TKS Motorsports – Just Missing at the Nationals

TKS Motorsports – Just Missing at the Nationals

Des Moines, IA (August 15, 2018) – “Some good luck, some bad.” That was car-owner Troy Renfro’s summary of Knoxville Nationals week for the TKS Motorsports team. Finishing Saturday night as the first non-qualifier for the night’s 50 lap A-main was tough, but Austin McCarl and the team are looking forward to locking up the point championship at Knoxville Raceway next Saturday, after the Troy and Tammy Renfro-owned team head to South Dakota to run the “Nationals Hangover” at Park Jefferson.

The Wednesday night qualifier started out well for the Casey’s General Stores/Midwest Basement Systems #2KS, as a good pill draw let them head out early in the time trial order. “We got to go out early in qualifying and ended up 8th,” said Troy Renfro. “That put us in a good position point-wise, but with how fast and narrow the track was, we needed a break to get into a transfer spot in our heat and it just never came.”

Dealing with a heavy track and the stiff competition that the Knoxville Nationals brings, Austin and the team were relegated to the B-main, where luck was on their side. “It was still pretty fast and tough to pass when we ran the B,” said McCarl. “I started 6th, but with the caliber of the guys in front of me, it was tough to move up and we ended up one spot short. We got handed a gift when Logan [Schuchart] didn’t go to the scales.”

While the TKS team benefitted from another team’s misfortune, the good feelings would be short-lived. “The track had widened out pretty well by the feature and we were picking off cars,” said Renfro. “The car was moving really well, especially as it continued to burn off some of the fuel load, but then our night ended on the 14th lap.”

“It’s frustrating; we try to do everything we can leading up to Nationals to control things as much as possible. In terms of parts, we make sure everything is new, or as close to new as possible, so to have a mechanical failure is tough.”

As he was making his way through the A-main field, Austin had been multi-tasking, acting not only as the driver, but as a mathematician as well. “We were up to 14th when we broke and before the race I had figured that a top ten would lock us in for Saturday,” said Austin. “It ended up that we would have only needed to end up 12th, so with over ten laps left I think we would have had it.”

Even with the DNF, Austin’s strong qualifying effort had earned the TKS Motorsports team enough points to skip the main portion of Friday night’s “Hard Knox” qualifier and turn their focus to the Speed Sport World Challenge and Saturday’s B-main.

Both driver and owner were happy with the performance of their car during Friday night’s World Challenge, which saw Austin race his way from 7th to 3rd. “The car was really running well in the World Challenge,” said McCarl. “I had it up to the runner-up spot, but I was pushing hard to try and chase down Dominic [Scelzi] to earn that golden ticket and made a mistake that let [Tim] Kaeding by.”

“The track was nice and wide for the World Challenge and we definitely showed good speed,” said Troy.

The Saturday night finale of the Knoxville Nationals saw Austin lined up on the inside of the fifth row in the 22 lap B-main, and after falling in line on the bottom early, the TKS #2KS made its way forward in the closing laps. “The track was still widening out through the B, but we made a good run of it and ended up missing by just one spot,” said Austin. “I felt like we definitely had a car deserving to be in the show, but we showed good speed all week and I’m excited for this weekend and the season finale at Knoxville in a couple weeks!”

While things didn’t end up quite how they wanted them to, Troy and the team still walked away feeling pretty good about what they had accomplished. “The week was definitely nothing to hang our heads about,” said Renfro. “We were fast every night and moved forward every time we hit the track. Now it’s time to focus on doing what we need to do to lock up the championship at Knoxville.”

With the Knoxville Raceway taking a week off before returning for the Season Championship on August 25th, Austin and the TKS team will head to South Dakota to race on Saturday night in the “Nationals Hangover” at Park Jefferson Speedway, after Austin drives his own #17A on Friday at River Cities Speedway with the World of Outlaws. Check out the new TKS Motorsports website for the season schedule and more from the TKS team.

TKS Motorsports is thankful for the support from all of their loyal sponsors:

Casey's General Stores, Des Moines Industrial Products (DMIP), Midwest Basement Systems, Neumann Brothers Construction, AFA Wheels, AL Driveline, All Star Performance, AO Designs, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Aurora Rod Ends, Billy Bell House Moving, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Butlerbuilt, Chalk Stix Torsion Bars, Fibreworks Composites, Gail Dielman, Hoosier, HRP, Indy Race Parts, Justice Brothers, KSE Racing Products, Liberty Ready Mix, Mag Tech Ignition, Maxim Racing Chassis, Parker Performance, PennGrade Motor Oil, Schoenfeld Headers, Slade Shock Technology, Snyder Landscaping & Lawn Care, Tony Moro Collision Center, Tony Moro Powdercoating & Sandblasting, Top Flight Wings, Walker Filtration Systems, Webb Family Farms, Wilwood, and Winters Performance Products.

Photo Credit: Dick Ayers

Morgan Broeg
West Des Moines, IA USA
Twitter: @BroegW

Upcoming Events

Schedule TBA

Race Stats

  • Races6
  • Wins1
  • Top 55
  • Top 105
Americash Advance
Deberg Concrete
Dean Field Farms
Engler Fuel Injection
Phil  Vivian
KN Filters
Hoosier Racing Tires
Brown and Miller Racing Solutions
Schoenfeld Headers
Butlerbuilt Race Seats
Chase Decals