World of Outlaws–Terry McCarl Takes Night Two of the FVP Knoxville Nationals

Terry McCarl Takes Night Two of the FVP Knoxville Nationals
Kevin Swindell was transported to an area hospital for evaluation following a crash at the start of his heat race
KNOXVILLE, Iowa – Aug. 13, 2015 – Night two of the FVP Knoxville Nationals was dominated by two of the track’s most prolific drivers, Danny Lasoski and Terry McCarl, who mixed it up throughout Thursday’s 25-lap A main.

McCarl, who has one World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory this season, charged forward from a ninth place starting position and took advantage of a mid-race restart and a slip-up by Lasoski to take the lead and ultimately the win for his No. 24 Country Builders/ team.

“Danny was checking out there and I was slowly reeling in Jason there – I kind of didn’t want the caution because it took a couple of laps to get going,” McCarl said. “I had not been on the top once but I knew Danny and Jason were running there good. I kind of saw where Danny ran the restart before and I felt really good but I didn’t nail it perfect and he got away from us there and then the yellow came out and that gave me another opportunity there.

“We really nailed it on that second one. Danny got a little bit loose coming off of two and I just got a good run on him.”

McCarl comes into Saturday’s Knoxville Nationals final after claiming his fourth 360 Nationals title last Saturday. He has seven 410 Knoxville track championships and 56 410 feature wins at the track.

Earlier in the night, Kevin Swindell was transported to a Des Moines hospital for evaluation following a crash at the start of his heat race. In a statement released late Thursday night, Swindell’s parents, Sammy and Amy Swindell, thanked the Knoxville Raceway track safety crew for their response and the many well-wishers.

Lasoski and Jason Johnson started the night on the feature pole and Lasoski very quickly established a commanding lead. As Lasoski pulled away, Johnson had his hands full with Lucas Wolfe, Sammy Swindell, Joey Saldana and eventually McCarl. The battle for second, third and fourth was intense as each driver looked for an opening to advance.

The opportunity for McCarl happened on lap six as the first caution of the night occurred after Brooke Tatnell slowed to a stop on track. On the restart McCarl made up four positions, getting around Dale Blaney, Swindell, Saldana and Lucas Wolfe.

He set his sights on Jason Johnson then running in second. On lap 12, McCarl slid Johnson coming into turns three and four as he took the lead before the two drivers hit the front straight. Next up for McCarl was Lasoski, in the lead.

On the final restart of the night, Lasoski gave McCarl an opening as he bobbled heading into the corner.

“I slipped off of two one time and that’s all it takes here,” Lasoski said. “When you’ve got the experience of the guys here, you can’t mess up one lap. You’ve got to make every lap count. I had a driver error and it cost me.

“Out front you never know quite where to be. You’re a sitting duck. I thought we were putting a pretty good pace on the restart here but it’s a do or die. You’re going to get slid in one and two or you’re going to get slide in three and four if you miss and that’s what happened. We got beat and we ran second. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying.”

Lasoski said despite that he and his No. 2 team with Guy Forbrook at the helm feel good about their chances going into Saturday. Like McCarl, Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion, has a long history at Knoxville. In addition to four Knoxville Nationals titles, he has an unmatched nine 410 track championships and 106 410 feature wins.

Johnson, who closed out the night with a podium finish in third with his No. 41 Priority Aviation team, said he just got beat by experience Thursday night.

“Those guys know where to go and hit their marks,” Johnson said. “I just couldn’t make consistent laps one after another. I had shot at Danny there on a restart and I just never perfected the slide job in turns three and four and he drove back by. Once Terry got by me that really threw me for a loop because he was running where I didn’t think anybody could be… I learned some good lessons and we’ll come back on Saturday.”

Another Knoxville regular, Brian Brown, put together one of the more impressive performances of the night, advancing out of the Last Chance Showdown only to charge through the field from a 23rd place starting position to finish in fifth. Brown took home the hard charger award.

“We’ve had a lot of luck on these nights, we’ve won these A-mains,” Brown said. “Sometimes these are just as special as winning those. We had some good luck being able to drive up there. Being able to run the B-main helped me to know what not to do. We’ve always been the hunted, now we can be the hunter. If we can get our car like this on Saturday night I think we’ll have something for them.”

Going into Thursday’s FVP Knoxville Nationals final, Donny Schatz and Kerry Madsen are tied on top of the points standings with 492 points each. Schatz will start on the pole with Madsen on his outside. David Gravel, Joey Saldana and Brad Sweet round out the top five in Saturday’s feature lineup.