BJ Mackey’s name is well known throughout the Southeast racing region from his time racing in the UARA-STARS Series to competing in some of the major Late Model Stock Car races over the years for car owners from Dave Dunlap to William Barber. However, his name hasn’t been heard or spoken much in recent years with the aging driver running only a limited number of races and instead spending his time raising his daughter and building a business.
Mackey will make his return to the seat of a competitive NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car this weekend during the season finale at Motor Mile Speedway. Mackey will be piloting an old Myatt Snider car owned by Shane Mayo.
Mayo himself is no stranger to Late Model Stock Car racing as he’s worked with the likes of Randy Taylor, RD Smith and others over the years before purchasing his own car this year. After securing the Myrtle Beach (SC) KOA Campground to sponsor the car, Mayo tapped Mackey to drive it in three races this season.
Mackey had been competing mostly in a Late Model Truck but was excited for the opportunity to drive a Late Model Stock Car again.
“He (Mayo) got a pretty good sponsor out of KOA Campgrounds and asked me to drive,” Mackey told RACE22. “We went and shook the car down and we plan on running Motor Mile this weekend and then Martinsville and Myrtle Beach if we’re good enough to make the races. It’s kind of a last-minute thing.”
The team, which is based in Myrtle Beach, SC is heading to all the way across the state and up the mountain to Radford, VA to compete at Motor Mile Speedway. Mackey says that racing at Motor Mile gives them a better test for Martinsville than competing at Myrtle Beach.
“We wanted to go somewhere that had a similar grip range to Martinsville,” Mackey explained. “And stiff competition, the competition at Motor Mile is tough. I’ve always liked running there and he (Mayo) likes it so we decided on going there. We had kicked the idea around of maybe going and running at the beach for the first time but we thought Motor Mile would be the better choice to get the car setup wise close to Martinsville.”
Mackey’s last outing at Motor Mile Speedway ended with a victory in the UARA-STARS Series event in the spring of 2008. Mackey would love the same results but the 41 year-old driver knows he’s been out of the seat for a while.
“I actually won the last time there in 2008 but it’s been ten years ago,” Mackey joked. “I haven’t been doing a whole lot of anything lately. I won the track championship at Dillon in 2016 and then a good friend of mine bought a truck and we’ve been playing in that.”
Mackey isn’t expecting to win at Motor Mile this weekend but he’s looking to be competitive and have something to build on for Martinsville and Myrtle Beach later this year.
“I’m not expecting to go out run (Mike) Looney,” Mackey stated. “It’d be great to do that but that’s not what we’re expecting. We’re going to have to go Friday and see where we’re at. The other day when we went we just shook the car down, we didn’t even get really up to speed. We never put fresh tires on to see. I feel like we’ll be in the ballpark. I feel like we’ll be a top-five car for sure.”
Mackey will test all day Friday and look to see where he stacks up on Saturday night against some of the toughest competition anywhere in the Southeast region. Given his history of success, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he’s right there with the faster cars and gets a good head start on Martinsville.