By Bill W
July 20, 2011 – Austin McCarl scored another win at the Huset’s Speedway last Sunday night. It was the second of his career and the season, and it felt particularly good after spinning out of a win a few weeks back. Another strong run at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday saw a sixth place finish in the T-MAC Motorsports #17A. After losing a motor two weeks ago, and running on a motor that needs refreshed badly, this weekend is up in the air a bit as far as racing plans.
Things started slowly when Austin timed in sixth quick Sunday night at Huset’s. “It wasn’t the qualifying effort we wanted for sure,” he says. “The racetrack was under about a foot of water on Thursday, so it was kind of crazy that we even got to race. It was a little heavy, and the car was a little tight.”
Starting outside the front row of his heat, Austin cruised. “We were able to win it cleanly,” he says. “We were able to kind of move around and find something there.”
Austin’s father Terry was in the mechanic’s role on Sunday night and the team watched the track closely. “You definitely have to watch the racetrack,” says Austin. “The sprint cars blow it off, and then the stock cars bring the moisture back. It really never went away. We just paid attention to the racetrack.”
Early in the main event, Austin felt things out in the second spot. “The invert was eight, which put us inside row two,” he says. “We knew Robby (Wolfgang) would get a good start, and he got out to a good lead. I moved around to try to find a place where the car would work late in the race.”
It took two tries, but he finally got by Wolfgang and led to the checkers. “We were able to get by once, and the yellow came out,” says Austin. “We were able to run the bottom in one and two and the top in three and four. We ended up getting around him after that, and from there, I tried to run qualifying laps. We ended up winning.”
On Saturday night at Knoxville, Austin timed in third quick and finished second in the heat after starting sixth. “We were able to turn a good lap, finally,” he says of qualifying. “The car was awesome in the heat. I could go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was just kind of experimenting.”
Starting eighth, Austin took off at the green, but it was called back. “The first start was really good for us,” he says. “I got around my Dad and someone else. I had a good run on the backstretch for fourth or fifth, and the red came out. I know (Deputy Jeff Koder) was hurt, and I hope he gets better quickly. It sounds like he is on the mend.”
Once the race got underway, Austin was in the top five mix. “Honestly, the track was a little fast,” he says. “The bottom was fast, and so was the top. I think (Dusty) Zomer and I were battling for fifth the last three or four laps. We were on the top and we hit a hole and he just barely got me at the end.”
Austin would settle for sixth. “We definitely had a top five car,” he says. “The motor was my Dad’s and had fourteen nights on it. I think we’ve got a lot out of it, so I don’t know about this weekend.”
The #17A had the motor that was in the #24 in it, which has quite a few races on it now. Plans are still up in the air for this weekend. “We may just do Knoxville right now with the motor situation,” says Austin. “Obviously, I’d like to go up to Huset’s again, but I don’t know if that’s possible this week.”
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Austin would like to thank AmeriCash Advance.com, Rossie Feed and Grain, DeBerg Concrete, Deanfield Farms, Phil and Vivian, L. Wayne Trucking, Vortex, CM Rock, Mark Burch Motorsports, Engler, HRP, Aurora Rod Ends, Butlerbuilt, KSE, Hoosier Tire, BRMS, K&N Filters, Sander, Jocko’s Sprint Parts, Crow Safety and Bell Helmets for all their help!