Ronnie McCarty of Kingsport poses in Victory Lane after his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock feature win Friday night at Kingsport Speedway. (Photo by Randall Perry/Kingsport Speedway)
KINGSPORT — Ronnie McCarty flexed his muscle early Friday night at Kingsport Speedway, jumping out front when the green flag fell for the Wallace Kia Late Model Stock feature, and set sail for Victory Lane and his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win.
"Amazing, it's truly amazing to finally shake this monkey or whatever it was off my back and capture our first-ever NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win," the 27-year-old McCarty said in a release. "Winning your first-ever NASCAR sanctioned race is a very special deal. It's something you dream about and once it happens, you'll never forget the awesome feeling. I'll always look at the trophy and remember this very special night.
"It's tough to put into words just how much getting this win means to not only myself, but to my parents (Ron and Gina McCarty) and everybody on the race team that's a part of us winning our first race. We've been oh, so very close to winning here at Kingsport Speedway in the past. We've had several solid top-five finishes but had just never been able to seal the deal and park in Victory Lane."
Kres Vandyke set fast time at 15.168 seconds but following a roll of the dice, the top four from qualifying were inverted for start of the race, putting McCarty on the pole and Chad Finchum on the outside of the front row.
McCarty moved into the lead over Finchum and Vandyke at the start of the 60-lapper and never gave it up in just the second caution-free race this season.
The Kingsport driver's win also marked the first time this season a Chevy built engine found the winner's circle over a Ford crate engine at the racetrack.
Trailing McCarty across the finish line were Vandyke, Finchum, Ryan Stiltner and Zack Walton.
"While this is our first NASCAR Late Model Stock win at Kingsport Speedway, I actually captured my first-ever win in a full-bodied stock car at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, Va.," McCarty said. "I've won two races over at LPR, and in 2012 we earned the Late Model Stock rookie of the year title. We won the 2001 Legends track championship here at Kingsport Speedway while I was still attending Sullivan North High School. Besides winning Legends races, we also won quite a few Pro Challenge races, too.
"I want to thank my mom and dad for all they do to allow me to live out my dream to be a race car driver and all the opportunities they've given me through the years to let me race."
John Harrell won the 30-lap Street Stock race. Rob Austin was second, followed by Rob Austin, Chris Tunnell, Greg Grindstaff and Sam P. Hurd.
Jason Ketron took the victory in the 20-lap Pure 4 division, ahead of Keith Helton, Billy Ketron, John Ketron and Kenny Absher.
Church Hill's Rusty Clendenin picked up the win in the Rookie Pure 4 race. Andrew Hill was runner-up and James Deese, Michael "Mook" Jeter and William Hale rounded out the top five in the 15-lapper.
Derek Lane of Kingsport recorded his third Legends victory over his brother Trey Lane, Hayden Ottinger, Hannah Ottinger and Jerry Lane.
FRIDAY, JULY 11, 2014
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES
LATE MODEL STOCK (60 laps)
1. 1) Ronnie McCarty #5-Kingsport, TN
2. (4) Kres Vandyke #15-Claypool Hill, VA
3. (2) Chad Finchum #19-Knoxville, TN
4. (3) Ryan Stiltner #22-Grundy, VA
5. (6) Zack Walton #38-Blountville, TN
6. (5) Zeke Shell #97-Johnson City, TN
7. (7) Lee Tissot #7-Asheville, NC
8. (8) Wayne Hale #19-Bluff City, TN
9. (10) Tyler Goodwin #64-Kingsport, TN
10. (9) Justin Fontaine #60-Fletcher, NC
11. (11) Joey Trent #26-Gray, TN
12. (12) Bruce Blessing #55-Kingsport, TN
13. (13) Rick Pannell #33-Kingsport, TN
14. (15) Luke Fox #94-Weaverville, NC
15. (14) Allen Hawkins #77-Kingsport, TN
16. (17) Austin Peters #76-Kingsport, TN
17. (16) Keith Stiltner #2-Grundy, VA
18. (18) Sam Steffey #35-Abingdon, VA
STREET STOCK (30 laps)
1. John Harrell #19
2. Rob Austin #25
3. Chris Tunnell #6
4. Greg Grindstaff #3
5. Sam P. Hurd #11
6. Dennis Deese #24
7. Danny Casteel #41
8. Royce Peters #48
9. Brian Russell #22
10. Nick Cole #63
11. Jared Broadbent #74
PURE 4 (20 laps)
1. Jason Ketron #28
2. Keith Helton #74
3. Billy Ketron #26
4. John Ketron #27
5. Kenny Absher #11
6. Jon Pittman #00
7. Billy Byington #01
8. Chris Neeley #94
9. David Trent #57
10. Dylan Bates #6
11. Matthew Ford #97
12. Todd Cross #41
13. Richard Quillen #14
ROOKIE PURE 4 (15 laps)
1. Rusty Clendenin #11
2. Andrew Hill #97
3. James Deese #25
4. Michael Jeter #53
5. William Hale #47
6. Craig Phelps #00
7. Derrick Gilliam #34
8. Larry Stapleton #14
9. Tammy Cross #41
10. Dennis Stanley #19
11. Chris Wilhelm #99
12. Larry Bowens #18
Did not pass post-race inspection: Brandon Crumbley #7
LEGENDS (12 laps)
1. Derek Lane #19
2. Trey Lane #28
3. Hayden Ottinger #94
4. Hannah Ottinger #97
5. Jerry Lane #9