By MIKE MALLETT
And just like that the 2019 edition of the 360 Knoxville Nationals has reached it’s final night. The line-ups are set as everyone is vying for the top prize in the 25-lap feature on Saturday night.
James McFadden and Joey Saldana will go from the front row after a very strong showing in Friday night’s qualifying action. Brian Brown, who has to be the favorite, starts from the inside of the second row.
It is undoubtedly a star-laden field for the finale as every heavy-hitter in the ASCS traveling series is in attendance. There are some surprises as well when it comes to who is in and who is out of the A-Main.
So before we get to the feature prediction, here is a look at tonight’s starting line-ups.
A-Main Starting Line-Up (25-laps)
1. 9M-James McFadden
2. 12N-Joey Saldana
3. 21-Brian Brown
4. 14-Paul McMahan
5. 5-Dusty Zomer
6. 87-Aaron Reutzel
7. 2C-Wayne Johnson
8. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr
9. 21K-Thomas Kennedy
10. 9-Ryan Giles
11. 56N-Davey Heskin
12. 5H-Colby Copeland
13. 26-Cory Eliason
14. 71P-Parker Price-Miller
15. 17W-Harli White
16. 83H-Justin Henderson
17. 4X-Terry McCarl
18. 27-Carson McCarl
19. 09-Matt Juhl
20. 4J-Lee Grosz
B-Main (Top 4 advance to the A-Feature)
Lineup B-Main (15 Laps): 1. 17A-Austin McCarl; 2. 70-Calvin Landis; 3. 28-Scott Bogucki; 4. 44S-Trey Starks; 5. 71-Giovanni Scelzi; 6. 40-Clint Garner; 7. 4-Jon Agan; 8. 33M-Mason Daniel; 9. 52-Blake Hahn; 10. 44-Chris Martin; 11. 3-Ayrton Gennetten; 12. 17-Josh Baughman; 13. 2KS-Jason Solwold; 14. 23D-Devon Dobie; 15. 83-Rob Kubli; 16. 94-Jeff Swindell; 17. 99-Brady Bacon; 18. 1-Travis Rilat; 19. 15-Christian Bowman; 20. 75AU-Kyle Bellm
C-Main (Top 4 advance to the B-Main)
Lineup C-Main (12 Laps): 1. 53D-Jack Dover; 2. 3P-Sawyer Phillips; 3. 11-Roger Crockett; 4. 17WX-Shane Golobic; 5. 20-A.J. Moeller; 6. 22K-Kaleb Johnson; 7. J2-John Carney II; 8. 41S-Dominic Scelzi; 9. 47X-Dylan Westbrook; 10. 76-Brad Comegys; 11. 55-McKenna Haase; 12. 18-Ryan Roberts; 13. 11X-Sammy Swindell; 14. 1K-Kelby Watt; 15. 88-Scottie McDonald; 16. 2M-Matt Moro; 17. 5J-Jamie Ball; 18. 5G-Curt Michael; 19. 35L-Cody Ledger; 20. 77X-Alex Hill
D-Main (Top 4 advance to the C-Feature)
Lineup D-Main (10 Laps): 1. 3B-Spencer Bayston; 2. 66-Ricky Montgomery; 3. 45-Rusty Hickman; 4. 29-Willie Croft; 5. 18R-Lance Moss; 6. 13V-Seth Brahmer; 7. 7TAZ-Tasker Phillips; 8. 81E-Eric Bridger; 9. 23H-Randy Hannagan; 10. 95-Matt Covington; 11. 33-Alan Zoutte; 12. 2D-Dusty Ballenger; 13. 53-Joe Beaver; 14. 64C-Casey Greubel; 15. 1CB-Chelsea Blevins; 16. 37H-Nicholas Howard; 17. 14M-Jordon Mallett; 18. 22M-Shawn Murray; 19. W20-Greg Wilson; 20. 22-Ryan Leavitt
E-Main (Top 4 advance to the D-Main)
Lineup E-Main (8 Laps): 1. 2K-Kevin Ingle; 2. 74-Brodie Tulloch; 3. 21P-Robbie Price; 4. 85-Dustin Daggett; 5. 19-Rob Weuve; 6. 87H-Matthew Howard; 7. 1A-John Anderson; 8. 22G-Bryan Grimes; 9. 41D-Dan Henning; 10. 2X-Tucker Doughty; 11. 24N-Nathan Mills; 12. 07-Michael Bookout; 13. 51A-Elliot Amdahl; 14. 11B-Ben Woods; 15. 75-Glen Saville; 16. 40C-Luke Cochran; 17. 6-Frank Rogers
In looking at the history of the event, six of the last eight editions of the 360 Knoxville Nationals have been won from the front row. That makes it very tempting to pick either McFadden or Saldana. McFadden was strong on Friday on the bottom. That is key in winning the Knoxville Nationals as we saw last year with Brad Sweet in the 410 division. He may have left the bottom twice during the entire week.
So the easy pick is McFadden from the point, but I just can’t do that. Brian Brown has been the man to beat in 2019 at Knoxville in the 410 ranks. Whenever he hits the Marion County Oval he’s on his game. I say that continues on Saturday night. He won the 360 Nationals back in 2014 and I think tonight is the night he wins it again from third.
For the rest of the podium I’m going with McFadden finishing in second and Aaron Reutzel coming home a solid third.