Local drivers honored by NASCAR Whelen Series

Pat Kenney • Dec 14, 2016 at 7:15 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Drivers from Kingsport Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway were honored this past weekend at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series awards program at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the Charlotte Convention Center. 

Ronnie McCarty, Wayne Hale, Kres Vandyke, Danny Casteel, Billy Byington and John Ketron were recognized at the annual awards ceremony.

McCarty received the 2016 Kingsport Speedway track championship while Hale was awarded the Lonesome Pine Raceway trophy. For both drivers, it was their second straight season earning the top honors from each track.

VanDyke picked up the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) Tennessee state championship award, marking his second time receiving that honor. 

Casteel was named the NWAAS Tennessee rookie of the year. Interestingly, Casteel has raced for nearly 50 years but spent his first season racing in the Late Model Stock Car division.

Byington and Ketron were honored for their top five finishes in the NWAAS Division III national points standings. Byington was third while Ketron came in fourth.

“Kingsport Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway were well represented at the awards ceremony this past Friday,” said Karen Tunnell, general manager and promoter at both tracks. “We couldn’t be any prouder of what these drivers accomplished in 2016.

“The recognition that both tracks received continues to show how these facilities have some of the best competitors locally and nationally.”

Champions and award winners from across all divisions at both race tracks will be honored at the Kingsport Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the MeadowView Convention Center in Kingsport.

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