By Bill W
June 4, 2012 – After a couple of races outside of the top ten, Carson McCarl led Saturday night’s feature at the Knoxville Raceway until a late pass by Clint Garner. He would settle for second to establish a career-best finish in his rookie season of 360 sprint cars. The Altoona, Iowa 17 year-old will try to climb the podium one more spot this Saturday night at Knoxville.
Carson started out with a tough effort in time trials that netted tenth quick in the Gary and Sally Dean #97. “I was a little disappointed with our qualifying effort,” he says. “I guess it worked out when they drew a ten for the invert.”
The ½-mile held more moisture than it has as of late. “The track was pretty heavy on Saturday, and that’s what I like,” says Carson. “I like when it’s heavy around the top.”
After a second place heat run, the feature inversion put Carson on the pole of the heat. A number of cautions plagued the 18-lapper early. “There were so many yellows at the beginning,” he says. “I think that really killed us. I think if we went start to finish, we would have been alright. Those yellows really gave Clint an opportunity to get a shot at us.”
Carson paced the field the first eight laps of the main event. “We led it for awhile there, and the car felt good,” he says. “The car felt great right around the top, and then I knew the bottom was going to be good in the feature. My car felt so great around the top though.”
Garner used the low groove to shoot by on the ninth lap, never looking back. “You know Clint is a great driver, and he’s the fastest 360 at Knoxville this year,” says Carson. “He just got around us, and we got beat by experience a little bit. I think we’ll be good next week.”
The second place finish is nothing to sneeze at. Carson gave it his all. “There’s nothing you can do,” he says. “We’ve got to beat everyone. We’ll try to get better, and he’s the guy to beat now. We’ll try it next week. The Outlaws will be here, so I know the track crew will be on their game.”
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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!