Since Bradley McCaskill first started racing full seasons in 2000, he’s run as few as eight races in a season to as many as 30.
This summer is shaping up to be on the high end of what he’s used to.
McCaskill, who’s run the CARS late model tour the last four seasons, had plans to just run the tour full-time again this season. His car owner, Ronald Renfrow was planning to run a full season himself at Southern National Motorsports Park, but on the first night he and McCaskill split racing a twin bill, which McCaskill won.
Since he already has a win at Southern National, a 0.400-mile asphalt oval in Lucama, North Carolina, and since the track has a new tire deal to make it more affordable to race there, McCaskill decided to do a full-season there, as well as race the CARS tour.
“The schedules don’t really conflict with each other, so since we have the two cars we thought, ‘well shoot, we’ll both run the full season over there since we already have one win’ ” McCaskill said.
The additional races this season will not be easy for McCaskill – “It’s more than we’ve been used to lately for sure,” he said – but being able to run every weekend, and compete at a top level, is made possible thanks to a strong cast behind the late model veteran.
“The biggest thing is just trying to balance racing with work and family life,” he said. “It always gets kind of tough. It all starts out as good intentions, but you have to have a great support system at home to be behind it all.”
McCaskill is very used to busy summers. For him, it’s all he’s ever known. He was always at the race track when he was young watching his dad race, and his parents got him into a race car at a very young age.
“I played sports growing up but all my coaches knew racing came before the sports did,” he said. “So I had a lot of conflicting schedules there when I was younger, but racing was always top priority.”
It was through racing that he was able to start his own business, Graphix Unlimited, which designs, produces and installs decals and wraps on racecars and other commercial vehicles.
When McCaskill was younger, his then girlfriend (now wife), talked him into doing his own car decals. The man who had been doing his for years retired, and McCaskill decided it was time to turn his hobby into a full-fledged business.
“It was kind of one those things where we just started doing it as a hobby just to my own race cars and did a few other guys, friends of mine cars,” he said. “And one thing led to another and now we have two full-time employees that work with me.
“We’ve kind of stayed well connected with the racing world with the decals.”
Graphix Unlimited does everything in house, from design to installation. McCaskill said he has definitely never been the creative artistic type, but he knows how to make a car look good.
“Everybody likes to look at good looking race cars,” he said. “That’s something we always had fun with. I would not say I was ever really creative. We just like putting stuff together that looks cool.”
McCaskill said his race team struggled last year, but a chassis switch this season has helped them come out much stronger in 2019. Along with the win at Southern National, they also have a few pole wins, and a strong run at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
Since they’re running a full season now at Southern National, the goal is to of course try to win a championship, but there isn’t pressure to succeed week in and week out.
“We’ve never really been a points racing type deal, we always just pick and choose where we’re racing to keep it fun,” he said. “And we’re still planning on doing that this year, just have fun. But any time you go to the race track the main goal is to win. So just win races is really the No. 1 goal.”
The increased schedule wouldn’t be possible without the support McCaskill said he gets from his wife, Mary Candace, who he said puts up with a lot of long hours and late nights, and his mom and dad, and team owner.
“My dad works side-by-side with me on the race car. He does probably just as much, if not more work than me on the car itself,” he said. “Extending that out to the last couple years we started racing with Ron Renfrow, and what he’s done for my family as far as putting me in a car and us racing together, that’s helped out tremendously over the last couple years.”
“It’s a lot of work and a lot of heartache. It’s just all I’ve ever known I guess. It’s just the love of the sport, the competition. We do it as a family too so it’s a lot of family time together. But it’s a lot of hard work. I guess the satisfaction is when all the work does pay off and you’re sitting there in Victory Lane.”
The next race at Southern National will be this Saturday. The “Mom’s the Bomb” will feature late models, mini-stocks, bandeleros, and UCARs, beginning at 7 p.m.