LUCAMA, NC :: Jamey Caudill was excited about his chances in the Autumn Classic when he scored two late season wins at Southern National Motorsports Park but his Martinsville misfortunes have changed his plans for Sunday’s race.

Caudill had scored those victories in the season finale at Southern National.  He took that same car to Martinsville and had intentions of running it in the Autumn Classic.  Those plans changed when he was wrecked on the third turn of the first lap in the first heat race for the MDCU 300.  Now, he’ll be racing for longtime engine builder Charlie Long in Sunday’s Autumn Classic.

As of now, Caudill’s not sure how Long’s car will be in comparison to the car he won those two races in back in September.

“We’re not going to get to do any testing,” Caudill said.  “I felt really good about bringing our car back because we had a couple races under our belt and ran really good with it.  We were excited about coming back with it.  Of course that didn’t work out so we’ll come back with his car next week and do the best we can.  We’re working on our other car to get it ready to take to Myrtle Beach in two weeks after that.  Just pretty excited about coming back next week.  It’s going to be a shot in the dark.  We don’t know what we’re going to have when we get her.”

Caudill is a two time winner of the Autumn Classic, scoring victories back in 2004 and 2005, and a four-time Southern National track champion.  With the number of laps he has run at Southern National, he knows that his experience could compensate for the lack of track time if the car is close when they unload for practice on Friday.

“I think, if we can show up close with the car when we get here, I think we can get where we need to be.  If we show up and don’t have the springs we need when we show up, we’re probably not going to have the time to get where we need to be.  We’ll do the best we can.  I think Friday is all day practice and everything gets started on Saturday so I feel pretty good about it.  Charlie, Robert and those guys work hard.  They’ve run here.  It’s been a few years ago.  I think they ran Motor Mile a couple years ago with that same car.  The setup should be pretty close.”

Caudill says the crash at Martinsville wasn’t a major setback but feels it was certainly a financial setback for his team and sponsors.

“Other than just these two big races coming up, it’s not a big setback because we hadn’t planned to do a lot of racing. I haven’t planned to points race next year.  Other than this costing sponsors a lot of money and us a lot of hard work and time, that’s all we’re out of.  That’s a lot.  We can get back where we were, that’s not a problem.  That’s just a lot of money to spend and a lot of time to get back there.”

Caudill spent much of this year mentoring a couple of younger drivers – most notably the newly crowned Southern National Limited Late Model champion Haley Moody, the 19-year-old daughter of Caudill’s longtime car owner Jerry Moody.

“I’m really proud of what Haley’s done this year, winning three races and winning the championship with everything she’s had to deal with.”

Caudill’s plans for next year are still up in the air.  He says his main focus right now is on the Autumn Classic and the Myrtle Beach 400.

“We’re going to put another car together but my racing will be very limited.  I don’t expect to race a whole lot and we haven’t talked about any plans about doing anything beyond Myrtle Beach so we’ll just get through Myrtle Beach, see what we’ve got left, see how things go and go from there.”