By Lonnie Wheatley
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 6, 2010) – Shane Stewart put an exclamation point on Friday night’s 20th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals preliminary action with some last lap heroics to take top honors at the storied Knoxville Raceway.
After outdueling Randy Hannagan for the runner-up slot, the Bixby, OK, native reeled in race long leader Johnny Herrera and slid into the lead in turns one and two on the 20th and final circuit of the night for his 21st career Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National triumph and third of the year.
“There’s a little bit of history there with me and Randy, so I was trying to make sure I ran him clean,” Stewart explained in victory lane. “I’ve raced with Johnny a lot too and you know you can trust him.”
While Stewart gridded Paul Silva’s Wesmar-powered Rock Star Energy Drink No. 57 A.R.T. inside the third row, it was fourth-starting Herrera sliding past front row starters Bud Kaeding and Gregg Bakker for the lead in the opening pair of corners.
Herrera paced the bulk of the race in front of Hannagan and Stewart, with Stewart turning up the heat on Hannagan after the midway point. Stewart and Hannagan traded the runner-up slot several times over the ensuing rounds before Stewart finally took command of second on the 15th circuit.
The reigning Lucas Oil ASCS National champion closed the gap on Herrera in short order, offering up a pair of challenges in traffic that fell just short before taking the white flag directly on Herrera’s tailtank.
Stewart made the race-winning slider in turns one and two and then held on over the final half-lap to secure the victory.
“Lapped cars kind of worked in our favor tonight,” Stewart commented. “We needed to get as many points as we could because I really think to win the $10,000 tomorrow night you need to start in the front two rows.”
The victory put Stewart right where he wants to be for Saturday night, as he escaped as the night’s top point earner and third overall to start inside row two in the 20th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals championship finale.
Albuquerque’s Herrera settled for runner-up honors aboard the Wesmar-powered No. 45x Maxim after leading the initial 19 rounds, while Hannagan claimed the show position in the No. 22d typically driven by Ohio’s Dennis Yoakam.
While the battle raged out front, plenty of eyes were on Sammy Swindell, who rallied from 21st to the fourth position. After timing in second quick, Swindell was relegated to “B” Main action after a heat race encounter with Danny Wood that brought the crowd to life.
Swindell explained of the heat race incident moments afterward on the www.racinboys.com broadcast that, “He just took a shot at me and didn’t leave me any room; it was get killed or stop. I got stopped right before I got killed.”
Wood countered that, “I didn’t shove him over into the fence, I drove straight through the black. I couldn’t see him in my peripheral vision so I figured I’ve got him passed and I’m sliding to the cushion. I think Sammy was having some problems, car wasn’t runnin’ right or something, because usually you can’t pull up alongside Sammy. I pulled up beside him and I had to go, you can’t wait in this game.”
After winning the “B” Main, Swindell blitzed through the field from eleven rows deep and was sitting eighth when the feature’s only caution flew after eight laps when fourth-runner Clint Garner coasted to a stop.
Swindell continued marching forward, ultimately prevailing in a battle of slide jobs with Brooke Tatnell to finish fourth in the Big Game Tree Stands No. 1s.
Tatnell rounded out the top five, with 19th-starter Davey Heskin, Kaeding, Danny Wood, Cale Conley and Darren Long completing the top ten.
After Chad Meyer set the night’s standard of 16.681 seconds in qualifying, Jake Ossenfort, Josh Higday, Tim Crawley, Tatnell and Rager Phillips topped heat race action for the 53-car field.
Preston Peebles II outlasted Bobby Mincer to win the 10-lap “C” Main before Swindell won the 12-lap “B” Main.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
20th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals Friday Night Preliminary Results
1. 1w-Chad Meyer (Sioux Falls, SD) 16.681, 2. 1s-Sammy Swindell (Bartlett, TN) 16.849, 3. 40-Clint Garner (Sioux Falls, SD) 16.887, 4. 3g-Darren Long (Elida, OH) 16.895, 5. 53-Jack Dover (Springfield, NE) 16.992, 6. 5j-Jamie Ball (Knoxville, IA) 17.002, 7. 94-Danny Wood (Norman, OK) 17.026, 8. 57-Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) 17.091, 9. D12-Dennis Moore, Jr. (Grinnell, IA) 17.127, 10. 45x-Johnny Herrera (Albuquerque, NM) 17.135, 11. 22d-Randy Hannagan (Pittsboro, IN) 17.141, 12. 11x-Gregg Bakker (Sioux Falls, SD) 17.145, 13. 1x-Bud Kaeding (Campbell, CA) 17.191, 14. 57x-Jake Peters (Sioux Falls, SD) 17.240, 15. 3c-Cale Conley (Vienna, WV) 17.382, 16. 4-Jon Agan (Knoxville, IA) 17.397, 17. 9x-Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 17.407, 18. 20s-Kyle Sager (Las Cruces, NM) 17.422, 19. 7k-Robby Wolfgang (Sioux Falls, SD) 17.449, 20. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr. (Winnipeg, CAN) 17.460, 21. 25-Dylan Peterson (Sioux Falls, SD) 17.468, 22. 18r-Ryan Roberts (Aurora, NE) 17.472, 23. 88-Tim Crawley (Benton, AR) 17.484, 24. 14T-Brooke Tatnell (Sans Souci, NSW, Aus) 17.497, 25. 98m-Mitch Olson (Tacoma, WA) 17.499, 26. 99j-Jake Ossenfort (Rapid City, SD) 17.521, 27. 2-Josh Higday (Des Moines, IA) 17.544, 28. 93-Dustin Morgan (Tulsa, OK) 17.569, 29. 56-Davey Heskin (St. Michael, MN) 17.573, 30. 10v-Rager Phillips (Pleasantville, IA) 17.622, 31. 44w-Austen Wheatley (Lake Stevens, WA) 17.646, 32. 7-Don Young (Bartlett, TN) 17.678, 33. 2k-Kevin Ingle (Huron, SD) 17.712, 34. 47T-Tony Shilling (Knoxville, IA) 17.720, 35. 33a-Austin Alumbaugh (Higginsville, MO) 17.743, 36. 9*-Brian Parker (Midlothian, TX) 17.790, 37. 94z-Zach Zimmerly (Richfield, WA) 17.805, 38. 0c-Preston Peebles II (Lubbock, TX) 17.832, 39. 10-Jesse Giannetto (Cedar Rapids, IA) 17.841, 40. 93a-Alan Ambers (Knoxville, IA) 17.842, 41. 22j-John Gaston (Phoenix, AZ) 17.973, 42. 14s-Bobby Mincer (Burlington, IA) 17.999, 43. 24au-Ricky Maiolo (Adelaide, AUS) 18.033, 44. 9mx-Jon Corbin (Kansas City, MO) 18.076, 45. 5-Dave Glennon (Casselton, ND) 18.127, 46. 18h-Mike Hess (Springfield, IL) 18.144, 47. 1mx-Jim Moughan (Springfield, IL) 18.159, 48. 04-Chad Heimbaugh (Des Moines, IA) 18.399, 49. 8h-Joey Moughan (Springfield, IL) 18.452, 50. 91x-Taylor Milton (Fargo, OK) 18.490, 51. 2T-Colin Entwisle (Bay Park, NZ) 18.689, 52. 15-Joe Riedel (Ramona, SD) 18.965, 53. 22n-Nate Mosher (Prairie City, IA) 19.754.
Heat Races (Top 4 Advance to “A” Main; Positions 5-8 to “B” Main; 9-11 to “C” Main):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 99j-Jake Ossenfort, 2. 22d-Randy Hannagan, 3. 4-Jon Agan, 4. 25-Dylan Peterson, 5. 5j-Jamie Ball, 6. 1w-Chad Meyer, 7. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 8. 22j-John Gaston, 9. 2T-Colin Entwisle, 10. 9*-Brian Parker. DNS: 18h-Mike Hess.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 2-Josh Higday, 2. 18r-Ryan Roberts, 3. 94-Danny Wood, 4. 11x-Gregg Bakker, 5. 9x-Gary Wright, 6. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 7. 1s-Sammy Swindell, 8. 7-Don Young, 9. 1mx-Jim Moughan, 10. 14s-Bobby Mincer, 11. 15-Joe Riedel.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 88-Tim Crawley, 2. 57-Shane Stewart, 3. 1x-Bud Kaeding, 4. 40-Clint Garner, 5. 93-Dustin Morgan, 6. 20s-Kyle Sager, 7. 04-Chad Heimbaugh, 8. 22n-Nate Mosher, 9. 0c-Preston Peebles II, 10. 2k-Kevin Ingle. 11. 24au-Ricky Maiolo.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 14T-Brooke Tatnell, 2. 56-Davey Heskin, 3. 3g-Darren Long, 4. 7k-Robby Wolfgang, 5. 57x-Jake Peters, 6. 10-Jesse Giannetto, 7. D12-Dennis Moore, Jr., 8. 47-Tony Shilling, 9. 8h-Joey Moughan, 10. 9mx-Jon Corbin.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 10v-Rager Phillips, 2. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 3. 3c-Cale Conley, 4. 98m-Mitch Olson, 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr., 7. 33a-Austin Alumbaugh, 8. 5-Dave Glennon, 9. 91x-Taylor Milton, 10. 93a-Alan Ambers.
“C” Main – Top 2 Advance to “B” Main:
“C” Feature (10 Laps): 1. 0c-Preston Peebles II, 2. 14s-Bobby Mincer, 3. 2k-Kevin Ingle, 4. 18h-Mike Hess, 5. 1mx-Jim Moughan, 6. 8h-Joey Moughan, 7. 9mx-Jon Corbin, 8. 15-Joe Riedel, 9. 24au-Ricky Maiolo, 10. 2T-Colin Entwisle. DNS: 9*-Brian Parker, 93a-Alan Ambers, 91x-Taylor Milton.
“B” Main – Top 4 Advance to “A” Main:
“B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 1s-Sammy Swindell, 2. 57x-Jake Peters, 3. 53-Jack Dover, 4. 9x-Gary Wright, 5. 7-Don Young, 6. 10-Jesse Giannetto, 7. 47T-Tony Shilling, 8. 33a-Austin Alumbaugh, 9. 5j-Jamie Ball, 10. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 11. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr., 12. 20s-Kyle Sager, 13. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 14. 93-Dustin Morgan, 15. 22n-Nate Mosher, 16. 04-Chad Heimbaugh, 17. 22j-John Gaston, 18. D12-Dennis Moore, Jr., 19. 5-Dave Glennon, 20. 0c-Preston Peebles II, 21. 1w-Chad Meyer (DNS), 22. 14s-Bobby Mincer (DNS).
20th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals Friday Preliminary Feature Event:
“A” Feature (20 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 3. 22d-Randy Hannagan, 4. 1s-Sammy Swindell, 5. 14T-Brooke Tatnell, 6. 56-Davey Heskin, 7. 1x-Bud Kaeding, 8. 94-Danny Wood, 9. 3c-Cale Conley, 10. 3g-Darren Long, 11. 18r-Ryan Roberts, 12. 10v-Rager Phillips, 13. 4-Jon Agan, 14. 9x-Gary Wright, 15. 53-Jack Dover, 16. 2-Josh Higday, 17. 7k-Robby Wolfgang, 18. 11x-Gregg Bakker, 19. 88-Tim Crawley, 20. 98m-Mitch Olson, 21. 57x-Jake Peters, 22. 99j-Jake Ossenfort, 23. 25-Dylan Peterson, 24. 40-Clint Garner.
Lap Leaders: Johnny Herrera 1-19, Shane Stewart 20.