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Justin Henderson Savors New Friday Format at Goodyear Knoxville Nationals; The Sioux Falls, S.D., native wins the final qualifying night to lock into Saturday’s feature

Sunday August 12, 2012

 

Justin Henderson and Donny Schatz take the win on the newly formatted Friday Night at Knoxville.
Photo by Jeff Wackerlin

Justin Henderson capitalized on a new format to the Friday portion of the 52nd annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals.

With a new team and a unique opportunity to start from scratch, Henderson took advantage to lock himself into Saturday’s $150,000-to-win main event at the famed Knoxville Raceway after outlasting David Gravel in the final qualifying night.

“I was very worried coming into tonight,” Henderson said. “It puts a lot of extra pressure and stress on the guys that aren’t already locked in, but I have to say the finale came out good in our favor this time. I’m a fan of it now, but I think every year it’s going to change for sure.”

A total of 67 drivers competed with the new format, which erased everyone’s qualifying performance and locked in the top four finishers from Friday’s feature. For Henderson, who would have been mired in the middle of the B Main under the old format, Friday worked out perfectly.

He qualified 15th quickest and finished second in a heat race, grabbing the final transfer and a spot in the 25-lap main event. Henderson started the feature sixth and he ran fifth for the first nine laps.

However, on a lap-10 restart after Danny Lasoski brought out a caution with a flat tire, Henderson quickly powered to third. He passed Cody Darrah for the runner-up position with 11 laps remaining and then tracked down Gravel, who started on the pole.

Henderson railed the outside groove, while Gravel ran the inside lane. The duo entered traffic with six laps remaining and Gravel was slowed in turn two with five to go, allowing Henderson to rocket into the lead off turn two. He then survived a strong bid from Gravel, who finished less than half a second behind Henderson.

“I really felt like I was rolling the bottom nicely,” Gravel said. “I thought I was on cruise control there. I slipped off the bottom a few times and that’s when Henderson got by me.

“He had an advantage in (turns) one and two, and I had the advantage in (turns) three and four. I was really trying to win there, but when Justin had a few car lengths I was just trying to stay straight, hit my marks and get to the finish line.”

If anyone is a poster boy for the new format, it’s Dale Blaney. After failing to change an engine in time before time trials on his qualifying night, Blaney scratched from the rest of the night. Under the old format, he would have started in the back of the E Main on Saturday.

On Friday, Blaney took full advantage of the clean slate and charged to a third-place finish to lock himself into Saturday’s main event.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s just a great opportunity. I want to thank everybody from Knoxville for making the format. It fit us perfectly this year.”

Darrah held off a late charge from 13th-starter Kerry Madsen to finish fourth, earning the final transfer to Saturday’s main event.

With 20 drivers locked into the highest-paying feature of the season, the remaining competitors will be placed in mains based on their finish on Friday.

Friday night concluded with the Speed Sport Knoxville World Challenge – a 24-car, 20-lap feature pitting top drivers from the United States against stars from other countries.

Donny Schatz, who started 10th, claimed the $10,000 victory and savored the extra laps on the track before Saturday’s main event.

“I think being able to come on nights like this is a big help,” he said. “It definitely does help for tomorrow night. You get your car that much better and you see what the race track is going to do. I think it’ll be similar tomorrow night.”

52nd annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals Night 3 Statistical Report; Knoxville Raceway; Knoxville, Iowa; Aug. 10, 2012

A Feature (25 laps) – 1. Justin Henderson (6); 2. David Gravel (1); 3. Dale Blaney (3); 4. Cody Darrah (2); 5. Kerry Madsen (13); 6. Chad Kemenah (16); 7. Terry McCarl (5); 8. Dusty Zomer (14); 9. Steve Kinser (15); 10. Danny Holtgraver (4); 11. Bronson Maeschen (17); 12. Kevin Swindell (18); 13. Wayne Johnson (11); 14. Scott Winters (24); 15. Danny Lasoski (10); 16. Jamie Veal (22); 17. Rager Phillips (12); 18. Jac Haudenschild (8); 19. Cap Henry (19); 20. James McFadden (20); 21. Greg Wilson (23); 22. Jeff Swindell (9); 23. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (7); 24. Joey Moughan (21).

Qualifying – 1. 89G, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (7), 15.126; 2. 4, Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA (8), 15.252; 3. 2, Dale Blaney, Fowler, OH (59), 15.254; 4. 17M, Joey Moughan, Springfield, IL (10), 15.263; 5. 35AU, Jamie Veal, Warrnambool, VIC, Au (5), 15.314; 6. 96, Bronson Maeschen, Pleasantville, IA (29), 15.319; 7. W20, Greg Wilson, Benton Ridge, OH (21), 15.328; 8. 63, Chad Kemenah, Findlay, OH (42), 15.356; 9. 23w, Scott Winters, Butterfield, MN (17), 15.373; 10. 11, Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN (3), 15.385; 11. D4, Danny Holtgraver, Pittsburgh, PA (25), 15.411; 12. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (14), 15.454; 13. 12, Lynton Jeffrey, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (31), 15.455; 14. 6R, Ryan Bunton, Morton, IL (38), 15.465; 15. 82, Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD (27), 15.468; 16. 49J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (4), 15.471; 17. 26, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (6), 15.494; 18. 59, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (11), 15.494; 19. 55x, Trey Starks, Puyallup, WA (22), 15.496; 20. 7K, Jeff Swindell, Bartlett, TN (20), 15.501; 21. 1z, Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO (54), 15.504; 22. 55xm, James McFadden, Brisbane, QLD, Aust. (30), 15.546; 23. 77x, Wayne Johnson, Knoxville, IA (19), 15.547; 24. 24H, Bryan Sebetto, Fremont, OH (63), 15.572; 25. 8, Casey Mack, East Grand Forks, ND (15), 15.583; 26. 9P, Rager Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (43), 15.587; 27. 20, AJ Moeller, Rockwell City, IA (9), 15.602; 28. 29, Kerry Madsen, St. Marys, NSW, Aus (49), 15.606; 29. 47, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (50), 15.611; 30. 17A, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (1), 15.634; 31. 6x, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (13), 15.636; 32. 71, Kevin Swindell, Charlotte, NC (60), 15.639; 33. 54, Cap Henry, Bellevue, OH (51), 15.645; 34. 91, Dusty Zomer, Sioux Falls, SD (67), 15.678; 35. 18, Tony Bruce Jr., Owasso, OK (26), 15.683; 36. 1s, Logan Schuchart, Hanover, PA (44), 15.686; 37. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (58), 15.699; 38. 1x, Randy Hannagan, Pittsboro, IN (36), 15.713; 39. 99, Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK (57), 15.732; 40. 6, Bill Rose, Plainfield, IN (16), 15.746; 41. 40, Caleb Helms, Findlay, OH (47), 15.768; 42. 2s, Lee Sowell, Lake Cormorant, MS (40), 15.793; 43. 7TAZ, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (52), 15.795; 44. 2L, Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo, PA (65), 15.8; 45. 88, Jarrod Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (28), 15.822; 46. 2x, Dustin Morgan, Tulsa, OK (55), 15.823; 47. 51, Fred Rahmer, Salfordville, PA (24), 15.825; 48. 81, Austin Johnson, Shakopee, MN (61), 15.831; 49. 53D, Jack Dover, Springfield, NE (46), 15.844; 50. 10, Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (56), 15.846; 51. 02, Mike Reinke, Howards Grove, WI (33), 15.873; 52. 66, Geoff Dodge, Speedway, IN (2), 15.879; 53. 35, Tyler Walker, Hermosa Beach, CA (23), 15.975; 54. 4D, Danny Smith, Chillicothe, OH (64), 16.042; 55. 71AU, Domain Ramsay, Newtown, VIC, Aust. (34), 16.047; 56. 13v, Seth Brahmer, Wisner, NE (41), 16.048; 57. 45x, Johnny Herrera, Albuquerque, NM (45), 16.089; 58. 7c, Critter Malone, Speedway, IN (12), 16.116; 59. 1m, Jim Moughan Jr., Springfield, IL (35), 16.212; 60. 1T, Chris Shirek, Thompson, ND (53), 16.259; 61. 47AU, Trevor Reynolds, Perth, WA, Aust. (32), 16.31; 62. 75, Glen Saville, Razorback, NSW, Aust (37), 16.321; 63. 71B, Robert Bell, Colfax, IA (18), 16.399; 64. 2K, Kevin Ingle, Huron, SD (39), 16.516; 65. 74x, Josh Hodges, Tijeras, NM (62), 16.567; 66. 20PK, Ron Krysl, Atkinson, NE (66), 17.122; 67. 12P, TJ Peterson, Des Moines, IA (48), 17.278.

Heat 1 (8 laps) – 1. David Gravel (4); 2. Justin Henderson (2); 3. Chad Kemenah (3); 4. Logan Schuchart (6); 5. Don Droud Jr. (5); 6. James McFadden (1); 7. Tasker Phillips (7); 8. Sheldon Haudenschild (8); 9. Johnny Herrera (9); 10. Kevin Ingle (10).

Heat 2 (8 laps) – 1. Wayne Johnson (1); 2. Cody Darrah (4); 3. Josh Schneiderman (2); 4. Brad Sweet (6); 5. Scott Winters (3); 6. Austin McCarl (5); 7. Mike Reinke (8); 8. Ed Lynch Jr. (7); 9. Josh Hodges (10); 10. Critter Malone (9).

Heat 3 (8 laps) – 1. Dale Blaney (4); 2. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (2); 3. Steve Kinser (3); 4. Kaley Gharst (5); 5. Randy Hannagan (6); 6. Geoff Dodge (8); 7. Bryan Sebetto (1); 8. Jim Moughan Jr. (9); 9. Jarrod Schneiderman (7); 10. Ron Krysl (10).

Heat 4 (8 laps) – 1. Jac Haudenschild (2); 2. Danny Holtgraver (3); 3. Casey Mack (1); 4. Kevin Swindell (5); 5. Brady Bacon (6); 6. Tyler Walker (8); 7. Joey Moughan (4); 8. Chris Shirek (9); 9. Dustin Morgan (7); 10. TJ Peterson (10).

Heat 5 (8 laps) – 1. Terry McCarl (3); 2. Rager Phillips (1); 3. Trey Starks (2); 4. Danny Smith (8); 5. Jamie Veal (4); 6. Cap Henry (5); 7. Fred Rahmer (7); 8. Bill Rose (6); 9. Trevor Reynolds (9).

Heat 6 (8 laps) – 1. Jeff Swindell (2); 2. Dusty Zomer (5); 3. Lynton Jeffrey (3); 4. Bronson Maeschen (4); 5. Glen Saville (9); 6. Caleb Helms (6); 7. AJ Moeller (1); 8. Austin Johnson (7); 9. Domain Ramsay (8).

Heat 7 (8 laps) – 1. Danny Lasoski (2); 2. Kerry Madsen (1); 3. Greg Wilson (4); 4. Ryan Bunton (3); 5. Jack Dover (7); 6. Tony Bruce Jr. (5); 7. Seth Brahmer (8); 8. Lee Sowell (6); 9. Robert Bell (9).

B Feature 1 (12 laps) – 1. Steve Kinser (3); 2. Kevin Swindell (7); 3. Greg Wilson (2); 4. Joey Moughan (1); 5. Brady Bacon (9); 6. Don Droud Jr. (6); 7. Josh Schneiderman (4); 8. Logan Schuchart (8); 9. Jarrod Schneiderman (11); 10. Danny Smith (14); 11. Chris Shirek (16); 12. Robert Bell (17); 13. Bryan Sebetto (5); 14. Austin Johnson (12); 15. Lee Sowell (10); 16. Ron Krysl (18); 17. Mike Reinke (13); 18. Johnny Herrera (15).

B Feature 2 (12 laps) – 1. Chad Kemenah (2); 2. Cap Henry (7); 3. Brad Sweet (8); 4. Jack Dover (12); 5. Lynton Jeffrey (3); 6. Trey Starks (4); 7. Casey Mack (5); 8. Austin McCarl (6); 9. Dustin Morgan (11); 10. Kevin Ingle (17); 11. Trevor Reynolds (16); 12. TJ Peterson (18); 13. Domain Ramsay (14); 14. Bill Rose (9); 15. Critter Malone (15); 16. Jamie Veal (1); 17. Tasker Phillips (10); 18. Geoff Dodge (13).

B Feature 3 (12 laps) – 1. Bronson Maeschen (1); 2. James McFadden (4); 3. Tony Bruce Jr. (7); 4. Ryan Bunton (3); 5. Randy Hannagan (8); 6. Scott Winters (2); 7. Tyler Walker (13); 8. Fred Rahmer (11); 9. Kaley Gharst (6); 10. AJ Moeller (5); 11. Caleb Helms (9); 12. Glen Saville (16); 13. Jim Moughan Jr. (15); 14. Ed Lynch Jr. (10); 15. Seth Brahmer (14); 16. Josh Hodges (17); 17. Sheldon Haudenschild (12).

Speed Sport Knoxville World Challenge (20 laps) – 1. Donny Schatz (10); 2. Sammy Swindell (1); 3. Jason Meyers (9); 4. Craig Dollansky (12); 5. Tim Shaffer (13); 6. Kerry Madsen (15); 7. Jason Johnson (2); 8. James McFadden (17); 9. Daryn Pittman (4); 10. Lucas Wolfe (8); 11. Brooke Tatnell (14); 12. David Gravel (18); 13. Jamie Veal (16); 14. Lynton Jeffrey (20); 15. Danny Smith (23); 16. Trevor Reynolds (21); 17. Domain Ramsay (22); 18. Ian Madsen (7); 19. Paul McMahan (3); 20. Glen Saville (19); 21. Jonathan Allard (11); 22. Shane Stewart (5); 23. Kyle Larson (6).

Saturday’s Feature Lineups for the 52nd annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals

A MAIN (50 laps): 1, Stevie Smith. 2, Craig Dollansky. 3, Jonathan Allard. 4, Brian Brown. 5, Donny Schatz. 6, Joey Saldana. 7, Jason Meyers. 8, Tim Kaeding. 9, Kraig Kinser. 10, Lucas Wolfe. 11, Ian Madsen. 12, Kyle Larson. 13, Shane Stewart. 14, Daryn Pittman. 15, Lance Dewease. 16, Paul McMahan. 17, Justin Henderson. 18, David Gravel. 19, Dale Blaney. 20, Cody Darrah.

B MAIN (22 laps, 4 transfer): 1, Davey Heskin. 2, Mark Dobmeier. 3, Greg Hodnett. 4, Brian Paulus. 5, Jason Johnson. 6, Sammy Swindell. 7, Tim Shaffer. 8, Brooke Tatnell. 9, Dustin Selvage. 10, Jason Sides. 11, Kerry Madsen. 12, Chad Kemenah. 13, Terry McCarl. 14, Dusty Zomer. 15, Steve Kinser. 16, Danny Holtgraver. 17, Bronson Maeschen. 18, Kevin Swindell. 19, Wayne Johnson. 20, Scott Winters.

C MAIN (15 laps, 2 transfer): 1, Danny Lasoski. 2, Jamie Veal. 3, Rager Phillips. 4, Jac Haudenshild. 5, Cap Henry. 6, James McFadden. 7, Greg Wilson. 8, Jeff Swindell. 9, Sam Hafertepe Jr. 10, Joey Moughan. 11, Brad Sweet. 12, Tony Bruce Jr. 13, Jack Dover. 14, Ryan Bunton. 15, Brady Bacon. 16, Lynton Jeffrey. 17, Randy Hannagan. 18, Don Droud Jr. 19, Trey Starks. 20, Josh Schneiderman.

D MAIN (12 laps, 2 transfer): 1, Casey Mack. 2, Tyler Walker. 3, Logan Schuchart. 4, Austin McCarl. 5, Fred Rahmer. 6, Jarrod Schneiderman. 7, Dustin Morgan. 8, Kaley Gharst. 9, Danny Smith. 10, Kevin Ingle. 11, A.J. Moeller. 12, Chris Shirek. 13, Trevor Reynolds. 14, Caleb Helms. 15, Robert Bell. 16, T.J. Peterson. 17, Glen Saville. 18, Brian Sebetto. 19, Domain Ramsey. 20, Jim Moughan.

E MAIN (10 laps, 2 transfer): 1, Ron Krysl. 2, Bill Rose. 3, Ed Lynch Jr. 4, Lee Sowell. 5, Critter Malone. 6, Seth Brahmer. 7, Austin Johnson. 8, Josh Hodges. 9, Mike Reinke. 10, Tasker Phillips. 11, Sheldon Haudenschild. 12, Johnny Herrera. 13, Geoff Dodge.

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