LUCAMA, N.C. – Matt McCall overcame an early spin and drove back through the field to win Sunday’s Thanksgiving Classic late model stock car event at Southern National Motorsports Park for the second-straight year.
McCall, who works as a crew chief for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, had to hold off four-time track champion Deac McCaskill to earn the victory and the $20,000 payday that went with it.
McCaskill spent much of the first half of the race inside the top-five, but was involved in a caution when a few lapped cars tangled in front of him. McCall ended up spinning as well after contact with CARS Late Model Stock Tour champion Bobby McCarty. Because he was involved in the caution, event officials sent McCall to the rear.
“They paid money at lap 100 and I got a little greedy trying to get that money and it put me in a bad spot, however you want to call it,” McCall said. “Fortunately, I knew there were enough laps to fight it and get our position, but we were unable to. Just trying to pick them off and save a little bit, but there wasn’t much saving there for that last whole run.”
McCall answered the challenge, roaring back to the front and rocketing past the leaders late – ultimately making the winning pass with three laps to go and edging McCaskill at the line.
“Fortunately, it went green,” McCall continued. “The guys giving the outside was a huge advantage to me. Also, I got to practice about six or seven restarts on the outside so that helps too. All in all, a lot of fun. Wendell Davis obviously prepared a car again that sits in the shop and waits for me to drive it and I can’t thank him enough.”
McCaskill had to settle for second despite running at the front of the field throughout the event.
“We got the four tires, and we just rode man,” McCaskill said. “I rode, and I rode, and I rode. These guys are smart racers man. Matt McCall, Bobby McCarty, Philip Morris and Bradley (McCaskill), they know what to do man. When you’re leading like that, you got to set a pace and you can’t go too fast. So, I just sat there and rode and rode. I know what kind of times I run, and after every caution, my car was just flawless. We got that big lead, and they kept telling me Matt was up to third, up to second, then it was just time to go. I took off, and he took off, and the lapped cars hurt me a little bit, but that’s just racing man, and there wasn’t anything I could do. I tried to get around them as quick as I could, and I slipped a few times, and Matt was able to capitalize on it.”
McCaskill’s younger cousin, Bradley McCaskill, finished third ahead of McCarty and Layne Riggs.
Adam Murray won the limited late model race Sunday afternoon while Jonathan Kornegay won the Charger feature.
Matt McCall, Deac McCaskill, Bradley McCaskill, Bobby McCarty, Layne Riggs, Brandon Pierce, Philip Morris, Stacy Puryear, Tyler Matthews, Brenden Queen, Taylor Gray, Drew Dollar, Justin Johnson, Mike Darne, Cliff Daniels, Colin Garrett, Tyler Hughes, Mark Wertz, Mike Ganoe, Casey Wyatt, Dennis Holdren, Chris Johnson, Davin Scites, Thomas Burbage, Robbie Babb, Ryan Wilson, Jonathan Findley, Mini Tyrrell, Cameron Bowen, Camden Gullie, Terry Dease, Terry Brooks Jr.