TMAC hits jackpot in Vegas!

Terry McCarl is o
Terry McCarl. (Chris Dolack Photo)
Terry McCarl. (Chris Dolack Photo)

From Bill W

March 10, 2015 – Terry McCarl hit the jackpot with the World of Outlaws last Thursday at The Dirt Track in Las Vegas, Nevada. He took home a big victory at a track that hasn’t been the most kind over the years. The Altoona, Iowa driver has now won in nineteen states and Australia and Las Vegas was the 63rd different track in which he has scored a victory. TMAC added a top ten run in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday night as he heads to Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California with the Outlaws this weekend.

Things opened in Vegas last Wednesday. TMAC timed in 12th quick. “The first night was pretty rough,” he says. “We won the heat, which put us in good position. We had a little trouble with the car being tight. We were o.k. out in clean air in the heat, but when we got to some bad air in the Dash, we had some issues.”

Finishing third in the Dash, lined him up inside row two for the feature. “We made some really good decisions for the feature with the car,” says TMAC. “We were right there battling Joey (Saldana) for third. We went back and forth. The yellow came out with twenty laps down. I was going to be able to start on the top, which was better. But we took the green and going into one, the car didn’t turn. I gathered it up and it really didn’t turn in three and four. I about flipped it. I stopped the car and we had a right rear that was cut and going down. Unfortunately, that’s happened a few times the last couple years at Vegas.”

Though he drove back up to 13th, the tire made for a frustrating night. “I was pretty disappointed, but as we talked about on the way back from the track, we were in the game,” says TMAC. “I hate excuses, but we were on our game and we had a fast car. I think we proved that the next night.”

After again qualifying 12th quick, the team found an issue in the pits. “We found a problem with our high-speed gauge,” says TMAC. “We checked it against Jason Sides gauge, and with Steve Suchy and Shane Stewart’s gauge. After time trials, we fixed it and our motor was running awesome.”

TMAC would sweep his heat and the Dash, lining up on the feature pole. “We were able to win the heat, and we had a great battle with Ian (Madsen) and won the Dash,” he says. “Going into the feature, it was a little bit of a guessing game. The track was a lot different than Wednesday. It wasn’t quite so rough, and in one and two, you could run anywhere. Doug (Rankin) and I kind of put our heads together. I really didn’t get a good practice lap to see if we were good.”

He was. “I was able to get a good jump on the start into one and two and decided to honk it into three,” says TMAC. “The thing rotated along the tires so well. It was that way the whole race. I think I only moved the wing back about an inch the whole race, which tells you how balanced a racecar we really had. The A.R.T. Chassis was working perfectly, and I have to thank Tommy Rider of Rider Engines for helping us get squared away too.”

The win was very rewarding for TMAC. “It’s one of those places that is really tough to win,” he says of Vegas. “There’s a lot of tough competition, and not a lot of guys have won there. It’s tough to win an Outlaw race period. It was fun, being the second night at Vegas, because you can go out and have some fun afterwards. Our good friend James Chinen and his wife with Kilani Fenders was there from Hawaii.”

It was on to Tucson and USA Raceway on Saturday. “We were able to break the track record there in 2005 or 2006,” says TMAC. “I don’t know if I’ve been back much since. It’s a pretty racy joint. It’s good to get back there with the great fans from the Phoenix area and Manzanita too.”

TMAC would time in 7th quick. “The track was going away quickly,” he says. “We went out in the middle of the group. We went out around Paul McMahan and he barely beat us…so we knew we were pretty fast. When you qualify close to Paul, you know you’ve had a decent lap.”

After winning another heat race, TMAC advanced from sixth to fifth in the Dash. “It turned into a guessing game in the Dash with the track,” he says. “We knew in the feature it was going to lay rubber. We just didn’t know when for sure. We started on the bottom (fifth) in the feature, and we just didn’t get to the top quick enough. I couldn’t quite slide up there quick enough. I didn’t want to crash anybody.”

The track quickly became one-lane and he would secure a ninth place finish. “Finally, we were in line in ninth,” says TMAC. “I was able to hang there with Joey and Kerry (Madsen). Eventually we dropped down and got in line. It was another top ten with the Outlaws, which was great, and another good qualifying effort.”

TMAC is looking forward to Tulare this weekend. “I’m excited,” he says. “It’s turned into one of our favorite tracks. We have a very good record there for top fives over the years. We’ll be the Country Builders Construction #88 out there. We’ll be staying through Antioch before we come back for the National Sprint League opener on April 11.”

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