'T-Mac' Chasing Late Model Series Championship in a Comeback Season to Remember
World of Outlaws Late Model Series star "T-Mac," Tim McCreadie has his eye on the series championship entering next weekend's season-ending Lowes Foods World of Outlaws World Finals presented by Bimbo Bakeries and Tom's Snacks, in what has already been a comeback season to remember.
This year marks McCreadie's first full season back in World of Outlaws since a traumatic accident in the 2009 Chili Bowl Nationals left him with a fractured T-3 vertebra and floating bone fragments in his back. The wreck sidelined T-Mac for the first five months of the 2009 season as he went through extensive rehab.
"I was very fortunate," said McCreadie. "When I first came back I didn't know if I would be able to race at the competitive level I am used to. It's a relief. It was more of a, 'Thank God I can still do this,' feeling, because I don't know what I would do if I couldn't race."
McCreadie's return mid-season last year showed promising results as he scored one victory and six top-five finishes ending the season 19th in the point standings.
T-Mac's momentum from his limited-schedule success in 2009 has carried into this season as he has amassed four wins, 21 top fives, and 36 top-10 finishes to date. McCreadie also currently sits third in the championship point standings going into the World Finals next weekend, just 94 markers behind points leader Josh Richards.
The prestigious World Finals brings together dirt racing's three premier divisions, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds, for three nights of on-track action that crowns their respective champions.
McCreadie's return to The Dirt Track for the World Finals comes after an impressive runner-up finish in the World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown held less than three weeks ago on the lightning-fast, four-tenths-mile clay oval.
"The Dirt Track at Charlotte just fits my style," explained McCreadie. "Any place you can race that has top and bottom grooves is a lot of fun. I really enjoy going to Charlotte, which probably makes me work a lot harder than I would if I were going to a place I didn't like.
"The good thing about Charlotte is that if you are competitive it doesn't really matter if you start on the pole or further back in the field. You can usually go forward pretty quickly and pass when you have a fast car. That's what we are hoping to do and that's why we enjoy racing there."
Although McCreadie seems to do well at The Dirt Track, he knows it is going to take a lot more than a good run to come out of next weekend as the 2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion.
"We are more of a wild card going into the World Finals," said McCreadie. "We're just focused on winning because it's going to take a lot for us to win the championship. If I can win both nights and Josh [Richards] and Darrell [Lanigan] have a little misfortune, then we could have a shot."
No matter what happens next weekend, McCreadie is just happy to be in the car and racing competitively for wins.
"Right now I'm just focused on winning," McCreadie continued. "I'm just trying to go down there and take home 20 grand out of that place [The Dirt Track at Charlotte] and have some fun doing it."
The Watertown, N.Y., native, McCreadie will be vying for a chance to visit Victory Lane Friday and Saturday as both nights are highlighted by $10,000-to-win main events. T-Mac will attempt to accomplish this feat in front of an international crowd, as thousands of fans from 48 states, eight Canadian provinces Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will be in attendance to witness "The Greatest Show on Dirt."
Thursday night all three series will practice and qualify. The sprint cars and late models will each have two time trial sessions, with the first round determining lineups for Friday night and the second round setting the Saturday night card. The Big-Block Modifieds will set heat race lineups with timed hot laps. Thursday night's heat races will determine Friday and Saturday A-Feature lineups.
Full racing programs are on tap for all three divisions Friday and Saturday with each night highlighted by $10,000-to-win main events for both the sprint cars and late models and $6,000-to-win main events for the Big-Block Modifieds.
A record amount of sprint cars, late models and Big-Block Modifieds are anticipated for the largest event of the year at The Dirt Track.
World of Outlaws Late Model Series drivers scheduled to participate in addition to McCreadie are points leader and 2009 series champion Richards, who leads title contender Darrell Lanigan by just 22 points; Scott Bloomquist, The Dirt Track's winningest driver; along with series regulars Shane Clanton, Rick Eckert, Steve Francis, Chub Frank and Austin Hubbard.
Among the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers expected to compete are sprint car legend and 20-time champion Steve Kinser; four-time champion Donny Schatz; points leader Jason Meyers; and sprint car stars Craig Dollansky, Paul McMahan, Joey Saldana and Jason Sides.
Three-day ticket packages start at just $69 for adults and $24 for kids 12 and under. Single-day tickets are also available. For more information or to purchase tickets call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
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