“You’re never confident with the caliber of guys that are racing with us,” said McCreadie, the 2006 WoO LMS titlist. “I know one thing, and that’s (with) one mistake they’re gonna make you look silly, so we just tried to hold our own. The cushion was good and I just lived on it.
“I got some signals (from crewmen) that somebody was closing (using the bottom groove), but you just don’t know what to do. I ran 35-plus laps up there on the lip so it’s hard to just all of a sudden hang a left and run the bottom. But after I heard somebody under me I moved down and just tried to stay as straight as I could and hold on.”
The driver who made McCreadie alter his line was Eckert, who reached second place with a pass of Richards on a lap-26 restart and then slowly reeled in McCreadie. On lap 38, with lapped traffic looming ahead, Eckert pulled to the inside of McCreadie rounding turns three and four, but McCreadie fought off the 47-year-old’s bid and never felt serious pressure again.
“He was running that top and he left me a lot of room there getting into (turn) three,” said Eckert. “I changed my line, opened up my corner (entry) and got to where I was really making time on him. Then he slipped one time (on lap 38) – he pushed and got bent hard, and I got beside him (on the inside of turns three and four).
“Well, he saw me down there, and after that he moved down. After I showed my nose one time he made sure he was on the bottom coming off of four, and he even moved down into three. That got me down there in the dust to where I could barely keep up.”