(Bill W) June 11, 2013 – Terry McCarl stood in Victory Lane for the 54th time in his career Saturday night at the Knoxville Raceway. It was his first this year at the historic half-mile, and followed a good run with the World of Outlaws that went a little awry. This weekend, the Altoona, Iowa driver will again take on the WoO at Knoxville.
Things started with the Outlaws at 34 Raceway near West Burlington, Iowa on Friday. “I just love the racetrack,” says TMAC. “It’s a fun track. I remember my Dad (Lenard) setting the track record there around 1974. We lived in Keosauqua when I was kid so we were around there a lot.”
TMAC was fast early on, and held quick time, until Daryn Pittman came out second to last in the 43-car field and bested him. “We were able to be second quick in hot laps and second quick in time trials,” he says. “It was just so exciting, because this A.R.T. chassis is so comfortable. The more I went, the more comfortable I got in it. That was my downfall eventually, I think.”
After getting through his heat, TMAC finished fifth in the Dash. “I came off of turn two eighth and we were able to drive by the top three in Outlaw points (Pittman, Paul McMahan and Donny Schatz),” he says. “Something like that gets your confidence up. Those three are the best in the world right now. To do that with a family operation like ours…Austin and Carson were there helping…it gave us confidence in a David vs. Goliath sort of way.”
TMAC started the feature on fire and was moving forward when he got over the top of turns one and two. “I actually drove over the top of the hole in turn one,” he says. “I ended up getting the left rear caught and it bottomed the car out. I did everything but flip the car. It bent the driveline. I should have flipped the thing. My neck has been killing me since.”
TMAC restarted on the tail and moved up to thirteenth. “Without that, I really think we had a solid podium finish going, if not better,” he says. “I probably shouldn’t have went out again. The thing was so bound up, and I about crashed several times. We were able to get by a lot of those cars and get up to thirteenth. Lori had told me to get a nice solid top five, so she wasn’t very happy with me.”
He was fifth quick in the 27-car field at Knoxville on Saturday. “We’re just so close qualifying,” says TMAC. “We’re like a tenth of a second off. I keep getting fifth or sixth quick every week. With the way the points are, we need to get up there in first or second.”
A charge from fifth to second in the heat set up the main event. “The car felt really good in the heat,” says TMAC. “I would have rather started up top, but it went well.”
TMAC took the lead from Sam Hafertepe Jr. on the fourth lap and held off Dusty Zomer and Davey Heskin for the win. “I think the bottom was a little faster at that point,” he says. “You have Dusty and Davey who are really good on the bottom. There’s just some tough competition at Knoxville. You can’t slough off or make any mistakes.”
The win wasn’t lost on TMAC. “It’s good to get a win there,” he says. “Knoxville is such a tough place to get a win.”
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Websites for the McCarl Gang!
This Month in TMAC History!
TMAC has three wins on June 17. In 2007, he raced from the back of the pack to victory in 25 laps at Huset’s Speedway, topping Mark Dobmeier, Wade Nygaard, Gregg Bakker and Gary DeWall. A 1995 win at Knoxville bested Johnny Herrera, Jaymie Moyle, Dennis Moore Jr. and Randy Smith. A 2001 win at Huset’s topped Don Droud Jr., Bakker, DeWall and Skip Jackson.
“Tuesdays with TMAC”!
“Tuesdays with TMAC” is an up close and personal look at colorful sprint car veteran Terry McCarl. To receive “Tuesdays with TMAC”, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “TMAC” in the subject line.
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