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Season In Review: Austin McCarl’s 2021 Campaign Full of New Challenges and Adventures



Photo- David Hill

PETERSEN MEDIA: One year ago, Austin McCarl made the decision that he wanted to challenge himself as a racecar driver as he sought after opportunities to travel nationally, or even focus on a new region. With 2021 now in the books, McCarl was able to do just that as he was able to spend a lot of time racing in California with Tarlton Motorsports and Country Builders Racing, as well as continuing to run his own car in the Midwest.


“2021 was a fun year for so many reasons,” Austin McCarl said. “I was fortunate to have a couple of great opportunities to run a lot of races in California with Tarlton Motorsports as well as Country Builders Racing, and we still were able to run the No. 17 car around home and continue to have success in the Midwest.”


Bouncing between California and the likes of Knoxville Raceway and Huset’s Speedway, McCarl was unable to commit to points in any one venue or series, but the Altoona, IA driver was still able to rack up accolades, and park in victory lane numerous times.


With Huset’s Speedway reopening on a fulltime basis in 2021, McCarl became a Sunday night staple in the Austin McCarl Racing No. 17 machine. Though California commitments kept him from competing for a track title at the speedway, McCarl was still very strong at the South Dakota speed plant as he was able to rack up a total of five wins at the facility.


Also, able to compete at the famed Knoxville Raceway quite a few times over the course of the season, McCarl was able to pick up one feature event win and earn the track’s Hard Charger award despite missing four races on their season schedule.


McCarl was also competed in numerous World of Outlaws races in California and in the Midwest. In fact, McCarl was able to match his career best World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series finish with a second place run in August at Huset’s Speedway.


While extremely seasoned in the Midwest, McCarl opted to take on the role of Rookie at times over the season as he spent a lot of time in California competing with the King of the West Series, as well as filling in with 360ci races as his schedule allowed.


Going to ‘school’ week in and week out, McCarl would learn a lot about short tracks, something he had not seen much of during his career closer to home.


As the year progressed and McCarl began visiting tracks for a second time, he would continue to adapt, and the results would continue to improve. Though the comfort would come towards the end of the season, it has left McCarl with the desire to return and continue to hone his craft on unfamiliar territory.


“We have built up such a great little team back home, and even though we ran sparingly, it was cool to run and have a ton of speed and success,” McCarl said. “Getting out to California was definitely challenging, but in a good way. There are a lot of really good drivers and teams out there who have tons of laps on bullrings, so I definitely went to school at times and tried to learn. It is fun, hard racing, and I was happy with how things went as the year moved along. I really want to thank all of my sponsors for their support in our efforts in the Midwest, and I again want to thank Tarlton Motorsports and Country Builders Racing for both providing me with great opportunities to expand my racing career.”


McCarl would like to thank Kolthoff Electric, VanBaale/Oldham, Tucker Trucking, , HRP, and Rider Racing Engines, Knoxville Hospital and Clinics, Hopf Farms, Country Builders Construction, The First Street Pub and Grill, Larry’s Window Services, STC, and JLT Enterprises for their support.


ON TAP: Austin McCarl’s 2021 season has come to an end. With Austin still finalizing plans for 2022, he will release the news once everything is set.


STAY CONNECTED: Make sure to follow Austin McCarl on Twitter @AustinMcCarl17a.


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