Brad Sweet Dominates on Night #2 of the Knoxville Nationals

By BILL WRIGHT

KNOXVILLE, IA – Brad Sweet picked up where he left off in Sunday’s Weld Racing Capitani Classic presented by Great Southern Bank, by dominating the Thursday Toyota Night qualifier for the 58th Annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores. The Grass Valley, California native took home $12,000 for his win in the Kasey Kahne Racing #49. Sweet also secured himself the pole position for Saturday night’s $150,000 championship event. He will be flanked by Ohio’s Chad Kemenah, while the second row will be comprised of Wednesday high point drivers Kyle Larson and Donny Schatz.

Sweet started sixth in the 25-lapper, but wasted no time in getting to the front. He had the lead by turns three and four, ahead of Mark Dobmeier, Rico Abreu, Terry McCarl and Jacob Allen. Josh Schneiderman smacked the wall on the backstretch and slowed to a stop to bring a caution one lap in. Sammy Swindell spun a lap later, but fortunately, just avoided tipping over.

The rest of the event went green. Sweet led the field back to green ahead of Abreu, who had passed Dobmeier, McCarl and Allen. Tim Kaeding moved into the top five on the restart, and then grabbed fourth from McCarl on lap four. David Gravel, who started 13th shot from sixth to fourth on lap five. Two circuits later, he worked by Dobmeier for third.

Sweet jetted into lapped traffic on lap nine. He built a huge lead over Abreu that eclipsed four seconds with ten to go. There was no stopping the “Big Cat”, who took the checkers ahead of Abreu, Gravel, Kaeding and McCarl. Chad Kemenah, Cory Eliason, hard-charger Shane Stewart (from 23rd), quick timer Carson Macedo and Kraig Kinser rounded out the top ten. Sam Hafertepe Jr., Chris Martin, Dave Blaney, Swindell and Eliason won heat races. Don Droud Jr. took the C main, while Macedo claimed the B.

“That was fun,” said Sweet in Victory Lane, who will also receive $2,000 from SprintCarUnlimited.com for earning Saturday’s pole. “The car has been on rails all weekend. The job is only half done now. We’re obviously in good position on Saturday night. That’s what it’s all about. I think we made a little bit of a statement tonight. We by far had the best car. I feel like they’re going to be gunning for us on Saturday, so we just need to do our job. I feel like coming to (races like the Capitani Classic)…it doesn’t pay a lot and the competition is so tough…I need that extra track time. I’m not Donny Schatz. We’ve been tuning on this racecar.”

“That felt good,” said Abreu. “We just keep getting our car better and better. Thanks to all the fans…it’s cool to see this place packed. It’s cool to be in this environment. There’s no place in the world that creates so much energy. It’s a lot like the Chili Bowl…and both are races we’ve had success at. Three years in a row to be locked in the A main, it just shows how good this team is.”

“We had kind of a disappointing day qualifying,” said Gravel. “We really needed to win that heat race. It just wasn’t a good night point-wise. We had a really good car early in that A main. It wasn’t what we wanted, but we made the best of it. We’ll move on, we just needed to qualify better.”

Two firsts for the Knoxville Nationals occurred. Gio Scelzi, just 16 years, eight months and 14 days old this Saturday, will become the youngest driver to ever qualify for the championship event. That eclipses Jeff Gordon’s 1989 start at 18 years, and 15 days old. Also, Tom Harris of Banbury, Oxfordshire, became the first driver to compete at the Knoxville Nationals from the United Kingdom.

The top sixteen drivers locking themselves into Saturday night’s A main in the first eight rows included Sweet, Kemenah, Larson, Schatz, Aaron Reutzel, Kerry Madsen, Tim Shaffer, Carson Macedo, Gio Scelzi, Tim Kaeding, Ian Madsen, Jacob Allen, Rico Abreu, Greg Hodnett, Shane Stewart and Terry McCarl.

Those drivers who will start in rows one through five of Saturday’s B main include Parker Price-Miller, Lucas Wolfe, Daryn Pittman, Brock Zearfoss, Cory Eliason, Mark Dobmeier, David Gravel, Sammy Walsh, Austin McCarl and Kraig Kinser.

Friday’s FVP Night will include the drivers who missed the top 26 in points. The top four finishers in Friday night’s main event will earn starting spots 17-20 in Saturday’s championship. The fifth place finisher will start 11th in Saturday’s B. The $10,000 Speed Sport World Challenge will also be run. If the winner of the race has not qualified already for Saturday night’s main event, they will be awarded the 25th starting spot. Two-time and defending World Series Sprintcars (WSS) champion James McFadden will start on the pole, alongside Lynton Jeffrey.

The 58th Annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores continues with FVP night, Friday, August 10. There are still tickets available for the biggest event in sprint car racing! For more information, visit www.KnoxvilleRaceway.com!

Toyota Night #2 of the 58th Annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores Results

Time Trials (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 41, Carson Macedo, Lemoore, CA (9), 15.520; 2. 10H, Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH (6), 15.608; 3. 1A, Jacob Allen, Hanover, PA (20), 15.627; 4. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (1), 15.634; 5. 71P, Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, IN (41), 15.643; 6. 28, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Au (19), 15.691; 7. 44, Trey Starks, Puyallup, WA (5), 15.748; 8. 19P, Paige Polyak, Tiffin, OH (10), 15.767; 9. 2, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK (50), 15.783; 10. 7, Carson McCarl, Altoona, IA (18), 15.810; 11. 91T, Cale Thomas, Fairland, IN (3), 15.838; 12. 1X, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (2), 15.857; 13. 3, Tim Kaeding, San Jose, CA (47), 15.861; 14. 17X, Josh Baughman, Odessa, TX (36), 15.862; 15. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (35), 15.894; 16. 7C, John Carney II, El Paso, TX (21), 15.902; 17. 24R, Rico Abreu, St. Helena, CA (33), 15.925; 18. 99G, Skylar Gee, Leduc, ALB, Can. (14), 15.942; 19. 48, Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, PA (16), 15.948; 20. 35, Jamie Veal, Warrnambool, VIC, Aust. (34), 15.97; 21. 13, Mark Dobmeier, Grand Forks, ND (26), 15.977; 22. 39, Spencer Bayston, Lebanon, IN (40), 15.980; 23. 21AU, Jordyn Brazier, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (13), 15.982; 24. 55, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust. (44), 15.985; 25. 83, Cory Eliason, Selma, CA (49), 15.989; 26. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN (23), 15.993; 27. 26, Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN (42), 16.001; 28. 17W, Harli White, Lindsay, OK (12), 16.005; 29. 5, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (46), 16.020; 30. 49J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (31), 16.026; 31. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (45), 16.032; 32. 9R, Rager Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (15), 16.059; 33. 70, Dave Blaney, High Point, NC (11), 16.076; 34. 1, Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN (51), 16.084; 35. 2C, Wayne Johnson, Tuttle, OK (39), 16.121; 36. 95, Matt Covington, Glenpool, OK (29), 16.123; 37. 44M, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (7), 16.125; 38. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO (48), 16.137; 39. G1, Gary Taylor, Snohomish, WA (37), 16.150; 40. 25, Bobby McMahan, Elk Grove, CA (22), 16.204; 41. 21K, Thomas Kennedy, Winnipeg, MB, Can. (28), 16.214; 42. 35P, Skylar Prochaska, Lakefield, MN (17), 16.244; 43. W20, Greg Wilson, Benton Ridge, OH (25), 16.258; 44. 71A, RJ Johnson, Tampa, FL (43), 16.259; 45. 28AU, Allan Woods, Brisbane, QLD, Aust. (32), 16.274; 46. 81, Lee Jacobs, Dalton, OH (30), 16.308; 47. 3X, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (24), 16.308; 48. 91, Kyle Reinhardt, Neptune City, NJ (27), 16.332; 49. 18J, Jenna Frazier, Rio Linda, CA (8), 17.756; 50. 84, Tom Harris, Banbury, OXFD, UK (38), 18.088; 51. 2MM, Matt Moro, Polk City, IA (4), NT.

Heat one (started), 10 Laps, 2:42.8: 1. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (2); 2. Mark Dobmeier (4); 3. Kraig Kinser (3); 4. John Carney II (5) / 5. Scott Bogucki (7); 6. Carson Macedo (8); 7. Matt Covington (1); 8. Cale Thomas (6) / 9. Lee Jacobs (10); 10. Thomas Kennedy (9)

Heat two (started), 10 Laps, 2:47.1: 1. Chris Martin (1); 2. Rico Abreu (5); 3. Spencer Bayston (4); 4. Chad Kemenah (8) / 5. Rager Phillips (2); 6. Jac Haudenschild (10); 7. Joey Saldana (3); 8. Trey Starks (7) / 9. Skylar Prochaska (9); 10. Don Droud Jr. (6)

Heat three (started), 10 Laps, 2:45.9: 1. Dave Blaney (2); 2. Tim Kaeding (6); 3. Harli White (3); 4. Jacob Allen (8) / 5. Skylar Gee (5); 6. Greg Wilson (9); 7. Jordyn Brazier (4); 8. Paige Polyak (7) / 9. Kyle Reinhardt (10); 10. Brian Brown (1)

Heat four (started), 10 Laps, 2:44.2: 1. Sammy Swindell (2); 2. Brad Sweet (8); 3. Gary Taylor (1); 4. David Gravel (3) / 5. Shane Stewart (7); 6. Brooke Tatnell (4); 7. Josh Baughman (6); 8. Danny Dietrich (5) / 9. RJ Johnson (9); 10. Jenna Frazier (10)

Heat five (started), 10 Laps, 2:45.1: 1. Cory Eliason (4); 2. Wayne Johnson (2); 3. Josh Schneiderman (3); 4. Terry McCarl (6); 5. Parker Price-Miller (8); 6. Jamie Veal (5); 7. Carson McCarl (7); 8. Allan Woods (9); 9. Bobby McMahan (1); 10. Tom Harris (10)

C main (started), 10 Laps, 2:18.1: 1. Don Droud Jr. (1); 2. RJ Johnson (4); 3. Bobby McMahan (2); 4. Lee Jacobs (5) / 5. Skylar Prochaska (3); 6. Tom Harris (6) DNS – 7. Thomas Kennedy; 8. Kyle Reinhardt; 9. Brian Brown; 10. Jenna Frazier; 11. Matt Moro

B main (started), 12 Laps, NT: 1. Carson Macedo (1); 2. Parker Price-Miller (2); 3. Shane Stewart (6); 4. Jamie Veal (12) / 5. Scott Bogucki (3); 6. Danny Dietrich (11); 7. Don Droud Jr. (19); 8. Cale Thomas (8); 9. Josh Baughman (9); 10. Greg Wilson (18); 11. Skylar Gee (10); 12. Brooke Tatnell (14); 13. Rager Phillips (16); 14. Lee Jacobs (23); 15. Allan Woods (17); 16. RJ Johnson (22); 17. Paige Polyak (5); 18. Trey Starks (4); 19. Joey Saldana (15); 20. Carson McCarl (7); 21. Jordyn Brazier (13); 22. Jac Haudenschild (20); 23. Bobby McMahan (21); DNS – 24. Matt Covington

A main (started), 25 Laps, NT: 1. Brad Sweet (6); 2. Rico Abreu (2); 3. David Gravel (13); 4. Tim Kaeding (5); 5. Terry McCarl (4); 6. Chad Kemenah (8); 7. Cory Eliason (10); 8. Shane Stewart (23); 9. Carson Macedo (21); 10. Kraig Kinser (11); 11. Mark Dobmeier (1); 12. Jacob Allen (7); 13. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (15); 14. Parker Price-Miller (22); 15. Spencer Bayston (9); 16. Wayne Johnson (18); 17. Jamie Veal (24); 18. Sammy Swindell (17); 19. John Carney II (3); 20. Chris Martin (19); 21. Gary Taylor (20); 22. Dave Blaney (16); 23. Harli White (12); 24. Josh Schneiderman (14). Lap Leader: Sweet 1-25. Hard-charger: S. Stewart.

Final Combined Points

A main

1 49 Brad Sweet 491
2 10H Chad Kemenah 479
3 57 Kyle Larson 475
4 15 Donny Schatz 474
5 87 Aaron Reutzel 473
6 2M Kerry Madsen 473
7 49X Tim Shaffer 471
8 41 Carson Macedo 469
9 71 Gio Scelzi 468
10 3 Tim Kaeding 467
11 18 Ian Madsen 467
12 1A Jacob Allen 465
13 24R Rico Abreu 463
14 27 Greg Hodnett 462
15 2 Shane Stewart 458
16 24 Terry McCarl 455

B main

17 71P Parker Price-Miller 454
18 24W Lucas Wolfe 453
19 9 Daryn Pittman 452
20 4 Brock Zearfoss 444
21 83 Cory Eliason 440
22 13 Mark Dobmeier 437
23 5 David Gravel 431
24 5H Sammy Walsh 431
25 2KS Austin McCarl 429
26 11K Kraig Kinser 426

Friday Competitors

27 7C John Carney II 425
28 39 Spencer Bayston 424
29 09 Matt Juhl 423
30 11 Roger Crockett 421
31 28 Scott Bogucki 420
32 15H Sam Hafertepe Jr. 416
33 41S Dominic Scelzi 416
34 35 Jamie Veal 415
35 29 Willie Croft 411
36 13X Paul McMahan 405
37 99 Brady Bacon 404
38 0 Lynton Jeffrey 404
39 40 Clint Garner 403
40 4K Kasey Kahne 401
41 1 Sammy Swindell 400
42 3H James McFadden 400
43 1S Logan Schuchart 400
44 2C Wayne Johnson 399
45 71X Kevin Thomas Jr. 398
46 17W Harli White 396
47 91T Cale Thomas 395
48 70 Dave Blaney 394
49 5J Jamie Ball 392
50 44M Chris Martin 390
51 10 Clyde Knipp 390
52 49J Josh Schneiderman 390
53 17X Josh Baughman 390
54 1X Don Droud Jr. 389
55 85 Chase Wanner 388
56 99G Skylar Gee 384
57 48 Danny Dietrich 383
58 19P Paige Polyak 383
59 44 Trey Starks 383
60 15M Bobby Mincer 382
61 17 Sheldon Haudenschild 382
62 G1 Gary Taylor 378
63 7 Carson McCarl 376
64 56N Davey Heskin 371
65 7S Jason Sides 368
66 19 Brent Marks 367
67 55 Brooke Tatnell 367
68 17B Bill Balog 362
69 12N Cole Duncan 361
70 9R Rager Phillips 352
71 3P Sawyer Phillips 351
72 21AU Jordyn Brazier 348
73 97G Hunter Schuerenberg 347
74 26 Joey Saldana 344
75 17WX Shane Golobic 342
76 W20 Greg Wilson 333
77 28P Brian Paulus 319
78 95 Matt Covington 316
79 9X Jake Bubak 314
80 28AU Allan Woods 313
81 68 Chase Johnson 312
82 81 Lee Jacobs 310
83 71A RJ Johnson 310
84 25 Bobby McMahan 304
85 2K Kevin Ingle 302
86 3X Jac Haudenschild 301
87 70S Jeff Swindell 298
88 20 AJ Moeller 294
89 35P Skylar Prochaska 286
90 21 Brian Brown 283
91 21K Thomas Kennedy 281
92 7W Tasker Phillips 280
93 91 Kyle Reinhardt 268
94 84 Tom Harris 265
95 18J Jenna Frazier 259
96 2MM Matt Moro 230

Friday Speed Sport World Challenge Lineup (20 laps)

1. James McFadden, 400
2. Lynton Jeffrey, 404
3. Jamie Veal, 415
4. Dominic Scelzi, 416
5. Scott Bogucki, 420
6. Austin McCarl, 429
7. Sammy Walsh, 431
8. Cory Eliason, 440
9. Parker Price-Miller, 454
10. Terry McCarl, 455
11. Tim Kaeding, 467
12. Ian Madsen, 467
13. Carson Macedo, 469
14. Kerry Madsen, 473
15. Skylar Gee, 384
16. Brooke Tatnell, 367
17. Jordyn Brazier, 348
18. Allan Woods, 313
19. Thomas Kennedy, 281
20. Tom Harris, 265