- Last Updated on 08:41 AM 01/16/13
- BY Joe Chandler
Bobby McCarty made it very clear about two things during the 2012 season at South Boston Speedway – one being he is quick to learn and two, he is a championship-caliber driver.
McCarty won his first career track championship in asphalt racing in 2012 when he won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Limited Sportsman Division title at South Boston Speedway.
In winning the championship, McCarty, a Summerfield, N.C. resident, was among four young first-time title winners at South Boston Speedway. Making the season special was the fact that all of his previous racing experience was on dirt tracks.
“I’ve been racing dirt my whole life,” McCarty explained.
“I started racing when I was five-and-a-half-years-old and I’ve been racing for 10 years. This is my first championship on asphalt. I hadn’t won (a championship) on asphalt, so this is really special.”
McCarty waged a tough season-long battle with defending division champion Danny Willis Jr. of Cluster Springs, scoring a division-high seven wins to win the championship with a 21-point cushion.
“It really showed me a lot about myself and my team as far as how quickly we adapted,” McCarty pointed out.
“My dad doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I’m still getting told that people at Hedgecock Enterprises are setting up my car. It’s been myself and my dad that have done it. It shows us what we’re capable of doing if we put our minds to it and go to work.”
McCarty had an outstanding season, scoring 14 top-five finishes that included seven wins in his 16 starts. In addition, McCarty finished in the top ten in every race.
“We were pretty consistent in the top three all year,” he remarked.
“I think that is what really helped us in the long run.”
A strong stretch run that began in the early summer was the difference-maker for McCarty. McCarty won five out of six starts in a six-race stretch that started June 16 and ended on July 21 enroute to winning six of the season’s final 10 races.
“I don’t know what it is with my car and my driving style,” McCarty said.
“Once the weather gets really hot and the track gets slick, my car comes to life. I would say when we won the twin races on June 16 and got that five-race run going, that’s what really turned the season around. We caught up in the point standings and we never looked back from there.”
McCarty says winning the South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Limited Sportsman Division title is a huge accomplishment, and is one he will always remember.
“Winning the championship really means a lot being that it came at South Boston Speedway and the drivers we raced against,” McCarty pointed out.
“Having my name in the record book with drivers like Justin Snow, Brian Pembelton and all of the guys that have come before me in winning Limited Sportsman championships at South Boston Speedway makes it a lot to take in. I’m loving it. It’s something else to be called a champion, especially a champion at South Boston Speedway.”
As for the 2013 season, McCarty is going to pursue a bigger challenge – moving up to compete in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway.
“It’s going to be a huge challenge,” McCarty admitted.
“There is no question about that. I’m looking forward to it and my team is looking forward to it.
“I don’t mind the challenge,” McCarty continued.
“I love the challenge. If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do. I don’t want to go run somewhere else where there is no competition and win versus running where all of the best guys are running and trying to salvage a top-ten finish.
“I’d rather fight to salvage a top-ten finish racing against the best and learn from those guys, rather than go somewhere where there is less competition and look like a superstar,” he added.
“I want to learn from the best because I want to be the best.”