Kingsport Speedway opens 2019 NASCAR racing season Saturday, March 23

Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, are you ready for “The Concrete Jungle” to roar to life? It’s been a long winter offseason and with the official arrival of spring (March 20) at mid-week, both race fans and competitors alike are looking forward to the first green flag of 2019 waving at Kingsport Speedway on Saturday, March 23.

The Model City Season Opener at the .375-mile banked concrete oval will feature exciting NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned racing action in Late Model Stock Car, Modified Street, Pure 4 ,Mod 4 , Pure Street, and Vintage class.

With a new racing season also comes new hope – hope for winning races and contending for a track championship.

Zeke Shell of Johnson City is defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car champion. Former LMSC champions Kres VanDyke (Abingdon, Va.), Ronnie McCarty (Kingsport), and Nate Monteith of (Bristol) are expected to be in action, along with Nik Williams (Chuckey), Wayne Hale (Bluff City), Joey Trent (Gray), Bryson Dennis (Greeneville), Derek Lane (Kingsport), Rick Pannell (Kingsport), and others.

Royce Peters of Kingsport has captured the Modified Street championship the past two seasons, but can another driver keep Peters from three-peating in 2019? He’ll face competition from the hard-charging Rusty Clendenin (Church Hill), and young talent Chase Dixon (Abingdon, Va.), along with Trey Lane (Kingsport), Alex Miller (Erwin), Kevin Wolfe (Bristol, Va.), Dennis Deese (Piney Flats), Hannah Seal (Rogersville), and others.

Bruce Crumbley of Kingsport recorded his first Pure 4 championship last year and he will squarely have a bull’s-eye on his back as many drivers will be gunning for him this season. Among them will be Brandon Sutherland (Johnson City), Craig Phelps (Piney Flats), William Hale (Kingsport), Paul Stanley (Blountville), Kenny Absher (Kingsport), Keith Helton (Kingsport), Chad Jeffers (Blountville), David Trent (Kingsport), Jimmy Thomas (Kingsport), Josh Detwiler (Rogersville), Bucky Smith (Kingsport), Chris Stine (Johnson City), Dennis Stanley (Blountville), and others.

Kevin Canter has been a force to be reckoned with in the Mod 4 class. The Abingdon, Va., driver has won three straight track championships and must be considered odds-on-favorite to repeat. But rest assured that his fellow competitors will give him a run for bragging rights, among them Billy Duty (Abingdon, Va.), Chris Amburgey (Gate City, Va.), Jessie Amburgey (Gate City, Va.), Zach Fritz (Abingdon, Va.), and others.

Jay Swecker of Kingsport is all geared-up to try defend his two straight Pure Street championships, but Kevin Darnell (Blountville), Penny Hurd (Kingsport), Rob Austin (Castlewood, Va.), Jessica Payne (Marshall, N.C.), Ricky Payne (Marshall, N.C.), Brian Eggers (Johnson City), Joey Sykes (Dante, Va.), Richard Adkins (Bristol), Sam Ferguson (Kingsport), and others are ready for battle.

The Vintage class is scheduled for special events this season. Jeremy Mullins of Clintwood, Va., won the championship last year.

Open practices will be held Thursday, March 21 and on Friday, March 22 leading up to Saturday’s (March 23) season opener. Free admission to watch practice from the grandstands and tier-parking.

The pit gate will open Saturday, March 23 at 8 a.m., with both grandstand and tier-parking gates opening at 12 p.m. … Drivers meeting is set for 12 p.m., with qualifying to follow at 12:30 p.m. and the green flag scheduled to wave at 2 p.m.

Adult grandstand admission Saturday $12, with kids 12-and-under admitted free. Adult tier-parking admission $12 per person (plus a $12 vehicle parking spot fee), with kids 12-and-under admitted free. Tier-parking spots are available for season-long reservation at $100 per spot. With a reserved parking spot, weekly vehicle and admission costs still apply. 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.

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!