Carson rides the cushion while Terry runs the low side at East Bay (Max Dolder Photo)
(Bill W) February 27, 2017 – The Ronald Laney Memorial “King of the 360’s” is not for the faint of heart. The event held annually at East Bay Raceway Park near Tampa, Florida always attracts some of the best in the business. This year’s edition attracted a stout field of over 60 drivers. Carson McCarl and the Jeremy Scadden Construction #6 team stood tall, qualifying for the feature all three nights. The team will have some time before they next hit the track in NCRA action at 81 Speedway near Wichita in late March.
Carson’s first sprint outing of the year started without Wednesday’s practice, which was a wash. He drew a spot outside row one for his Thursday heat. “We had a good draw, but I was nervous,” he says. “We didn’t get to practice on Wednesday. We had tough heats all weekend, and in this one, Wayne Johnson was starting beside us. He got me a little bit on the start, but he left the outside open for me. I was able to gas it back around him and ripped the top for seven laps. The car felt great, and it was a good start to the weekend.”
The heat win put him in the redraw. “There were eight numbers, so of course, my Dad (Terry) and I drew seven and eight,” says Carson. “We were good in the feature. We were passed by a couple of guys early and we were able to get back by one for eighth. I was going to try and slide Danny Smith for seventh and I got caught in the slick. I did a full 360 and kept it going. (Greg) Hodnett and (Chad) Kemenah got by, so we lost a couple of spots. With the spin, I was pretty happy to finish 11th.”
Carson started third in Friday’s heat. “We had another tough heat,” he says. “Robbie Stillwaggon was on the front row, and my Dad (Terry) and (Aaron) Reutzel were a couple of the guys behind me. On the second lap, I went into turn three and my Dad (who started ninth) was already underneath me. I knew I needed to get on the gas. I was able to make a couple of decent laps on top and slide into second.”
It wasn’t enough to make the feature. “It was brutal,” says Carson. “You have 60 plus cars, and you go from third to second in your heat. It wasn’t enough. That put us on the pole of the B. B mains make me nervous, but my car was good all weekend. I was able to win the start and we were cruising. I guess we had a good lead until the rubber came in and Hodnett closed in on me. We started way back in the feature and the rubber came in. So unfortunately, we couldn’t do much in the feature Friday night.”
Carson’s finish left him an impressive 14th overall in points heading into Saturday’s finale. It put him outside row one for the second heat. “Only the winners made the feature through the heats,” he says. “My car was stumbling a bit on the start. Harli White was on the pole, and she was smart to bring it around slow to start. We stumbled and ended up third. We were still able to start fourth in the B, and got to second right away to make the show.”
Unfortunately, mechanical gremlins struck in the finale. “I’m not sure what the deal was, but my throttle kept sticking half open,” says Carson. “I was trying to run the throttle and I did a 360 and spun out the second lap. It just wasn’t a good situation. I got lapped and pulled it off for another day. We’ll take a look at the car this week and see what the issue was.”
Carson and the team will now prepare for Wichita. “I can’t thank Jeremy Scadden and the rest of our partners enough for their help,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to getting back on the track.”
Carson would like to thank Jeremy Scadden Construction, Pine Motorsports, Rens Trucking and Vortex Racing Products for all their help!
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Keep up to date on Carson’s racing at www.CarsonMcCarl.com!
Photo: Carson rides the cushion while Terry runs the low side at East Bay (Max Dolder Photo)
Bill W Media
Monroe, IA USA