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Hawkins racers reign at Cherokee Race Park

Jeff Birchfield • Oct 3, 2018 at 2:43 AM

Cherokee Race Park recently wrapped up its weekly points racing and drivers from Hawkins and Sullivan counties were among the top finishers at the Rogersville dragstrip.

Hawkins County drivers dominated the Pro (Box) division in the IHRA Summit SuperSeries points standings, taking the top six spots. Gale Lumpkins of Bean Station drove his Plymouth Barracuda to the season championship. Zack Helton of Rogersville finished second, followed by Bulls Gap’s Randy Marrisett, Church Hill’s Randall Hawkins, Rogersville’s Dustin Light and Mooresburg’s Scotty Fields.

Eric Carpenter of Morristown piloted his Chevrolet Nova to the Mod (Box) division title. Chris Lumpkins of Rogersville was second and Dean Williams of Kingsport third. Bulls Gap’s Bill Turner, Morristown’s Jackie Carter and Rogersville’s Steve Helton rounded out the top six.

All the champions qualified for the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals in Memphis. The most prestigious national championship in bracket racing features $20,000-to-win for the Box and No Box world champions, as well as a prize package that includes an eight-day, seven-night trip to Aruba.

Cherokee Race Park has a special day of racing Saturday. Gates open at noon and time trials start at 2 p.m. for the event featuring the Box, No Box and Quick 8 divisions. The track also is hosting a reunion Sunday where drivers past and present are encouraged to share photos. The track is providing hot dogs and coleslaw and asks racers to bring a covered dish.


Elizabethton driver Carl Widner won his third straight Sportsman division championship in the DER Bracket Series at Bristol.

Seth Street of Richlands won the Super Pro title on a tiebreaker after he and Josh Dykes both ended with 363 points. Street lost the Pro division on a tiebreaker to Tim Griffith of Cedar Bluff, Va.

Other champions were Eric Colley of Bristol in the Trophy division and Russell Justus of Knoxville in Motorcycle. Junior Dragster titles went to Radford’s Forrest Radford (Division 1), Blountville’s Carley Brown (Division 2) and Hampton’s Dru Owens (Division 3).


Kingsport Speedway hosts the Southeast Super Truck Series and the Gripp Limited Late Model Series on Saturday.

The Southeast Legends cars plus the Pure Street and Pure 4 divisions also are set for action at the three-eighths-mile concrete oval. Practice starts at 1 p.m. with SuperTruck qualifying at 5:15 p.m. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m.


Three-time Tennessee state champion Kres VanDyke finished eighth in arguably the biggest asphalt Late Model Stock race in the country, the Valley Star 300 at Martinsville Speedway, last Saturday night.

After making his way into the main event, the Abingdon driver finished just one position behind Ty Gibbs, grandson of NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, and ahead of such notables as national champion drivers Phillip Morris and Lee Pulliam.

Derrick Lancaster, another driver to win at Kingsport this past season, finished 21st. C.E. Falk won the race in a controversial finish when officials went back to the last completed lap to determine the winner.


Two young Kingsport racers, Reid Wilson (85cc, 12-15) and Cody Goode (65cc, 10-11), scored wins in Round 13 of the Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series at Appalachian Fairgrounds.

Among other local winners were Izayah Shipley of Gray (85 cc Beginner) and Kamryn Tester of Bluff City (51cc Beginner). Church Hill’s Laken Fields (51cc, 7-8) posted a runner- up finish.

The 31st annual Suzuki Top Gun Showdown is set for Oct. 12-14 at Muddy Creek Raceway. Local racing legend Mike Brown, the former AMA national champion, won the 250 Pro race at last year’s showdown.


Volunteer Speedway hosts its second annual Fall Classic on Saturday.

The four-tenths-mile Bulls Gap dirt track’s six- division program features the Crate Late Model and Sportsman Late Model classes racing against each other in a $1,500-to-win main event. The Modified Street, Open Wheel Modified, Classic, Street Stock and 4-Cylinder divisions are also scheduled.

Hot laps start after a 6:30 p.m. drivers’ meeting, followed by qualifying and racing.