Donny Schatz Nearly Perfect in Eighth Knoxville Nationals Title!

Donny Schatz Nearly Perfect in Eighth Knoxville Nationals Title!
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Donny Schatz Nearly Perfect in Eighth Knoxville Nationals Title!
by Bryan Hulbert/Bill Wright

KNOXVILLE RACEWAY, Knoxville, IA, August 9, 2014 – For the eighth time, Donny Schatz leaves the Knoxville Raceway with the title of "Champion", taking the $150,000 win in the 54th annual FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey's General Stores.

Taking off from the pole, Schatz led Shane Stewart into the first turns. Slowing on Lap 3, Brian Brown took advantage of the restart to begin his chase for second. Searching the racing surface, Brown took the runner-up spot on Lap 12.

Leading by 2.874 seconds at the Lap 25 break for fuel, the restart saw Schatz stalked by Brown as the green flew. Working the cushion, Brown kept pace, finally taking his shot at the lead on Lap 44. Taking the lead with a high-side pass exiting the second turn; Brown brought the entire crowd of the Knoxville Raceway to their feet with resounding cheers that quickly drowned out the sounds of engines.

Pulling to the bottom groove in turns three and four, Brown swapped his line the following lap, giving Schatz the chance to shoot the berm and retake the lead on Lap 45.

Asked about seeing Brown drive by him, Schatz replied, "Racing is all about making decisions, and I was just getting so slow around the bottom of one and two, I thought well; I could just keep the tires under me maybe no one's going to get that run. I just couldn't get the top going that well then it cleaned off and Brian [Brown] got by...went to the bottom...I tried to stay with him, and when he went to the top at the other end, I was able to get back by him. I know he's going to beat me one of these days. I hope it's no time soon, but he's a hell of a racer."

Finishing runner-up for the third consecutive year, Brown crossed 1.243 seconds behind the STP No. 15.

"I figured I had to go when I could. I kind of rode along as long as I could there and made my move," said Brown. "Once I made my move, I took his line away in the corner and thought okay, that was pretty good but I didn't want to go down there and miss it and went back to the top and gave him another shot but I'll tell you what, at least this year, we kept him honest."

Kerry Madsen took the podium in his eighth A-Feature appearance, posting his best finish in the FVP Knoxville Nationals, "We tried to get the top to work early, but I couldn't do it. The bottom was too good. We were coming there at the end, and when Brian passed Donny I thought, oh well good, then they started battling and started catching them and thought, I got half a shot at this, but then I started screwing up on the cushion and bouncing all over the place like everyone else was, but man, what a great run for us."

Craig Dollansky grabbed the fourth spot with Justin Henderson taking fifth after starting eighth.

Paul McMahan was sixth Terry McCarl seventh. Mark Dobmeier eighth, Joey Saldana ninth, and Kraig Kinser tenth.

Brad Sweet was the night's Hard Charger from twenty-third to thirteenth. Brian Brown's runner up finish clenched the Mr. Sprint Car Title.

Jimmy Light grabbed the win in the E-Feature. D-Feature honors went to Brad Loyet. The night's C-Feature was won by Dale Blaney after a very rough start that saw 11 drivers receiving damage. Thankfully, all drivers were unharmed. The night's B-Feature was won by Brooke Tatnell with Clint Garner making his first A-Feature in the FVP Knoxville Nationals. Brad Sweet from eleventh was third with Lee Jacobs taking the final transfer to the A-Feature.

Rookie of the Year honors went to Andy Gregg. Best Appearing Crew went to Wayne Johnson Racing and Best Appearing Car was given to the No. 1d driven by Justin Henderson.

Brown’s second place finish clinched the Jesse Hockett “Mr. Sprint Car Title”, and cemented his strong run during Cox Design


E main (started), 10 Laps, 2:45.1: 1. 23, Jimmy Light, West Springfield, PA (2); 2. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (4); 3. 45c, Dustin Clark, Agency, IA (1); 4. 4s, Danny Smith, Chillicothe, OH (3) / 5. 1s, Logan Schuchart, Hanover, PA (10); 6. 19L, Jason Tostenson, Glencoe, MN (6); 7. 23K, Rob Kubli, Milo, IA (5); 8. 44w, Austen Wheatley, Lake Stevens, WA (16); 9. 1P, Curtis Evans, Norborne, MO (12); 10. 4c, Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN (11); 11. 19, Bob Weuve, Newton, IA (9); 12. 4K, Kody Kinser, Bloomington, IN (14); 13. 1a, Jacob Allen, Hanover, PA (15); 14. 60, Kory Crabtree, West Jefferson, OH (7); 15. 12P, TJ Peterson, Des Moines, IA (13); 16. 2K, Kevin Ingle, Huron, SD (8); DNS – 4x, Dakota Hendrickson, Omaha, NE, 35, Skylar Prochaska, Lakefield, MN

D main (started), 12 Laps, NT: 1. O5, Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO (2); 2. 3G, James McFadden, Ormeau, NSW, Aust. (1); 3. 83x, Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA (4); 4. 7s, Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN (3) / 5. 99, Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK (10); 6. 5v, Colby Copeland, Roseville, CA (6); 7. 45x, Johnny Herrera, Albuquerque, NM (7); 8. 12, Lynton Jeffrey, Prairie City, IA (9); 9. 55x, Trey Starks, Puyallup, WA (12); 10. 81, Austin Johnson, Pleasant Hill, IA (14); 11. 74x, Josh Hodges, Tijeras, NM (5); 12. 69, Mike Moore, Des Moines, IA (20); 13. 7K, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (16); 14. 49J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (18); 15. 75, Glen Saville, Razorback, NSW, Aust. (13); 16. Jimmy Light (21); 17. Chris Martin (22); 18. 1K, Chris Shirek, Thompson, ND (19); 19. Dustin Clark (23); 20. 2L, Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo, PA (8); 21. 7G, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (15); 22. 19P, Paige Polyak, Tiffin, OH (11); 23. 1x, Cap Henry, Bellevue, OH (17); 24. Danny Smith (24)

C main (started), 15 Laps, NT: 1. 14K, Dale Blaney, Hartford, OH (8); 2. W20, Greg Wilson, Benton Ridge, OH (6); 3. 33, Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO (11); 4. 0, Bud Kaeding, Campbell, CA (10); 5. 17w, Cole Wood, Auburn, CA (1) / 6. 24H, Brandon Wimmer, Fairmount, IN (18); 7. 9w, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (13); 8. 91, Dusty Zomer, Sioux Falls, SD (20); 9. 63, Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH (17); 10. 53D, Jack Dover, Springfield, NE (12); 11. 10H, Danny Holtgraver, Pittsburgh, PA (19); 12. James McFadden (22); 13. Jason Sides (24); 14. 13v, Seth Brahmer, Norfolk, NE (15); 15. 53, Andy Gregg, Placerville, CA (7); 16. 11N, Randy Hannagan, Pittsboro, IN (2); 17. 1st, Gary Taylor, Snohomish, WA (3); 18. 40H, Caleb Helms, Findlay, OH (4); 19. 24R, Rico Abreu, Rutherford, CA (5); 20. 19M, Brent Marks, Myerstown, PA (9); 21. 11, Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN (14); 22. 18, Tony Bruce Jr., Owasso, OK (16); 23. Brad Loyet (21); 24. Jason Meyers (23)

B main (started), 22 Laps, NT: 1. 55, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust. (1); 2. 40, Clint Garner, Sioux Falls, SD (4); 3. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (9); 4. 81x, Lee Jacobs, Dalton, OH (3) / 5. 27, Greg Hodnett, Thomasville, PA (10); 6. 1z, Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg, PA (15); 7. 41, Jason Johnson, Eunice, LA (8); 8. 55J, Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust. (13); 9. 94, Jeff Swindell, Bartlett, TN (5); 10. 47, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (2); 11. Danny Lasoski (21); 12. 96, Bronson Maeschen, Pleasantville, IA (20); 13. 56, Davey Heskin, St. Michael, MN (18); 14. Cole Wood (23); 15. Dale Blaney (19); 16. 29w, Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, PA (12); 17. 10, Matt Moro, Polk City, IA (7); 18. 17B, Bill Balog, Brookfield, WI (14); 19. Greg Wilson (22); 20. Bud Kaeding (24); 21. 4A, Jon Agan, Knoxville, IA (11); 22. 7TAZ, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (17); 23. 77x, Wayne Johnson, Knoxville, IA (16); 24. 1B, Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (6)

A main (started), 50 Laps, NT: 1. 15, Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND (1); 2. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO (4); 3. 29, Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust. (3); 4. 7, Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN (7); 5. 1D, Justin Henderson, Tea, SD (8); 6. 51, Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN (5); 7. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (6); 8. 13, Mark Dobmeier, Grand Forks, ND (11); 9. 71m, Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN (13); 10. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN (9); 11. 51s, Stevie Smith, Broken Arrow, OK (19); 12. 4, Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA (18); 13. Brad Sweet (23); 14. 9, Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK (17); 15. 83, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (10); 16. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (12); 17. 82, Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, IN (14); 18. Clint Garner (22); 19. 59, Tim Kaeding, San Jose, CA (25); 20. Brooke Tatnell (21); 21. Lee Jacobs (24); 22. 2, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK (2); 23. 6R, Ryan Bunton, Morton, IL (16); 24. 45, Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA (20); 25. 1, Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN (15). Lap Leaders: Schatz 1-43, Brown 44, Schatz 45-50. Hard-charger: Sweet.