Austin at Knoxville (Chuck Stowe Images)
(Bill W) May 31, 2017 – The TKS Motorsports #2KS team had another great outing at the Knoxville Raceway Saturday night when Austin McCarl notched another top five. But the best part of the week may have been their involvement with the Special Olympics athletes in Ames, Iowa. Through the month of June, Casey’s General Stores will be donating portions of their sales to the Special Olympics. In addition, customers will have the opportunity to donate $1 to Special Olympics and have their name pinned on the wall of their local Casey’s. The team will run in the 360 class Saturday night at Knoxville, allowing Austin to be present for his father Terry’s induction into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Austin timed in sixth quick Saturday night. “We’re qualifying well,” says Troy Renfro, team owner and crew chief. “Austin is a really good qualifier. He keeps the car straight. A couple weeks ago, we sat down and talked about our heat races. Some of that has to do with changes we needed to make. For a lot of teams like ours, we just can’t put on a new tire for every heat we run.”
With the point system at Knoxville, the heat is of the utmost importance. “The rule says you have to run the feature with the same tire you qualify on,” says Troy. “That opens up the heat, and the bigger teams always put new tires on. We just can’t do that, and it does make a difference. With the importance of the point system at Knoxville, you have to be good in the heat. A couple weeks ago, having a used tire on bit us. One spot made the difference in starting on the front row of the feature. We’ve decided to put a new tire on for the heat and run eight laps. We’ll take it home, put it on the rack and run it the following week. Every other week, we’ll put a new tire on.”
Austin ran a strong heat Saturday. “I felt we ran really well in the heat,” he says. “We started fifth and finished fourth. I made a little mistake in one and two at the start and lost some time. Looking at the times afterwards, it looked like we had the fastest car, especially on the bottom of three and four.”
The track was a bit heavier on Saturday, but competitors were happy to get the races in. “The rainouts have really hurt us,” says Troy. “We haven’t had the continuous feature laps that we’ve needed. I applaud John (McCoy) and Knoxville Raceway for getting the show in Saturday. We had to.”
Austin would run with the leaders most of the feature Saturday, finishing fifth. “We talked about some things two weeks prior when we ran third,” says Troy. “There were a few things we wanted to try and get some more speed. We tried them, and they didn’t work. All in all, though, we’re really happy. We just went the wrong direction with a couple of things.”
Austin was happy with another top five. “Starting on the front row, you never want to back up,” he says. “You always want to win, but we still had a solid top five. I feel we had a top three car, which is really promising. We just don’t need any more rainouts. We’ve tried a couple different things. With the Outlaws coming next week, I think we have something for them. We’d like to make the Knoxville team proud!”
A number of team members went to volunteer with the Special Olympics last Friday. “Austin, my wife Tammy, my daughter and myself went to Ames to volunteer at Special Olympics,” says Troy. “I’d never done anything like that before. When I was on the road, racing always came first. Casey’s asked us to do that, and we were happy to. I’d never played bocce ball before and it was a lot of fun. I had the most fun I’ve ever had. We’re going to do it again. It felt really great to give back and do something good. We have Special Olympics on the nose wing and we want to promote what Casey’s is doing.”
Austin was also pumped to help out. “It was really cool to go and be involved with that,” he says. “It was really great to help out for a good cause. It makes you feel good about yourself when you volunteer like that.”
Troy and Tammy Renfro pride in the fact they have a family team. They’ve decided that Austin needs to be at his father’s induction Saturday. “We are about family on this team,” says Troy. “Austin needs to be at the induction with his family. You know, I spent a lot of time working with Terry too. In speaking with everyone involved with our team, we think it’s the right thing to do. We know there is a big show in Jackson this week, and we wish them well. But this opportunity comes once in a lifetime. Al Parker indicated that he’d let us use a 360 to race Saturday night, and we can’t thank him enough that we’ll also be able to race.”
Austin is excited about Saturday afternoon. “It’s going to be really cool, especially for my Dad,” he says. “I’m glad that Troy and the team are making it possible for me to be there for that. It will be a great day.”
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TKS Motorsports is always open to new perspective partners! Looking for an affordable way to be a part of a sprint car team? Whether you’d like to partner with the team for the full season, or put your company’s name on the nose wing for a night of your choice, contact Troy at email@example.com!
TKS Motorsports would like to thank Casey's General Stores, Des Moines Industrial Products (DMIP), 1 Way Technologies, AL Driveline, AO Designs, All Star Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Fibreworks Composites, Hoosier, Indy Race Parts, KSE Racing Products, Mag Tech Ignition, Maxim Racing Chassis, Schoenfeld Headers, Tony Moro Collision Center, Tony Moro Powdercoating & Sandblasting, Butlerbuilt, Aurora Rod Ends, HRP, Volcano Joe’s Coffee, Walker Filtration Systems, Snyder Landscaping & Lawn Care, Justice Brothers, Webb Family Farms, Wilwood, Winters Performance Products and Gail Dielman.
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Photo: The Casey’s General Stores association with the Special Olympics will be promoted on the nose wing of the 2KS through June (Chuck Stowe Images)
Bill W Media
Monroe, IA USA