A 15-year-old driver won the CARS Super Late Model championship, but the story was the exact opposite in the CARS Late Model Stock division. A driver more than twice that age claimed his first touring series championship on Saturday night at Lucama, North Carolina’s Southern National Motorsports Park.
Deac McCaskill entered Saturday’s race with a 13-point lead over Tommy Lemons Jr. All he had to do was keep Lemons in sight at the finish and the championship was his. That’s exactly what McCaskill did as he finished seventh with Lemons just two spots ahead.
“This is huge, man,” McCaskill said afterwards. “Racing has been a part of my life since I was 12 years old. This is really special. When this tour came about last year it caught my interest but I thought, ‘Man I could never run with those guys.’ I just didn’t think I could do it. It was just really a special moment to me and it hit me right when I got out of the car.”
McCaskill has a team made up of just five crew members, including himself. That is a big reason why this championship meant so much to McCaskill.
“We led a lap in every single race this year except the one at Concord,” he said. “It takes a lot of work behind the scenes. A lot more than the average fans might realize.”
McCaskill, from nearby Raleigh, North Carolina, has done just about everything one could possibly do at Southern National, including three track championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013. Winning the CARS Tour championship in front of his home track crowd at Southern National made things even more special.
“It’s really cool how everything worked out,” McCaskill said. “To come down here and clinch the championship at my home track, somebody asked me a little bit ago how many wins I have here and I have no idea. We have a lot. This track has been really good to me.”
McCaskill ran up front and looked like a contender to win Saturday afternoon’s race before fading back to eighth in the closing laps as Josh Berry soared to the front.
Jeff Oakley won the pole and dominated the first 114 laps of the race before Berry took the lead away with 10 laps to go. Berry went on to take the win, his fifth of the season, by 1.7 seconds over Layne Riggs, Christian Eckes, Chris Hudspeth, and Tommy Lemons Jr.
“(Oakley) was getting really loose there at the end,” Berry said. “Really I was just trying to time the pass and get clear. We made a little bit of contact down in turn one, but that was just hard racing. Overall, it was a great season for us with the CARS Tour.”
Speed51.com will have more from Saturday’s CARS Tour season finale including interviews with both division champions and both race winners still to come on the Speed51 Network.
For an on-demand replay of Saturday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by MPI and Five Star Racecar Bodies, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
CARS LMSC 125
Southern National Motorsports Park, Lucama, North Carolina
|5||27||Tommy Lemons Jr.|