“I think I’m in a little bit different point in my career,” said McCreadie. “I want to race, but it’s no secret you can’t race forever. I hope I have at least a decade left of being physically fit enough to be at the top of my game and I want to make the most of it – and I think (running Rocket cars) gives me the best shot to do that.
“It’s not a shot at anybody, but at this point I just don’t feel like I have the time to be testing and cutting stuff apart to figure things out. I just need to be on the same page with a lot of other people and then hopefully we have enough money put into our equipment, our motors, our tires – our whole program – that I’ll be competitive more consistently and won’t have the 15th-place finishes and the dropouts.
“Who knows how everything will turn out?” he continued. “We could run worse, but hopefully we can capitalize on these Rocket cars being proven to be pretty good and us being out there on the road with Mark and those guys. I think if we take what we learned going out there on our own the last couple years and combine it with the help we can get running Rocket cars, we can put some good results up.”
McCreadie will begin his championship quest in the Sunshine State, running at two tracks that he gives high ratings. He’s enjoyed success at both speedways, winning dirt Late Model and DIRTcar Big-Block Modified features at Volusia and finishing as high as second (twice) in WoO LMS competition at BRP.
“I really enjoy both of those places,” McCreadie said of BRP and Volusia. “I don’t know if it’s the speed and the layout of the tracks or what, but they just feel more comfortable for me to race on them.
“I’m never gonna complain about Ocala,” he continued, singling out the egg-shaped, three-eighths-mile oval promoted by nationally-known syndicated radio show host Todd ‘Bubba the Love Sponge’ Clem. “The thing we always wish for as race car drivers is a place that gets racy and wide for the feature, and that place has a tendency to do that. More often than not, you can race all over it. Plus, they put up really good money, you get treated good and it’s a nice, clean facility. You can’t ask for anything more.
“And for me, Volusia has always just been a natural fit. I feel comfortable there all the time – and that track, when it’s prepped right where there’s a top and a bottom and it’s black in the middle, is amazing. It’s just so wide and a lot of fun to race on.”
The sprawling half-mile Volusia oval is a special place for McCreadie, who grew up watching his father, legendary DIRTcar Big-Block Modified driver ‘Barefoot’ Bob McCreadie, compete there in February and became a Volusia winner himself when he climbed into the cockpit. McCreadie actually won the first dirt Late Model feature of his career at Volusia – a DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned event on Feb. 9, 2004 – and one year later, on Feb. 19, 2005, made the track the site of his first-ever WoO LMS victory.
“I can’t wait to get down to Volusia every year,” said McCreadie, who also won two DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned A-Mains there in 2005 and pulled off a thrilling triumph over Lanigan and Billy Moyer in last year’s DIRTcar UMP finale. “Ocala kind of builds you up with great money and real good racing, and then you go over to Volusia and it’s really hard to argue about how great that (DIRTcar Nationals) week is just because of that Daytona crowd. Volusia is always gonna have a little more amped-up atmosphere just because there’s so many people there you probably will never see anywhere else all year long. There’s people from all types of racing, whether it’s Sprint Car guys who stick around for a few days to watch, or guys from the Daytona track, or even guys from over at the asphalt track at (New) Smyrna who stop in for a night.
“It’s just such a huge thing all week. I just love the whole idea of Speedweeks there. To be there and race and be part of the whole atmosphere, it’s just so exciting to me.
“To top it off, it’s hard to win there. I mean, it’s hard to win everywhere, but there’s so many good cars there, if you can get one at Volusia during Daytona week, that’s pretty cool.”
And a triumph during the Florida excursion would certainly go a long way toward making McCreadie’s World of Outlaws championship dreams come true.
“The goal this year is to go down to Florida and hopefully win some races,” said McCreadie, whose cars will sport a new look this season with the familiar No. 39 on their doors designed to mirror the number plate that appeared on the off-shore boats his team owner, Carl Myers, used to race. “If we can do that, hopefully we’ll be in the thick of this championship thing all year long.”