To say that Ryan King had an up and down weekend of racing at the 411 Motor Speedway last Friday and Saturday would be both an understatement and the literal truth. The Seymour, Tenn. driver led much of the way and eventually scored a runner-up finish on the first night of the NeSmith Dirt Late Model Touring Series events on his home track then went for an early race rollover on the second night of competition.
“I’m good and the car will be OK,” King said of both himself and his machine after the Saturday night accident. “We’re going to race it again this Saturday at 411. It hit pretty hard but the car looked good. It broke a shock bracket and had a hole in the fuel cell. That was all.”
On Friday night, King took the lead from Cory Hedgecock on lap 4 of the Crate Late Model feature and led until Jimmy Elliott scraped by on the last lap of the $2,000-to-win special event. So far in 2014, very few drivers have passed Hedgecock on any track, and King believed the pass showed that he can be a force in races to come.
“Cory’s been strong,” King declared. “I think tonight was more my kind of racetrack. They reconfigured it as everybody knows and I think it’s a little more suited to how I learned. I think Cory got good on the fast, high-banked racetracks and whenever I was coming up I got good on the low-banked, bottom digging kind of racetrack. So I think it was more to my liking than it was his.”
The 2nd place effort was satisfying in that it showed King can run up front, but it was frustrating to come so close yet fall just short.
“I had a pretty good run most of the race,” the young driver explained. “I think my right rear tire was giving up a little bit. I chunked out some blocks on it because I was pretty hard on it throughout the whole race. That gave the 39(Elliott) the opportunity to get up there and make a move. He made it and got the win, but we’re glad we were able to run good. We’re pretty pleased, but a little disappointed. We’re glad we were fast.”
As far as his plans for the upcoming season are concerned, King and his Brian King Roofing team plan to travel some but also stay close to home when possible.
“I’ll be here a lot, but we’re going to move around this area quite a bit. I don’t think we’re really committed to anything right now so whenever we don’t have anything else going on, this is where we’ll be running crates.”