KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Kingsport Speedway will try once again to get the 2016 NASCAR racing season underway on Saturday, March 26. Both race fans and competitors alike were ready for the first green flag to wave last weekend, but Mother Nature intervened to force postponement of the season-opener at “The Concrete Jungle.”
The Model City 175 on Saturday, March 26 at the .375-mile banked concrete oval will feature 175 laps of exciting racing action in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series: Late Model Stock Car (60 laps), Street Stock (35 laps), Pure 4 (30 laps), Mod 4 (25 laps) and Pure Street (25 laps).
Ronnie McCarty of Kingsport, defending track and Tennessee State NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion, will have a bull’s-eye focused squarely on him as he returns to try and win a second straight Late Model Stock Car title. Looking to attempt wrestle the championship away from McCarty will be runner-up in points last season Wayne Hale of Bluff City, Kres VanDyke of Abingdon, Va. (2014 track champion), Chad Finchum (2013 track champion) of Knoxville, Zeke Shell of Johnson City, Justin Fontaine of Fletcher, N.C., Joey Trent of Gray, Robbie Ferguson of Jonesborough, Taylor Coffman of Bean Station, Jeff Maupin of Greeneville, along with Kingsport-based chauffeurs Austin Peters, Allen Hawkins, Rick Pannell, Tyler Goodwin, Derek Lane and Adam Gray, Bruce Blessing of Gate City, Va., plus several others.
John Harrell of Surgoinsville is defending Street Stock champion, having won 11 features in 17 races last season. Looking to try and dethrone Harrell as king of the Street Stocks will be Jared Broadbent of Bakersville, N.C., Royce Peters of Kingsport, Paul Shull of Church Hill, Dennis Deese of Piney Flats, Danny Casteel of Johnson City, Chris Tunnell of Wise, Va., Sam Hurd of Kingsport, Mark Christian of Blountville, Gary Crumbley of Kingsport, plus others.
Jason Ketron of Kingsport captured his second Pure 4 championship last season over Tim Abelseth of Bristol. But rest assured a host of drivers that includes Kenny Absher, Billy Byington, John Ketron, Billy Ketron, Keith Helton, Dylan Bates, David Trent, Bruce Crumbley, Chris Neeley, all who call the Model City home, will be out trying to win the title in 2016. There should be over a 20-car field of Pure 4 competitors each week.
Nasty Jones of Chilhowie,Va., had three victories enroute to capturing the Pure Street championship last year, while Marty Tunnell of Wise, Va., led the division with five feature wins. Duke Bare of Meadowview, Va., visited victory lane on three occasions, with Abingdon, Va.’s Brad Ball getting one win. Hershell Robinette of Abingdon and Travis Stoots of Chilhowie will also look to throw their hat in the mix this season.
Dennis Arnold of Abingdon won the Mod 4 championship last year over fellow Abingdon racer Billy Duty, James Deese of Elizabethton, and the Amburgey’s, Chris and Jessie of Hiltons, Va. Father and son, Kirby and Joshua Gobble of Abingdon are contenders each week to visit victory lane, along with Abingdon’s Rocky Yates, plus Jason Yates of Wise, Va.
The pit gate will open Saturday, March 26 at 9 a.m., with both grandstand and tier-parking gates opening at 12 p.m. (noon).
Practice will begin at 10:20 a.m. Qualifying is set for 12:20 p.m., with the green flag scheduled to wave at 2 p.m.
Adult grandstand admission $10, with kids 12-and-under admitted free. Adult tier-parking admission $10 per person (plus a $10 vehicle parking spot fee). Pit passes are $25 with a NASCAR license, $35 without a license. NASCAR license forms are available at the track office during the week, and they will also be available at pit sign-in the day of event.
Food, beverages, and coolers are allowed only on the backstretch (B-side) grandstands. Glass is not permitted on the property.
Open practices will be held on Thursday, March 24 (3 p.m. until dark) and Friday, March 25 (12 p.m. until dark).
Tell your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers all about the exciting, action-packed weekly racing programs at Kingsport Speedway. You don’t want to miss it!
Kingsport Speedway is located at 2961 North John B. Dennis Highway. For more information, call the office at (423) 288-5992, track general manager/promoter Karen Tunnell at (276) 393-9594, or visit the website at www.NewKingsportSpeedway.com.
-Kingsport Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Randall Perry Photography