By MIKE MALLETT
After a year hiatus for this writer due to the Covid-19 situation, it was time to head back to Iowa for the 360 and 410 Knoxville Nationals.
For the 31st time in its history, the My Place Hotels 360 Knoxville Nationals came to conclusion on Saturday night with Gio Scelzi taking home top honors over nearly 100 other drivers.
The finale saw several highs and lows for different drivers with some other tidbits occurring throughout the night. With that said, here is my list of 31 news and notes from the 31st edition of the prestigious event.
- Racing action stared at 7:06pm as officials moved up the start time with rain in the area.
- The E-Main was scratched leading to a 24 car D-Main event.
- Chase Porter became the first caution of the day when he slowed with three laps to go in the D-Main with mechanical issues.
- ASCS regular Matt Covington won the D-Main with Christopher Thram, Harli White, Casey Friedrichsen, Gunner Ramey and Tanner Holmes also transferring to the C-Main.
- Pennsylvania driver Jason Shultz finished 24th in the D-Main to end his night.
- Nathan Mills took a wild ride down the frontstretch at the start of the C-Main. He flipped numerous times before getting out of the car under his own power.
- Also collected in the incident were D-Main transfers Thram and Friedrichsen.
- As a result of the flip, the safety crew was forced to repair the fronstretch fence causing a slight delay in the program.
- Josh Baughman was running second when his hood cover flew off of his No. 36. This brought out a caution and forced Baughman to the work area.
- On the final lap of the C-Main Calvin Landis and Connor Leoffer got together battling for the final transfer spot. Leoffer got into the back of Landis before bouncing off the wall causing him to break his front end. This forced a yellow.
- As everyone slowed for the caution, White flipped in between turns three and four to necessitate a red flag. She was unharmed.
- Michael Faccinto won the C-Main with Colby Copeland, Kyle Reinhardt and Landis all transferring to the back of the B-Main.
- Josh Higday got sideways at the start of the B-Main collecting Derek Hagar as they both got over in turn one. Roger Crockett also made contact with the pair, but he kept rolling. No one was injured.
- Seth Brahmer’s run for a chance to get to the transfer spot ended with a flat left rear tire with six laps to go.
- Jake Bubak also slowed with issues collected Matt Moro. Moro bounced off another car that slowed to avoid Bubak and shot up the track hitting the outside wall. He continued on.
- Cory Eliason won the B-Main with Sammy Swindell, Austin McCarl and Brian Brown also moving on to the A-Main event.
- Ryan Giles was fifth leaving him as the first car out of the finale.
- Reinhardt’s run through the soup ended with a 15th place finish in the B-Main.
- Scotland, Ont., driver Dylan Westbrook finished in the seventh spot in the B-Main bringing a conclusion to his Nationals.
- Shane Golobic started on the pole of Saturday night’s A-Main by virtue of being high point man on the week.
- Brown clipped the inner berm and flopped over onto his side on lap 12 to bring out a red. He was flipped back over and continued on to finish in 24th.
- The A-Main featured three lead changes between Scelzi and Daryn Pittman. These all occurred in the final three laps.
- Scelzi has made three 360 Sprint Car starts in 2021, he’s won them all in the No. 18.
- Saturday’s start for Pittman in the 360 Nationals was the sixth of his career in the event and his third career A-Main start.
- Sam Hafertepe Jr., came in as a favorite after winning his qualifying night in dominant fashion. He struggled on Saturday night finishing in sixth after starting third.
- Rain drops fell on and off all night long on Saturday. It was never heavy enough to slow the program.
- Kerry Madsen was the defending winner of the event. He was on the grounds but did not compete to defend his title.
- There were 82 360 Sprint Cars in action on Saturday night in the finale with 90 total entered for the week.
- Tyler Courtney was Saturday night’s hard charger advancing nine positions from 19th to 10th.
- The total A-Main purse on Saturday night was $52,900.
- The total purse for the 360 Knoxville Nationals was over $100,000 for the three-day event.