Bradley McCaskill had a great view of the battle between Lee Pulliam and Bobby McCarty for the win in the Thanksgiving Classic as he piloted his #07 Late Model to a solid third-place finish.
That result would only stand for a few hours, as Southern National Motorsports Park track officials noticed a discrepancy with McCaskill’s fuel that did not align with their rulebook, which sent him to the rear of the 14-car field.
“We usually buy five or six barrels of fuel at a time to save money so that we have it in stock when we test,” McCaskill said. “When they ran the test, it wasn’t exactly like the track fuel, but the rule is on the entry form in black and white. We thought everything would be OK and it wasn’t.”
McCaskill, who is a long-time veteran of Southern National, entered the weekend confident about his chances to win the Thanksgiving Classic. His optimism was backed up during qualifying when he earned the pole with a blistering lap of 15.447.
McCaskill believed that his car was going to excel once the Thanksgiving Classic had a long, green-flag run, but he was impressed by the speed it possessed during his qualifying run and was looking forward to carrying the momentum over into the 125-lap feature.
“That was our first time out with a brand new car,” McCaskill said. “Everything was brand new on it from the engine to the transmission, and the car had never hit the track until Thursday. We knew we had a good car with great short-run speed, but we were actually a little surprised by the pole.”
Despite winning the pole, McCaskill was determined to save his tires for the end of the race and immediately surrendered the lead to McCarty, who would go on to lead a majority of the Thanksgiving Classic alongside Justin Johnson.
When McCaskill finally began to push his car during the second half of the race, he noticed that it was free on entry and lacked the necessary grip to compete with both McCarty and Pulliam for the win, which forced him to settle for third place.
Although McCaskill was disappointed with how everything unfolded in post-race inspection, he said that he was pleased with how his car performed during the weekend and is looking forward to competing for wins across what is expected to be a diverse schedule for him.
“We’re trying to get our schedule together,” McCaskill said. “We’re planning on running Southern National for the full season, but the CARS Tour race is still up in the air for us. We still have to figure out exactly what we want to do next.”
The season-opener for the 2020 season at Southern National will take place on April 11, where McCaskill will kick off his bid for another track championship against names such as Boo Boo Dalton and Brian Obiedzenski.