LUCAMA, NC – Ashlyn McCaskill, daughter of four-time Southern National Motorsports Park track champion Deac McCaskill, will be making her debut in a Limited Late Model on Saturday, March 31st in the Easter Bunny 100.
The 16-year-old from Raleigh has multiple wins in the Mini-Stock division at Southern National, including a highlight win last year in her first race back after suffering a concussion in an accident earlier in the year. Now, she is making the adjustment to the bigger, faster Limited Late Models and hoping to have success.
“This is very different from the Mini-Stock but I’m already starting to enjoy it the first time,” McCaskill said. “I’ve got dad and he really helps me and knows how to teach me stuff. It’s just going to take some getting used to but I think I’m going to like it a lot. It’s bigger and a lot faster. It’s not been too much to adjust. Just having a bigger car is a little different but, other than that, it’s about the same.”
Ashlyn has been able to rely on her father for advice during her transition and throughout her career.
“He just tells me to go out there and have fun and, if I have questions, just go up and ask him,” Ashlyn commented. “He helps me out with everything. His main concern is making sure I’m having fun, being safe and learning as much as I can.”
For the elder McCaskill, who is one of the most prolific drivers to ever compete at the high banks of Southern National, things are a lot different for him. Despite being an adrenaline sport, Deac is often known for being reserved. However, when he’s watching his daughter race, the intensity picks up and his emotions are more evident.
“It’s your kid out there so it’s definitely a different feeling,” Deac explained. “It’s a totally different feeling as a dad watching your kid go out there and have success like this. It’s tough. Everything I know, I want her to learn it overnight but I know it’s not going to happen so you’ve got to have patience. She seems to be really patient with the deal.”
Last season, McCaskill experienced the full spectrum of emotions when she crashed early in the season but came back to win in mid-August, her first race back.
“That was pretty incredible to come back and her first race and win like that,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting it. It seems like, once she gets in race trim, when the green flag falls, she gets up on the wheel and gets it done. So, we’ll see what happens this year.”
For the younger McCaskill, winning might be a longshot but it is her ultimate goal.
“I sure hope we win,” she remarked. “I just have to race our race and see how the first race goes and just take it the whole season. I’ll just be happy enjoying it as much as I can and try my best.”
“We’re just looking this year to log laps and maybe get a couple good finishes,” Deac stated. “Hopefully, towards the end of the season, she can start competing for wins.”
While Ashlyn McCaskill is poised to build a healthy fanbase and be one of the more popular drivers at Southern National, she is still pretty normal away from the track.
“Schoolwork, hanging out with friends, that’s about it,” Ashlyn responded when asked what life is like away from the track. “I just got my license so I’ve got a lot more freedom to do stuff.”
While she likes to go fast on the track, Ashlyn says keeps her need for speed limited to the racetrack.
Ashlyn McCaskill will make her debut on Saturday, March 31st in the Easter Bunny 100. In addition to 100 laps of Limited Late Model racing, the afternoon’s racing program will feature USAC Eastern Midget racing as well as Mini-Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros and Any Cars. The green flag will fly on the race at 2pm.
For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at www.snmpark.com, “like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.