“Every week Justin Haers would run in the Sportsman division and his crew guys, Jeff Nieskes and ‘Buck’ (Kevin McMillen), would come over to my car after Justin ran and help me out to get ready. The night I won, Justin also won the Sportsman feature. So both of his crew guys got (Victory Lane) pictures with two different cars that night. That was pretty cool and definitely very satisfying.”
No. 1: Emotional WoO LMS checkered flag. On June 23, 2009, McCreadie steered his Sweeteners Plus dirt Late Model to a World of Outlaws victory that set off a giant post-race celebration on Canandaigua’s homestretch. With the triumph coming in just his third start after returning from a back injury that had kept him out of the cockpit for six months, McCreadie was inundated by family, friends and fans in Victory Lane.
“That was pretty cool,” said McCreadie. “That was like when my dad won Syracuse (DIRTcar big-block Modified racing’s most prestigious event). It was like everybody wanted to be down on the track and be a part of our win. That definitely makes you think that you’re lucky to have people who pay attention. We can pretend that we’re not affected, but it’s always nice when they’re on your side. It’s a lot more fun that way.
“That’s probably my number one moment (at Canandaigua), the best night we ever had there. After spending a couple weeks in a hospital bed and six months in a (back) brace not really being allowed to do anything and winning at Canandaigua in our third race back – I think that was very satisfying. There were people there who were genuinely happy for me to see it go down like that. It was the first time my dad saw me win a Late Model race too.”
What’s more, that day happened to mark the beginning of McCreadie’s relationship with the woman who in July 2010 would give birth to his first child, a son named Gavin.
“That was the first date I had with Karen,” McCreadie said of his girlfriend, with whom he and Gavin now live in a house outside Rochester, N.Y. “Through a couple of friends we met a week earlier and we talked a little bit on the phone, and I asked her if she wanted to go get a late lunch and then go over and watch the (WoO LMS) race at Canandaigua. She said she had been there when she was little but hadn’t been back in years, so her first introduction to real racing was that night.”
He paused, and then added with a smile, “You couldn’t really make it any better for a first date.”
When the WoO LMS visits Canandaigua on Tuesday night for the second consecutive season and fourth time in the last six years, McCreadie will look to make another memory at a track that just might be his favorite.
“How could you not like that track?” said McCreadie, who has 14 career big-block Modified feature wins at Canandaigua and hasn’t finished worse than third in the speedway’s three previous WoO LMS events. “It doesn’t matter where you start there. There’s been nights when you see a guy start 18th and have the lead in six laps, which means you have one helluva racetrack.
“Usually when you have a lot of talent (racing) someplace you can hold each other off by slowing each other down, but at that place you can’t hold anybody back if you’re not better than them. You’re gonna be able to go to the front if you’re fast enough.”