From Bill W
August 16, 2010 – Skip Jackson turned in a strong run at the Knoxville Nationals last weekend. The Sydney, New South Wales, Australia native qualified for his sixth career Nationals finale on Saturday night. He earned that honor by running third in Thursday’s preliminary feature.
Qualifying is always paramount, and Skip qualified 13th quick despite drawing a bad number on Thursday night. “It surprised me after coming out three-quarters of the way through the field (actually 40th out of 50),” he says. “We’ve been qualifying around 13th on a regular Saturday night, so to do it during the Nationals is pretty good.”
Skip may have felt like he was back racing in Central Pennsylvania with Lance Dewease and Greg Hodnett in his heat. He would run from sixth to fourth and pick up an all-important transfer to the main event. “You are always nervous about that race,” he says. “The heat race at the Nationals is the toughest race of the year. Once we got through that, we were in good shape.”
The two-time track champion started on the pole of the feature, and trailed Sammy Swindell and Donny Schatz most of the way. With ¼ of a lap remaining, the caution came out. Skip noticed Donny Schatz’s right rear tire going down. “On the yellow, his tire was low and he got to spinning his tires a little bit,” he says. “I was still not really sure where he was going to go. Just when we were past him, the second yellow came out.”
The second restart, Skip would find his way around Schatz. “The second time, the tire was lower and I had an idea what he was going to do,” he says. “My problem was, just when I got to the flag stand, I was running out of fuel. My power was down, and it was going on and off. I really slowed in turn two, which blocked everyone behind me. The car really fell on its face coming out of turn four. I had just enough to get to the line in third. Brian (Brown) was able to just get by us there. We were lucky it was green/checkered instead of two laps. You really can’t complain about third.”
The third place finish gave Skip the 12th overall position in points amongst the 100 cars assembled. “To run second in our regular race last Saturday night and then to come third on Thursday night…things turned out pretty good,” he says.
With Friday night’s Premier Chevy Dealers World Challenge postponed to Saturday afternoon, Skip knew his starting spot outside of row six would be tough. He would finish 15th. “I put on a hard tire,” he says. “But the day shows are tough.”
Saturday night brought the biggest spectacle in sprint car racing. It was Skip’s sixth trip to the Nationals championship, and he would line up 12th. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it very far and was credited with 23rd…still a good payday. “I was running pretty decent, but all of a sudden the motor was running bad,” he says. “I had to pull it in. That was disappointing.”
Skip is thankful for all his partners that make the J&S Auto Sports #2 team possible, and he was happy to visit with many of the Aussies who made the trip. “I’m just very grateful for all the people who help me,” he says. “With them, we were able to have a good run.”
To learn more about Skip Jackson and the J&S Auto Sports #2 team, visit www.SkipJackson.net!