By Bill W
June 1, 2011 – It has been a long time since April 30, but that was the last time Carson McCarl had hit the track in 305 competition at the Knoxville Raceway. A couple of rainouts pushed back his return after his opening night win. It was an experience for him last Saturday night, where he both got to meet the first turn berm, not once, not twice, but three times. In the end, it was another solid finish, when he put the TMAC Motorsports #97 in fourth place.
Carson started outside row two in the second heat after qualifying for the first time in the second quick spot. “I got a good start,” he says of his heat run. “I was thinking about splitting the two cars in front of me, but I knew that probably wasn’t a good idea.”
Probably so, but adventure followed when reeling in leader, Kevin Hetrick. “I was following Hetrick and he went to the top, so I shot to the bottom to go underneath him,” says Carson. “I got in the slick and drove right into the berm. I think about everyone saw that. The next lap, I tried it again, and that didn’t work. I decided to go back to the top for the rest of the race.”
The first trip over was a close call, but he rebounded for a second place finish. With an invert of eight for the main event, he started inside row four for the 12-lapper. “I got a really good start,” says the Altoona, Iowa driver. “I was up to fifth going into one. I actually got a good run on a guy there and got into the berm again. That’s when I got onto the push-off lane. I kept going. I figured if I stopped, I’d lose momentum.”
After touring the push-off lane, he settled into a steady race on a rough racetrack. A late red helped him. “The crash on the frontstretch gave us a red that we really needed,” he says. “That allowed us to move back up to fourth there. There were about four laps to go at that time.”
What did he think of the track conditions Saturday at Knoxville? “I kind of like the rough track,” he says. “I like to put it up top and let her rip. I’ve never really seen it rough in the middle like that, so that was interesting.”
Carson would like to thank Kosama of Altoona for being on board the #97 last weekend.
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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!