Deac McCaskill has long been regarded as the elder statesman of the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour.
Having been a part of the CARS LMSC Tour since its inaugural race at Southern National Motorsports Park in 2015, McCaskill has seen many drivers and teams come and go through his 95 starts in the series yet has remained among the best every time he shows up to the track.
McCaskill put together a signature driver in Saturday’s Autos By Nelson 250 pres. by Virginia is for Racing Lovers at South Boston Speedway by dominating the race from the outside pole for his 11th career win. The evening also saw Nick Loden prevail in a thrilling battle to the finish for his first CARS PLM Tour victory.
Deac McCaskill holds on for second win of 2023
The last time Deac McCaskill won multiple CARS LMSC Tour races in the same season was back in 2017.
Reaching that milestone at South Boston Speedway on Saturday required McCaskill to put together a defensive clinic against Layne Riggs. Clean air on the top groove provided a McCaskill an advantage, but the Late Model Stock veteran still had to exert a tremendous amount of control and determination to keep the lead in the closing laps.
“I was just driving the crap out of this car,” McCaskill said. “I knew the top was going to be key, but I couldn’t believe Layne gave me the top at the start. We got the clean air and the car was turning too good in the middle of the corner. We’ve had an up and down season, but two wins? You’ve got to be kidding me.”
After opening the 2023 season with a victory at Southern National Motorsports Park, McCaskill had only amassed one more Top 5 prior to South Boston, which occurred at Hickory Motor Speedway in April.
Despite this, McCaskill had plenty of confidence on his side heading into Saturday night. He scored one previous LMSC Tour victory at the facility back in 2017 and knew his experience would be a pivotal factor, especially with the 125-lap feature taking place in cooler weather conditions.
Although South Boston did not tighten up in the cool weather like he predicted, McCaskill was still able to keep his No. 08 Puryear Tank Lines Ford on the top groove, which forced Riggs to repeatedly dive low to find clean air. Riggs made a couple stoic charges, but McCaskill never wavered until the checkered flag waved.
McCaskill considers himself fortunate to still be competitive against all the best Late Model Stock organizations that now have so much more money and technology to utilize. He added his family is the main motivation behind his commitment to racing and hopes to win many more races for them over the next few years.
“We just work hard and don’t give up,” McCaskill said. “To come out here and compete with these teams up and down pit road is a blessing. Layne Riggs is a lot of fun to race with along with Bobby McCarty. They rubbed me a little bit, but that’s racing. I had my dad and wife here, so I’m going to remember this night for a long time.”
Layne Riggs comes one spot short of first triumph with Kevin Harvick Inc.
Even though he was unable to secure his first CARS LMSC Tour win of 2023, Layne Riggs could not help but smile after the Autos By Nelso 250 pres. by Virginia is for Racing Lovers.
Riggs did everything he could to find a preferred line around McCaskill as the veteran racer played defense on South Boston Speedway’s top groove. The rigorous effort yielded a second place effort for Riggs, who enjoyed the opportunity to battle against one of the best in the Late Model Stock discipline.
“I just needed track position,” Riggs said. “The top was really, really good. Deac is the master here and he’s been racing the top around this track before I was even born. Me and Deac are the only two people that can put that good of a race on. Even though we didn’t win the race, I still had a lot of fun.”
Riggs arrived at South Boston determined to claim his first victory in a Kevin Harvick Inc. Late Model Stock after their first triumph together at Caraway Speedway was taken away due to a post-race technical infraction.
The No. 62 proved to be the class of the field early after Riggs earned the pole with a time of 15.086. After losing the lead early to McCaskill, Riggs conserved his equipment before making a run for the lead during the final 30 laps, where he repeatedly tried but fail to pull alongside the veteran racer.
With another strong LMSC Tour performance in a KHI car behind him, Riggs is turning his attention towards his remaining NASCAR Xfinity Series starts. Riggs does not see too many contrasts between preparing for short tracks and big tracks, but stressed runs like Saturday are essential for him to keep his NASCAR dreams alive.
“You still have the same fundamentals as you would in any other car,” Riggs said. “This is really gritty short track racing, which is what I grew up on and I’m trying to translate that knowledge to the big tracks. It’s been a crazy journey, and all the stars are starting to align for me. It’s just awesome to be racing a good car.”
Nick Loden earns first victory in CARS PLM Tour
Nothing came easy for Nick Loden as he battled for his maiden win in the CARS Pro Late Model Tour.
During the last 30 laps, Loden had to battle Super Late Model standout Cole Butcher and PLM Tour points leader Caden Kvapil for the top spot. Loden ultimately took the lead and held off an aggressive charge from Butcher to park his No. 43 Corvette in South Boston Speedway’s victory lane.
“I knew [Butcher] was going to race me hard,” Loden said. “He got into me really good in [Turn] 1, so I gave him the same thing back in [Turns] 3 and 4. I ain’t mad at him, but that’s racing. I was nervous.”
The victory came as a major relief for Loden, as most of his 2023 season has been dominated by adversity.
Loden was sidelined for most of the summer after he was injured in a crash at North Wilkesboro Speedway back in May. He had only run two more PLM Tour races prior to Saturday’s Autos By Nelson 250 pres. by Virginia is for Racing Lovers, with a seventh in the Throwback 276 being his previous season-best.
Saturday was Loden’s best performance in the PLM Tour to date, as he started on pole and stayed inside the Top 5 before making his move for the win. Loden was left both elated and speechless as he reflected on one of the most storied accomplishments of his young career.
“It feels good,” Loden said.
Only two races remain for the CARS LMSC and PLM Tour. Both divisions will make another trip to Tri-County Motor Speedway on Oct. 21, with FloRacing set to provide coverage of all the on-track action.
For more information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Pro Late Model Tour, visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour.
Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in
Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.
- 08 Deac McCaskill
- 62 Layne Riggs
- 6 Bobby McCarty
- 03 Brenden Queen
- 8 Carson Kvapil
- 22 Landon Huffman
- 15 Ryan Millington
- 8B Chase Burrow
- 77 Trevor Ward
- 16 Chad McCumbee
- 04 Ronnie Bassett Jr.
- 23 Kade Brown
- 24 Mason Diaz
- 20 Joshua Dickens
- 15C Logan Clark
- 1 Andrew Grady
- 44 Conner Jones
- 67 Cameron Bolin
- 2 Brandon Pierce
- 95 Jacob Heafner
- 36 Kenny Wallace
- 4 Dylon Wilson -1
- 74 Ronald Hill -1
- 0 Landon Pembelton -1
- 77S Blake Stallings – OUT
- 25 Jacob Borst – OUT
- 5L Carter Langley – OUT
- 17 Stacy Puryear – OUT
- 81 Mini Tyrrell – OUT
- 43 Nick Loden
- 28 Cole Butcher
- 96 Caden Kvapil
- 13 Austin MacDonald
- 74 Ryan Moore
- 81 Katie Hettinger
- 9 Ashton Higgins
- 55 Charlie Keeven
- 77 Logan Jones
- 6 George Phillips
- 27W Kris Wright
- 15 Aiden King
- 43H Joshua Horniman -1
- 88L Carson Lucas -5
- 4 Jeff Fultz – OUT
- 8 Rusty Skewes – OUT