By Bill W
April 29, 2014 – It was another solid night at Knoxville for Terry McCarl and the TMAC Motorsports #24 team. Despite a few late bids for the lead, the Altoona, Iowa driver settled for a strong second place run Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway. The run has TMAC looking forward to returning to the “Sprint Car Capital of the World” this Saturday night. Weather pending, he will also hop aboard the Jeremy Scadden #6 360 sprint car on Sunday at Huset’s Speedway near Brandon, South Dakota.
Another super-competitive 31-car field assembled at Knoxville on Saturday, and TMAC registered the sixth quick time of the night. “We turned a really good time for when we went out,” he says. “I think everyone around us was a couple tenths slower. Coming down the back straight, when I saw we weren’t on the board (top five), I thought we were really bad. Hot lapping we were nineteenth quick. Austin (McCarl) gave me a thumbs up, so I knew we were in there. You want to be in the top eight to make the invert for sure.”
Competitors had a strong wind out of the east to deal with. TMAC drove to a second place finish in his heat after starting fifth. “The wind played havoc with me a little in the heat race,” he says. “I didn’t mean to try to pass (leader Josh) Schneiderman as soon as I did, but the car dove to the bottom when I really didn’t want to go there. I think if I was a little more patient, I could have won the heat. It was a good run from the third row though.”
That set him up inside row two for the main event. “I didn’t really get a good start,” says TMAC of his feature run. “We were back in fifth. Lynton (Jeffrey) was able to get by us at the start/finish line and I was able to get by him in one. We were able to get to (Bronson) Maeschen and drive by him. I’m really happy with the way this A.R.T. chassis is working for us and we’ve tried some new things with our Rider engine.”
At that point, TMAC was third behind Craig Dollansky and Mark Dobmeier. “I got to Mark, and he had a little snafu with a lapped car,” he says. “I thought I was going to be in that thing. I was up on the cushion where they were, but we narrowly missed it. Once we got through that, everything was a bonus. We probably should have been in that one.”
TMAC focused on the leader on the restart. “I had a really good start on that one,” he says. “I tried a slider on Craig and couldn’t get it done. It was raining and sprinkling off and on. The yellows hurt us. We had the fastest car I felt; it wasn’t fast enough to drive right by him. We were trying to inch away and get closer, but the yellow would come out again.”
One final caution flag flew. It was the last chance at Dollansky. “I knew on the last one, Craig would hit the cushion,” says TMAC. “It wasn’t high enough to get a really good run, and the middle of the track is going to be slick as ice with the rain. I was contemplating not even trying to pass him. I didn’t want to spin out, or leave the door open for Lynton or Justin (Henderson) to get by us. I told myself if it wasn’t close, I wasn’t going to try it.”
He was close. “I had an unbelievable start,” says TMAC. “I was on his bumper at the white line. I thought for sure I had him, but he did a good job. The cushion was in a place where he didn’t have to go too far up. I couldn’t have been any closer to him, but it was just a little too slick to make it happen. At that point, you’re happy to look at the big picture and a good finish. I really think we have the fastest car there. I’m pretty optimistic, and when we leave, I can’t wait to come back.”
Hiring a full-time crew member has helped the team with their focus. “Adding Doug Rankin has helped so much,” says TMAC. “We can come to the track more relaxed and a lot happier. We’re not having to do all the work all week. I’m also able to look at the racetrack a lot more than I have the last few years.”
Front Row Challenge Tickets on Sale!
The 19th Annual Casey’s General Stores/Musco Lighting Front Row Challenge presented by Searsboro Telephone Company will be held Monday, August 4 at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
This Month in TMAC History!
On April 27, 2003 TMAC won at Huset’s Speedway, topping Justin Henderson, Mark Dobmeier, Jake Peters and John Lambertz.
“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.
TMAC Motorsports would like to thank sponsors Country Builders Construction, Rossie Feed and Grain, Bosma Poultry, SnowPlow Snow Pushers – www.TheSnowPlow.com, DeBerg Concrete, Colin Bulmer – Bayaire Industries, A.R.T. Speed Equipment, Berryhill Racing, Phil and Vivian, Justice Brothers/Gillund Enterprises, Ryan Yager Trucking, Vortex Racing, Hoosier Tire, Chris Spaulding – Attorney at Law, Schoenfeld Headers, K&N Filters, Rens Trucking, NutriShop – Maple Grove, MN, HRP, All Pro Cylinder Heads, Bob and Beulah Elder, Engler Injection, T&P Brothers, Winters, DriverWebsites.com, CM Rock, Jocko’s Sprint Parts, Sander, Brown and Miller, Pro Shocks, Ben Cook, Bell Helmets, Burnett’s Rock and Landscaping, Van Der Brink Trucking, Van Der Brink Designs, Morgan Strawberry Farms, Buttman BBQ, Aurora Rod Ends, Crow Safety, Justice Brothers, KSE Steering, Strange Performance, Saldana Racing Products, Scribner Plastics, Waterman Fuel Pumps, Weiland Racing, Butlerbuilt, PBS Bushings and Mote Fasteners.