Johnson City Press: McCarty rockets to second straight win at Kingsport Speedway
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McCarty rockets to second straight win at Kingsport Speedway

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Jun 29, 2019 at 6:13 PM

KINGSPORT — Ronnie McCarty rocketed to the front of the field Friday night at Kingsport Speedway and then fended off defending track champion Zeke Shell for his second straight victory.

McCarty, a two-time track champion in the No. 5 Ford, passed early leader Nik Williams on lap 39 of the 60-lap Late Model Stock feature for the NASCAR All-American Weekly Racing Series.

The Kingsport driver then held off Shell over the closing laps on the 3/8-mile concrete oval for his third win of the season. With a slick race track, good grip with the tires became a premium.

“We were really good tonight,” McCarty said. “The best thing you could do was get forward bite. We had the best forward bite here. Nik was fast and so was Hayden (Woods). Zeke gave me a hard fight. They got after me and I like it.”

Johnson City’s Shell, driver of the No. 1 Ford, held off Wayne Hale of Bluff City to take the runner-up spot. He pulled alongside McCarty for a pair of late restarts, but wasn’t able to stay ahead  of the No. 5 car.

Nevertheless, it was a good night for Shell racing his close friend for the win.

“We’re like brothers. There’s nobody I would rather see in front of me at the end,” Shell said. “We’ve battled before and torn each other’s doors off. Now, we have a lot of respect for each other and know how to drive each other.”

Hale maintained the third position ahead of Gray’s Joey Trent in a battle of Chevrolet drivers.

“That was a good hard-fought race,” Hale said. “We tried some new stuff on the car and it worked. We gained a lot tonight. We’ve been running Motor Mile (Speedway) on Saturdays and brought some things we’ve been running there to this track. We will do a little more homework, get a little more horses under the hood and try to get two more positions.”

Trent finished fourth and Lance Gatlin rounded out the top five in a second McCarty car.

Williams was sixth followed by Bryson Dennis, Derek Lane, Rick Pannell and Trey Lane.

Woods ran as high as second before a failure of his right front wheel caused him to crash hard into the turn 2 wall. He was uninjured in the accident.

THE FAST LANE

Trey Lane followed up the top 10 in the Late Model race with his second straight win in the Mod Street division.

Starting in the fourth position, Lane quickly worked his way to the front in the No. 9 Dodge Challenger. From there, he held off challenges from Alex Miller and Royce Peters for the win.

It was the fifth win this season for Lane. Fellow Kingsport driver Peters finished second, while Rusty Clendenin emerged from a last-lap, paint-swapping battle with Miller to take third.

BACK OUT FRONT

Kevin Canter from Abingdon, Va., got back on the winning track with his ninth Mod 4 victory of the year.

Canter, in the black No. 3 Ford, passed Billy Duty for the lead early in the 30-lap feature and then held off Dennis Arnold, winner of the previous two Mod 4 races for the win.

Arnold finished second and Duty rounded out the top three.

PURE ENJOYMENT

Bruce Crumbley of Kingsport fended off the challenge of runner-up Josh Detwiler for his third win of the season in the Pure 4 division.

Points leader Keith Helton made a charge from ninth to third over the first eight laps, but stalled out behind the top two.

Doug Austin of Castlewood, Va., won for the ninth time in 10 Pure Street races this season. He passed Bruce Blessing for the lead on lap 10 of the 25-lap feature.

Blessing held on for the runner-up spot ahead of defending class champion Jay Swecker.

NEXT UP

Another weekly racing program is scheduled for Friday, July 5 with twin 35-lap Late Model features headlining the show. A fireworks display is scheduled after the races.

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