Deac McCaskill, known by many as a man, father, friend and competitor, has certainly made a name for himself. If you’re close in his life, you’re probably well known of all the things that drive Deac McCaskill. But if you’re up and around the confines of Southern National Motorsports Park, the Deac many of us have gotten to know is the one we see very often in Victory Lane.  17 times he was there last season in claiming the 2012 track championship which ultimately crowned him the 2012 North Carolina State Champion as well. You’ll also see his name in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Championship point standings in the eighth spot. It was unquestionably a solid successful race season for McCaskill.

As you become acquainted with Deac McCaskill, for a race car driver, he sure is a very soft spoken, non-controversial and maybe a bit uneventful in some respects. While his persona on the track and around the racing community will unlikely earn him style points, it’s earned him the reputation of the good guy image and the respect around the track garages. So if you ever decide to pencil in a race date at Southern National, it’s earned the title of Deac’s backyard and every race team knows it. McCaskill is already off to a hot start in 2013 with his 2 big wins last weekend in The Dirty Dozen season opener at Southern National.

Let’s not forget how Deac faired in Daytona at the UHOH Battle at the Beach race where he finished fifth by just keeping his nose clean and being consistent. Though soft spoken and at times quiet, do not mistaken Deac McCaskill’s passion to win. What this guy lacks in race funds does not represent him or his race team’s desire for success. While I’ve been fortunate in the last year in getting to know Deac McCaskill, his outlook and drive is what impresses me the most. Through my eyes, I’m sure there are others who will agree that Deac is certainly one of the Carolina good ole boys in racing. In a recent interview, Deac shared with me much more…

Mark: After talking with your dad a bit last Saturday night, you were just 12 years old. Tell me where it all began for you in racing?

Deac: “It began with my dad, not necessarily a driver but a mechanic and a crew chief. Back in the early 80’s we did a lot of dirt racing so we were all the time traveling with him and I really enjoyed the mechanic side of it. I never expected to be driving but I hope that one day I did but I’ll never forget. One day I was doing some homework from school, dad drove up in our wrecker we had with a 77 Toyota Celica lift back. He came in the house and said, “There’s your race car, get to work on it”.

Mark: Who were the influences Deac and what is it that motivates you?

Deac: “My uncle Barry McCaskill, he done a lot of driving and won a lot of races. I always thought that was cool you know, the way he drove and his desire to win. He did win a lot and I just thought it was always cool to be in victory lane with him and carrying the checkered flag. Back then, it was all about winning just like it is today.”

Mark: Deac, what values or morals did you learn growing up that has helped you become the competitor you are today?

Deac: “Earning respect for other drivers.  Racing at Orange County I raced against Barry Beggarly, David Blankenship, Wayne Pattersen and those guys were hard core racers. I’ll never forget that I would always get a lap down you know, that first year was a hard year. I always wanted to make sure that I never got in anybody’s way.  I didn’t want anyone to get a bad impression of me because I wanted to be able to go to them for advice afterwards. That’s why I try to earn respect for people and become friends so they might help me out to advance my career”.

Mark: Is there any feeling of satisfaction in your racing career or is there more you feel needs to be accomplished?

Deac: “No, this is all I want right here man. I get to race on Saturday nights where luckily, my family can come and watch and support me. I think my girls love it as much as I do and that’s all I ever want man. I just don’t want to ever travel away were they can’t come to watch me, I don’t want any part of that. I’m really enjoying what I’m doing now, you know, when your winning races, everything is really good. I’ve been on the low side of the sport where it seems like nothing you do is right and, financially, it does hurt. But when you’re winning, you get a lot of satisfaction over that and that definitely helps but what I’m doing now just fits me perfect”.

Mark: Deac 2012 was a breakout season, 18 wins in 30 starts, SNMP Late Model track champ and North Carolina state Late Model champ. Can it happen again for you in 2013?

Deac: “I sure hope so.  It’s nothing I’m taking easy just because we did last year. I think it’s going to be even harder.  There are a lot of guys out there that have improved their equipment and performances so I’ll need to improve mine as well. So far, I think we did.  We made a lot of changes to the car and I believe it’s better this year then it was last year. It’s going to take a lot to beat 2012. It’s a season I’m going to look back 30 years from now and say, ‘hey, remember what happen that year. That year is a very special year for me that I will never forget”.

Mark: Deac, your known for your humbled backgrounds, being even tempered and disciplined. If a National title is within reach, could you give up your nice guy appeal and image to win?

Deac: “I guess will just have to wait and see (laughing). Yeah, I believe I could for something that big, get a little aggressive you could say. A National title is huge, it’s an awesome accomplishment and some of the names out there are pretty big. Will just have to wait and see but I could see myself get a little aggressive”.

Mark: No secrets for small race teams with small race budgets racing for the National title like your own Deac. But if it can’t happen for you, would another successful year at SNMP be ok with you?

Deac: “Yes it would, yeah another track championship would be great, I think the North Carolina state title is definitely within reach. The only thing that’s got me worried is car counts like it does every year.  I hope we can keep a good field of cars here at Southern National. The Dirty Dozen chase will help out with things this year but I may have to race other North Carolina tracks for points this year. I’ll tell you, my biggest goal this year is to run good at Motor Mile Speedway.  We’ve been up there a couple of times and didn’t run good at all. So, one of the things on top of my list this year is to figure that place out. Winning the Dirty Dozen in 2013 is a big deal for me”.

Mark: Last week at Southern National Deac you collected both wins, is it too early to talk of a National title?

Deac: “Yeah, I feel like it is, you know just because of car counts and the guys up North in the Modifieds, this is nationwide man. I don’t really set out to win a national championship because of the many scenarios involved with it. But if the car count is good, I don’t see why we can’t have 18 really strong races for the nationals but it’s like this every year with the economy and what not.  It’s hard to draw a lot of cars every week”.

Mark: What’s important to Deac McCaskill that he wants his fans to know?

Deac: Well, what’s important to me is my faith in God.  I’ve become a lot closer to God since 2008. My family is really important to me.  Racing is not first in my life. Don’t sacrifice your family or God over your hobbies because it’s not worth it”.

Mark: Deac, if it all ended today and you had to walk away, what do you hope that you’ll be remembered most from your competitors?

Deac: “Ha, I don’t know, maybe just remember me for being just a good ole nice guy, well respected. I’m a quiet person.  I don’t say a whole lot. Once I get to know other drivers, well, I definitely can communicate with them better. I’m really focused at the race track and people probably think I’m a jerk because I don’t say a whole lot but I’m just so focused at the track. You know, I get a lot of inspiration from the kids. It’s really neat for them to say, ‘I want to be like you one day’ like the way I race and like the way I handle myself. We get a lot of inspiration from the kids and that means a lot to me. I try hard to talk with everyone after a race. I know what it’s like on the other side being a fan. Yeah, I just would want everyone to remember me as that nice guy”.

For some, winning is everything, maybe the only thing! Whether it’s the race in life or the race at the track, being competitive and being a competitor, regardless of outcome, is something Deac McCaskill has come to learn. While being thankful, grateful and fortunate, Deac has become inspired to be his best both on and off the track. Will it earn him a National Title? More than likely not, but it will never change the heart in the man of Deac McCaskill.