By Bill W
May 2, 2011 – A little history was made last Saturday night, when 16 year old, Carson McCarl, who celebrated his birthday on March 8, became the youngest driver to win a sprint car feature at the Knoxville Raceway. The Altoona, Iowa driver topped the 305 feature in his first ever race at the famous ½-mile oval which is another rare feat. He will have two weeks to bask in his win as the 305’s are off this Saturday night at Knoxville.
Talk in his pit before the race centered on some bold predictions he had made leading up to Friday’s practice night at Knoxville. “I had been saying I was going to win,” he says. “Really, I was just saying it as a joke. I never thought it was going to happen. In fact, Steve (Fitzpatrick) laughed in my face one day last week in the shop when I said it.”
Carson was serious about doing well, and he has some good help in his corner. “Mostly, I get the advice from my dad (Terry),” he says. “Austin helps once in awhile too. Dad tells me to be smooth and keep the car as straight as possible.”
Things started well when Carson drew a “one pill” and started his heat on the pole. It was smooth sailing out front until a late caution. “It felt really good,” he says of being out front. “I was in turn three, and I was saying to myself, ‘Holy Crap, I’m going to win this thing. Then the yellow came out.”
Mitchell Alexander, who was running at Knoxville before Carson was born, used the restart to slide by the young driver for the heat win. “I wasn’t expecting that slidejob on the last lap,” says Carson. “That kind of sucked, but we got through there with second.”
Carson received some last minute advice before the 12-lap 305 feature from his father. “He told me to keep it on the bottom, because there really wasn’t anything up top,” he says. “I knew if I kept it down there it would be hard for someone to get around me.”
The driver of the TMAC Motorsports #97 looked like a veteran as he went by the front row starters to the lead. He looked smooth out front and through a caution, but things inside the cockpit were a little shaky. “With about three laps to go, my brake foot started shaking just a little bit,” he says. “It was just an incredible feeling to win it.”
After crossing the scales and heading to Victory Lane, there weren’t many words. “It was nuts,” says Carson. “I can’t really describe it. I really couldn’t say anything in Victory Lane. I didn’t have anything prepared. It wasn’t something I was expecting.”
Most of all, Carson is thankful for those who make his racing dreams a reality. “I would like to thank my sponsors for all they do for us, especially Gary Dean and Aaron Berryhill for helping get me started,” he says. “Also, my mom and dad, and Steve, Brad, TJ and Jeff need thanks for getting the car ready to race and supporting me.”
Carson and Family Appear in the Des Moines Register!
Link to article on McCarl family…
Link to article on win…
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Carson would like to thank Deanfield Farms, AmeriCash Advance.com, Vortex, Hoosier, DeBerg Concrete, HRP, Engler Machine, Mark Burch, Phil and Vivian, Automotive Machine Racing Engines, Eagle Motorsports, Hinchman Racewear, Schoenfeld Headers, BMRS, Crow Safety, Butlerbuilt, KSE, Aurora Rod Ends, Chris Spaulding – Attorney at Law, K&N Filters, Sander, Bell, Jocko’s and Danny’s Auto Salvage for all their help!