Rock Hill, S.C. native B.J. Mackey arrived a day early at the Coastal Plains Raceway in Jacksonville, NC. Mackey and his family enjoyed a day of fishing from one of the local piers along the coast. "I spent all day on the pier and only caught...
Rock Hill, S.C. native B.J. Mackey arrived a day early at the Coastal Plains Raceway in Jacksonville, NC. Mackey and his family enjoyed a day of fishing from one of the local piers along the coast. "I spent all day on the pier and only caught one fish," stated Mackey. "I really don't remember what type of fish I caught. We just simply had a great time, being together as a family, enjoying a day away from the rigors of racing."
With the diligence and patience of a true fisherman, Mackey reeled in an award winning catch on Saturday night at the NASCAR Goody's Dash Touring Series M & N Rentals 125, where he started the night by posting his second "Bud Pole Award" of the 2000 season. His qualifying run on the beautiful 4/10 mile oval of Coastal Plains Raceway established a new track record at 16.203 seconds (88.782 M.P.H.), beating the previous record of 16.267 seconds (88.474 M.P.H.) set by Jake Hobgood in April of this year.
>From this point forward, Mackey left a solid impression in the minds of the race fans with a dominating performance where Mackey lead 111 of 125 laps. This places the driver of the #84 Van Camp's Beans/ Horton Homes/ Daly Racing, LLC Pontiac in first place in the 2000 Lap Leader competition. Mackey has lead 378 laps out of a total of 1,871 laps run.
"We had a great race car tonight" said Mackey from victory lane. "I can't say enough about this awesome Jan Smith Motor. It was so strong on the restarts and we were able to build a good lead over the second place car. This team has really come together this year and I have to thank Daly Racing, LLC for believing in me enough to let me drive their car." "I would also like to thank our sponsors, Van Camp's and Horton Homes," continued Mackey. "We wouldn't be here without them." "And finally my crew. These guys have really worked hard this year and that work is paying off." "They gave me a car tonight that I could drive virtually anywhere on the track that I wanted." grinned an elated Mackey. "What an incredible feeling to have such an awesome car under you."
In the pre-race qualifying draw used by the series, Mackey moved to the outside of the front row with third fastest qualifier Jake Hobgood taking the point. The fourth fastest qualifier Ricky Bryant moved up to third for the start and the second fastest qualifier Justin Hobgood dropped back to fourth.
Jake Hobgood grabbed the point when the green flag waved to start the race with Mackey close behind. Robert Huffman wasted little time dispatching Bryant and Justin Hobgood for third place. Mackey stayed glued to Hobgood's back bumper until Hobgood bobbled going into turn one, drifted up the track and Mackey scooted under to take the lead on lap 14. Mackey never relinquished his lead for the remainder of the race.
"B.J. (Mackey) was just too strong for us tonight," said Jake Hodgood after the race. "I just couldn't get my tires to hook up on those restarts and he would pull away and give himself some running room with the lapped cars. He deserved to win because he could put his car anywhere he wanted to run. He worked the lapped traffic well."
Robert Huffman who was trying to lock up a fourth national title in this NASCAR series stated, "I just couldn't get a good restart with all those lapped cars around us tonight." "The White House Apple Juice car was strong and ran well tonight but B.J. (Mackey) really had his car working well. My hat is off to that team because they have been very strong this year."
Crew chief Bruce "Pork Chop" Melton stated after the race, "B.J. just continues to amaze me. He makes our whole team look great. He was so dominate tonight and I was continuously on the radio telling him to take it easy and save the car. He really drove a smart race and it makes us all very proud to be a part of B.J.'s racing effort." "When you set up a car and a driver of B.J.'s caliber climbs in behind the steering wheel, magic happens and it really is rewarding to know what has been accomplished."
The seven cautions during the course of the race helped to keep Mackey somewhat in check, but once the field was regrouped, it didn't take him long to pick off cars, one after the other. Mackey by virtue of leading the race at the half way point, secured his fourth Gatorade "Front Runner" Award for the 2000 season. Mackey has now posted 3 wins, two Bud Poles, two new track qualifying records, nine top five finishes and 12 top ten finishes. He is currently 4th in the points standing, only 15 points behind third place and 84 points from the second place position.
Finishing behind Mackey was Jake Hodgood in his Wynn's/Precision Engines Pontiac, series points leader Robert Huffman in his White House Apple Juice Pontiac, Roger Sawyer in his Orlando Orange County Auto Auction Pontiac and Johnny Chapman in his Old Milwaukee Non-Alcoholic Pontiac.
As he headed to post race inspection, Mackey stated, "I would like to express my appreciation to Jake (Hobgood) and Robert (Huffman). They raced me hard tonight but they raced me clean. Both of these guys are a class act. Robert has a program that anyone in this series should copy and the Hobgoods will always be close by at the finish." "Now, let's go see what NASCAR wants to look at," smiled Mackey as he joined his team headed for the inspection line.
The next event for the NASCAR Goody's Dash Touring series will be the Discount Auto Parts 150 on October 21 at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL.
-Willard Brown Team Manager Daly Racing, LLC