Knoxville Live!: News & Notes from Night 4 of the Nationals
Saturday, August 11, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Welcome to the final night of the 52nd annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals. The weather is beautiful for the third day in a row and the track crew is working on the half-mile dirt oval.
Tonight’s racing shapes up to be interesting from the E main through the 50-lap $150,000-to-win finale.
Stevie Smith and Craig Dollansky will share the front row for the A main with five-time Nationals champion Donny Schatz, who won last night’s SPEED SPORT World Challenge, starting from fifth. Thursday night preliminary feature winner Jason Meyers goes off seventh and Wednesday night winner Kyle Larson goes off 12th.
Four positions in the feature are available to the top four finishers in the 22-lap B main.
Davey Heskin, Mark Dobmeier, Greg Hodnett and Brian Paulus will start in the top four positions with Jason Johnson and Sammy Swindell in row three.
2010 Nationals winner Tim Shaffer starts sixth in the B main with Chad Kemenah 12th.
One of the big stories of the night will surround 12-time Knoxville Nationals winner Steve Kinser who starts 15th in the B main. Kinser’s streak of 35 consecutive A main starts at the Nationals will end if he does not make to the top four in the B.
Four-time Nationals winner Danny Lasoski will start on the pole for the C main. Other notables in the C are Jac Haudenschild, Brad Sweet and Jeff Swindell.
Central Pennsylvania regulars Tyler Walker, Logan Schuchart and Fred Rahmer will all start in the D main tonight with Ed Lynch Jr. and Johnny Herrera both scheduled for the E main.
• It's just a few minutes before 7 p.m., local time and push trucks are running in the race track and sprint cars are being pushed off to get heat in their engines.
• E main hot laps are over and D main cars are rolling onto the track.
• Dustin Morgan was the fastest during D main hot laps.
• The opening ceremonies are over and the E main is on the track preparing for a green flag.
• Bill Rose led every lap of the E main and was the first of five drivers to transfer to the D main. The others were Ed Lynch Jr., Critter Malone, Tasker Phillips and Geoff Dodge. C main hot laps are on the track.
• Yellow flag after seven of 12 laps in the D main when Critter Malone spins. Tyler Walker has dominated the race up until this point.
• Tyler Walker was the class of the D main, leading all 12 laps and beating Logan Schuchart to the checkered flag. Casey Mack and Austin McCarl also transferred to the C main.
• B main hot laps are pushing off.
• Sammy Swindell was quickest during the first of two B main hot lap sessions. Tim Shaffer pulled off early with apparent engine trouble.
• Brooke Tatnell was quickest in the second session of B main hot laps.
• Steve Kinser, who will start 15th in tonight's B main, was third quick in B main hot laps. Kinser has a streak of 35 consecutive Knoxville Nationals features that is in danger of being snapped this evening.
• Three laps down in the C main, yellow flag for a flat tire on the car of Sam Hafertepe. Jamie Veal leads the race followed by Danny Lasoski, Jac Haudenschild and Cap Henry. Four cars will transfer to the B main.
• Danny Lasoski takes the lead in the C main with nine laps remaining, but Jac Haudenschild and Brad Sweet are closing fast.
• With four laps remaining, Jac Haudenschild took the lead in the C main, but Lasoski is still battling.
• Jac Haudenschild won the entertaining 15-lap C main over Danny Lasoski. Brad Sweet, who started 11th, and Australian James McFadden also transferred to the B main.
• Joey Saldana's Kasey Kahne Racing team is changing an engine. Saldana is scheduled to start sixth in tonight's feature.
• The B main is lining up and preparing for 22 laps of the half-mile Knoxville Raceway. The top four transfer to the feature.
• Dusty Zomer had a frightening tumble on the start of the B main after the throttle appeared to stick on his No. 91. The car appeared to continue under power long after its flip along the wall had ended. Zomer climbed from the car.
• Mark Dobmeier dominated the B main with fellow Knoxville Raceway regular Davey Heskin finishing second. Brian Paulus finished third with Jason Sides charging from 10th to get the fourth and final transfer spot.
• Sammy Swindell lost a wild battle for fourth to Sides and will not start the Knoxville Nationals feature. As well, Steve Kinser finished a distant 10th and will not race in tonight's feature either. It ended a 35-year streak of starting the Nationals A main that dates back to 1977.
The last time a Nationals was run without both Sammy Swindell and Steve Kinser in the feature was in 1975.
• The four-wide parade lap is making its way around Knoxville Raceway.
• After a fast-paced non-stop 26 laps, the yellow flag waved for the fuel stop with Donny Schatz in the lead. Most of the teams are preparing to change tires. At the break Schatz leads Craig Dollansky, Brian Brown, Steve Smith and Kraig Kinser.
• Cars have returned to the race track for the final 24 laps.
• With 34 laps down, the yellow flag is out for Kyle Larson, who stopped on the track. Donny Schatz held a straightway lead over Craig Dollansky at the time. Brian Brown, Jason Meyers and Stevie Smith follow.
• Donny Schatz held off Brian Brown by a half a car length to win his sixth Knoxville Nationals championship in the last seven years. Schatz slipped coming off the fourth turn on the final lap and Brown got a huge run and pulled alongside Schatz as the pair took the checkered flag. Craig Dollansky finished third for the fourth time in this race with Kraig Kinser and Jason Meyers completing the top five.