Barberville,FL — Jan. 28, 2009 — Tim McCreadie’s Dirt Late Model career didn’t officially begin on Feb. 9, 2004, at Volusia Speedway Park. But there’s no doubt his performance during that night’s Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH program launched him toward stardom in the division.
Just a handful of starts into his first full season of Dirt Late Model action after excelling on the DIRTcar big-block Modified circuit around his upstate New York home, McCreadie rolled to his first-ever full-fender victory in the evening’s 30-lap UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned feature.
Belted inside a new Rocket Chassis from the Sweeteners Plus team’s stable, McCreadie started from the pole position in the opening UMP DIRTcar event of the 2004 Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. He outgunned his very familiar front-row partner — his teammate Vic Coffey — for the lead at the initial green flag and never looked back.
McCreadie was removed from heavy lapped traffic when a caution flag flew for Coffey’s spin out of a top-five spot on lap 22. He proceeded to glide away from the field following the restart, opening a full straightaway edge over runner-up Earl Pearson Jr. by the finish.
How happy was McCreadie to break through with his milestone first dirt Late Model triumph? He showed his elation by performing an engine-revving 360-degree celebratory twirl on the homestretch before exiting his car in Victory Lane.
McCreadie spent the remainder of the 2004 season chasing the WoO LMS. While he went winless, he secured the tour’s Rookie of the Year Award.
The following season McCreadie really busted out. He won three times in six starts during the 2005 Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia (two UMP DIRTcar wins, one WoO LMS score), propelling him to an impressive eight-win WoO LMS campaign and third-place finish in the points standings. A 2006 WoO LMS championship and several major victories during the ’08 season cemented McCreadie’s status as one of dirt Late Model racing’s titans.
Unfortunately, the 34-year-old McCreadie won’t be able to create more memories for himself at the sweeping half-mile oval during the 38th running of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, which runs from Feb. 3-14. He has to sit out the six consecutive nights of Dirt Late Model competition — two WoO LMS events (Feb. 12 and 14) and four UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned programs (Feb. 9, 10, 11 and 13) — because he’s recovering from a back injury suffered in a crash on Jan. 14 during the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla.
After being released from a Tulsa hospital on Jan. 16, McCreadie was flown to Indianapolis by NASCAR Sprint Cup star and World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series team owner Tony Stewart and spent several days there waiting for an appointment with well-known orthopedic surgeon Dr. Terry Trammell. He underwent a thorough examination on Jan. 21, after which Trammell concluded that McCreadie suffered a burst fracture of his T3 vertebra rather than a compression fracture as originally diagnosed.
McCreadie returned to his home in Watertown, N.Y., on Jan. 22 and is currently recovering there. Trammell recommended that he continue wearing a neck-and-back brace whenever he is in an upright position and encouraged him to remain active by suggesting a workout he can perform on his own to help the healing process.
McCreadie, who will be reevaluated by Trammell in three months, is contemplating making a trip south to Volusia Speedway Park to attend the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. He understands that spectating will be difficult, but he’d like to support his teammate Coffey and visit with his many friends.
T-Mac would join thousands of fans who are expected to witness the action at VSP, which is offering special ‘Super Ticket’ deals that offer seats for all the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH events contested by each headline division, including the six-night dirt Late Model meet; the six Sprint Car events (All-Star Circuit of Champions on Feb. 3-5, World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Feb. 6-8); eight nights of UMP DIRTcar Modified action (Feb. 3-10); and four Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar big-block Modified dates (Feb. 11-14).
And with infield trailer heights limited to 9 feet, 6 inches, there are no bad seats in the grandstands at Volusia Speedway Park, which sits merely 15 miles inland from Ormond Beach on State Road 40.