Series Tulare spotlight - Terry McCarl

McCarl Carries Momentum into Thunderbowl Raceway Tulare, CA-- October 17, 2008--Terry McCarl is very well known from coast-to-coast, especially in the Midwest where he won countless races and numerous championships, but the always entertaining...

McCarl Carries Momentum into Thunderbowl Raceway

Tulare, CA-- October 17, 2008--Terry McCarl is very well known from coast-to-coast, especially in the Midwest where he won countless races and numerous championships, but the always entertaining driver is also is a household name to many fans on the West Coast, having spent a couple of seasons driving in California early in his career as he was climbing the sprint car ladder and honing his skills.

He'll have two chances to compete in the Golden State this weekend, including the final race of the year in California for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Saturday, October 18 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare. The weekend kicks off on Friday night at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville. McCarl has finished in the Top-Five in two of his last three starts at Thunderbowl Raceway, which is a high-banked 1/3-mile.

"I always seem to do pretty well there," shared McCarl. "I always enjoy going out there. I get to meet up with a lot of old friends there, like the Country Builder guys and the Offill family, who I drove for. We'll go and stay at 'Cowboy' Craig Smith's place for a few days. I ran out in San Jose for a few years and have some good fans and friends there. I don't actually consider Tulare (Thunderbowl Raceway) one of my best tracks, but I've had a lot of success there. I won an Outlaws show there and hopefully we can do it again."

McCarl won at Thunderbowl Raceway in 2004 with the World of Outlaws and has four Top-Five finishes in seven career starts at the track, including two last season. As a driver he enjoys racing on the high-banked track, and the promoter inside him is quick to point out the thrilling racing that the fans see when 24 cars take to the 1/3-mile for the A-Feature event with $10,000 on the line.

"It's a demanding track, but it's a lot of fun," he said with a smile. "Last year, some of my sponsors wanted to get to an early season race and asked me where they should go and I told them Tulare and they had a blast there. It's a great track for the fans and that is what you love."

Over the course of the last month, McCarl has finished eighth or better in each and every Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event, which has him confident each time he climbs into his race car. A switch in chassis earlier this season to a Maxim has paid big dividends recently with him battling for wins each night. He is solidly in the ninth spot in points with five races remaining on the 2008 calendar.

"It's amazing how much better I feel and how much better the crew feels," explained McCarl of running up front. "That's something you can't buy. You just have to go out there and do it. You try to pump yourself up each night when you are in a downturn and the only thing that will make you feel better is running good or winning. Things are really turning for us, and it's a good time to do it. I wish we would have had this all year, but if we can finish the year strong and keep the sponsors pumped up that will be great. Big Game Treestands is excited for next season already and we want to finish strong and to pick up a win another before the year is out."

McCarl won his first race of the 2008 season on September 24 at Orange County Fair Speedway in New York. He begins this weekend with 28 Top-10 finishes, with eight of those being Top-Five performances. He is among the Top-10 in laps led this season and also has won the Crane Cams Dash twice to earn pole positions in A-Feature events.

"It lifted a lot of pressure off me," he admitted of his win last month. "We had been fast enough, but until you put it all together, it's just excuses. You have to win. That's what I get paid for and that is what this thing is all about, winning races and running up front. We have put the right package together here and have the right group of people. Attitude is very important and all of our attitudes are headed in the right direction."

McCarl heads to Thunderbowl Raceway with momentum on his side, having picked up eight consecutive Top-10 finishes, with four straight Top-Five runs. The veteran driver endured his fair share of bad luck earlier this season and also shuffled around some crew members, looking for the right fit for the team. He is confident now that he has found that fit as the team continues to build for the future. On top of that, he can focus entirely on driving after turning over ownership of his team to Tod Quiring from Big Game Treestands last month.

"It's been a lot of things," said the six-time Knoxville Raceway and Huset's Speedway champion, of his recent hot streak. "We have been fast all year. We have Gary and Brandon (crew members) working very hard and Greg (McCormick) is coming back next year. He has always been a big supporter of mine. You have to have guys that believe in you 100 percent. To get guys that mesh is a hard thing, it's a tough life out here for a crew guy. You have to find the right people to get along out here on the road and we have that right now."

After nearly winning last season at Thunderbowl Raceway, McCarl would like nothing more than to visit the winners circle at the high-banked 1/3-mile again on Saturday. Like every other race, it takes a fast car from the first lap of hot laps until the final checkered flag falls. It also takes a little luck and a good starting position. He has raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash in eight consecutive events to earn Top-10 starting spot in the A-Feature, including making a dramatic last lap pass of two cars in the heat race last Sunday at Hollywood Hills Speedway to make it into the dash.

"Track position is important like at most places," noted McCarl of Thunderbowl Raceway. "It also depends on the track. I wish we could run a two-day show, because usually the second day it slicks off more and there is more passing. It depends on how they do the race track and hopefully they don't overwater it. I came 11th or so that one night and finished second and had a shot at winning it. When the track is right it's a lot of fun."

On Saturday, October 18 at Thunderbowl Raceway, all seats will be reserved, with bleacher tickets $40 and grandstand tickets $45. For ticket information call (559) 688-0909 or visit: www.thunderbowlraceway.com.

-credit: woo

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Series World of Outlaws