Like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Petty, DIRT modified driver Tim McCreadie is literally following in the tire tracks of a legendary racing father.

The 28-year-old McCreadie, son of modified racing legend ¿Barefoot¿ Bob McCreadie, is DIRT¿s newest superstar and he will be among the favorites when the Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series returns to The Dirt Track @ Lowe¿s Motor Speedway April 4-5 for the third annual Eckerd 100.

The younger McCreadie¿s road to racing success has been filled with many of the same twists and turns as those experienced by other second- and third-generation drivers including Earnhardt and Petty.

¿Being a second-generation driver is a double-edged sword,¿ explained McCreadie. ¿There are advantages. Because of my last name, I¿ve gotten a couple of deals other people probably wouldn¿t have gotten. But, on the other side, people expected me to run well when I started. Then when I did run well, they said I had everything handed to me.

¿There are a lot of guys in racing who have enjoyed success because of their family. You can¿t fault someone for helping their son or daughter in whatever they chose to do,¿ McCreadie continued. ¿I¿m proud to say Bob McCreadie is my father and if that got me a little further in this business, so be it.¿

In just seven seasons behind the wheel of a DIRT race car, McCreadie has recorded an amazing 32 big-block modified victories, including a win in one of the two 50-lap features that capped last year¿s Eckerd 100 at The Dirt Track @ Lowe¿s Motor Speedway. He also has 19 small-block modified triumphs, seven of which were earned during his rookie season in 1996.

This year, however, marks a new chapter in McCreadie¿s racing career as he heads into the Eckerd 100 behind the wheel of a new ride, the No. 39 Sweeteners Plus entry owned by Carl Myers.

¿I¿m really confident heading back to Charlotte,¿ McCreadie said recently while toiling with an engine in his father¿s Watertown, N.Y., shop. ¿We ran really well during the season-opening races in Florida. My crew guys clicked with their crew guys and the race car felt good from top to bottom. I didn¿t have one complaint. I was really comfortable in the car and I hope that shows at Charlotte.

¿Charlotte is a hot bed of racing and to compete there is a great deal for our series,¿ he continued. ¿The Charlotte track lends itself perfectly to our type of racing. You can race side-by-side and if you start 25th or 30th you can drive through the field. It¿s just really, really good racing. We won at Charlotte last year and while I¿ve won some big shows, the Eckerd 100 is at the top of the list.¿

Even though DIRT modified racing is in his blood, McCreadie admits this could be his last season competing with the New York-based sanctioning body.

¿My car owner has the ability to pretty much do any type of racing he wants, maybe with the exception of Winston Cup,¿ McCreadie explained. ¿He likes the late models and I kind of like the late models, so what I think we are going to do is take the rest of this year and put together a dirt late model program.

¿I¿m still young. I¿m only 28, so next year might be a good opportunity to do something like that and, if it doesn¿t work out, we¿ll still have all our big-block modified stuff back home.¿

McCreadie and the Sweeteners Plus team will do double duty during the Eckerd 100 weekend, competing in both the Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series event and the Charlotte Small-Block Shootout for the Turning Stone Casino 358-Modified Super DIRT Series.

Reserved adult tickets for the Eckerd 100 on Saturday night, April 5, are $18 with children under 12 admitted for $5. Tickets for the Charlotte Small-Block Championship on Friday, April 4, are just $12 for adults with children under 12 admitted for $5. All grandstand seats are $5 more the day of the event.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.