Wayne Hale (19) leads Derek Lane (28) during the race on July 5, 2019 at Kingsport Speedway. During this night the two would have several run-ins. Jaden Austin photo.

Temperatures were in the low 90’s on Friday evening at Kingsport Speedway in Bloomingdale, TN with the heat index reaching 97 degrees. The action on the track was even hotter as it boiled over into a post-race exchange when Wayne Hale and Derek Lane traded shots on the track late in the first of twin NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car races.

Hale and Lane finished both of the twin 35-lap races second and third respectively but the on-track bump-ups left both frustrated with the other and tempers flared following the first race of the evening when Hale and Lane made contact while racing for the lead. Hale and Lane restarted from the front row after the top three cars crashed on the backstretch with 13 laps to go. On the restart, they made contact sending Lane spinning and under a new rule instituted by the track recently, Hale would be forced to the rear for the contact.

They raced back to the front but coming to the finish line Lane had finally caught Hale and turn right into him off of turn four getting Hale sideways before allowing him to correct his car and finish the race. As the two drivers pulled up to the front stretch behind winner Nik Williams one of Hale’s crew members became involved. He slammed a tire gauge down on the hood of Lane’s car before walking over to Hale’s car to begin checking tire pressure.

Lane threw his seat belts off and rushed out of the car to the window of Hale’s car to talk to Hale about the on-track contact and the crew members post-race action. A Sullivan County Sheriff’s Deputy stepped in and sent Lane back to his pit but not before Lane and the crew member argued back and forth.

The crew member identified as Hale’s son Cody was restrained and escorted to his pit area by a track official. Hale was upset about him being removed from the frontstretch and Lane being allowed to stay after he came over to Hale repeatedly telling them that Lane should have been removed from the frontstretch as well.

Once things settled a bit Hale explained what he thought happened on the restart.

“The first time we were running side by side and you know I’m on the inside and he comes down on me and goes around,” Hale told RACE22. “That’s racing you know, but they don’t do nothing to these buttholes that do this stuff. That’s the bad thing about it.”

Hale also says that Lane just ran into him on the final lap.

“We regrouped and got back up there and on the last lap he tried to wreck us coming to the checkered flag,” Hale continued. “I don’t guess they’re going to do anything to him but then my son gets in trouble. I don’t understand this, they get to do whatever they want to do because they sponsor races.”

Lane didn’t see it the same way.

“Battling for position there and dumb ass decides to take us out,” Lane told RACE22. “Rubbings racing, I understand I’ve done it my whole life but when someone just drives into you and you can hear their motor stay spooled up. He didn’t try to get off, he’s on the radio ‘oh I’m sorry, I’m sorry’ he ain’t fucking sorry.”

Lane says he could have wrecked him coming to the finish but chose not to.

“I could have junked him down here and I didn’t,” Lane continued. “I just let him know ‘hey bitch I remember you and I’ll see you next race’.”

Lane also explains what got the post-race argument started.

“I pulled in right here and his son comes up with a stagger stick, you check stagger with and smacks the hood of the car,” Lane explains. “He’s got no business being out here. He wants to stick his nose in the middle of business and I think he can stick his nose in his truck and head on to the house. If I’m not mistaken that’s what I think I heard them say. That’s just poor sportsmanship.”

Hale and Lane would make contact one more time during the night when Lane made it three wide and spun around during the second race of the evening. There wasn’t any post-race activity this time but the two drivers still had something to say about each other when talking about the second race.

“Try to keep some of these idiots from running over us,” Hale said. “Going three wide and tearing our car up. That’d be a whole lot of help. Some of them so stupid they don’t know where they’re at. Maybe the race track will do something about it but if they don’t eventually somebody will.”

“This is Kingsport Speedway, you know as well as I know you don’t go down the front stretch when you’re going to abreast and try to go in three wide in turn one. This is not a race track that you can do that, you know you’re not going to make the turn. They can say his throttle hung or whatever but that’s the biggest bunch of bologna that’s ever walked on the face of the earth.”

Lane, of course, didn’t see it that way.

“He (Hale) was blocking me,” Lane stated. “Threw a couple of blocks on me and hell I run her in hard and I came out on the shit end of the stick. After we put a radiator in it and had to rebuild the front end in between we’ll take it.”

After the race Lane protested Hale’s engine.  Hale passed inspection and joked that he appreciated the money to buy tires for the race on Saturday night at Motor Mile Speedway. With two drivers both clawing their way to the front of the field and starting to hit on all cylinders at the same time, it could be a lasting rivalry that’s just getting started after a hot night at Kingsport Speedway.

Cover photo by Jaden Austin.