Matt McCall Officially Wins the 17th Annual Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park

Matt McCall, along with family and crews, pose for a post race photo in victory lane Sunday evening at Southern National Motorsports Park. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC – Matt McCall, fresh off the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Season with Jamie McMurray, was fast all weekend in his Grant County Mulch Late Model Stock heading into the weekends 200-lap feature. Even after fully admitting to making a mistake during qualifying time trials, McCall was able to put down a lap that locked him into the show. Saving him from the mayhem that ensued in the 25-lap last chance qualifier.

McCall was a factor from the drop of the green all the way to the checkered. One can argue, however, that Philip Morris had the dominant early on in the race after he opened up a half straightaway lead over the field once he took the lead from Pulliam. However, after an eight-car invert, full contact racing, and ultimately contact with another competitor, Morris’ night ended much earlier than he had anticipated.

“We worked really hard to come here and it is always good and rewarding to get the trophy,” McCall said in victory lane. “It is really hard to come back into Late Model Stock race and know what pace to run but it sort of played into our hands there and I think we had a little more tire there at the end.”

After being fastest in most of the session both Friday and Saturday, McCall was only able to muster a sixth place starting position. He fully admitted in victory lane after the race that it was the guy behind the wheel that messed up, not the car.

“The guy holding the pedal messed up qualifying so I will take full credit for that,” expressed McCall. “I felt really good about the car. In practice it was really solid, we made some gains this year, fortunately, it was enough.”

Staying within the top five, or there about the first half of the feature, the eight-car invert played into the hands of McCall however as he was scored fourth when the yellow flag was displayed for the halfway break. We asked McCall what changes he and the crew made to the car as the first half was in the day and the second half was going to be at night.

“We didn’t touch it,” McCall told The Weekly Racer about the halfway break. “We put tires on it and fuel in it. We got a little lucky and got it here a couple weeks to test in the dark so I kind of knew what I thought we needed and it worked out.”

Results were finally made official from speedway officials more than two hours after the checkered flag waved.

“I thought I was in the lead,” McCall commented about the final restart that put him ahead of Johnson. “Every time we contested it they put us behind him so we will just see if they give it to us this time by getting into the right spot. It is always weird with Late Model Stock racing and there aren’t really any loops it’s all visual. Maybe it would have made a difference, maybe it wouldn’t, we were pretty good at the end.”

2017 Thanksgiving Classic Results;

  1. #51 Matt McCall
  2. #44 Justin Johnson
  3. #27 Tommy Lemons Jr.
  4. #07 Bradley McCaskill
  5. #5 Lee Pulliam
  6. #22 Bobby McCarty
  7. #26 Peyton Sellers
  8. #4 Jonathan Findley
  9. #21 Mike Darne
  10. #9r Alex Brock
  11. #41 Sam Meyer
  12. #9 Charlie Watson
  13. #55 Mark Wertz
  14. #82 Cameron Burke
  15. #99 Layne Riggs
  16. #63 Tyler Matthews
  17. #2 Robert Powell
  18. #90 Terry Carroll
  19. #9 Devon Dodson
  20. #03 Brenden Queen
  21. #24 Colin Garret
  22. #18 Jason York
  23. #01 Philip Morris
  24. #5 Adam Resnick
  25. #1 Juan Gonzalez
  26. #24 Mason Diaz
  27. #17 Stacy Puryear
  28. #19 Cameron Bowen
  29. #33 Ryan Haddock
  30. #46 Thad Moffit
  31. #22 Grayson Cullather
  32. #82 Will Burns

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