FILE: John Carney II in victory lane at Las Cruces in May | Photo courtesy Jim Rosas
Local Sprint Car Racer John Carney II is Nebraska bound once again.
The El Paso native has teamed with Scott Brown’s Lubbock Wrecker Service/Steward Builders No. 11c for this weekend’s Racesaver Nationals at Nebraska’s Eagle Raceway. The event is set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Carney will be gunning for a second Racesaver Nationals title after sweeping through the event in 2015.
“We cleaned house that year, we won the qualifying night, the Race of Champions and the final feature,” Carney recalls. “We’re going to try to do that again.”
The shift to 305-ci Sprint Car action comes on the heels of several weeks of competition in both the 360-ci and 410-ci ranks in Iowa over the early portion of August aboard the California-based Clayton Snow No. 7 Sprint Car.
“Iowa was good for the most part, we just had a little bit of tough luck along the way,” Carney says.
A runner-up finish in Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour competition at Oskaloosa’s Southern Iowa Speedway on Tuesday night, August 7, was the highlight of Carney’s Southern Iowa Speedweeks.
“Finishing second at Oskaloosa was good for everyone’s confidence,” Carney explains. “We got hung up behind a lapped car, otherwise I think we would have had a good shot at winning.”
The strong Oskaloosa run came on the heels of a heartbreaking Knoxville 360 Nationals where only the scales stopped Carney from starting the Saturday night, August 4, finale.
After racing to a 13th-place finish in his Thursday night preliminary at the Knoxville 360 Nationals, Carney gridded Saturday night’s “B” Main outside the third row and raced to an apparent fourth-place transfer position to the “A” Main.
However, the run was disallowed after rolling across the scales below the minimum allowed weight.
“We knew exactly how much we needed but it still went across 20 pounds light,” Carney recalls. “We had the same car at Oskaloosa, we literally didn’t change a thing on it and we were way above the minimum.”
After the strong Oskaloosa run, Carney kicked off his first Knoxville Nationals effort on Thursday night, August 9 by timing in a solid 16th-quick and then climbing from fifth to finish fourth and transfer to the night’s “A” Main event.
Carney was set to start the night’s feature in third, but engine issues in the nightcap took away the potential for a strong points night.
“We timed in decent and finished fourth in the heat,” Carney says. “Starting third gave us a good chance to rack up some points, but then it wouldn’t run. I normally would have pulled off but I stayed out just to accumulate whatever points we could get.”
A 19th-place finish on the night was one position too short to lock into Saturday’s “B” Main as Carney missed the tenth “B” Main starting position by just one point, which meant starting all over in Friday’s Hard Knox event to determine Saturday’s fate.
Despite wholesale changes, persistent motor issues limited Carney to a ninth-place run in the Hard Knox “B” Main that landed Carney on the pole of Saturday’s “D” Main. Carney transferred from Saturday’s “D” Main before his night came to a conclusion in the “C” Main.
“Saturday we took off okay, but it was early and the track was pretty narrow so we just rode it out,” Carney says. “I look forward to getting back together with the Clayton Snow No. 7 team later in the year, they have good equipment and we have fun racing together.”
With an eventful Southern Iowa Speedweeks in the books, Carney shifts focus to Eagle, Nebraska this weekend as he tries to reel in another Racesaver Nationals crown.
John Carney Racing is made possible by the support of invaluable partners including Mesilla Valley Transportation, Vado Speedway Park, South Plains Auto Transport, Danny Sander Construction, CSR Garage, Briley Trucking, Momentum Racing Suspensions, Performance Plus, Performance Motor Coach, Raider Graphix, MSD Ignition, Joe Hunt Magnetos and Bell Helmets.