mckeage sportsmanMcKeage Leads NASCAR Standings For Stretch Run

SCARBOROUGH, Maine – Even though it seems everybody wants to remind him about the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series point standings – including his own children – Dan McKeage insists he’s no paying much attention to them.

With just five races remaining this season, McKeage leads the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Pro Series division by 13 points. It is the largest advantage owned by any leader in any of the track’s four weekly divisions.

“It wasn’t as good as it’s been, actually,” said McKeage, the 2010 track champion who finished seventh in a 40-lap event last weekend to extend his division lead. “Last week, when we stoved the whole front end of the car up, we never really moved the weights around again after we fixed it. We figured we couldn’t hurt it by adding the weight this week, but it didn’t handle as good. In the heat race, it was really good, but when we went for the feature it wasn’t as good as it had been the week before. I felt like we left a couple positions on the table.”

McKeage finished third in the Naughty 40 Racing No. 40 Top Gun Construction Chevrolet on July 20 to solidify his place atop the standings, and his lead grew to its largest of the season with his seventh-place finish last Saturday night as the other contenders struggled.

“My kids keep me up to date (on the standings),” McKeage said. “I’m not so much worried about it. Everyone’s talking about it at summer camp, I think, and (track announcer) Andy Austin reminds everybody what the points are every time somebody passes somebody in the feature. But I just want to have good finishes.”

Beech Ridge threw a mid-season curveball at its competitors a few weeks ago, addressing ongoing tire concerns among Pro Series teams by switching from American Racer tires to the Hoosier tire brand – the a softer compound utilized by the touring Pro All Stars Series teams when they visit the .333-mile track each season.

McKeage said that there have been some differences in the two tires.

“The bit thing we noticed is the new tires run a little bit smaller,” McKeage said. “That’s why we were dragging (the front end suspension). We were an inch lower all the way around than we had been before. We probably could have compensated for it earlier, but we didn’t really realize it. It wasn’t until the feature that we started dragging.

“When we first ran those tires, we didn’t practice on them at all. We ran them for two laps of practice this week, but we didn’t run long enough to see what they were going to do. Now that we know what they’re doing, we should be OK.”

McKeage will continue to press forward – leaving the point-counting to those around him.

“While working on these new tires, we know we can run right with everybody else,” he said. “A couple of guys might be getting closer, but we’re sticking to the same plan.”