From Bill W
July 31, 2012 – With a dire motor situation bringing doubts and a field of 41 solid 360 sprint cars on Saturday night, Carson McCarl had a solid run, taking a sixth place finish at the Knoxville Raceway home with him to Altoona, Iowa. The 360 Nationals commence this week, and Carson will be qualifying on Friday night.
There was doubt that Carson’s Rider Engine would make it back in time to compete on Saturday. Fortunately, a fellow race team came to the rescue. “We weren’t going to be able to get it,” says Carson. “There was a problem with UPS, and they left it in Chicago. Ryan Bunton’s crew guy, Corey Miller, was nice enough to go pick it up for us. We got it in right before the driver’s meeting Saturday. Everything ended up working out!”
The 360 sprints had a rare chance to qualify with two solo laps on the clock Saturday, and Carson made the most of it, posting the ninth quick time of the night. “I like the qualifying by myself thing,” he says. “That is awesome. When you do it in hot laps, you risk getting stuck behind a slower car. That happens a lot. I liked being out there in the clean air. I’m excited to do that next week.”
After getting through a tough heat with a fifth place finish, the invert put Carson on the pole for the main event in the Gary and Sally Dean #97. “I’m disappointed with starting on the pole and running sixth, but it was a good finish considering who was all there I guess,” he says of the big field assembled. “We had a good car.”
Carson’s issues came on one end of the track. “I really had trouble getting through one and two, either on the top or the bottom,” he says. “I was getting too tight, and then I got loose and started driving above it and doing some stupid stuff.”
Carson maintained a top five finish until the very end. “I was running fifth,” he says. “I got into the bottom and about spun out. That’s when I think it was Dennis Moore Jr. got by me. We were alright.”
The first year 360 driver will get his initial shot at the 360 Nationals this week. “It will be fun,” says Carson. “There will be a lot of good guys there. We finally have a motor that’s running well. Hopefully, we can qualify well and get out of the heat. We want to have a solid run in the feature and get into the big one on Saturday night. That’s the goal.”
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