Terry McCarl held off Dusty Zomer in a gripping feature event at the Knoxville Raceway Saturday night. It was the 54th career victory for the Altoona, Iowa driver, and came aboard the TMAC Motorsports No. 24 A.R.T. powered by Rider Engines.
Joe Beaver won in record time in the 360 class, while J Kinder won his second straight 305 start.
Sam Hafertepe Jr. shot out to an early lead in the 20-lap 410 main event, trailed by McCarl and Lucas Wolfe. By lap three, Ian Madsen had moved into the third spot, when pole-sitter, Lynton Jeffrey, blew a right rear tire and came to a stop.
McCarl sized up Hafertepe and shot under him to take the lead on lap four. A lap later, Madsen followed suit into second. Meanwhile, Zomer was moving up to fourth from his seventh starting spot.
Bronson Maeschen found some speed in the middle of the race, taking fourth from Zomer on lap nine, and third from Hafertepe on the next go-around. Madsen closed a bit on McCarl in traffic, before Jeffrey lost a left rear tire on lap 13, bringing caution for the final time.
McCarl led Madsen, Maeschen, Zomer and Hafertepe back to green. Madsen attempted a slider for the lead, but McCarl fit between the challenger and the wall to carry his momentum down the back straight. Zomer shot to third on the restart, and cruised under Madsen into second with five to go.
McCarl held off Zomer to record his 54th career win (fourth all-time). “Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do when you’re leading,” he said in victory lane. “Sometimes it’s better to be second. I was lucky that yellow came out, and I moved back down to the bottom in three and four. He showed me more than his nose (Madsen), I could see his whole car. For some reason, I didn’t take off very well. I have to thank Colin Bulmer for letting us use this A.R.T. and all our sponsors.”