KINGSPORT — The long, cold winter did little to cool the rivalries that were forged over the course of the 2011 racing season at Kingsport Speedway.
The same can be said for the enthusiasm of the local race fans, who turned out in droves to witness the track’s 2012 season opener on Saturday afternoon.
The long offseason also had little effect on the keen instincts that earned Blountville’s Nate Monteith the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model track championship last year.
Monteith sat back in the early stages of Saturday’s 60-lap Late Model feature before finally seizing his opportunity to jump past race leader Zeke Shell in the final laps to pick up right where he left off.
“I was just trying to wait for the right time to pull the trigger there,” Monteith said. “Once (my spotter) told me it was six to go, it was all bets off then.
In other action, Roger Neece held off Rob Austin in a 20-lap Street Stock feature and Dakota Slagle beat Lewis Slagle to the finish line in the 25-lap Pure 4 race. Tyler Goodwin overpowered the Legends field, beating out runner-up Drew Shortridge.
Following Saturday’s season opener, weekly racing at Kingsport Speedway will return to its normal Friday night slot.