By MIKE MALLETT
After the way his season started Tim McCreadie was in need of a pick me up. The Watertown, N.Y., driver struggled to find speed in the opening round events for both the World of Outlaws and the Lucas Oil Late Models. Things just seemed to go from bad to worse. There seemed to be no end in site for the tough stretch until the team finally got to Volusia Speedway Park.
McCreadie skipped the Monday night for the DIRTcar Late Models before action kicked off for the World of Outlaws on Wednesday after the rain-out on Tuesday night. McCreadie eventually went on to pick up the fog shortened feature on Wednesday for his first Gator of the week and his first positive outcome of the season. Thursday night he came back with the Outlaws to advance from 18th up to seventh. Things are now looking much brighter than a few days ago.
“We were better last night, but we tried some different things,” stated McCreadie. “I put us behind in qualifying because I messed up. That car can be a lot better. I know it sounds weird because we are passing cars, but I’m kind of bottom dominate because I’m so tight in I can’t get the front end where I need to.
“The only reason the car is fast is all of the hard work the guys put in. It’s a cliché, but it’s the truth. The last thing I want to do is let them guys down by taking it easy every lap. I’m going to give it 100 plus whenever I can. It might get me in trouble sometimes but tonight it got us a good run.”
The positive mojo continued in the Super DIRTcar Series big-block Modified portion as well as the Watertown, N.Y., driver battled hard to eventually come out on top to claim his second Gator of the week becoming the first driver in recent memory to score a win in two different divisions. He also finished second in the make-up feature that kicked off the program.
“You come down here and hope for the best,” said McCreadie. “I know this car (Modified) has been really good since I brought it out last year and Vic (Coffey) does a great job working on it. When I go to the shop I just kind of ask him what he wants me to do. Little things usually. Then the Late Model, I don’t if anyone would want to attempt it. I’m beat, but after a night like tonight it’s all worth it.”
McCreadie admitted that getting back to Volusia helps take some of the pressure off. He gets to see people that he doesn’t get to spend time with and that has helped him immensely.
“Sometimes you got to get around people you been around your whole life and that’s part of it,” cited McCreadie. “I have a lot friends in the Late Model division that I’ve met over the years, but when you come to Volusia it’s a different type atmosphere for me because there are people that helped me with John Finch or even when I ran my own cars when I started. They come here ever year. We go have lunch or we go to one of the decks and hang out at the end of the night. It helps me get more relaxed and remember that racing is definitely a passion sport, but you got to learn when to dial it back.”
In the Modified 30-lap nightcap, McCreadie battle with Justin Haers for most of the race before being challenged briefly by Stewart Friesen. McCreadie and Haers swapped the lead multiple times during event before McCreadie was able to wrangle it away from him on the extreme top of the speedway. Initially he got the lead on the bottom. He admitted that line was much more challenging which made the top groove that much more appealing.
“I just pushed in real bad down there and I jumped that little hole that’s there and then I jumped the other one down there,” he said about the bottom lane. “I just felt like I lost so much speed driving through there so I just figured I was going to do what got me here. I got back into that lip and hoped for the best. If I saw anybody beside me I would have done something different about it. I only saw Stewy on the one start and when I didn’t see him the next lap I thought we were okay. Then I didn’t see him the next lap.”
For at least one night, McCreadie was on top of the dirt racing world after so many good things happened. It was nice to be back on top.
“Winning fixes everything in life and in general,” stated McCreadie. “I don’t know, but we are happy tonight. These guys will be after us tomorrow. Hopefully we can keep it up.”