MIDSOUTH: McCarty goes the distance for second Kingsport Speedway NASCAR victory in 2015

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. – official track release – Randall Perry Photo –

The calendar showed Friday to be the first day of May, but springtime temperatures around Northeast Tennessee were unseasonably chilly in the ModelCity for NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action at Kingsport Speedway.

Ronnie McCarty of Kingsport jumped out into the lead at drop of the green flag and led flag-to-flag in winning the caution-free, 60-lap “First Kingsport Credit Union” Late Model Stock Car feature.

“Getting our second win of the season tonight by leading every lap, this was probably the most fun I’ve ever experienced driving a race car,” said McCarty with a smile on his face after climbing from his race car in victory lane. “Winning period is a great feeling. But to win like we did tonight in leading from drop of the green flag until the checkered flag waved, I believe really showed everybody what a great race car we have, along with also having a great team backing me.”

McCarty earned the pole award in qualifying with a fast-lap of 15.086 seconds around the .375-mile banked concrete oval. The roll of the inversion dice produced a “two,” putting Justin Fontaine on the inside of the front row and McCarty on the outside.

McCarty flexed his muscle on the start to take the lead over Fontaine, Zeke Shell, Wayne Hale and defending track champion Kres VanDyke. VanDyke moved past Hale for fourth place on lap 5 racing off (turn) two.

Lee Tissot rode around the high line between turns one and two on the sixth circuit to take the fifth spot away from Hale, which began a steady slide backward for Hale as Austin Peters, Kyle Barnes and Taylor Coffman all passed Hale, dropping the veteran back to ninth in the running order.

With the race running clean-and-green and leader McCarty setting a blistering pace out front, by the halfway mark he began to put a little distance between himself and Fontaine, Shell and VanDyke. VanDyke passed Shell for third on lap 38 racing off the second corner.

The 28-year-old McCarty was in control out front, holding about a six car length advantage over his closest challengers with the signal from the flag stand showing 10 laps remaining. However, lapped traffic proved to be a little more difficult to navigate than what the leader had hoped for.

But once McCarty, driving the Luv Homes of Kingsport/Ron’s Mobile Home Parts & Service of Kingsport/Corner’s Nest Antique Mall in Elizabethton/Bill Parsons Insurance Agency in Bristol, Va./A-Hood Bail Bonds/Charlie Long Race Engines/Marlowe Race Cars/Performancenter Racing Warehouse/No. 5 Ford Fusion cleared the slower cars, he rolled on to his second Late Model Stock Car win this season. McCarty now holds a three-point advantage in the point standings over Tissot.

McCarty captured the victory over Fontaine with his best career run, followed by VanDyke, Shell and Tissot.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Barnes, Hale, Coffman, Joey Trent and Jerry Lane.

“Even though we stayed out front the entire distance, I will admit I almost got a little too cautious there with around 10 laps to go when working some lapped traffic,” said McCarty. “It’s like those cars were running right in the middle of the track, and I didn’t really know whether to try and pass them to the inside or the outside. You don’t want to make the wrong move when attempting to overtake slower cars, you just want those cars to hold their line and then you just pick your way past them. Fortunately for us I was able to cleanly get by them, and then I guess you could say it was clear sailing to the finish.

“I really want to thank my parents (Ron and Gina McCarty) for all the opportunities they’ve provided me to race over the years. This is now my third career NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win, and just to see the smiles on mom and dad’s faces in victory lane, that’s what it’s all about. I also want to thank everybody that helps out on the team, my crew chief Mark Ketron, Kevin Street, Kelly Hooper, Mike Lloyd, and then I’ve got great support from my fiancée Patricia Dygert.”

Jared Broadbent and Alan Rich led the Street Stock field to green from the front row, and raced side-by-side the opening lap while behind them Royce Peters and John Harrell battled for real estate. Working the second lap between turns one and two, contact from Peters turned Broadbent to bring the caution out.

Off the double-file restart, Harrell moved ahead of Rich. While the duo set the pace out front, behind them Chris Tunnell, Mark Christian and veteran Paul Shull followed. However, both Broadbent and Peters were up-on-the-wheel working their way back inside the top five. A late race caution on lap 23, when Christian and Shull tangled between turns three and four, sent Christian spinning and Shull pulled into the pits calling it a night.

Rich, from Sylva, N.C., grabbed the lead from Harrell and went on to capture his first victory of the season. Chasing Rich and Harrell to the checkered flag were Tunnell, Broadbent and Peters.

Jason Ketron jumped out to the lead over his father, John Ketron at start of the 25-lap Pure 4 feature. With neither having visited victory lane this season, both were feeling up to the task of getting the job done. The elder Ketron moved around his son racing off the fourth turn on lap 6.

After starting the race last, three-time winner this season Keith Helton was moving forward, cracking the top five on lap 8 with a pass of Billy Ketron. Caution waved on lap 14, when Dylan Bates spun in turn four.

John Ketron moved back out ahead off the restart, with Helton getting past Chris Neeley for second. While Helton closed to the leader’s back bumper over the final few laps, he could never make a pass to overtake John Ketron, who would go on to record the victory over Helton, Neeley, Billy Ketron and Jason Ketron.

Billy Duty of Abingdon, Va., chased Kirby Gobble the entire race in the Mod 4 division only to come up a little short at the finish. But Gobble failed post-race technical inspection, thus giving Duty his second victory on the season. Apparent third place finisher James Deese also failed post-race technical inspection. Rounding out the top five finishers behind Duty were Dennis Arnold, Chris Amburgey, Hershell Robinette and Jessie Amburgey.

Chris Wilhelm was showing the way out front leading the Rookie Pure 4 feature until getting run over from behind by Andrew Hill sent the leader Wilhelm spinning in the fourth turn to bring the caution out on lap 10. Back under green, Dwayne Banks of Kingsport and Dennis Stanley engaged in a serious battle for the lead. Banks pulled ahead and never looked back en route to capturing his first-ever victory over Robert Young, Craig Phelps, Stanley and Scott Palmer.

Trey Lane of Kingsport recorded the Legend victory over his brother Derek Lane, Hannah Ottinger, Jerry Lane and Alexia Ray.




Showing Finish Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown, Laps Completed In Parentheses

1. (2) Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN (60)
2. (1) Justin Fontaine #60-Fletcher, NC (60)
3. (6) Kres VanDyke #15-Abingdon, VA (60)
4. (3) Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN (60)
5. (5) Lee Tissot #7-Asheville, NC (60)
6. (8) Kyle Barnes #0-Draper, VA (60)
7. (4) Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN (59)
8. (9) Taylor Coffman #30-Bean Station, TN (59)
9. (10) Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN (59)
10. (13) Jerry Lane #28-Kingsport, TN (57)
11. (14) Derek Lane #67-Kingsport, TN (57)
12. (11) Allen Hawkins #14-Kingsport, TN (43)
13. (12) Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN (37)
14. (7) Austin Peters #66-Kingsport, TN (20)
15. (15) Daryn Cockram #9-Blacksburg, VA (7)
16. (18) Tyler Goodwin #64-Kingsport, TN (3)

17. (16) Jamie Harrison #76-Church Hill, TN (1)
18. (17) Kirby Gobble #1-Abingdon, VA (1)


Did Not Start: Bruce Blessing #55-Gate City, VA


STREET STOCK (30 laps)

1 Alan Rich #03

2. John Harrell #19
3. Chris Tunnell #6

4. Jared Broadbent #74

5. Royce Peters #48

6. Mark Christian #43

7. Robbie Allison #12

8. Sam P. Hurd #11

9. Dennis Deese #24

10. Paul Shull #48

11. Danny Casteel #41


PURE 4 (25 laps)

1. John Ketron #27

2. Keith Helton #9

3. Chris Neeley #94

4. Billy Ketron #26

5. Jason Ketron #28

6. Bruce Crumbley #33

7. Kenny Absher #11

8. Brandon Sutherland #5

9. Billy Byington #01

10. Brandon Crumbley #7

11. Kevin Darnell #4

12. David Trent #57

13. Dylan Bates #6

14. Richard Quillen #15

15. Tim Abelseth #66


MOD 4 (25 laps)

1. Billy Duty #45

2. Dennis Arnold #7

3. Chris Amburgey #7

4. Hershell Robinette #9

5. Jessie Amburgey #17

6. Kylin Hammer #2

Did Not Pass Post Race Technical Inspection: Kirby Gobble #88, James Deese #8


ROOKIE PURE 4 (20 laps)

1. Dwayne Banks #4

2. Robert Young #59

3. Craig Phelps #00

4. Dennis Stanley #21

5. Scott Palmer #1

6. William Hale #47

7. Daniel McMurray #0

8. Larry Bowens #18

9. Larry Stapleton #15

10. Jerry Miller #13

11. Chris Wilhelm #99

12. Andrew Hill #69


LEGEND (12 laps)

1. Trey Lane #9

2. Derek Lane #19

3. Hannah Ottinger #97

4. Jerry Lane #28

5. Alexia Ray #99

CREDIT: Kingsport Speedway PR

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