By Bill W
May 1, 2012 – It was a solid beginning to a new chapter in the career of 17 year old Carson McCarl. The Knoxville Raceway opener for the 360’s saw the Altoona, Iowa Rookie of the Year contender emerge with the point lead after a solid fourth place finish. The youngest winner in Knoxville history was making just his fifth career 360 start, and first at Knoxville.
In group qualifying, Carson drove the Gary and Sally Dean #97 to the second quick time of the night. “To be honest, the car felt loose,” he admits. “It was pretty greasy when we went out too. When I looked at the scoreboard, we were quick time. I think it was the very last lap of time trials that it got beat, so that kind of sucked.”
Starting sixth in his heat race, Carson stormed forward on a good racetrack. He nabbed second in the last corner by shooting around Tom Lenz. “At first, everyone thought that they had watered it too much,” he says of the track. “It turned out to be really good. The car was really working well, and we were able to move up and grab second there in the last corner.”
With an invert of twelve for the 18-lap feature, Carson would start eleventh. “In the beginning we weren’t that good,” he says. “I was trying to find my line, and get a rhythm going. Finally, I got going and got by a few guys.”
A late restart saw Carson running ninth, but he took advantage of the opportunity. “We had a yellow there with about five laps to go,” he says. “We were able to get by three guys on the restart there. And we were able to get Russ (Hall) on the last lap.”
Carson is the 360 point leader heading into this Saturday night’s Knoxville Championship Cup Series event. “We were pretty good,” he says. “Everyone did a great job with the car. It was great to have Gary and Sally Dean my car owners there. Some guys don’t like the owner there, but I always love it, because we seem to do well when they are there.”
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Carson would like to thank Deanfield Farms (Gary and Sally Dean), AmeriCashAdvance.com, Vortex, Rossie Feed & Grain, Hoosier, DeBerg Concrete, HRP, Engler Machine, Phil and Vivian, Eagle Motorsports, Rider Racing Engines, Van Der Brink Designs, Justice Brothers-Gillund Enterprises, Country Builders Construction, CM Rock, Hinchman Racewear, Schoenfeld Headers, BMRS, Crow Safety, Butlerbuilt, KSE, Aurora Rod Ends, Chris Spaulding – Attorney at Law, K&N Filters, Sander, Bell and Jocko’s for all their help!