Deac McCaskill Returns to Victory Lane at Southern National; Christopher Bell Also Wins

Deac McCaskill (left) and his mother, Kay (right), who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, celebrate in victory lane after Deac's triumph in the 125-lap CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car race. (Photo credit: Andy Marquis/RACE22.com for Southern National Motorsports Park)

Deac McCaskill (left) and his mother, Kay (right), who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, celebrate in victory lane after Deac’s triumph in the 125-lap CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car race. (Photo credit: Andy Marquis/RACE22.com for Southern National Motorsports Park)

LUCAMA, NC – Four-time Southern National Motorsports Park track champion Deac McCaskill scored his first win at Southern National Motorsports Park since 2013, leading wire-to-wire to score an emotional victory in Saturday night’s CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car feature race.

McCaskill’s victory was his first at Southern National Motorsports Park since September 14, 2013, when he clinched his record-tying fourth track championship, and his first win of any kind in the 2015 season. It comes two months after finishing second in the CARS Tour season opener, which was held at Southern National, back on March 28th. But the win has even more sentimental value to McCaskill because his mother, Kay, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I was so focused on those lapped cars, I didn’t know that was the end of the race,” McCaskill said in victory lane after his triumph in the 125 lap race. “They said ‘checkered flag’ and I busted into tears. I cried the whole way around. I had to do a Polish Victory Lap to get myself together. It’s been a rough couple weeks for this family. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer but sometimes God puts things in your life. You’ve just got to hope and pray for the best and things happen for a reason. We’re strongly behind her, we’re supporting her and hopefully we can raise awareness for breast cancer.”

McCaskill has scored countless wins at Southern National and four track championships, but his win on Saturday is one of the most memorable wins for the 38-year-old veteran from Raleigh, North Carolina.

“This ranks right up there with the Thanksgiving Classic back [in 2006] when I raced with Denny Hamlin,” McCaskill remarked. “To still get emotional about it, that’s really cool. I’m just real proud to be standing here in victory lane. That’s awesome.”

Kay McCaskill joined her son in victory lane, praising him for his victory and vowing to beat breast cancer.

“A win is a win,” Kay McCaskill said. “When he comes home safe, that’s my win. I know he won this for me. He is a wonderful son. I’m blessed, beautiful grandchildren. I’m going to beat this.”

Tyler Ankrum finished second in the race while Todd Gilliland, who won in March, finished third. The other four-time Southern National Motorsports Park track champion, Jamey Caudill, finished in the fourth position. Caudill’s fourth place finish is the Late Model Stock Car veteran’s best result of the season.

“We worked really hard on center,” Caudill said of his fourth place finish. “Center’s still not fixed but it’s a lot better. We lost our drive off and couldn’t get back to the gas off the corner. At least we’re headed in the right direction. Seems to have gone too far so maybe we can back up a little bit there and get where we need to be.”

Mike Darne, who scored two wins at Southern National in 2014, snapped a streak of bad luck to score his first top-five finish of the 2015 season just two weeks after an accident in the closing stages of the Jerry Moody Memorial race at Southern National took him out of a likely top-five finish.

“It’s definitely satisfying,” Darne said. “We have definitely struggled. We’ve had a lot of bad luck. We’ve had good cars. A couple races, we got caught up in wrecks. This was a good night. I needed a caution so I could try to work that top-five. We just didn’t get that caution. I started too far back but bad qualifying efforts will do that to you. You’ve got to come from the back and you run out of tire at the end. It’s a great night for us and I’m excited to get to the next one.”

Kyle Busch Motorsports development driver Christopher Bell picked up his fourth asphalt Super Late Model win of the season and his second win in the CARS Tour in dominant fashion, holding back Cole Timm, who won in March, and Harrison Burton, son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton, to score the victory.

“I don’t know about dominance,” Bell commented in victory lane after the race. “I was hanging on those last 40 laps. Track just got really slick. I was slipping and sliding around. The pace kept slowing down and you’re trying to keep up with what you were running and you just can’t do it. The harder you try, the more you slide so I just had to really slow down and make sure I had kept my tires underneath me and thankfully we didn’t have a late race yellow.”

Cole Timm made a late race pass on Harrison Burton to come away with a second place finish. Burton, who finished third, was proud of his effort after the struggles he and his team have had in the CARS Tour and throughout the 2015 season as a whole. Prior to the race, the team parted ways with crew chief Freddie Query, hired Chris Wimmer and build new cars. Burton had success in last weekend’s Southern Super Series Gulf Coast Doubleheader, coming away with a win at Mobile International Speedway (Alabama) after Bubba Pollard was disqualified.

“It feels really good to get a top-three here,” Burton said. “We struggled pretty bad here. We struggled everywhere really for a few months there. We have Chris Wimmer with us now and he’s working really hard and getting our stuff right. It’s only our third race together and there’s a lot more to come from us so I’m really excited for us.”

Goldsboro, North Carolina’s Clay Jones, who won the Southern National Motorsports Park Limited Late Model division championship in 2013, finished fourth in the race over fifth place finisher Quin Houff.

“I didn’t know we had that to be honest,” Jones said about his performance. “I’m proud of everybody. We worked so hard. The race before this was the worst we have run in a long time. To bounce back and have a top-five finish, we can’t ask for much more.”

The next race at Southern National Motorsports Park will be held on Saturday, June 13th featuring twin races for the Late Model division as well as racing in the Charger, Legends, U-CAR and Bandolero divisions.

For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at http://www.snmpark.com, “like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.

Late Model Stock Cars:

1. #08 Deac McCaskill
2. #58 Tyler Ankrum
3. #98 Todd Gilliland
4. #50 Jamey Caudill
5. #99 Mike Darne
6. #16 Jeff Oakley
7. #2 Myatt Snier
8. #12 Austin McDaniel
9. #27 Tommy Lemons, Jr.
10. #28 Chris Hudspeth
11. #41 Brayton Haws
12. #07 Clint King
13. #88 Robert Tyler
14. #77 Blake Stallings
15. #42 Craig Stallard
16. #7 Justin Crider
17. #16s RD Smith
18. #23 Donnie Puryear
19. #31 Thomas Beane
20. #59 Roddey Sterling, Jr.
21. #88 Chris Davis
22. #54 Michael Fose

Super Late Models:

1. #51 Christopher Bell
2. #57 Cole Timm
3. #12 Harrison Burton
4. #67 Clay Jones
5. #17 Quin Houff
6. #25 Ross Kenseth
7. #77 Zane Smith
8. #7 Tyler Church
9. #31 Kyle Grissom
10. #66 Steven Wallace
11. #98 Jody Measamer
12. #51n Stephen Nasse
13. #6 Brandon Setzer
14. #14d Chris Davidson
15. #12c Garrett Campbell
16. #16 Lucas Jones
17. #25 Stephen Leicht
18. #45 Joey Mucciacciaro
19. #40 Grant Galloway
20. #18 Kiel Spaulding
21. #88 Garrett Jones
22. #4 Brandon Lynn
23. #00 Lucas Ransone
24. #118 Dave Mader, III
25. #71 Nick Robinson
26. #54 Matthew Craig
27. #56 Gus Dean

**Article courtesy of race22.com**

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