T-Mac Tops Round Two in Tucson
Tucson, Az. (Jan. 15, 2012)- Taking advantage when outside front-row starter John Anderson slipped out of USA Raceway’s low groove on the 17th lap, Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., took the lead through turns three and four and raced to a $5,000 victory in the second round of the sixth annual Wild West Shootout.
Anderson led the first half of the 30-lapper from outside the front row, but when a lapped car held his preferred line, Anderson entered turn three too high and opened the door for McCreadie. A lap-23 caution gave McCreadie clear racetrack the rest of the way, and he raced to a victory in just his third career start in a Warrior Race Car.
Anderson, a three-time WWS winner from Omaha, Neb., settled for second while polesitter Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., was third. Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., was fourth and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., rounded out the top five on an overcast afternoon when track officials played hurry-up amid lingering rain sprinkles.
McCreadie, who started third and grabbed the second spot from Moyer on the 10th lap, was considering an outside move on Anderson just past the unsanctioned race’s midpoint.
“Honestly, I was gonna, because I thought, ‘There’s no points, there’s no nothing here. It’s ($5,000). So what’s it matter if you run fifth if you’re at least giving it a shot,’ ” the 37-year-old McCreadie said. “But right when I wanted to go around him, he started running wide down the straightaway — which I don’t think I ever could’ve passed him on the outside — but he was running wide down the straightaway and then I just rode, and it just happened that he got pinned with a lapped car and just slipped up a little. We just happened to be there.”
Anderson, looking for his first victory on the Arizona miniseries since back-to-back triumphs in 2008 at Central Arizona Raceway in Casa Grande, knew the slip would change the race’s outcome.
“Leading there’s pretty tough, but I knew we had a good car because I fired off there before it started streaking up with some rubber,” Anderson said. “But he’s obviously one of the best, and I was probably being a little too careful with the lapped car and it kind of cost me.”
McCreadie stretched away from Anderson over the final laps while Moyer settled for third at the 3/8-mile oval.
“I hate to start on the pole and get beat, but that’s racing,” Moyer said. “John got me on the start and I was underneath Anderson there coming down the back straightaway, and (with) one slipup, I drove too hard into the corner the next time and let McCreadie get me. We weren’t the best car. We’ll take a third.”
McCreadie’s victory gives him instant success in making his second chassis switch over the past 12 months. After a guest appearance in the Warrior house car last November, McCreadie decided to go with the Knoxville, Tenn.-based manufacturer for 2012. His 13th-to-fifth run in Saturday’s opener boosted his hopes, and Sunday’s victory lifted the team’s confidence higher.
“Last night, I thought we were decent, so that lifted a lot of pressure,” McCreadie said. “Because any time you make a major, major decision, for my own career, much less the money that Sweeteners Plus and (team owners) Ann and Carl Myers are putting behind this team, you better hope you’re right because it’s a lot of money you’re playing with.
“I appreciate (Warrior’s) Sanford (Goddard) and everybody back at the shop. This deal, like I said, looked good on paper. They put the car together, we came down and put our motors in it and scaled there and did it their way to see how it works. We’ve adjusted it my way to the track. We’ve got a nice blend right now.”
McCreadie and nearly 70 other racers take two nights off before returning to action Wednesday for a $3,000-to-win event, the third in the six-race miniseries at USA Raceway. Hot laps are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and racing for 7 p.m. DirtonDirt.com’s live pay-per-view is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.