Joplin: Race report

McCarl Races to First Outlaws Main Event Victory JOPLIN, MO (June 29) -- After years of chasing World of Outlaws Sprint Series drivers around the dirt tracks of America, Terry McCarl raced to victory in Tuesday's "A" Feature at Joplin 66 ...

McCarl Races to First Outlaws Main Event Victory

JOPLIN, MO (June 29) -- After years of chasing World of Outlaws Sprint Series drivers around the dirt tracks of America, Terry McCarl raced to victory in Tuesday's "A" Feature at Joplin 66 Speedway.

The defending and five-time Knoxville Raceway champion put together a near-perfect performance on his way to winning his first World of Outlaws Sprint Series main event. McCarl paced the qualifying session, won the First Dash Race and drove his #24 Big Game Tree Stands Eagle to a flag-to-flag victory in the "A" Feature. Finishing third in the First Heat Race is all that kept McCarl from a clean sweep.

"I just have to thank God for a good, safe race," McCarl yelled to the capacity crowd after his wife, Lori, hugged and kissed him in victory lane. "This is just awesome. We've been close so many times, and won a preliminary feature, but to get this win tonight. Anyone who knows us knows that we got upside down Friday, Saturday and Sunday last week. But we stuck with it and I thank God for teaching us a little lesson. It definitely humbled us."

McCarl, who won the Second Preliminary Feature during the 1996 Knoxville Nationals, was unable to contain his exuberance, dancing on his car's top wing following the $10,000 victory.

"I have to thank all my sponsors: Big Game Tree Stands, Bosma Poultry, Fleet Buying Group, Sander Engineering and Wesmar Engines," McCarl said. "I can't say enough about Wesmar. This is the 11th night on this engine. Most of these Outlaw guys don't run their engines that long, but thanks to Wesmar for giving us some strong horsepower. Country Builders, they're like family to me. All of my sponsors are like family, and I can't thank them enough. I wish I had one big sponsor like Quaker State so you fans wouldn't have to listen to me this long, but I just don't know what else to say."

The closest the Altoona, IA, racer came to winning a World of Outlaws Sprint Series main event before Tuesday was the July 12, 1995, race at Davenport Speedway. McCarl led the first 18 laps from the pole and finished in fourth place while running the final lap with his car engulfed in flames.

McCarl's 97.692-M.P.H. lap around the high-banked, 3/8-mile oval was the fastest in time trials. He earned the privilege of starting the 30-lap main event on the pole by winning the First Dash Race.

McCarl burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature and, despite front-row starter Mark Kinser's challenges, led every lap. Terry opened a half-straightaway advantage during the first five laps, and was 10 car-lengths ahead when he entered lapped traffic two laps later.

The two-time World of Outlaws Sprint Series champion was catching McCarl in dense traffic early in the ninth lap when Jason Johnson spun and "B" Feature winner Brandon Wimmer and Ricky Logan slammed into him in turn two. McCarl raced away from Kinser as the green flag replaced the yellow, and opened a 10-car-length advantage within two laps. Mark narrowed the gap again as McCarl raced carefully on the rubber-covered surface to save his tires for the second half of the race, but was never able to pass. The leaders raced nose-to-tail throughout lap 20.

Second Heat Race winner Paul McMahan's right rear tire shredded four laps later, causing the #11H Selma Shell Maxim to spin in the fourth corner. When Kinser swerved to avoid crashing into McMahan, the #83 Beef Packers Maxim jumped the cushion and flipped.

Kraig Kinser restarted in second place, and was eight car-lengths behind McCarl at the checkered flag. The runner-up run was the second of the season for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year leader. McCarl is the 14th driver to win a World of Outlaws Sprint Series main event in 2004.

"You have to be aggressive in traffic, but you have to be patient, too," McCarl said. "I knew we went with a pretty hard tire. Maybe Mark was catching us a little bit, but catching and passing were two different things tonight. This is my 20th year racing, and I've waited for a win like this as long as I can remember. We can't afford to race with these guys as much as we'd like, but whenever they're in the area we run with the best. We'd like to run the full tour next year if we could. I want to dedicate this win to the Pennsylvania Posse. Those guys have been winning races against the Outlaws for a long time, and now maybe the Midwest guys can run with them too."

Donny Schatz drove his family's #15 Parker Store J&J into third place from outside the third row. Danny Lasoski finished fourth, ahead of World of Outlaws Sprint Series points leader Steve Kinser, Craig Dollansky, Jason Meyers, Jason Sides, Joey Saldana and Erin Crocker. Saldana moved into a seventh-place tie with Tim Shaffer in the standings by finishing in ninth place. Crocker's 10th-place finish was the first top-10 run of her World of Outlaws Sprint Series career.

Brian Paulus steered the #28 Arnold Transportation Maxim around seven cars to finish 13th. Shaffer drove the #6 Casey General Stores Maxim into 15th place from inside the 11th row.

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Erin Crocker , Craig Dollansky , Brian Paulus , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Jason Johnson