BJ Mackey is the "Mack Daddy" at Tri-County Speedway by Amy Hayes
Driver Drives Like He Owns the Track in UARA Competition
BJ Mackey found himself in victory lane. (51 Photos)
So it figures that when Mackey won his first race, it would come quietly. And it was quiet. Mackey started behind the Leicht brothers in the third position, and he easily took the lead on lap six. After that, he didn’t have to do much but ride around for the 144 laps that were left in the feature.
“We had a good car,” said Mackey. “I probably drove it a little harder than I should have at the first of the race and then it got a little looser there at the end but it was not bad enough for us to lose the lead.”
Despite the car being loose, Mackey drove the track like it was one he had raced on for all of his life, but in reality it was a track that he had seen very few times before.
“This was only the second time I had ever been here. I won the first race I ran here too, back with the Goody’s Dash Series, so it has been a good track to me.
“This is definitely gonna be on my list of favorite tracks, it’s not a very popular track but we will take a win anywhere.”
Before the start of the race, or more accurately, before lap six, many thought that it would be Kevin Leicht who would be in victory lane. He had won there before and when he and his brother set the two fastest times, it looked as though the 32 and the 23 would be the cars with the targets on their backs for the rest of the evening.
But things didn’t work out the way. Leicht slipped back to third quickly at the beginning of the race and hung around the top-five for much of it. Near the end of the race, he started to gain on Mackey but time ran out for the young Leicht.
So far in the 2007 season the UARA-STARS have had four events. And in those events BJ Mackey has been a quite factor, although at first glance one may not realize that fact. Not one to cause any trouble, he has been slowly racking up points and solid finishes.
“Second is good but it is not good enough,” said Leicht. “BJ was really tough there at the end. He is a good racer and he is hard to get around. If we would have had a couple more laps we would have had a shot I think. I don’t know if I could have gotten around him, but we at least could have gotten up beside him.
“We finally did find something that made the car work really good. But I didn’t find it until there were about five laps to go, so if we would have had just a few more laps we might have found out how good it was.”
Travis Swaim was the other guy who had his sights set on chasing down the 32 of Leicht and the 12 of Mackey, but he too will have to wait for the next UARA event at Tri- County to find out what could have been.
“We qualified fifth, but we were fast in practice,” said Swaim. “We didn’t want to make too many adjustments for qualifying because we wanted to be fast in the race. We just got a little too tight but overall it wasn’t a bad day for the quality of cars that they had.”
“I don’t know if we would have had anything for Mackey. If we would have had fifty more laps maybe, it looked like toward the end that we were starting to run him down but he definitely had the best car for 150 laps.”
In the end, Swaim nor Leicht had anything for Mackey. The top three stayed much the same for most of the race leaving the rest of the field to battle it out for the remaining positions but nobody was going to touch Mackey. It was his day.
“At the end I was worried about the 32 and 23 coming up,” added Mackey. “But I knew we were all running as hard as we could. I knew as long as I didn’t over drive it into the corner or mess up that we would be alright, and it just worked out that way for us.”
UARA-STARS NOTES: TRI-COUNTY SPEEDWAY
Matt DiBenedetto is Still the Man
Matt DiBenedetto is still a man on a mission. He hasn’t been outside of the top 12 all season long and he plans on keeping it that way as he brought home a fourth place finish at Tri-County.
“Last week was a little bit of a let down,” said DiBenedetto. “But this week is awesome.
“I had no idea what the car was going to do coming in here. During qualifying our tires were ice cold, and we didn’t get a good run. During the race, we had a little bit of a problem with a tire chattering so I was running way up in the high groove and it worked out for us.
It was a solid points day for the youngster who drove like a veteran, and he is still unofficially the UARA-STARS point leader. Even if he isn’t thinking about points.
“I have exceeded my expectations so far this year. I don’t worry about the points, I just go out and try and win races when I can. I think we have a couple more left before the year is over.”
Kevin Leicht is still looking for his first win of hte 2007 season.
Matt DiBenedetto's No. 41 is one that has been up front all season long.
Double The Leicht, Double The Fun
At the beginning of the race it looked like it would be a show of the Leicht Brothers, as the younger brother Matt quickly took the lead from elder brother Kevin. But things wouldn’t work out so well for him.
“We were close to taking the pole from Kevin,” said Leicht. “I knew we were fast but I didn’t think that we were that fast. I came in and I told the guys that it had to be a slow lap, but it sure wasn’t. It wasn’t good enough for the pole, but I had my mind made up that I was going to lead that first lap, and I went and did it.
“We still ended up getting wrecked. I was trying to miss a spinning car and I got into some marbles and got into the wall, but we are going to fix it and come back. Maybe get us another pole position, and try and beat my brother. That is always my goal, to beat him.
Tissot is a Man on a Mission
Lee Tissot is a former Champion, who knows exactly what he wants. To be a champion again.
“The Championship is our goal,” said Tissot. “But not qualifying good is what might have cost us the race tonight. In the long run we were 2/10ths quicker than the leader, the caution came out and the car got real tight. And it just slowed me down, no excuses.”
“We just finished fifth and started 20th. For some reason the last few weeks I haven’t been able to qualify too good. Last week I was 26th to 4th and this week it was 20th to 5th so we have done alright.
Matt Leicht is still waiting for the opportunity to beat older brother Kevin out on the track.