Among all the great seasons in 2017, one has been criminally underrated by many fans, and that’s the season of Tennessee’s Kres VanDyke. If you put the season VanDyke put together alongside other competitors that fans perceived to have “better” years, you fully realize how slighted VanDyke may be by the fans.
While VanDyke didn’t finish in the top ten in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points like NWAAS champion Lee Pulliam or Philip Morris, VanDyke did best both drivers with 25 wins, compared to 19 for Pulliam, and 20 for Morris. Move on to top five finishes and the only driver VanDyke trailed was Pulliam, with VanDyke amassing 34 top five results, to Pulliam’s 36.
All three, Pulliam, Morris, and VanDyke, are state champions with Pulliam winning in South Carolina, Morris winning in Virginia, and VanDyke winning in Tennessee. However, on top of his state championship, VanDyke also performed well outside of his home state, with 15 wins in 16 starts at Lonesome Pine where he captured the second of his two track titles this season, with the other coming at Kingsport.
Of all the Late Model Stock Car drivers in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, no one, sans Lee Pulliam, enjoyed a better year than VanDyke, and it’s time to give him his due respect.
“If I had the new cars and motors and resources that Pulliam, Philip, and Josh have it’s hard to tell what we could do,” VanDyke told Race22.com. “I’m sure it be more than we do now, but I’m blessed with what I have to work with. No matter what people say I know with my resources we do great, they have no idea what it takes to do it all with hardly nothing.”
This year isn’t the only one of its kind for VanDyke, as this marks his second Tennessee state championship in a row, and his third title at Kingsport and 23 total wins in his home state in the last three seasons. Couple that with over 27 wins in the last three seasons in Virginia, this year, VanDyke also scored a win at historic Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina to bolster his resume.
So, when you think about who the best Late Model Stock Car driver was this on Race22’s Facebook page, consider what VanDyke has accomplished this season, and look for him to do the same in 2018.