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Kyle Larson Capitalizes On Night 1 of Goodyear Knoxville Nationals

Thursday August 9, 2012

 

Kyle Larson adds another notch to his victory belt with a win in the opening night race for the Knoxville Nationals.
Photo courtesy of Kyle Larson Racing

Severe afternoon storm leads to a late night for World of Outlaws at Knoxville Raceway

He’s done it again.

Kyle Larson, the phenom who wins in anything and everything he races, claimed the opening night of the 52nd annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals on a stormy Wednesday at Knoxville Raceway in his first attempt in the prestigious event.

“Getting a win at Knoxville is so big, but it’s only a prelim night,” Larson said after winning the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event. “It’s going to be tough for sure, but tonight gave me a lot of confidence going into Saturday.”

Larson took the checkered flags for the first time at the famed half mile around 1 a.m. to complete the weather-delayed opener in the biggest weekend in sprint car racing. Night Two of qualifying is Thursday with Opening Ceremonies scheduled for 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, a vicious storm blanketed the area with rain, wind and lightning around 4:20 p.m. The facility was under a severe thunderstorm warning during the storm, which lasted more than an hour before tractors began to work the soggy grounds. Cars first touched the track around 9 p.m. – approximately two hours late.

The weather also set up for a fast track and conditions that made it tough to pass most of the night. Eight of the top 10 qualifiers failed to advance out of the heats and it didn’t get any easier in the 25-lap main event.

Polesitter Davey Heskin dominated the first half of the race before the first caution on lap 14 for Mike Reinke, who stopped in turn four. At the same time the caution waved, second-running Randy Hannagan went up in smoke on the frontstretch after a fitting broke. His car caught fire under caution and had to be extinguished in the work area to cap Hannagan’s night.

Jason Sides utilized a near-perfect slide job on Heskin for the lead in turn two on the restart and Larson slid Heskin for the runner-up position in turn four. The trio entered traffic in a tight battle with seven laps remaining and a lap later, Sides’ left rear tire exploded in turn two. He spun around and ended up tipping over, which gave Larson the lead.

Sides was able to continue, but stopped in turn four with four laps remaining to set up another late restart. This time Brian Paulus was on Larson’s tail after narrowly passing Heskin on the previous lap. However, Paulus slowed dramatically while running second as he was facing the white flag and eventually brought out the final caution, which set up a green-white-checkered finish.

Larson sailed to the lead on the restart and Heskin held off Donny Schatz for second place after the duo traded slide jobs in the closing laps.

“I was just lucky to get back by Schatz,” Heskin said.

Schatz, the defending Goodyear Knoxville Nationals champion and the winner in five of the last six events, joked about being the elder of the podium finishers and praised Larson for the big win.

“This kid’s got a lot of talent in everything he drives,” Schatz said. “It’s good to see the younger guys come up.”

Craig Dollansky charged from 22nd to finish fourth and Lucas Wolfe ended fifth. Brooke Tatnell was sixth, 23rd-starter Shane Stewart placed seventh, 21st-starter Joey Saldana finished eighth, Dustin Selvage was ninth and Jonathan Allard rounded out the top 10.

52nd annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals Night 1 Statistical Report; Knoxville Raceway; Knoxville, Iowa; Aug. 8, 2012

A Feature (25 laps) – 1. Kyle Larson (3); 2. Davey Heskin (1); 3. Donny Schatz (5); 4. Craig Dollansky (22); 5. Lucas Wolfe (7); 6. Brooke Tatnell (11); 7. Shane Stewart (23); 8. Joey Saldana (21); 9. Dustin Selvage (10); 10. Jonathan Allard (8); 11. Jeff Swindell (13); 12. Austin McCarl (14); 13. Don Droud Jr. (16); 14. Paul McMahan (24); 15. Ed Lynch Jr. (20); 16. Glen Saville (18); 17. AJ Moeller (12); 18. Brian Paulus (6); 19. Lee Sowell (15); 20. Jason Sides (4); 21. Casey Mack (17); 22. Randy Hannagan (2); 23. Kerry Madsen (9); 24. Mike Reinke (19).

Qualifying – 1. 9, Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN (28), 14.715; 2. 7, Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN (10), 14.768; 3. 0, Jonathan Allard, Chico, CA (22), 14.813; 4. 13x, Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN (2), 14.832; 5. 82, Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD (12), 14.847; 6. 89G, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (13), 14.851; 7. 57, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK (3), 14.88; 8. 51, Fred Rahmer, Salfordville, PA (8), 14.891; 9. 5w, Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg, PA (31), 14.901; 10. 63, Chad Kemenah, Findlay, OH (20), 14.905; 11. 28, Brian Paulus, Mooresville, IN (32), 14.94; 12. 15, Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND (11), 14.948; 13. 6R, Ryan Bunton, Morton, IL (4), 14.958; 14. 2x, Dustin Morgan, Tulsa, OK (15), 14.97; 15. 11, Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN (48), 14.97; 16. 26, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (27), 14.981; 17. 7s, Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN (19), 14.987; 18. 13v, Seth Brahmer, Wisner, NE (6), 15.002; 19. 1K, Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA (5), 15.005; 20. 1x, Randy Hannagan, Pittsboro, IN (16), 15.017; 21. 56, Davey Heskin, St. Michael, MN (38), 15.023; 22. 12, Lynton Jeffrey, Prairie City, IA (36), 15.024; 23. 29, Kerry Madsen, St. Marys, NSW, Aus (17), 15.027; 24. 59, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (30), 15.067; 25. 7x, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (1), 15.093; 26. D4, Danny Holtgraver, Pittsburgh, PA (23), 15.106; 27. 99, Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK (24), 15.124; 28. 81, Austin Johnson, Shakopee, MN (14), 15.132; 29. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (25), 15.135; 30. 71, Kevin Swindell, Charlotte, NC (21), 15.157; 31. 98, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aus (43), 15.175; 32. 20, AJ Moeller, Rockwell City, IA (26), 15.182; 33. 7K, Jeff Swindell, Bartlett, TN (46), 15.195; 34. 17A, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (9), 15.224; 35. 2s, Lee Sowell, Lake Cormorant, MS (35), 15.228; 36. 47, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (34), 15.23; 37. 8, Casey Mack, East Grand Forks, ND (45), 15.231; 38. 75, Glen Saville, Razorback, NSW, Aust (42), 15.273; 39. 2L, Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo, PA (39), 15.276; 41. 9P, Rager Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (47), 15.311; 42. 88, Jarrod Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (37), 15.49; 43. 47AU, Trevor Reynolds, Perth, WA, Aust. (33), 15.593; 44. 4D, Danny Smith, Chillicothe, OH (44), 15.635; 45. 7c, Critter Malone, Speedway, IN (7), 15.714; 46. 20PK, Ron Krysl, Atkinson, NE (29), 16.22; 47. 2K, Kevin Ingle, Huron, SD (41), 16.247; 48. 54, Cap Henry, Bellevue, OH (40), No Time.

Heat 1 (10 laps) – 1. Brooke Tatnell (2); 2. Don Droud Jr. (1); 3. Brian Paulus (6); 4. Davey Heskin (4); 5. Danny Holtgraver (3); 6. Joey Saldana (8); 7. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (5); 8. David Gravel (7); 9. Rager Phillips (9); 10. Ron Krysl (10).

Heat 2 (10 laps) – 1. AJ Moeller (2); 2. Donny Schatz (6); 3. Jason Sides (5); 4. Casey Mack (1); 5. Lynton Jeffrey (4); 6. Craig Dollansky (8); 7. Shane Stewart (7); 8. Brady Bacon (3); 9. Jarrod Schneiderman (9); 10. Kevin Ingle (10).

Heat 3 (10 laps) – 1. Kerry Madsen (4); 2. Jonathan Allard (8); 3. Glen Saville (1); 4. Jeff Swindell (2); 5. Ryan Bunton (6); 6. Fred Rahmer (7); 7. Trevor Reynolds (9); 8. Seth Brahmer (5); 9. Austin Johnson (3); 10. Cap Henry (10).

Heat 4 (10 laps) – 1. Ed Lynch Jr. (1); 2. Austin McCarl (2); 3. Kyle Larson (5); 4. Lucas Wolfe (7); 5. Brad Sweet (3); 6. Paul McMahan (8); 7. Danny Smith (9); 8. Dustin Morgan (6); 9. Jac Haudenschild (4).

Heat 5 (10 laps) – 1. Lee Sowell (2); 2. Mike Reinke (1); 3. Dustin Selvage (4); 4. Randy Hannagan (5); 5. Steve Kinser (6); 6. Kevin Swindell (3); 7. Justin Henderson (8); 8. Chad Kemenah (7); 9. Critter Malone (9).

C Feature (8 laps) – 1. Rager Phillips (3); 2. Jarrod Schneiderman (4); 3. Kevin Ingle (7); 4. Ron Krysl (6); 5. Critter Malone (5); 6. Jac Haudenschild (1); 7. Austin Johnson (2); 8. Cap Henry (8).

B Feature (12 laps) – 1. Joey Saldana (1); 2. Craig Dollansky (2); 3. Shane Stewart (6); 4. Paul McMahan (3); 5. Justin Henderson (4); 6. David Gravel (5); 7. Chad Kemenah (8); 8. Steve Kinser (11); 9. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (12); 10. Fred Rahmer (7); 11. Brady Bacon (16); 12. Kevin Swindell (18); 13. Brad Sweet (17); 14. Ryan Bunton (9); 15. Danny Holtgraver (15); 16. Rager Phillips (21); 17. Jarrod Schneiderman (22); 18. Trevor Reynolds (19); 19. Lynton Jeffrey (14); 20. Dustin Morgan (10); 21. Kevin Ingle (23); 22. Seth Brahmer (13); 23. Ron Krysl (24); 24. Danny Smith (20).

52nd annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals Points Standings (After Night 1)

1. Craig Dollansky, 477; 2. Jonathan Allard, 475; 3. Donny Schatz, 471; 4. Joey Saldana, 471; 5. Lucas Wolfe, 467; 6. Kyle Larson, 458; 7. Shane Stewart, 458; 8. Paul McMahan, 453; 9. Davey Heskin, 449; 10. Brian Paulus, 440; 11. Brooke Tatnell, 430; 12. Dustin Selvage, 430; 13. Jason Sides, 424; 14. Justin Henderson, 416; 15. Kerry Madsen, 412; 16. Randy Hannagan, 411; 17. Austin McCarl, 409; 18. David Gravel, 409. 19. Jeff Swindell, 407; 20. A.J. Moeller, 406. 21. Don Droud Jr., 403; 22. Fred Rahmer, 403; 23. Chad Kemenah, 399; 24. Ed Lynch Jr., 396; 25. Lee Sowell, 396; 26. Steve Kinser, 396; 27, Glen Saville, 390; 28. Ryan Bunton, 388; 29. Sam Hafertepe Jr., 386; 30. Casey Mack, 379; 31. Mike Reinke, 373; 32. Dustin Morgan, 365; 33. Danny Holtgraver, 360; 34. Lynton Jeffrey, 360; 35. Brad Sweet, 358; 36. Brady Bacon, 357; 37. Kevin Swindell, 355; 38. Seth Brahmer, 355; 39. Jac Haudenschild, 320; 40. Rager Phillips, 316; 41. Trevor Reynolds, 314; 42. Jarrod Schneiderman, 312; 43. Austin Johnson, 310; 44. Danny Smith, 300; 45. Kevin Ingle, 291; 46. Ron Krysl, 289; 47. Critter Malone, 280; 48. Cap Henry, 265.

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This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Mike Neff.

 

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