Austin at Knoxville (Dave Hill Photo)
(Bill W) June 2, 2010 – A pair of quick times, one at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, and one at Huset’s Speedway in South Dakota, highlighted the weekend for young sprint car driver Austin McCarl. The seventeen year old competed three times over Memorial Day weekend, and notched another top ten finish. He looks forward to seeing how he stacks up against the best in the business as the World of Outlaws come to Knoxville for a three-night show this weekend.
Austin has excelled at qualifying thanks to his Maxim chassis and power from Don Ott Racing Engines. At Knoxville on Saturday, he was the fifteenth car out to time, yet set the standard in the 21-car field. “I think the quick times show we are fast, and that the motor runs,” he shares. “It was a good feeling to come out late at Knoxville and do that.”
After finishing fifth in his heat, Austin lined up outside row four after drawing an eight for the inversion. A mistake in the pits cost him on setup. “I kind of got a bad start, and we accidentally put a 200 compound on instead of a 100 on the left rear,” he explains. “Coming off the cushion, I just had no forward bite. It was our fault putting the wrong tire on.”
The harder compound impeded his progress down low. After a spin out, he would languish to 17th at the checkers. “I could run them down on the cushion, but I’d go to slide them or go to the bottom and I couldn’t do it,” he says of trying to move up in the field. “I had no idea why at the time. I got a little anxious and showed my inexperience by hitting the berm and spinning out.”
You can imagine Austin’s excitement in getting to run at Huset’s Speedway near Brandon, South Dakota for the first time. After all, his father Terry is far and away the all-time feature wins leader there. “It was weird rolling out there after watching there so many times,” says the young Altoona, Iowa driver. “I wanted to race there so bad, when I got out there it was really cool. It’s way different than Knoxville. The heat races are brutal. You have to get up on the wheel and drive. There’s no time.”
Heat racing was limited with a mag problem on Sunday night, relegating him to the rear of the field come feature time. “We had to start in the back, and I just wanted to get out in one piece to be honest,” says Austin. “We have one car and one motor, and I just wanted to make it through. We ended up 13th (from 22nd), so that wasn’t bad at all. The track was slick to the ledge, but fun.”
Quick time at Huset’s came the following night in a Memorial Day special. Austin would run seventh in the heat, and his youth got the best of him in the start to the feature. “There was more of a bottom, with a ledge on the top,” he says of the track conditions. “On about the second lap, the car was tight and I honked it in on the cushion. We got over it and spun out.”
He would recover to finish ninth, and most importantly, roll the car into the trailer. “I got to racing with some guys in the back, and I probably could have run the bottom more,” Austin admits. “I am still learning, and it is what it is. We didn’t tear anything up, and TMAC was pretty happy about that.”
The Mediacom Shootout Hall of Fame Classic with the World of Outlaws will be Thursday through Saturday at Knoxville. Many travelers will be in town, and the car count is expected to be over 50. Austin has high hopes going in. “I’m hoping we can make an invert or two, and start up front in a heat,” he says. “I think we’ve got a good shot at the dash if we can do that. We’ll definitely get a test.”
Visit Austin on the Web!
Keep up to date on Austin’s exploits at www.AustinMcCarl.com!
Austin would like to thank Big Game Treestands, AmericashAdvance.com, RFG (Rossie Feed and Grain), Anderson Farms, DeBerg Concrete, Deanfield Farms, Engler, Phil & Vivian, Vortex Wings, Maxim Chassis, K&N Filters, Mark Burch, Hoosier Tire, BMRS, HRP, Schoenfeld, Jocko’s, Butlerbuilt, Bell Helmets, Crow Safety and Chase Graphics for all their help!