2007 World of Outlaws Season Review: Terry McCarl Ever since he began racing sprint cars at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, it was a goal of Terry McCarl's to win a World of Outlaws event at his home track. After six championships and 42...
2007 World of Outlaws Season Review: Terry McCarl
Ever since he began racing sprint cars at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, it was a goal of Terry McCarl's to win a World of Outlaws event at his home track. After six championships and 42 wins at the half-mile, he accomplished that goal this season, besting a stout field in the opener of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2 in June.
The native of Altoona, Iowa also was victorious at KC-Raceway in Ohio with the television cameras rolling in World of Outlaws action. He earned 32 Top-10 finishes during the 2007 season, with 13 of those being in the Top-Five and was 12th overall in the championship standings.
Among the highlights during the season for the always focused driver was a third-place performance in the Knoxville Nationals, as he battled Donny Schatz and Joey Saldana for sprint car racing's biggest prize. He also finished third in the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway.
"We ran good at all of the big races," said McCarl, driver of the Big Game Treestands Eagle. "We had a shot at the (Knoxville) Nationals and ran third. We came from the sixth row in the Kings Royal and ran third. We won a couple of the TV shows on ESPN2. We ran fourth in the TV points."
McCarl had several strong runs cut short by flat tires and other circumstances out of his control, though he continued to race hard each and every time he hit the track, as was evident by his six wins in the B-Main (Last Chance Showdown) to race his way into the A-Feature.
"We had a good year in some ways and also a lot of bad luck," he noted. "We had a lot of crazy things happen. I guarantee we had 10 flat tires and a lot of stuff like that. It was no one's fault, just bad luck. Hopefully we can shake those and get the money off our back for next year and come out strong and get back to where we should be. Sometimes you have good seasons and sometimes you have bad ones. We are really excited about next year."
Toward the latter part of the season, McCarl began to prepare for 2008 by welcoming veteran World of Outlaws crew chief and mechanic Tyler Swank to the team. Swank will team with fellow veteran crew chief Troy Renfro next season to turn the wrenches for McCarl. Both Swank and Renfro call the Des Moines, Iowa area home, which also is right near McCarl's home and shop.
"We put a new team together and lost a couple of crew chiefs," explained McCarl of his 2007 season. "We lost our continuity. There was no stability within the team this year. I am looking forward to getting this thing straightened out and getting back on track. That is the basis for a strong team, everyone knowing their jobs."
One of the most memorable moments of the entire 2007 World of Outlaws season was McCarl's win at KC-Raceway in Ohio, as he dueled with two-time defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz for the triumph. With the ESPN2 cameras rolling, McCarl waved as he passed Schatz en route to earning the $10,000 win.
"I get excited once in a while," smiled McCarl. "To this day not too many people passed Donny Schatz, so I am in an elite group. I was fortunate enough to pass him during the Knight Before the Kings Royal. I passed him out in the open. He certainly had a great year and is a great competitor. He and I are great friends and I was trying to get him stirred up in the car, but he didn't get stirred up. He stayed with me pretty hard and it almost ended up being a mistake, but it was fun for the fans and ended up being great for TV."
McCarl who is a promoter himself enjoyed the World of Outlaws two visits to Canada, especially the trip Castrol Raceway in Edmonton as part of the Gold Rush Tour. Though the second night of racing was delayed a day by rain, creating some obstacles for McCarl who was flying back home after the event, the promoter in him was thrilled at how well received the series was north of the border.
"Once we got up there and got to meet the fans, it was certainly worthwhile," he said. "It ended up being a great show. We got rained out the one night and there were a thousand fans that hung out for over an hour by the t-shirt trailers to meet the drivers and the driver's wives. What a great bunch of people. They were so appreciate of us and it was a great event. We look forward to going back up there."
McCarl recently announced that he will have Big Game Treestands, his primary sponsor back for another two years. Being an owner/driver, that gives McCarl the confidence in the off-season to focus entirely on the performance of the race team.
"There is a lot of turmoil and uncertainly going on for a lot of teams and it feels good to know that we are solid in that sense," said the six-time Huset's Speedway track champion. "In the off-season we will get really buckled down and working hard for next year. I am pretty motivated and mad, but mad in a good sense. It has me motivated to work harder in the winter than I have the last couple of years and get in shape and get this team back to a Top-Five competitor."
McCarl began his off-season by having 12 screws removed from his left leg that had been inserted last season after he broke the leg. Once the leg is fully healed, McCarl has an intense physical training regimen in place in preparation for the 2008 World of Outlaws campaign.