The two-time track champion powered his No. 5 Ford from a fourth-place starting spot to the lead in just 14 laps and led the rest of the 60-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock feature.
It was the hometown driver’s fourth win in seven starts this season on the three-eighths-mile concrete oval. McCarty held off defending track champion Zeke Shell’s No. 1 Ford over the final 40 laps.
“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 every now and then to keep things interesting for the fans.”
Shell started fifth and 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,” the Johnson City driver said of 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’s Derek Lane started last in the 13-car field but rallied for a third-place finish in the No. 28 Chevrolet.
“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 completed the top five.
Wayne Hale was sixth, followed by Joey Trent, Jerry Broyles, Rick Pannell and Nik Williams. Points leader Williams took a hit in the championship standings after the coil came loose in his No. 32 Chevrolet and caused the car’s engine to misfire.
Williams’ misfortune helped Shell cut his lead in half — to 10 points — heading into the final six races of the season.
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 stayed out front for the remainder of the race. Shull finished second, ahead of Royce Peters and points leader Kevin Wolfe.
It was the third win of the season and the ninth overall for the Lane family; Derek’s brother, Trey, has won 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 driver made a daring three-wide pass for the lead on the eighth lap, 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 for the Pure 4 victory.
The race was a Model City slugfest: The top seven finishers were all from Kingsport. Helton finished half a car length behind in second. Crumbley was third, and Bucky Smith and William Hale rounded out the top five.
Tony Dockery of Dungannon 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 and Mike Mays, the early leader, was fourth. Defending class champion Jay Swecker was fifth.