Deac McCaskill is among the most stoic and determined Late Model Stock drivers still racing today.
The long-time veteran has gotten use to winning during his long career, with accomplishments that include a Thanksgiving All-Star Classic victory and a CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour title.
When McCaskill took the checkered flag in Sunday’s Puryear Trucking 175 at Wake County Speedway, he could not help but show emotion after climbing out of his No. 08 Puryear Tank Lines Chevrolet.
Sunday’s victory served as validation for McCaskill and his Late Model Stock program after countless struggles on and off the track.
“I’ve been racing a long time and this is probably the biggest win of my career,” McCaskill said. “This is right where it all started about 100 years ago. Good gosh, I can not believe this but God always has a plan.”
— CARS Tour (@CARSTour) October 10, 2021
For the past several years, McCaskill has been confused and frustrated as to what exactly that plan was.
Family became a much more important part of McCaskill’s during that time frame life after his wife Sandy suffered a series of strokes dating back to 2018. McCaskill remained right by Sandy’s side during her ensuing recovery, which garnered a tremendous amount of support from the CARS Tour and his fellow competitors.
While Sandy continued to make significant progress in returning to full health, McCaskill also had to balance out running an efficient Late Model Stock program that gradually began to lose ground in regards to speed.
The ongoing issues forced McCaskill into making a difficult decision to temporarily shut his team down after four CARS Tour races in 2020. He intended to revive the program in 2021 with an alliance from R&S Race Cars after previously working with them across select events.
With his own car finally beginning to match the pace of teams like Nelson Motorsports and JR Motorsports, McCaskill knew it was only a matter of time before his hard work yielded a victory.
That opportunity finally came at Wake County, where McCaskill put together a dominant performance reminiscent of those from his first two seasons with the CARS Tour to bring home a $10,000 race-winning paycheck.
While McCaskill was thrilled to secure $10,000, he admitted that the money paled in comparison to celebrating in victory lane with Sandy and his two daughters.
“We’ve been through so much,” McCaskill said. “I finally got a win with my wife here at the track. That beats any kind of money, any kind of check or any kind of trophy. To have her and my two girls in the picture is priceless.”
McCaskill’s win on Sunday was his first in the CARS Tour since Langley Speedway back in 2019. Despite this, McCaskill came close to breaking his winless drought on several occasions this year.
The MTP Tire 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway saw McCaskill lead 33 laps before settling for a fourth place finish. He followed up that run with another strong showing in the Old North State Nationals but he was ultimately denied an opportunity to win $30,000 by fellow series champion Josh Berry.
Inconsistency during the summer ended up taking McCaskill out of championship contention, which made Sunday’s triumph at one of his favorite tracks all the more special.
A second CARS Tour title was far from McCaskill’s mind as he enjoyed the post-race festivities, adding that the tribulations he and his family have experienced have reinforced the importance of cherishing every single moment with them and those who help make his Late Model Stock program competitive.
“I fired off strong at the start of the year but I made some really dumb decisions on this car,” McCaskill said. “These cars are so technical these days and you really have to work hard on them but the memories of working on these cars with my dad will last forever. This is my championship right here.”
McCaskill is one to rarely show emotion regardless of what happened on track, yet it did not take long for the gravity of Sunday’s win to sink in as soon as he saw his family on the frontstretch.
He hopes to enjoy many more wins with them before his prestigious career comes to a close.
1. Deac McCaskill
2. Layne Riggs
3. Jonathan Shafer
4. Jared Fryar
5. Kaden Honeycutt
6. Bobby McCarty
7. Brandon Pierce
8. Sam Yarbrough
9. Andrew Grady
10. Ethan Johnson
11. Mini Tyrrell
12. Daniele Vuncannon
13. Justin Johnson
14. Mason Diaz
15. Conner Jones
16. Jonathan Findley
17. Joe Valento