Dennis Larry Utsman, 75 of Bluff City, TN, passed away on August 12, 2022 at his home following complications from surgery. A native of Bluff City, Larry was born on June 10, 1947 to Marion Haskell and Dorothy Lady Utsman. He was a 1965 graduate of Bluff City High School and served as a US Army Reserve AMEDD officer.

A devoted husband, father and G, Larry spent his life around cars, beginning with his teenage years working at his dad‘s car lot and later 40 years as a car salesman at Bill Gatton Chevrolet. He was best known for driving the No. 23 car in the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman and later Busch Series, racing with NASCAR legends like Harry Gant, Morgan Shepherd and Dale Earnhardt.

Larry shared his love for cars, NASCAR and all things UT with children and grandchildren, spending countless weekends at Vol football and basketball games with family and friends.

He is survived by his wife Carol Russ Utsman; his daughter Tiffany Utsman Carpenter (Allen) and his son Craig Utsman; his three grandchildren, Emily Carpenter, Ryder Utsman and Avery Carpenter; his brother Ronnie Utsman (Amy); his stepson Tyler Shuttle (Erikka) and two step grandchildren Gryffin and Zayah.

The funeral service will be conducted at 7pm, Tuesday, August 16, 2022 in Akard Funeral Home Chapel. The family will receive friends 4 — 7 pm prior to the service. The interment will be private. Pallbearers will be Chris Carrier, Leon Angeles, Brian Fitzgerald, Cody Long, Chris Myers, Brent Tuell. Honorary pallbearers are Phil Tuell and Albert Moretz.

In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials be made to the American Heart Association, 3101 Browns Mill Road #6, Johnson City, TN 37604

The funeral service will be livestreamed via Akard Funeral Home Facebook page.

Akard Funeral Home

ALSO: Larry Utsman, a member of the famed Bluff City racing family and former Kingsport Speedway champion, died Friday after complications from surgery. He was 75.

He was a cousin to brothers Sherman, Layman, Cecil and John A. Utsman. Another cousin, Rick Utsman, still races occasionally on the local dirt tracks. Larry Utsman was best known for driving the No. 23 car in the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman and later Busch Series.

Larry started racing at Johnson City‘s old Sportsman Speedway dirt track. He drove a No. 3 Chevrolet for Bristol car owner Ed Whitaker before turning to paved tracks in 1973. He made his superspeedway debut at Daytona in the 1975 Permatex 300.

Johnson City Press

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