Tim McCreadie details his lack of consistency early in 2018

McCreadie climbed from 11th to 5th in the standings, in a single weekend; Picked up modified win last night

Tim McCreadie finished 2nd in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series standings at the conclusion of the 2017 season. Heading into last weekend, he was 11th in the 2018 standings.

The results aren’t as bad as they look. At Bubba Raceway Park for example, McCreadie was in a battle for the lead when he suffered a blown tire.

He’s had good nights, like as his podium run at Atomic Speedway. It’s just that it hasn’t been ben the consistent speed that he had in 2017. The #39 has been fast one night, then they’ll start from the tail the next.

What are you looking for to be consistent?

“I don’t know. We gotta have a little bit better car I guess. We just haven’t settled on something that’s comfortable,” Tim McCreadie told RacingNews.co ahead of the race at Hagerstown Speedway.

“We haven’t really stuck with — We try a lot of new stuff. Sometimes it seems to work and sometimes it doesn’t.”

“I go out there in hot laps and run a halfway decent lap. It kinda makes you think, ‘Oh, you’re right on the deal.’ Then we go lay a bad qualifying lap and think maybe you should go adjust it.”

“It’s just the way it goes.”

Tim McCreadie at Port Royal Speedway 4008
Tim McCreadie at Port Royal Speedway 4008

Is it just everybody else getting quicker? Advancement from the other teams with their setups and technology? Or is it something else? I just don’t really understand what changed.

“Well, they changed the tires. They groove and sipe them now. They didn’t do it last year. A lot of that stuff was really good for our cars. The way I set the car up and the way I like it to feel.”

“We also changed to Ford motors instead of Chevrolet’s, like we had. Trying to get better. Everything we did is us trying to get better.”

“Problem is, right now… You don’t want to piss and moan but I’m fightin’ to find a truck driver. I got nobody to drive the truck. I can’t get a truck driver, so you can’t go test. Because you have to have licenses to drive that truck.”

A truck driver is really important. Not only do the dirt late model teams run 80-100 races per year, but they also test just about as often as they race. That’s a lot of miles. Racing 100 nights, testing 100 nights, it really requires a complete set of the team. If pieces are missing from the puzzle, it’s harder to put the project together.

“It’s just a lot of little things. They just add up.”

“Last year, we had a lot of that in place. This year, guys have moved. When they move, we haven’t been able to put people in place to be able to do things we did last year to get up front.”

After this interview: I told Tim McCreadie to go make it exciting as he was starting toward the back. He did just that!

Tim McCreadie drove it like he stole it! I saw more fire out of him than I’ve seen all year really. At Hagerstown, he was throwing it 3 wide into tiny holes that had inches to spare on both sides. Or he’d be forced into risky 3 wide situations, but he wasn’t going to be the one of the three that lifted. He forced it to work as he charged from the back of the field to finish 4th and put on a show for the fans.

Tim McCreadie at Hagerstown Speedway 3275
Tim McCreadie at Hagerstown Speedway

At Port Royal Speedway, it was a similar story. The big difference was McCreadie started toward the front after fighting off challenges with Stone and Hudson O’Neal as he went on to win the heat race. In the final laps of the main event, he swapped lanes and positions with Josh Richards for most of the last run.

It was aggressive racing out of McCreadie, not that it wasn’t clean. You could just see McCreadie driving the wheels off it. If he lost a position, he’d fight like hell to get the position back. He had it set on ‘kill to win’ which was thrilling to watch.

This weekend, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is heading to two Midwest bullrings. It’s a really great time to have a sudden burst of aggression and/or grip in the race car. He had to fight for it at Hagerstown but that’s now three top 5’s in a row for McCreadie.

Note: Since this interview, the LOLMDS tour has run two races. McCreadie jumped from 11th in the standings all the the way to 5th.

On Tuesday night the fire continued. Tim McCreadie ran a big-block modified at Albany Saratoga Speedway. He went three wide, in the middle, to take the heat race win. He then won the feature event paying $7,500.


Related: Tim McCreadie discusses the differences between dirt and pavement racing


Tim McCreadie | Longhorn Chassis | LOLMDS | Shane Walters