McCarty set fast time in qualifying around the 3/8-mile concrete oval and edged Hayden Woods for the pole position. An inversion of top four qualifiers put Gatlin on the pole and Nik Williams on the outside pole. McCarty wasted no time getting past Woods and Williams to second place and then pulling to the back of Gatlin’s bumper.
Once McCarty got in front of Gatlin, he set sail out front. It was the first race back for McCarty’s crew chief Mark Ketron. The combination won two track championships together before Ketron stepped away to take a break last season.
Woods, a Piney Flats driver, raced to the runner-up spot ahead of points leader Williams from Chuckey. Defending track champion Zeke Shell from Johnson City was fourth and Gatlin rounded out the top five.
Bryson Dennis, Joey Trent, Derek Lane, Wayne Hale finished sixth through ninth. Keith Helton, who won the Pure 4 division race, rounded out the top 10 in the Late Model feature.
Alex Miller from Erwin captured his first ever victory in the Mod Street feature. Miller beat Rusty Clendenin and two-time track champion Royce Peters to the finish line. Austin Peters, Royce’s son, and Mod 4 points leader Kevin Canter rounded out the top five.
Keith Helton maneuvered his way past Brandon Sutherland late in the Pure 4 feature to capture his sixth feature win on the season. Helton was chased to the checkered flag by Sutherland, Bruce Crumbley, Josh Detwiler and Bucky Smith.
Dennis Arnold of Meadowview, Va., turned in a strong run to knock three-time defending Mod 4 champion Kevin Canter from the unbeaten ranks. Canter had started the season by recording eight straight victories. Arnold captured his first win of the season over Canter, Billy Duty, Hershell Robinette and Chris Amburgey.
Doug Austin of Castlewood, Va., sped to his division-leading seventh Pure Street win over Tony Dockery and Kevin Darnell.
Kingsport Speedway hosts the Super Car Stock Car Series, which features old NASCAR Cup Series cars, Friday, June 21.