Fifty-Eight Facts, Notes and Tidbits from the 58th Running of the Knoxville Nationals – DTD Exclusive

58th Annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey's General Stores - Knoxville Raceway

By MIKE MALLETT

KNOXVILLE, IA – By now it is well known that Brad Sweet captured his first career Knoxville Nationals on Saturday night in the 58th running of the event at the Marion County Fairgrounds. The Grass Valley, Calif., driver dominated the week leading a race high 48 laps en route to his win. There were lots of other happenings over the four day affair. Here is my yearly list of facts, notes and tidbits from this year’s edition of sprint car racing’s biggest event.

Wednesday – Qualifying Night One 8/8

1. 45 cars entered the program on Wednesday night…

2. Logan Schuchart was fast-timer on the night with a lap of 14.933…

3. Brady Bacon, Jamie Ball, Dominic Scelzi, Clyde Knipp and Brock Zearfoss won the heat races. It was the first time any of them had ever won a heat race at the Knoxville Nationals…

4. Schuchart won the B-Main to make the A-Main but was disqualified for not going to the scales…

5. Austin McCarl made the show because of Schuchart’s mistake…

6. Knipp and Ball got together in the A-Main causing them both to flip. It was Ball’s second flip of the week after getting upside-down in the A-Main of the Knoxville 360 Nationals…

7. Dominic Scelzi was the last caution of the A-Main coming to a stop on the bottom of the speedway on lap 19.…

8. Greg Hodnett won the A-Main. It was his first 410 win at Knoxville since 1994…

9. Kyle Larson edged Donny Schatz for high point man on the night 475 to 474…

10. The 50/50 paid $8,907…

Thursday – Qualifying Night Two 8/9

11. 51 cars entered Thursday night’s program…

12. Carson Macedo was quick time with a lap of 15.520…

13. Brian Brown scratched from the event after timing 38th quick. His car had a severe vibration…

14. Sam Hafertepe Jr., Chris Martin, Dave Blaney, Sammy Swindell and Cory Eliason won the heats…

15. It was Swindell’s 20th career Nationals heat race win. That is the most all-time…

16. Seven of the ten fastest drivers in time failed to qualify out of their heat races. It was the scenario on Wednesday night…

17. Trey Starks broke in the B-Main while in a transfer position…

18. Jamie Veal passed two cars on the final lap to grab the final transfer spot to the A-Main from the B-Main…

19. Brad Sweet won, which combined with his heat race efforts and qualifying run, was enough to be overall high point man with 491 points. He was nine points shy of a perfect night…

20. The 50/50 paid $9,900 on Thursday night…

Friday – Hard Knox Night 8/10

21. There were 67 cars pit-side for another shot at making the A-Main. Spots 17 through 20 were on the line as well as position 25 for winning the World Challenge…

22. Jamie Ball got into the wall in turn four during his heat race wrecking a third car in six days. His Nationals was over…

23. It was a family affair as all three Phillips brothers competed. Sawyer, Rager and Tasker were all in action…

24. The McCarl family was also well represented as father Terry and sons Austin and Carson raced as well…

25. Three female drivers competed on the night as Jenna Frazier, Paige Polyak and Harli White were all in the field…

26. Lynton Jeffrey ran a car identical to the cars run by Glenn Styres of Ohsweken Speedway. He broke while running in a transfer spot in the B-Main. He did not return…

27. Frazier, Gary Taylor, Scott Bogucki and Allan Woods all flipped during the night. Each was unscathed…

28. Brooke Tatnell spun after hitting the cushion one lap after giving up the lead in the World Challenge which comes with a guaranteed spot in the A-Main. Dominic Scelzi grabbed the win and the spot…

29. Jac Haudenschild got pulled over after the night’s racing action for pushing his car down the street to the car wash. You are allowed to pull a car, but not push according to City of Knoxville regulations…

30. The 50/50 paid $9,900 on Friday night. State law allows only one 50/50 over $10,000 during the week. The extra money from both Thursday and Friday was carried over to Saturday night…

Saturday – Nationals Finale 8/11

31. Sweet picked up $2,000 from SprintCarUnlimited.com for being the pole-sitter for the 50-lap A-Main…

32. The first green flag came on racing action at 8:33 p.m. with the final checkered flag flying at 11:27 p.m…

32. Sheldon Haudenschild’s car won the Best Appearing award. He beat Terry McCarl and Donny Schatz…

34. Jason Johnson Racing won the Best Appearing Crew award. Haudenschild and Brooke Tatnell’s team finished out the podium…

35. Carson Macedo won the Jesse Hockett Mr. Sprint Car Award. He earned the most post throughout the entirety of Southern Iowa Speed Week. He was consistent winning two races and finishing consistently in the top 10…

36. A total of 17 drivers did not return on Saturday night which led to the scrapping of the E-Main…

37. Carson McCarl was the first caution of the day after stopping on the frontstrech on lap five of the D-Main…

38. Dave Blaney won the D-Main…

39. Brady Bacon’s weekend was done on lap one of the C-Main. He pulled off after his nose wing collapsed…

40. Rager Phillips flipped in the C-Main in turns three and four. He walked away uninjured…

41. Kevin Thomas Jr., was the highest finishing D-Main car in the C-Main. He finished 13th…

42. Sam Hafertepe Jr., won the C-Main…

43. Clint Garner slowed in turn four on the last lap of the C-Main to lose a transfer spot to the B-Main…

44. Parker Price-Miller won the B-Main…

45. Spencer Bayston advanced to 11th in the B-Main after finishing third in the C-Main…

46. Austin McCarl was the first driver to miss a transfer spot into the A-Main finishing fifth…

47. Brock Zearfoss earned the final starting spot in the A-Main with his fourth place finish in the B-Main…

48. The 22-lap B-Main ran caution free…

49. David Gravel secured hard charger honors coming from 23rd to finish in 10th in the feature…
50. Rico Abreu flipped on lap nine of the A-Main. He wasn’t injured…

51. Kerry Madsen flipped on lap 48 of the A in the very same spot. He hopped the cushion and went over. Like Abreu, he wasn’t injured…

52. Saturday night’s 50/50 was $32,327…

53. Gio Scelzi was the rookie of the race. Scelzi finished 14th…

54. Scelzi was also the youngest driver to ever start the A-Main at 16 years and eight months. He took the honor away from Jeff Gordon…

55. The margin of victory was .113 of a second. It was the second closest in history…
56. Sweet became the second California driver to win the Knoxville Nationals. Jan Opperman was the first…

57. This was the first time since 2006 that Donny Schatz did not lead a lap in the A-Main on Saturday night…

58. The Knoxville Nationals were sold out with a crowd of 21,135.