The 50th Annual Knoxville Nationals are becoming a tribute to the sprint car stars that made the event great. First Shane Carson takes home the hardware on the first night and now Sammy Swindell covers the field on night two.
Swindell’s dominant performance was almost erased by an incident on the last turn of the last lap. As Swidell made his way to the checkered flag, Mike Moore was stalled in his path with a flat tire. Swindell slowed and Donny Shatz streaked past him to take the checkered flag. The starter saw what had happened and threw the yellow before Shatz took the checker.
This set up a green, white, checker with Shatz right on Swindell’s tail. Unfortunately for Shatz his tire was going down and he was put in a defensive position. Shatz held on in the first restart but Moore spun to bring out a white flag checker finish. On the next restart, Brian Brown made a bold move to take second and Shatz began to fade. Swindell checked out quickly. Behind Swindell, Brian Brown was followed by Skip Jackson, Stevie Smith and Donny Shatz.
Quick time for 50th Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals Legend Steve Kinser
Steve Kinser went out and burned down the Knoxville Raceway in his qualifying run clocking in with a 15.239 beating out Danny Lasoski’s 15.391. Greg Hodnette and Daryn Pittman timed in third and fourth respectively. Other notables in qualifying were Donny Shatz in 7th and Sammy Swindell in 10th. Jack Haudenschild struggled in qualifying with a 24th place qualifying but his car was much better under race conditions.
Heat Races Feature Familiar Faces in 50th Annual Knoxville Nationals
Knoxville Nationals Heat #1 featured quick qualifier Steve Kinser racing against Ricky Logan and Stevie Smith.
Logan held off and a hard charging Smith and Kinser came home in third.
In the Knoxville Nationals Heat #2 Dale Blaney won over a contentious Donny Shatz and Dean Jacobs.
Knoxville Nationals Heat #3 was Lance Dewease race. Rager Phillips, a Knoxville regular, couldn’t hold off Dewease. Greg Hodnette used up Phillips and finally ound hi way around him for second.
Knoxville Nationals Heat #4 Wild Child Jac Haudenschild came to Knoxville to win or go home on the hook and in Heat #4, Hauddenschild won. He was followed by Daryn Pittmann.
McMahan’s Kasey Kahne Racing sprint car was damaged heavily and McMahan had some pointed words directed at Goodyear when he was interviewed by Hoseheads Radio. “I think Tony Stewart was right about Goodyear. They cost me my Knoxville Nationals. I think their engineers need to go back to school.”
Knoxville Nationals Heat #5 foretold what was to come as Sammy Swindell covered the field and never looked back in his heat race. Swindell’s car was hooked up and dialed in like no other sprint car at the Knoxville Nationals.
B Main and C Main for Knoxville Nationals Features Hard Racing for Transfer Spots
The Knoxville Nationals C Main saw Danny Lasoski racing with a new motor, out front and Sam Hafertepe Jr locked in a mortal battle with Tim Kaeding. Lasoski took off and was never to be seen again as Kaeding and Hafertepe Jr raced hard the entire race with Kaeding prevailing.
Ian Madsen ran a brilliant race in the B Main but it was all for naught as he limped across the finish line with no oil in his motor and could not run the Knoxville Nationals A Main. The race also had an incredible finish as Tyler Walker and Josh Schneiderman. Schneiderman and Walker banged wheels as they came down to the start/finish line, Schneiderman was sliding out as he snatched the fourth transfer spot.
The transfer spots were: winner, Madsen first but his engine was empty of oil as crossed the finish line so he did not take the green flag to star the A Main.
2nd Paul McMahan, 3rd Dusty Zomer and Schneiderman as the final transfer spot taking out Tyler Walker.