KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Terry McCarl dominated the Outlaws and Knoxville regulars in Friday night’s Budweiser Night with the World of Outlaws at Knoxville Raceway as he scored his first World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series victory of the season.
McCarl was the class of the field throughout much of the night in his No. 24 SnowPlow.com/Country Builders Maxim, claiming a spot in the Dash and the feature pole. McCarl held off reigning Knoxville Nationals champion Donny Schatz throughout the 25-lap feature.
“You know, it’s David vs. Goliath,” McCarl said. “We just beat the best team and driver in the world. For us to beat him one night is pretty amazing and we’re pretty proud of it… This means a lot if you can win this thing. It makes you feel like you can be decent for the Nationals.”
McCarl, a native of nearby Altoona, Iowa, tied Steve Kinser for third on the all-time Knoxville wins list. It was his first series win since March 5, 2015 when he won night two at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Justin Henderson kicked off the night for the Knoxville regulars as he picked up the quick time over 41 other cars. A full inversion of the Dash field put McCarl on the Dash pole, and he held off Schatz to take the top spot in the night’s feature.
McCarl and Schatz led the field to the green flag. Kerry Madsen battled past Schatz on the start but Schatz fought back on the opening lap, reclaiming his starting position. McCarl widened his lead through the early laps, running the high line against the cushion, as Schatz looked low. As McCarl caught traffic, Schatz closed the gap.
By lap 10, Schatz had issues of his own as Madsen closed the gap on his second place No. 15 Bad Boy Off-Road J&J. The move however was short-lived as Madsen found trouble in traffic and flipped, bringing out a red flag short of the halfway point.
On the restart, Schatz took his shot. On lap 15, he slid McCarl off of two and briefly took over the lead, but McCarl, battled back, retaking the position before a lap could be completed.
As the battle up front unfolded, Dusty Zomer took over the third position on the restart and briefly challenged Schatz for second. It was current Knoxville 410 points leader Brian Brown though who was on the move. From a ninth place starting position he battled forward in his No 21 FVP/Casey’s General Store Maxim and, with two to go, passed Zomer coming off of turn two.
When the checkered flag flew, it was McCarl, Schatz and Brown on the podium.
“I just kept telling myself, keep the tires underneath it,” McCarl said. “I know Donny is really good at keeping the tires underneath it until traffic. When I got to traffic, I was happy because I moved down and felt really, really good. I knew (Schatz) was running the bottom there in (turns) one and two but it’s hard to change your line when you’re leading. To beat Donny Schatz at Knoxville is something we dream about. Pretty special for this team.”
Schatz, the reigning and seven-time series champion, said McCarl just had the edge tonight.
“Terry was awful good,” Schatz said. “This place is tough to be out front leading. Sometimes you’re in the catbird seat in second. I thought I had the catbird seat but I didn’t. Terry did a great job. He made all the right moves at the right times and I learned something from that.”
For Schatz, the night was a season milestone as he became just the second driver to lead the points in 35 races. After tying Brad Sweet at Putnamville, Schatz took the lead outright tonight by a 32 point margin.
For Brown, the finish was a lesson in perseverance after trouble during qualifying early in the night.
“We had a little bit of a rough night but that’s just this team – they worked hard and we were able to overcome,” Brown said. “I really felt like we had something for these guys on that last red and I just made a mistake as a driver and spun the tires. I had to get back by Dusty Zomer and (David Gravel). To be on the podium with these two guys is nothing to be ashamed about. We’ll come back tomorrow and try to get up front.”
Shane Stewart was the night’s KSE Racing Hard Charger, advancing 15 positions to finish in ninth after a wreck in his heat race forced his team to a backup.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series return to action tomorrow night for the second race in the Knoxville double-header. The Outlaws again battle it out with the Knoxville regulars in the Xtream Shootout powered by Mediacom. For more information and to learn how to purchase tickets, visit http://woosprint.com/knoxville-raceway.
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A-Main – (25 Laps) – 1. 24-Terry McCarl  [$10,000]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz  [$5,000]; 3. 21-Brian Brown  [$3,000]; 4. 82-Dusty Zomer  [$2,700]; 5. 5-David Gravel  [$2,500]; 6. 2KS-Craig Dollansky  [$2,200]; 7. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,000]; 8. 2L-Danny Lasoski  [$1,800]; 9. 2-Shane Stewart  [$1,600]; 10. 1D-Justin Henderson  [$1,450]; 11. 18-Ian Madsen  [$1,300]; 12. 1-Sammy Swindell  [$1,200]; 13. 41-Jason Johnson  [$1,100]; 14. 71-Jamie Veal  [$1,000]; 15. 3-Tim Kaeding  [$950]; 16. 12-Lynton Jeffrey  [$900]; 17. 83-Joey Saldana  [$850]; 18. 49-Brad Sweet  [$750]; 19. 17A-Austin McCarl  [$725]; 20. 7S-Jason Sides  [$700]; 21. 55-Brooke Tatnell  [$700]; 22. 7W-Tasker Phillips  [$700]; 23. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$700]; 24. 96-Bronson Maeschen  [$700]. KSE Hard Charger Award: 2-Shane Stewart [+15]. Lap Leaders: Terry McCarl 1-25
-World of Outlaws Press Release. Photo credit: Studio 92 Photography