McCreadie Sets Sights On Chili Bowl
TULSA, Okla. — Tim McCreadie feels like he has something to prove.
The 39-year-old hotshoe is returning to the Tulsa Expo Raceway this week, the site of both a high point and a low point in his life. The high point came in 2006 when, much to the surprise of many in attendance, McCreadie captured the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals over a stacked field.
The low point came three years later during the same event. McCreadie crashed violently during a heat race, flipping multiple times before coming to rest outside the catchfence. The crash left him with a fractured T3 vertebra in his back, the type of injury most might not come back from.
But McCreadie isn’t most people.
He returned to racing in 2010, getting back to his winning ways in both the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Super DIRTcar Series for big-block modifieds. Now, McCreadie says, his next goal is to be competitive again at the Chili Bowl.
“Since I got hurt there I’ve struggled a little bit,” McCreadie said in November prior to the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. “We’ve made the B (Main) a lot but we haven’t really been competitive enough to make the A (Main). We did make the A last year and I think we ran fourth in the feature.”
According to McCreadie that fourth-place finish was a big morale booster after his struggles in Tulsa the last few seasons.
“In my mind that was a huge step, one, for me to feel better about going there because sometimes it is hard to get away from what happened there,” McCreadie admitted. “People remember the bad more than they do the good.”
McCreadie will once again partner with Andy Bondio, the same car owner he drove for in 2013. He said the effort that Bondio puts forth preparing the cars makes it easier for him as a driver to prepare for the Chili Bowl.
“To be able to go there and know that we have a guy who has an effort and he is going to put another effort forward to try to get our cars to be better so I don’t have to maybe be as good, if that makes sense, is great,” McCreadie said. “Me and Andy, yeah, we’re going to go back there and hopefully give it another run.”
McCreadie will be teamed with 2008 Chili Bowl Nationals champion Damion Gardner, who will drive a similar No. 47 midget fielded by Bondio, who won the Chili Bowl with Cory Kruseman in 2000 and 2004.
The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals begin Tuesday with Warren CAT Qualifying Night.