The two-time track champion powered his No. 5 Ford from a fourth-place starting spot to the lead in 14 laps and led the rest of the 60-lap Late Model Stock feature for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
It was the hometown driver’s fourth win in seven starts this season on the 3/8-mile concrete oval. McCarty held off defending track champion Zeke Shell’s No. 1 Ford over the final 40 laps for the win.
“The biggest thing was getting our car through the corners,” McCarty said. “All these motors have plenty of horsepower. Going down the straightaway is the easy part.
“We had a good clean race with Zeke. You don’t have to rub (fenders), although I never mind to rub ever now and then to keep things interesting for the fans.”
Shell, a Johnson City driver, started fifth, but worked his way to second on lap 19. He challenged McCarty briefly on a pair of restarts, but fell behind after a few laps under green.
“His car is fast and he has some serious driving ability,” Shell said about McCarty. “If I had gotten out front, I think it would have been hard for him to pass us back. By the time I closed up on his tail, I didn’t have anything left in the car. He won it. There ain’t nothing else to say, but better car, better driver, better finish.”
Kingsport driver Derek Lane started last in the 13-car field, but rallied to finish third in the No. 28 Chevrolet. He made a charge the last half of the race, but was unable to run down the top two cars.
“We changed everything on the car between practice and qualifying, and I didn’t know what the car was going to do,” Lane said. “I told my dad before the race that the car felt pretty good. To start last and come to third, I can’t complain with it.”
Pole sitter Bryson Dennis and Lance Gatlin in a second McCarty-owned entry rounded out the top five.
Wayne Hale finished sixth, followed by Joey Trent, Jerry Broyles, Rick Pannell and Nik Williams. It was a hit in the track championship standings for points leader Williams after the coil came loose in his No. 32 Chevrolet and caused the car’s engine to misfire.
With Williams’ misfortune, Shell cut his lead in half — down to 10 points — heading into the final six races of the season.
Derek Lane pulled double-duty, rallying from a fifth-place starting spot to win the 30-lap Mod Street feature.
Lane’s No. 9 Dodge Challenger passed 78-year-old Paul Shull in the No. 48 Camaro for the lead on lap 20 and led the remainder of the race. Shull hung on to finish second, ahead of Royce Peters and points leader Kevin Wolfe.
It was his third win of the season and the ninth overall for the Lane family — with Derek’s brother, Trey, winning six times.
DOZEN FOR CANTER
Kevin Canter recovered from cutting a tire and hitting the turn-4 wall on the second lap of the Mod 4 race to roll to his 12th win of the season.
After his crew replaced the flat right-rear tire, the Abingdon, Va., driver made a daring three-wide pass for the lead on lap 8, overtaking Dennis Arnold and Kirby Gobble for the top spot.
The three drivers ran 1-2-3 the rest of the way and finished ahead of Chris Amburgey and Hershell Robinette.
Billy Byington held off challenges from points leader Keith Helton and defending division champion Bruce Crumbley to win the Pure 4 feature.
It was a Model City slugfest as the top seven finishers were all from Kingsport. Helton finished a half-car length behind in second. Crumbley was third as Bucky Smith and William Hale rounded out the top five.
Tony Dockery of Dungannon, Va., made the winning pass on Bruce Blessing on lap 10 of the Pure Street race for his second straight victory.
Points leader Doug Austin finished third with early leader Mike Mays fourth. Defending class champion Jay Swecker was fifth.