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Fire 'em up: Racing returning to Kingsport

staff report • Mar 5, 2013 at 7:12 AM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport Speedway is ready to welcome you to the “Jungle.” The roar of the engines will return to the Model City this weekend when the green flag falls to signal the start of the 2013 season at “The Concrete Jungle.” NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock (60 laps), Street Stock (30 laps), Pure 4 (25 laps), Legends (20 laps) and Rookie Pure 4 (12 laps) divisions will be in action Saturday afternoon.Two-time defending Late Model Stock track champion Nate Monteith will be on hand for the Dalton Direct Carpets Day at the Races — but he won’t be behind the wheel.The Tennessee NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion has stepped into the role of car owner and passed along the driving duties to 16-year-old Blake Jones of Sevierville. With Wade Day as his crew chief, Jones will be driving the No. 80 Chevrolet Camaro — Monteith’s former ride — throughout the 2013 Whelen All-American Series racing season.Among the other Late Model racers expected to be hitting the .375-mile concrete track are 2012 Tennessee NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rookie of the year Austin Peters of Kingsport, Johnson City’s Zeke Shell, Grundy’s Ryan Stiltner, Asheville, N.C.’s Lee Tissot, Piney Flats’ Hayden Woods, Kingsport’s Royce Peters, Bluff City’s Wayne Hale, Jonesborough’s Robbie Ferguson and Kingsport’s Rick Pannell.Competing for Late Model rookie honors this season will be 18-year-old Erika Schmidt of Greenback, Bean Station’s Taylor Coffman and Kingsport’s Adam Gray.Defending track champions in three other divisions will be back this season to take on all comers: Clintwood’s Roger Neece (Street Stock); Kingsport’s Jason Ketron (Pure 4) and 17-year-old Daniel Boone High School student Tyler Goodwin, who dominated the 2012 Legends slate with 17 feature wins in 19 starts.The pit gate will open Saturday at 9 a.m., with both grandstand and tier-parking gates opening at 11:30 a.m. Practice will begin at 11:30 a.m. Qualifying is set for 1 p.m. with racing starting at 2:30.

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