You would think Deac McCaskill would be a little bit sour with a second place finish after leading 148 laps in Saturday night’s CARS Tour opener, but McCaskill was elated with the overall performance.

When McCaskill clocked the fastest lap in qualifying with a 15.408 second lap, very few people were surprised.  After all, McCaskill is a four-time track champion.  He, however, was surprised.  The combination of the rules package in the CARS Tour and the American Racer tire had McCaskill in doubt.

“I’m tickled to death,” McCaskill said of his second place finish.  “I didn’t expect to run this well in this series with these rules.  It’s probably the best car I’ve ever had down here.  When you lead like that, you set a pace.  I don’t know if I set a pace a little too hard and burned my tires up.  With every caution we had, I kept losing rear grip.”

McCaskill led 148 of the 150 green flag laps in the Late Model portion of the X-1R Performance Products 300, only to surrender the lead to Todd Gilliland after the youngster used a little muscle on the veteran to get by him.  Again, one would expect McCaskill to be salty.  He was not.

“I spun my tires pretty bad off turn two and Gilliland got under me in turn three and lifted me up and got around me,” McCaskill stated.  “He did what he had to do to win and I tried to hit him back, I just didn’t hit him back hard enough.  That’s part of racing.  I’m not upset about it.  It was a good night for us.  If I would have said earlier today we would’ve come out of here with a second place finish, I wouldn’t believe it.”

McCaskill appeared to have the win well in hand until a late race caution set up a series of restarts.  To his outside for most of those restarts was Tommy Lemons, Jr.  And, as anyone who has ever raced Lemons knows, when he’s on your outside on a restart, you might not have the lead for long.  McCaskill was able to hold Lemons, who faded to fourth, at bay only to finish second to Gilliland.

“I missed a gear one time on a restart,” McCaskill explained.  “I was a little nervous to make sure I didn’t do that again.  It seemed like, once I cleared [Tommy] out of turn two, I was okay, but when I went down into three and four, I go a little tight.  Gilliland got a good run off of four and got me in two.  I don’t know if he might have saved a little more than I did but I can’t thank my team for all their help.  It was a good night for us, I’m happy.”

All in all, it was a good day for McCaskill.  He probably would have liked to have won but he certainly felt no shame about finishing second.