What is Going on With Tim McCreadie? By Jim Blacroch
With RCR Deal in Limbo and LM Plans Incomplete, He's Enjoying His Time as a "Racing Gypsy"
Tim McCreadie is riding the roller-coaster of motorsports right now. He falls into the same category of hundreds of racer's across North America. He holds all of the elements to make it on the national stage, but as of right now he has only tasted it, unfortunately he hasn't been able to take a seat at the table.
The problem with McCreadie isn't his talent level, it isn't his drive, or his good looks. It might be as simple as he doesn't have the right last name. The desire to 'make it big' still burns in McCreadie's eyes, but he knows that road has gotten longer.
On a recent sun-drenched Tuesday, he walked into Canandaigua Speedway to run a World of Outlaw Late Model race, when last year at this time he would have been preparing to head to New Hampshire International Speedway to compete in the Camping World East event as a development driver for Richard Childress Racing.
For McCreadie it was a familiar walk into the 'Land of Legends' and a great place to find himself. It's one of the places that he grew up at and it helped place him on the map. The son of legendary New York dirt Modified pilot, Bob McCreadie, found some solstice amongst the throngs of fans that came to watch him turn another page in his racing book.
It's been a long road for the young man, who looks more like a surfer then a racecar driver, but he's clawed at it every step of the way.
“I only control what I can control,” stated McCreadie following a third place effort at Canandaigua, as we talked about his future. You could, however, see in his eyes that he meant his driving will do the talking as he reached over to sign another autograph and pose for another photograph with fans and friends.
Perhaps his biggest break came when he won the Chili Bowl and the World of Outlaws Late Model championship in 2006. He was also named the Driver-of-the-Year by the Eastern Motorsports Press Association that same year. From there it seemed like he'd be on the fast track to the big time as he went through a GM Test and then signed on as a development driver with Richard Childress Racing.
As 2008 dawned, McCreadie was somewhat flushed from the RCR Driver Development program without any real rhyme or reason after showing some promise in his Camping World and Nationwide Series appearances. Perhaps the answer was lack of funding, but it sent McCreadie back to where he vaulted him from, World of Outlaw Late Model competition.
“This is a very competitive series,” he explained and as a statistical note, McCreadie captured
his first victory nearly two years of WoO LM competition at Oshweken Speedway in Ontario on
Friday, June 20th. “It's challenging, the tracks, the drivers, everything.”
McCreadie's words echoed loudly regarding the competiveness of the division as he held second
until Rick Eckert beat McCreadie at the start-finish line by just a nose, however it spoke volumes
to McCreadie's focus on the tasks at hand.
“We were just too tight tonight. Actually, it's was the worst we've performed during this trip,”
explained McCreadie. “We'll get it right. I guess I shouldn't be complaining too loudly, a third
isn't too bad. I know this place though and I shouldn't have tightened the car up that much.”
But quickly, the conversation shifted back to his future and wondering whether or not he should
be at New Hampshire International Speedway this weekend racing. In the near future there
doesn't look to be any opportunities within the Childress organization and McCreadie's response
expresses the frustration.
“Call them and ask them if there is anything, I really don't know.”
Immediate plans for the future are sketchy at best. McCreadie will run the Sweetener's Plus
Late Model with teammate Vic Coffey at selected events, probably those that pay very well,
but there isn't a solid commitment to any particular series. A return to the Big Block Modifieds for the 59-time feature winner isn't in the cards because there just isn't a car for him to drive, so if you want to see McCreadie race, watch for his name at the big paying Late Model shows.
There is also the possibility of running a Camping World East car with some friends, “to have some fun”, but that seemingly doesn't quench McCreadie's thirst. The statement that “there are some people that are interested” doesn't really seem to make the cut either for McCreadie, who really doesn't have a residence right now. We laughed about him being a 'Racing Gypsy', but there is truth to it, albeit a very talented 'Racing Gypsy'.
The crowd continued to close in and it was time for McCreadie to greet the many fans, friends and family that came out to watch him race at one of the tracks that put him on the map. The good news for guys like Tim McCreadie is that there are programs like the World of Outlaw Late Models, the NASCAR Modified Tour, the Advanced Auto Parts Big Block Tour, USAC and the list goes on and on. It's unfortunate that every talented driver can't get the breaks they might deserve to make it to the national level, but short track racing should be very happy to have this 'Racing Gypsy' back and give him a place to hang his hat for awhile.
"T-MAC" Tim McCreadie sits in his Late Model. (Jim Blacroch Photos)