The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season is one of the toughest grinds in any form of racing. After all, the series has 52 races that pay at least $10,000-to-win with a number of other events that serve as preliminaries for the bigger shows paying smaller amounts. So any driver and team that proves to be able to follow the entire tour has to be hard working. And not only that, any driver and team that completes the tour while also winning races and competing for championships has not only a great work ethic but also has considerable talent.
Tim McCreadie is one of those competitors who brings both a grinding work ethic and tremendous talent to the series. The Watertown, NY racer has won some of the sport’s biggest events, including the 2018 World 100, and has even won a national touring series championship. He is obviously someone who knows how difficult this profession can be, but yet, he embraces the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed.
“It’s just like anything,” McCreadie said in an interview with InsideDirtRacing.com. “Once you do it enough it’s all you know how to do, but it definitely is a grind. Nothing is easy in life if you’re trying to be successful.
“I think everybody who does this are hard workers, but unfortunately, in any type of competition you’re in not everybody’s going to get the kind of runs they want,” he continued. “If you look up and down this pit area those guys who raced last night were here fairly early, a lot earlier than us. They were moving cars around and doing work. It’s kind of the name of the game. Like I said earlier, anything you want to be successful at you had better put everything into it. That’s kind of what we try to do.”
The 45-year-old veteran racer points out that those who have been in the sport for any length of time have developed an ability to sense when trouble might be coming, and thus, work to prevent problems before they occur.
“Really the grind, and this is not a knock on any manufacturer, the grind that we’ve done this long enough that we know that a certain jack shaft might break or transmission seals need to be changed at this point in time so you’d be ahead of the game,” he pointed out. “Now the manufacturers in the sport have made a lot of that better. There’s longevity on stuff now that would’ve been unheard of just five or six years ago. That being said though, the work part of it as far as having to work everyday full bore and 100% on these things everyday probably isn’t as important for the driver as it used to be because, like I said, the work load never changes because you’re always busy, but as far as major stuff, I’m not as busy as I used to be.”
McCreadie can often be seen in the pit area of any track working on his own equipment. While he is quick to credit his crew for their efforts, he is very much involved in most aspects of the car’s maintenance and setup. However, he also stresses that the role of everyone, drivers and crew members, who works on Dirt Late Models has changed over the past several years.
“Things are a little different now than they used to be,” the driver known as T-Mac explained. “You don’t do as much building from scratch like years and years ago when you’d get parts and they weren’t always compliant with your race car so you’d have to machine stuff or you’d have to take different things apart just to make sure the parts inside of them were spaced right so you wouldn’t have failures.”
Adding to the grind for McCreadie and his team is the fact that for most of last season and again this season they do not have their big hauler rig. Instead, they operate out of a dually pickup truck with a trailer. But the driver doesn’t see that as a problem. Even the fact that his team is only capable of bringing one car to the track is not something the former World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion is overly concerned about.
“You don’t worry about it,” the driver of the No. 39 Longhorn Chassis stated. “We can only control what we have here. In a perfect world we won’t need nothing but if something happens we’ll figure it out from there. We have some teams here that I’m sure would help us out if we were in trouble. It’s part of the added beauty of this thing in that I think that deep down no one wants to see anybody fail because of circumstances. There’s usually good hearted people in this pit area that, if we were having a major issue, they would help us along. As far as that stuff we can’t control, we don’t really pay attention to it. We don’t even act like we don’t have it.”
Even as tough as this sport can sometimes be, winning a big race such as last year’s World 100 makes the grind worthwhile for Tim McCreadie.
“It definitely made up for some rough patches we had during the season, the struggles we went through, just a lot of things. But yeah, to know that no matter how bad things might be going that we can be a threat, depending on the circumstances is good to know. We were really good there earlier in the year at Eldora and it transferred back at the end of the year. It’s definitely a feather in our cap.”
That season grind continues this weekend with four Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series races held over the course of four days. Atomic Speedway in Alma, Ohio will host the national tour on Thursday while Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio will welcome the LOLMDS on Friday night. Maryland’s Hagerstown Speedway will be the site of Saturday’s tour stop with Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway ending the four-night grind on Sunday.
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