LUCAMA, NC – Saturday night’s season opening race at Southern National Motorsports Park did not disappoint. The race was headlined by a thrilling victory by 25-year-old Bradley McCaskill from Archer Lodge, North Carolina and a dominant victory by 21-year-old Andrew Grady from Knightdale, North Carolina.
McCaskill had to start in the back of the first of two races after his qualifying time was disallowed. He worked his way up through the field and made his race winning move on the final turn of the final lap of the race, executing a bump-and-run on 35-year-old Ronald Renfrow from Kenly, North Carolina. After clearing Renfrow, McCaskill cruised to the victory while Renfrow was relegated to a fourth place finish.
“We started in the back, had to come through the field ad used up a lot of equipment getting there,” McCaskill said. “The last lap was just hard racing. Not the way I want to do it. I had no intentions of knocking him out, Ronald’s a great guy. I feel terrible about that, but that’s racing.”
Renfrow, who recently had surgery after donating a kidney to his close personal friend Brent Pope, was miffed with McCaskill after the race.
“It’s racing, it’s a bad deal,” Renfrow said. “I just wish he carried me off in the corner and let me push and wash up, then turn under me, and I had him deliberately turn me. I don’t drive that way, and I wouldn’t drive nobody else that way. But all in all, our guys worked hard, we showed we can run with anybody here. We can be a contender week in and week out.”
Because of his recent surgery, Renfrow was unable to compete in the second race. He stepped out of the car and handed the wheel over to 25-year-old Matt Waltz from Newport News, Virginia.
“I had surgery about five months ago, and it’s all I had to run the first race, so we ain’t getting back in there the second race,” Renfrow said. “A good friend of mine was on dialysis, had diabetes, needed a kidney, and I went and got tested for the whole deal. We weren’t a match, so I entered a pair donation thing and donated a kidney. He went from being on dialysis and laying in a bed 14 hours a day to doing anything he wants to today.”
41-year-old Rusty Daniels from Alliance, North Carolina finished in second while 39-year-old Bobby Gower from Clayton, North Carolina finished third, Renfrow finished in fourth and 16-year-old Jonathan Findley from Bristow, Virginia rounded out the top-five.
Andrew Grady moved to the lead early in the second Late Model feature and never looked back as he scored a dominant victory over McCaskill.
“Tonight was real special,” Grady said in victory lane. “There was a lot of heat here tonight, with Bradley coming back. I figured he was going to be real, real strong, and he was. In my opinion, I just one of the absolute best that ever sat in the Limited Late Models, that’s Bradley McCaskill. I can say I beat him straight-up, head-to-head, no bull, no nothing. Glad to come away with it, and hopefully he comes back and we can try it again.”
McCaskill took his second place finish in stride after scoring the best average finish on the evening and scoring a victory earlier in the evening.
“A lot cleaner second race, I guess,” McCaskill remarked. “We used way too much tire up in the first race getting up to the front. We kind of leveled off there in the second. Gradys are going to be the ones to beat, and I finished in the Grady sandwich on the front straightaway.”
27-year-old Brandon Hobbs from Newton Grove, North Carolina finished in third while Jonathan Findley finished fourth and Rusty Daniels finished fifth.
Michael O’Brien, 23, from Mount Olive, North Carolina passed Jeremy Bohne, 28, from Wilson, North Carolina on the 19th lap of the 35 lap Charger feature to score the victory. Bohne went on to finish second while Paul Williamson, 18, from Kenansville, North Carolina finished third.
21-year-old Alex Pacheco from Saugus, California led wire-to-wire in the Legends feature race to score the victory over 18-year-old Justin Mitchell from Goldsboro, North Carolina and defending division champion Will Bristle, 15, from McGee’s Crossroads, North Carolina.
41-year-old Travis Miller from Jacksonville, North Carolina scored the win in an exciting U-CAR feature over reigning division champion James Stroud, 38, from Lucama, North Carolina and Tyler Horne, 21, from Maysville, North Carolina.
11-year-old Josh Kossek from Tobaccoville, North Carolina scored the victory in the 15 lap Bandolero feature over 12-year-old Kade Lambert from Burlington, North Carolina and 13-year-old Kailey Murray from Murray, North Carolina.
The next race at Southern National Motorsports Park will be the Jerry Moody Memorial on Sunday, April 26th featuring 150 laps of Late Model Stock Car racing action. The race will pay tribute to long-time car owner Jerry Moody who passed away in December 2013. Moody owned cars driven by Matt McCall, who is now a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief as well as former track champions Scott Riggs, Jamey Caudill and his daughter Haley Moody. Along with the Late Models, the Charger, U-CAR, Legends and Bandolero divisions will all be in action.
More information will be announced about the Jerry Moody Memorial over the next few days.
For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at www.snmpark.com, “like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.
-Southern National Motorsports Park Press Release. Photo Credit: Corey Latham
LATE MODEL (RACE #1)
LATE MODEL (RACE #2)