It's the month of money in sprint car racing, as the world's top drivers have converged on southern Iowa, and the Knoxville Nationals. It's one of the few titles Terry McCarl has never won, but the 49-year-old continues to love life on the dirt-track.
The McCarl family has racing in its blood. Terry is the all-time wins leader at Huset's Speedway. His wife Lori is a promoter, and sons Austin and Carson also race.
"Sprint car racing is my life. I've been around it my whole life. My father was a sprint car driver, and my family has always been involved, and I hope to stay involved in sprint car racing my whole life too. It's something that we love. It's in our blood. I always tell people, I've never done drugs. It might have been cheaper for me to do that, instead of sprint car racing," Terry McCarl said.
As an owner, costs are always a concern. But, this season, T-Mac has been racing more and more for other owners.
"I love owning my own equipment, but it's like owning your own business. On Monday you have to pay the bills, pay your employees…that's the hard part. So, driving for somebody else in sprint car racing is definitely the way to go," McCarl said.
In addition to driving, McCarl likes to try his hand at promoting a few times a year, including the annual Front Row Challenge.
"Lori and I are always looking for different things to do, different things that might make the fans happy, the drivers happy, the owners happy. We try and make it fun for everybody involved. You know, there's only one winner, but we like for everyone to leave there and know they had a great time," McCarl said.
As a promoter, owner, or driver, McCarl is always hopeful that the kids go home happy.
"When I was young, when I was that age, I never asked for an autograph. I never even trick or treated, I was so shy. So, to me, the kids are the most important because they may remember it and hopefully they become lifelong fans like we are," McCarl said.
A lifelong fan of racing, McCarl hasn't won a race in nearly a month, but that's not about to bring him down.
"You know, I'm kind of a simple guy, really. If I can buy a couple new tires and pay my engine guy and pay my house payment, I'm pretty happy," McCarl said.