McCarl Geared Up for Charter Raceway Park Terry McCarl has seen a lot during his 20-plus year career of racing sprint cars and that is why the wild night that the World of Outlaws had at Charter Raceway Park last month did not faze him in the ...
McCarl Geared Up for Charter Raceway Park
Terry McCarl has seen a lot during his 20-plus year career of racing sprint cars and that is why the wild night that the World of Outlaws had at Charter Raceway Park last month did not faze him in the least. On a night that saw the green flag fly five separate times before a single lap was completed, McCarl kept his nose clean to gain nine spots and eventually finish fifth in the 40-lap event.
McCarl will get another chance to compete at the high-banked 1/3-mile on Sunday, September 16 as the World of Outlaws return to Charter Raceway Park for an event that was postponed by rain on August 4. This will be the series third and final race of the season in the state of Wisconsin.
"We've run pretty well there lately and survived the last race there," smiled McCarl, driver of the Big Game Treestands Eagle. "It turned out pretty well with a Top-Five for us."
McCarl has competed at Charter Raceway Park a number of times in his career and each time the track surface has had different characteristics and he has had to drive it differently. That challenge of adapting to a track and setting up the car to function on a track that is different throughout the course of a night is one of the challenges that the veteran driver enjoys most about sprint car racing.
"The cool thing about dirt track racing is that it is ever-changing," he explained. "Sometimes it changes in your favor and sometimes it changes against you. It just happened to be a rough race track that night. That is the thing about the World of Outlaws, is that you have to be so diverse that you can adjust to anything that is thrown at you. Every night is something different and that is part of racing."
McCarl turned the seventh fastest lap in time trials last month at Charter Raceway Park last month and lined up 14th for the feature, with the cameras rolling, as the event was the finale of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2. McCarl steadily worked his way to the front, in the 40-lap contest, as he was one of only a handful of cars that was not involved in one the numerous accidents during the course of the night.
"We kind of started in the back and I got penalized that night for jumping the start so I got put back quite a ways," said the native of Altoona, Iowa. "Then there was all of the crashes and we were fortunate to stay out of that and we moved up quite a bit. Every time the yellow came out I moved up a few spots, so I liked to see the cautions that night."
The high banks of Charter Raceway Park generally provide some of the toughest racing of the season. Normally, the World of Outlaws visit the track it is the heat of the summer and that makes 40-laps on the 1/3-mile even more challenging. Cooler temperatures will greet McCarl and the rest of the World of Outlaws on Sunday at the track, after a long haul north from Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas on Friday night, where McCarl finished 10th after starting 18th to earn the KSE Race Products Hard Charger Award.
"It is a demanding place," McCarl noted when asked about Charter Raceway Park. "When it's sticky it is real sticky and can get a little rough. It has real good dirt on it. There are not too many places that hold the moisture like that. It's a fast place. It's a fine facility and there are a lot of great fans in Wisconsin. We look forward to going there."
McCarl, who is a six-time track champion at Knoxville Raceway, has won twice this season with the World of Outlaws, including at his home track, in the opener of the "Summer of Money." He also won at K-C Raceway in Ohio in one of the most thrilling events of the season, as he dueled with reigning World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz for the win and used "The Wave" as he passed Schatz, which also was captured by the ESPN2 cameras.
McCarl is just outside of the Top-10 in the championship standings heading into action on Sunday, on the strength of 30 Top-10 finishes, with 13 of those being in the Top-Five. With 12 points paying events left on the 2007 schedule, McCarl has a couple of goals, with running up front and winning races very high on that list.
"We had a lot of ups and downs this year," he said. "We've had a lot of strong finishes and a lot of not so strong finishes too. I really want to get into the Top-10 in points. The guys around the 10th spot have been pretty strong, so we just have to step it up and get back into that Top-10."
McCarl heads back to Charter Raceway Park in the midst of a four-race Top-10 streak, including a solid eighth-place effort in the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in California on September 8, with a stout field of well over 100 cars in attendance. With veteran crew chief Tyler Swank joining the team a couple of months ago, along with mechanic Greg McCormick who has been with McCarl since last season, he is confident as the teams closes out this season and looks ahead to 2008.
"We've gone through some crew chiefs this year and Greg (McCormick) has stuck with us," McCarl said. "You need continuity and a strong team to win out here. We're certainly building that and looking forward to next year."
On Sunday, September 16 at Charter Raceway Park, adult advance tickets will be adult tickets will be $35. Tickets for children ages 6-12 will be $15, with kids 5-under free. All tickets from the original event on August 4 will be honored. For ticket information call Charter Raceway Park at 920-887-1600.
Note: An early start time will be utilized at Charter Raceway Park, with hot laps set for 5 p.m. Central and heat races scheduled to roll off at 6:30 p.m. Central.