Tuesdays with TMAC – “Mr. Sprint Car”!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
TMAC celebrates his qualifying night win Thursday at the Knoxville Nationals (Doug Johnson Photo)TMAC celebrates his qualifying night win Thursday at the Knoxville Nationals (Doug Johnson Photo) (Bill W) August 18, 2015 – The whirlwind of Southern Iowa Sprintweek is a lot for everyone racing.  When you add promoting a race to the list, things get even more hectic.  It couldn’t have gone much better for Terry McCarl and the TMAC Motorsports #24 team!  He was able to win his second Jesse Hockett “Mr. Sprint Car” title, the 360 Nationals and his qualifying night feature at the Knoxville Nationals.  In addition, the Front Row Challenge was a rousing success.  This weekend will find the team competing with the FVP National Sprint League at Fairmont Raceway in Minnesota Friday and in Spencer, Iowa Saturday.

The Altoona, Iowa driver had not even planned on racing in the 360 Nationals.  “The whole thing is a crazy story,” says TMAC.  “Don Long from Searsboro Telephone Company called me at the last minute to see if I’d run one of Jaymie Moyle’s engines.  I’ve known Don for a long time.  He is a great guy and an ambassador for the sport.  He’s been involved with so many people.  Jaymie and I have been friends for over twenty years, so I said, Heck yea.’”

TMAC saw success with the engine right away.  “We put it in and were quick time on the local show and driver error kept us from winning I think,” he says.  “We rolled out at the 360 Nationals and set quick time again.  We started eighth in the (prelim) feature, and we were catching Danny (Lasoski) and Sammy (Swindell) the last few laps.  Every time we ran, I learned a little bit more about our ART chassis with the 360.  It’s a little different setup.”

As the high point earner, he started on the pole of the 360 Nationals.  He would lead every lap to win his fourth 360 Nationals, and in turn, broke his own 25-lap record.  “Saturday night, the car was just running like a Cadillac,” says TMAC.  “It was fun.  I really wanted to win bad for myself and the history of it, but I really wanted it more for Don Long and Jaymie Moyle.  It worked out well on such short notice.”

The Capitani Classic was next up on Sunday, August 9.  “No matter what format you run with that many cars, it’s going to be tough to make the show,” says TMAC of the Cappy.  “We got a really bad start in the heat and that took us out of the Match races.  I was looking forward to doing that.  We have so much fun with that at the Front Row Challenge.”

TMAC would checker twelfth in the feature after going through the B.  “We were decent in the feature,” he says.  “We were putting our heads together with the setup like we’ve been doing lately.  That night we just missed it a little bit.  We learn every time out though.”

Monday, the Front Row Challenge went off without a hitch.  “The Front Row Challenge was great,” says TMAC.  “As a promoter, if there are no red flags all night long and one caution, that’s a win no matter what.  We had a great crowd and some great racing.  We had a lot of new fans this year who got a chance to see the things we do.  Thanks to Sea Foam Motor Treatment and Monarch’s Restaurant for giving out TV’s.  The event went smooth and we were done at 10:23.  It was fun to watch someone like Brad Sweet win $20,000.  The sponsors, fans and racers were happy, so it was a success from top to bottom.  We’re looking forward to next year.”

Thursday was TMAC’s qualifying night at the Knoxville Nationals.  He came out 36th in the order, and timed in 15th quick.  “We did our best for when we went out,” he says.  “We had a new Rider in, and we knew we were good at 15th quick at that point.  I probably should have won the heat.  I was just off on the car a bit.  It was actually good that that happened.  We kind of did something for the feature that we never do.”

He would miss the inversion by one spot and start ninth in the feature.  “I really didn’t pay attention to the lineup too much,” says TMAC.  “I knew I had to get to around fifth to make it.  When I got on the track, I looked at the eight cars in front of me.  They were such incredible cars and drivers.  I didn’t know if I could get to the top five, but the car was unbelievable.”

TMAC would slice his way through the field and pass pole-sitter Danny Lasoski for the win.  “It was one of those nights…maybe Donny Schatz gets that feeling often…I could just roll anywhere and it was so much fun,” he says.  “For me, it may have been my greatest win ever.  The Offill family from Country Builder’s was there, Jeff and Stacy from Snowplow.com were there, all of our sponsors, family and friends.  The way it played out with Danny starting on the pole and us starting ninth…I couldn’t have scripted it any better.”

His win would lock him into Saturday night’s A main, and he would line up 12th for the World Challenge on Friday night.  “That track is always different than any all week,” says TMAC.  “You run a full program with 80 cars before that.  The Dunkin’s do a good job, but it’s tough.  We tried a little different setup and we were good at times and not so good at times.  We tried to learn a little something for Saturday if we could.”

Starting eighth Saturday night, TMAC ran sixth for much of the finale.  “I made a few bad choices,” he says.  “There wasn’t quite as much juice on the bottom as there had been Thursday.  We had more coming off the corners on our qualifying night.  We were getting really good restarts.  The car was actually better in the second half than the first.”

He was mixing it up and trying to move into the top five.  “We were running right there with Joey (Saldana) and we got by Paul McMahan,” says TMAC.  “I had Joey there on the restart, and he was indecisive on where he was going and so was I.  He kept me guessing for a couple of laps.  He slid in front of me and Shane (Stewart) got us both.  I ended up packing the right front full of mud.  I was just hanging on after that.  I couldn’t really hit my marks with the vibration.  The week turned out well.  I think we had a top five car, but we had the problem and we finished 11th.  It is what it is, and it’s no one’s fault.”

TMAC’s consistency earned him the Jesse Hockett “Mr. Sprint Car” title for the second time.  “That means a lot to me,” he says.  “Jesse Hockett was one of the McCarl household’s favorite drivers.  To win something with his name on it means a lot.  We left the week with that title and a couple ‘Happy Gilmore’ checks, so for me that’s a good few days!”

Newly Designed Websites!

Driverwebsites.com develops the websites for the McCarl boys. Check out www.TerryMcCarl.com, as well as www.AustinMcCarl.com and www.CarsonMcCarl.com!

This Week in TMAC History!

TMAC won this week in 1991 in Weldon Offill’s #88 at the Johnny Key Classic 100 at the San Jose Fairgrounds in California.  Brent Kaeding was second, followed by Rick Martin, Nick Rescino and Mike Henry.  TMAC also won at Huset’s Speedway on this day in 1997 driving the Holbrook #8H.  Danny Lasoski was second, ahead of Doug Wolfgang, Garry Brazier and Dennis Moore Jr.

"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 sprntcar@hotmail.com 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, Destiny Motorsports, A.R.T. Speed Equipment, Berryhill Racing, Phil and Vivian, Justice Brothers/Gillund Enterprises, Vortex Racing, Mastell Brothers Trailer Sales, Hoosier Tire, Chris Spaulding – Attorney at Law, SuperFlow, Schoenfeld Headers, K&N Filters, Rens Trucking, NutriShop – Maple Grove, MN, HRP, All Pro Cylinder Heads, Bob and Beulah Elder, Engler Injection, Snap On Tools, Sposato Paint, Winters, Kilani Fender, Inc., DriverWebsites.com, CM Rock, Taco Bravo, Brown and Miller, Pro Shocks, Ben Cook, Bell Helmets, Burnett's Rock and Landscaping, Octane Ink, Morgan Strawberry Farms, Dynasty Stucco, Aurora Rod Ends, Crow Safety, KSE Steering, Snyder Lawn & Landscaping, Strange Performance, Saldana Racing Products, Scribner Plastics, Waterman Fuel Pumps, Butlerbuilt and Mote Fasteners.

TMAC celebrates his qualifying night win Thursday at the Knoxville Nationals (Doug Johnson Photo)

Bill Wright
Bill W Media
Monroe, IA USA
Twitter: @BillWMedia