B.J. Mackey, driver for the Daly Racing, LLC, ...
B.J. Mackey, driver for the Daly Racing, LLC, #84 Van Camp's/Horton Homes Pontiac posted a strong runner-up finish at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Ga., Saturday, October 28, 2000, in the final 2000 NASCAR Goody's Dash Touring Series racing event. Saturday's 2nd place finish secured for Mackey a 3rd place standing in the Points Championship competition. Mackey finished the year with three wins, two Bud Pole Awards, two track qualifying records (Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN and Coast Plains Speedway in Jacksonville, NC), 11 top 5 finishes, 14 top 10 finishes and 4 Gatorade "Front Runner" Awards. Mackey has also garnered for himself the title of "2000 Lap Leader" and Gatorade "Front Runner" Award winner by posting 415 laps led out of a total 2,171 laps raced. The next closest competitor in this competition posted 286 lead laps. In route to leading the most laps, Mackey had an impressive 94% lap completion rate with 2,040 completed laps out of 2,171 laps raced. In the 18 scheduled racing events, Mackey qualified his #84 Pontiac, 9 times in the top 5 and 16 times in the top 10.
Mackey at the end of the race stated, "We have had one fantastic year. My team has worked hard all year and their untiring efforts have paid big dividends. I can not express how proud I am of these people, who have dedicated untold hours, helping me to achieve these impressive results. My Crew Chief, Bruce "Pork Chop" Melton, my Team Manager and tire specialist Willard Brown, my engine specialist Buddy Kellett, my official Race Scorer Harriet Kellett, and a special thanks to a young Rock Hill High School 16 year old, Mitch Williams. Mitch has become an invaluable asset, dedicating many, many long, hard hours at the shop and at the track. It never seemed to matter what job I asked him to do, he always gave me his best effort."
Mackey continued, "I sincerely hope the Dalys (Jeff, Mike and Gene Daly, owners of Daly Racing, LLC) know how much I appreciate the confidence they placed in me this year. They gave me an opportunity back at the first of the year to run at Daytona. No promises were made beyond that one race. We started 16th there and finished 9th. From that point, they selected me as their primary driver and I think they are pleased with the results. I also hope our sponsors know how important their contributions were to our success this year. Van Camp's Beans and Horton Homes have been faithful through out the year and I would certainly be remise if I did not express our sincerest appreciation to these people and their companies."
Jeff Daly of Daly Racing, LLC smiled broadly when stating, "This has been a tremendous year for the Daly Racing, LLC program and we owe B.J. and his crew a resounding congratulations for their success and performance. We are eagerly looking forward to the 2001 race season with an eye focused on a run at the Points Championship. Take away the crash this year at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the one at Bristol and we could have taken the championship this year."
The biggest smile Saturday night belonged to race winner Keith Roggen of Winter Haven, FL. Roggen in his #94 Ten Brink Underground/Dallas Auto Pontiac, raced from his outside starting pole position to capture his first career NASCAR Touring event. "This is awesome," exclaimed Roggen in victory lane. "We have been close this year but tonight was our night. B.J. (Mackey) is a good racer. He raced me clean all night and the race fans couldn't have seen a better climax to a racing season."
The race was indeed a grand finale for the season. Securing his 4th Bud Pole of the year and the yearly Bud Pole Award, Jimmy Britts placed his #92 NAPA Autoparts/Horsepower by Hedrick Pontiac on the point when he turned in a 14.562 second (92.707mph) qualifying run. For Robert Huffman, his 7th place race finish sewed up his 4th NASCAR Goody's Dash Touring Series Points Championship. Cam Strader was also named the official 2000 NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year. Roggen's win made him the 11th driver to visit victory lane in 2000.
After pitting on lap 32, Mackey commenced to put on a spectacular display of driving skills as he moved his #84 Van Camp's/Horton Homes Pontiac from 12th place. The team spotters one after the other were telling their drivers, "Get ready, 'cause, here comes Mackey." On lap 82 Mackey moved into 3rd and 2 laps later, he took his charge to the inside of Justin Hobgood's machine on the front stretch to claim the number two spot. From this point on it was the Roggen-Mackey show as the two drivers swapped the point four times over the final 42 laps. The fans were treated to a spectacular display of door-to-door racing, lap after lap, with Mackey and Roggen fighting for the lead. After a late race caution on lap 135, Mackey restarted the field from the point. Mackey and Roggen continue their fierce battle and on lap 142, Roggen charged hard into turn one and two where he put his #94 Pontiac back on the point for the final time. "If I had to race anybody," stated Roggen, "I am sure glad it was B.J. (Mackey). He could have taken me out at any time but he raced me hard and he raced me clean." "That's the kind of driver he is... a great competitor and a great driver. He won't take a cheap shot at you to put you out of a race."
Coming home behind Roggen were, B.J. Mackey, Cam Strader, Justin Hobgood, and Rick Bryant. Rounding out the remainder of the top ten were Joey Miller, Robert Huffman, Jimmy Britts, Randy Humphrey and Ned Combs.
This was the final event of the 200 racing season for the NASCAR Goody's Dash Touring Series and all the drivers will be honored at the Champion's Award Banquet on December 2 at the Greensboro (NC) Hilton. As a final note, the next to last race held at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL. on October 21, 2000, will be shown as a taped delayed broadcast by Fox Sports South on Thursday, November 16, 2000 at 12:00 Noon and again on Saturday, November 18, 2000 at 5:30 P.M.
-Willard Brown- Team Manager #84 Daly Racing, LLC