Pure Stocks Derby Champ Goff Eager to Deliver McCarrons Another Checkered Flag

As Season Opens, Pure Stocks Derby Champ Goff Eager to Deliver McCarrons Another Checkered


By Chuck Corder

Time is in a constant tug of war with destiny.

Time waits for no champion.

But Jerry Goff had time right where he wanted it on December 6, 2019. As the No. 10 car Pure Stocks driver and his team anxiously waited at the technical inspection shed, the bitterly cold night approached 3 a.m. at Five Flags Speedway.

The 29-year-old Escatawpa, Miss., wheelman had just finished an impressive runner-up to Michael Moody in the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks edition of the 52nd annual Snowball Derby.

Truthfully, Goff couldn’t have been happier. Suddenly, though, he had a reason to be.

Chief technical inspector Ricky Brooks disqualified Moody and asked Goff and his crew members of Jim and Jay Jay Day, and Brandon Tipton to pull their oil pan.

When they asked why, Brooks responded: “If you wanna win, you’re gonna have to pull it.”

After Jay Jay Day Sawzall’d off the pan, Brooks slid underneath the car. He appeared moments later, jotted some notes, turned to Goff and his team, and awarded them the Derby championship at approximately 3:30 a.m.

In Goff and his team’s subdued celebration, Brooks offered a suggestion: “Y’all need to upgrade this thing.”

Goff will get to show the car’s latest upgrades and attempt to back up his Derby win Friday night at Five Flags.

After a two-month pause adhering to public safety guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 racing season at the famed half-mile asphalt oval finally gets underway in style with four features from our local divisions.

Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday to see the Faith Chapel Outlaws, WCIparts.com Pro Trucks, The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen, and the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks. Admission is as follows: $12 for adults, seniors, military, students; and free for children ages 11-and-under.

“I think it’s gonna have a Derby feel to it,” Goff said. “I really think come Friday night everyone will be chomping at the bit to get back. Everybody’s ready to go. You’ll have to be on top of the wheel.”

He’ll be focused. After years with a few highlights, including winning the Lee Fields Memorial, but mostly a series of frustrations, Goff believes he’s at home inside the No. 10 owned by Rusty and A.J. McCarron, current Houston Texans quarterback who guided Alabama to two national championships.

“I was on my way out,” Goff admitted. “I’ve been in and out of racing the last few years, just doing other things. Rusty came along. Him and A.J. wanted me to drive it and wanted Jay Jay to work on it.”

The marriage has been a dream, much like racing always has been a fantasy for the McCarrons.

Growing up, the family routinely attended races at Mobile International Speedway. But in the past five years, Rusty and A.J. began to kick around the idea of getting a car for short-track racing.

A year ago, the harmless chatter became a reality.

“We’re good buddies with Days – Jimmy and Jay Jay,” Rusty McCarron said. “We finally pulled the trigger. Let’s have fun. That was the game plan. A lotta people, including AJ and I, think you can just buy a car and the rest will take of itself. They don’t understand how much work you have to put in.”

There was never a question what number would be on the side of the car: A.J.’s iconic No. 10 from his days screaming “Roll Tide” and become the only quarterback in history to win back-to-back BCS national titles.

“A.J. and I are the car owners,” Rusty McCarron said, “but everyone from Jerry, to Jimmy and Jay Jay and Brandon Tipton has a piece of ownership in this thing. So, winning a Derby and seeing all your hard work pay off, that’s what makes it gratifying and fun.”