By Bill W
August 16, 2011 – It was easy to see that Terry McCarl and the rest of the family were proud of his 18 year old son Austin at the Nationals. Austin qualified for the outside of row six for the “Big Dance”. Oh yeah, Dad was in too. It was an eventful week to be sure. TMAC will be back in action this week at five shows, two with the All Stars and two with the World of Outlaws in the Upper Midwest.
TMAC qualified thirteenth Thursday night after coming out 33rd in the 54-car field. “We were quickest in hot laps, but obviously the track blew off a little more before we got out there,” he says. “It was a perfect time in the fact that it moved us up a row in the heat race.”
The Altoona, Iowa driver was able to drive from sixth to second in the heat. “All the heats are tough,” says TMAC. “The guys did a great job of getting the car ready for the heat race. I think we had the fastest car in the heat and to come out second was huge for us.”
When Wayne Johnson was unable to start, TMAC assumed the pole and led lap one. “We’ve been having a difficult time rolling the bottom,” he says. “We were a little looser than we wanted to be. I wish we had had just a couple more weekly shows to fine tune the thing. We just weren’t quite there yet.”
TMAC maintained his battle for a podium finish until tangling with Stevie Smith. “I still think we had a top five car,” he says. “Unfortunately, we got together with Stevie on the front straightaway. I didn’t see him. He’s a great driver and it screwed up both of us.”
Luckily the VerMeer Motorsports #55 team was able to get the car back on the track to start in the rear and climb to fourteenth. “I was lucky I didn’t flip the heck out of the thing,” says TMAC. “I hit the inside guardrail and bent the left front wheel. That was lucky that we could restart in the back. I had a decent car, and we came back up to twelfth. We were happy about that. Fourteenth in the A is a good starting spot.”
The finish was good enough to start outside row seven on Saturday night. “I really like the 50-lapper,” says TMAC of the championship event. “If you make the A, you have a shot at the podium if not the win. We were starting 14th, so I thought we had a shot at the podium. Donny Schatz started beside me, and Shane (Stewart) started behind me, and they were first and second. I think the 50-lapper makes a great race for the fans, and anyone in the field can win it with a good car.”
After seeing son Austin get upside down, TMAC settled into the race until a breakage. “We felt really good,” he says. “About ten laps to go in the first half of the race, the throttle spring on the engine broke. It just opened wide up. I lost a few spots when it happened, and then got it going again. I couldn’t lift to run the bottom. I held my own on the top until the break.”
At the mandatory red flag stop, the team did their best to replace the spring. “The spring we put on wasn’t working,” says TMAC. “I couldn’t open it all the way, and just couldn’t operate it correctly. I’ve only broken a throttle spring twice, and both times have been in the Knoxville Nationals. That’s kind of ironic.”
In the end, he would finish fifteenth. “I’m proud of my team,” says TMAC. “We’ve struggled a bit locally, but we put it solidly in the A main. It certainly wasn’t a fluke. I think we’re getting better every week and we’ve come a long way. TK is building this team the way it should be. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
After seeing Austin cruising on Wednesday night and landing a spot in the A main, anything else during the week would have been gravy for TMAC. “After Wednesday, you couldn’t have knocked the smile off our faces,” he says. “Austin was about last to qualify and he went out and did it. He had the toughest heat of the week with first (Schatz) and second (Stewart) in there. He didn’t get a good start, but he came back. It’s amazing for an eighteen year old to compete that well.”
The busy week starts tonight with the All Stars at the red clay Superior Speedway in Superior, Wisconsin. Wednesday night the series shifts to Fargo. The World of Outlaws are next up, competing Friday night in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Saturday at Huset’s. TMAC will also venture to Huset’s Sunday and to Rapid City with the WoO a week from tonight.
To check out opportunities to partner with TMAC Motorsports on a nightly basis, visit www.TerryMcCarl.com or call 515 957-0020!
Front Row Challenge/Ultimate Challenge
The 16th Annual Front Row Challenge and the 10th Annual Ultimate Challenge will be held Monday and Tuesday, August 8 and 9, 2010 at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Order your seats NOW by calling McTwo Promotions, Inc. at 515 957-0020. Visit www.OskyChallenges.com for further details!
Websites for the McCarl Gang!
Driverwebsites.com develops the websites for the McCarl boys. Check out www.TerryMcCarl.com, as well as www.AustinMcCarl.com and www.CarsonMcCarl.com!
Brady Harrah asks: What did you think of the new “Race of Champions”?
TMAC Answers: I was shocked when Wade Nygaard gave me the 20-pill, but I guess it was a compliment. It wasn’t like I was the strongest in the field at that point. It was great. I like to see new promotions like that to shake things up a bit. We used it as a test session to find out some things we didn’t want to do the next night!
Got a question for TMAC? Send it to us at email@example.com, and we may answer it in this section! Put “? for TMAC” in your subject line.
This Month in TMAC History!
On August 19, 2006, TMAC defeated the WoO at the Nodak Speedway in Minot, North Dakota. After dueling with Craig Dollansky and then Donny Schatz much of the way, he was able to drive a smart race that required tire conservation to win. He also was second quick, and finished second in the dash. Brooke Tatnell was second, followed by Joey Saldana, Daryn Pittman and Chad Kemenah.
“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.
VerMeer Motorsports would like to thank TK Concrete, Maxim Trucking & Concrete Pumping, Tulip City Agency, Logan Contractors Supply, Van Maanen Electric, Tony’s Auto Parts, Monarch’s Restaurant & Lounge, Skyline Ready Mix, QTC (Quality Traffic Control), DPLM (Dennis Parking Lot Maintenance), Van Gorp Construction, Don Ott Racing Engines and Ulrich Motor.
TMAC Motorsports would like to thank sponsors Deanfield Farms, Eagle Chassis, DeBerg Concrete, AmeriCashAdvance.com, RFG, Phil and Vivian, Mark Burch Motorsports, Ryan Yager Trucking, 212 The Boiling Point Bar & Grill, Vortex Racing, Hoosier Tire, Chris Spaulding – Attorney at Law, Schoenfeld Headers, K&N Filters, Don Ott Engines, HRP, All Pro Cylinder Heads, Bob and Beulah Elder, Country Builders Construction, Engler Injection, Superflow Technologies, Phillips’ Floors, T&P Brothers, Winters, DriverWebsites.com, CM Rock, Jocko’s Sprint Parts, Sander, Brown and Miller, Morris Automotive, Chase Graphics, Pro Shocks, Mac Tools, Ben Cook, Bell Helmets, Burnettt’s Rock and Landscaping, Morgan Strawberry Farms, Bulldog Pest Control, Aurora Rod Ends, Crow Safety, Justice Brothers, KSE Steering, CIP Racing Hoods, Strange Performance, Saldana Racing Products, Scribner Plastics, Waterman Fuel Pumps, Weiland Racing, Butlerbuilt, PBS Bushings.