Matt McCall Sweeps the Field at Orange County
Matt McCall is on a mission this year in the UARA-Stars Series. The 2005 series champion wants to be greedy and win everything he can. McCall is well on his way to doing just that after scoring his second win of the season and his third pole as well. McCall led all 150 laps on the way to victory at the Orange County Speedway (NC). When McCall sailed under the checkered flag it marked a clean sweep of the weekend for McCall.
“These cars are fun to drive when they are that good,” said McCall. “That thing there (pointed to his car) is like a hot rod. I can’t complain. All the guys have really worked hard on this car. We finished second with it at Concord and that was a little disappointing for us, so it meant a lot to get back to victory lane.”
McCall has been using two cars this season - his number 51 which now has wins at both Bristol and Orange County. The other car was built the same way, but the number 23 ride has had some problems early on this season.
“The 23 is a mirror image of it, but we have just had mechanical woes,” said McCall. “It can do the same thing, but it’s the matter of getting all the bugs out of it. We have come across some problems with it, but we’ll get it worked out.”
We anticipate that it could be bad news for the UARA field if the 23 gets going like the 51. Right now it looks as if when McCall is on the rest of the field should probably stay home.
Boswell & Puryear Tangle in the Closing Laps
From top to bottom, Richard Boswell, II had an awful day at Orange County. A fuel cell problem in practice made the number 88 car the last entry to go through the tech line. UARA officials were aware of the problem and the team was not penalized a lap for being late to tech.
A late race red flag was a different story though as Boswell slowed and staled before the red flag came out. That caused him to be sent to the rear of the field. As Boswell came back to the front after the green came out, he got around Stacy Puryear going into turn three. As Boswell slid back up in line, Puryear, who didn’t give much leeway, got into the back of Boswell sending both cars scrambling in turn four. The end result was three wrecked race cars and one really ticked off driver.
Boswell got out of his car after it stopped on the frontstretch and went to confront Puryear who was still in his car. Reports from pit road were that some stern words were used, and a crowd grew making the confrontation look more like a mob scene. The drivers themselves had their own takes of the event.
“He said I was a dirty driver and that I wrecked him intentionally,” said Puryear. “I don’t know why he thinks that.”
Boswell was pretty hot after the wreck. We caught up with him after the conclusion of the race.
“That guy is an idiot,” said Boswell. “He always has been. He races like an idiot and he is an idiot. You can’t fix stupid. The bottom line is that UARA needs to get their crap together, it’s ridiculous. Week after week they change their rules to benefit certain people.”
Puryear was a little more reserved with his comments.
“When there are 10 to go you fight for everything,” said Puryear. “That is the way I have raced my whole life. Hey, I got into Richard. I didn’t mean to tear his racecar up, or to tear up my racecar. It was just a racing deal.”
“I have never seen anyone who wants to progress in racing act like he did. It’s a shame and he can voice his opinion and say I can’t drive a lick. I don’t have a beef with him or [car owner Dale] Earnhardt [Jr.] it was just hard racing.”
Caudill Losses Points Lead After Fourth-Place Run
After overcoming a poor qualifying effort, a fourth-place finish couldn’t help Jamey Caudill from giving up the points lead. The former champion has already gone to victory lane in 2009 and knows that wins and solid finishes are the only way they are going to be able to stay in the points race with Matt McCall.
“We were just trying to stay out of trouble,” said Caudill. We didn’t have a fourth-place car, but we got the finish tonight. It was a good points night for us.”
Caudill had a great view of the Boswell and Puryear tangle in his rear-view mirror.
“I saw it all in my mirror,” added Caudill. “I knew it was big and I was glad it was there and not out the front windshield.”
McReynolds Loses Yet Another Engine
Just after halfway, a sight seen all too often in 2009 was seen once again at Orange County. The 28 of Brandon McReynolds once again lost an engine causing smoke and oil to pour out of the back of the car. Once again, his night was cut short as a puddle of fluid under the nose cost him a shot at victory.
“I was just coming to the front and I was thinking it was in the bag,” said McReynolds. But, we blew up. Don Kowalski has done an awesome job helping us out with these engines and I think we just need to come back with something a little different under the hood. It was just a coincidence we blew a rod out the oil pan and we’ll be back. I mean it isn’t a big deal.”
McReynolds managed to hold his head high after losing an engine for what seems like the sixth time in 2009. McReynolds said they will be back at Costal Plains.
Crum Grabs a Third-Place Finish as he Plans for ARCA Debut
2008 UARA-Stars series champion Jake “The Snake” Crum has only run a few races in 2009. The plan to make the move to the next level will begin with an ARCA date on June 20th at Mansfield Motorsports Park in Ohio. Before that race he came back to UARA to run at Orange County and he finished third.
“The car was pretty good,” said Crum. “It got really tight going into turn one and two, but we figured out a line to work around that. I have to thank everyone that supports me from my sponsors to my mom and dad. We haven’t run a lot this year, but we are trying to make it count when we do.”
Pressley Works On Racing and Not His Golf Game
Coleman Pressley put a lot of pressure on himself at Orange County because the track’s history runs deep in the family. Pressley’s father Robert won three Nationwide series races at the 3/8th mile oval including his first ever series win back in 1989. Coleman was looking to duplicate his father’s accomplishment with his first career UARA-Stars win, but he came up one spot short.
“We just got beat tonight,” said Coleman. “We’ll take it home and work on it. I drove my heart out here tonight. I really wanted it because this is where my dad got his first Busch (Nationwide) Series win back in 1989. It would have been really cool if we had gotten our first UARA win here tonight. We’ll take it home and get ready for Coastal Plains and Hickory.”
Coleman said the only real pressure he gets from his dad is to quit racing and take up golf.
“I am terrible golfer,” laughed Coleman. “I don’t know why he wants me to play golf. There is more money and less stress, but my game needs work. I will stick to racing.”
The Next Star of the Late Model World?
12-year old Michael McGuire is slowly working his way up the racing ranks and a victory in the 50 lap Limited Late Model class at Orange County really turned the heads of some of the UARA teams. After leading all 50 laps on his way to the win, McGuire was almost speechless in victory lane.
“It was a great race for us,” said Michael. “I was having so much fun out there. They were gaining on me at the end. The car was getting looser and at the same time it was getting tighter down in one and two. Luck was on our side tonight and we had a great run.”
Tim McGuire, Michael’s father, was a proud papa in victory lane.
“He just graduated from the sixth grade this past week,” said Tim. “It’s been a real pleasure working with him from Go-Karts to now Late Models. He always comes up with that element of surprise. He’s got a pretty good hot rod there, but it’s a 15 year-old car.”
McGuire has purchased a Late Model Stock and should be driving that later on this season. They will be right up his ally as the roots of Late Model Stock run deep in his family as his uncle Tony McGuire is a two-time Bailey’s 300 champion at Martinsville.