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McCarty shoots to second straight Kingsport win

By Jeff Birchfield • Jun 29, 2019 at 5:35 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 NASCAR All-American Weekly Racing Series Late Model Stock feature.

The Kingsport driver then held off Shell over the closing laps on the three-eighths-mile concrete oval for his third win of the season.

With a slick racetrack, 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.”

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,” the Johnson City driver 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 was 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.

THE FAST LANE

Kingsport’s Trey Lane added a second straight Mod Street win to his top 10 in the Late Model race.

After starting fourth, 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 his fifth victory of the season at Kingsport.

Peters, also a Kingsport driver, finished second and Rusty Clendenin emerged from a last-lap, paint-swapping battle with Miller to take third.

BACK OUT FRONT

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

Canter, driving the black No. 3 Ford, passed Billy Duty for the lead early in the 30-lap feature and held off Dennis Arnold for the win.

Arnold, winner of the previous two Mod 4 races, finished second and Duty was third.

PURE ENJOYMENT

Bruce Crumbley of Kingsport fought off the challenge of second place-finishing Josh Detwiler for his third Pure 4 win of the season.

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 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 for after the races.

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