATURE

Saturday was the track’s grand opening and featured racing on a dirt surface for the first time in the storied venue’s history.

The facility first opened in 1972 and has been closed and reopened multiple times since, but previously always as an asphalt oval.

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Arrington held off Shane Blaney to take the win in the 25-lap featured race.

For the first race on the track’s clay, Arrington said the surface held up pretty well.

“It was a little dry, but it will come around and they’ll make it better,” he said. “I know it was a little dusty for the fans, but it’s going to get better.”

BIG BANG

The only crash of the day came in the Late Model race when Shane Kitzmiller of Blountville tagged the inside wall heading down the frontstretch.

The big bang tore up the front end of the vehicle and put Kitzmiller behind the wall.

Justin King of Neon, Ky., held on for the Late Model win.

“I really didn’t think I had much of a chance today,” King said. “We only have a steel block motor in this car. But I’m excited. This is going to be good, I think.”

OTHER WINNERS

In other races, Parker Estes of Jonesville became the first female winner on the dirt track surface after holding off Morristown’s Austin Adkins to capture the Super Street event.

The win was also the first career victory for Estes.

“This is a great place to get your first win,” she said.

Michael Howard of Salyersville, Ky., took the checkered flag in the Open Wheel Modifieds.

After two early caution laps, Howard jumped to the point and held on from there.

Howard said the track takes some getting used to.

“It’s different,” he said. “With a little work, I think it’s going to be a great place to come race.”

BACK IN ACTION NEXT WEEKEND

Racing action at Clay Valley is scheduled to resume next Saturday with a full slate of divisions.

Gates open at noon for spectators and hot laps are scheduled to begin around 2 p.m. Qualifying is follow, with division races scheduled immediately after qualifying.

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