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Southern National Motorsports Park
Southern National Motorsports Park News
“Rookie” McGrath Makes Debut at Southern National Raceway Park
Apr 23, 2007 - updated Apr 23rd, 2007 10:07pm
Web posted by Ken Childs
Kenly, NC --
Your average NASCAR Late Model rookie is usually not 36 years old. Your normal Late Model rookie tends to not come in with any expectation whatsoever, let alone much fanfare. The average Late Model rookie also normally doesn’t show up to a track with a camera crew and PR personnel. Of course, your average rookie doesn’t have 12 motorcycle championships, including seven AMA Supercross titles. All of this makes Jeremy McGrath not your typical rookie.
On April 21st, JR Motorsports’ latest driver, Jeremy McGrath, took to the high banks of Southern National Raceway Park. Having turned 150 laps on the previous night’s open practice, McGrath felt confident that his first Late Model event would turn out alright.
McGrath doesn’t see much correlation between his career in motorcycle racing and the world of stock car racing. “It doesn’t seem like it will be that difficult. Riding my bike is a lot more physical, I know that” said McGrath. “I’m just going to have to get used to the car. Time-wise I’m decent, but not the best. I can’t I expect to be the best.”
One thing that McGrath has going for him is the benefit of driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports and being under the tutelage of late model Team Manager Jamey Caudill. Last season, Caudill won nine races at Southern National, as well as finishing third in the 2006 Bailey’s 300 at Martinsville Speedway. “Jamey’s been great. Curtis and Scott and the whole team has been real instrumental in getting me up to speed.” said McGrath of Caudill, and teammates Curtis Truex Jr. (cousin of Martin Truex Jr.) and Scott Young.
Stock car racing is something that McGrath has been interested in for some time, and having retired from a full time motorcycle schedule, now seemed like the perfect time to get in the game. “I’ve been a huge fan of NASCAR, and it’s just natural to want to race something. For a long time I’ve been trying to figure out how to get involved in this, and was able to make the connection with JR Motorsports and Monster Energy Drink. It was really just lucky good timing.”
As for the racing itself, McGrath was able to run 149 of 150 laps, finishing one lap down in the second of two 75 lap events. In the first race, McGrath stayed on the lead lap the whole way through, starting 22nd and finishing 15th. He managed to stay on the lead lap through 65 laps, and finished 13th, one lap down. Throughout the race, McGrath worked through some slower traffic, passed cars under green and managed to fly mostly under the radar once the racing went green, which is all he asked for.
“Obviously there’s a lot to learn still, I just want to make all the laps and learn as much as I can.” So far, McGrath has done as much as he’d hope. The rest is yet to come.
For more information, contact Southern National Raceway Park (919) 284-1114 or go to http://www.southernnational.net.
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