One For the Home Team: Brown Wins Thursday Preliminary Feature

Brian Brown celebrates after winning Thursday's preliminary feature during the Knoxville Nationals. (Mark Funderburk photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 12, 2021) – Brian Brown vanquished some of the demons from recent preliminary nights of the past by winning the feature Thursday during Wolfe Eye Clinic Qualifying Night during the 60th NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s.

The past several years Brown has struggled to qualify for the Nationals A-Main through his preliminary night. Thursday Brown put everything together, continuing to the same speed he has carried since July when his uncle, former Knoxville Nationals winner Danny Lasoski, came on board to be his crew chief by holding a charging Kyle Larson at bay for the victory.

The victory was Brown’s sixth win of the 2021 season and third Knoxville Nationals preliminary feature win of his career.

Brown could see Larson moving up through the field following a big crash after one lap was complete that took out several of the contenders and moved Larson up several positions after having to run the B-Main to transfer to the feature.

“I seen the GOAT, the GOAT was lurking,” Brown said about Larson advancing through the field. “I saw after that melee that he was up to 11th and thought that was a lot of cars to pass in one lap. Then I saw him in fifth, third, and second. I was running a good pace and I saw him get in second. I got my assed chewed by (Lasoski) at Oskaloosa on Monday for not running hard enough, so I was going to run the wheels off this thing. It’s just awesome to get this car in victory lane and be in a good spot for Saturday.”

After the first attempt to start the feature was called back for jump by Austin McCarl the second attempt saw Parker Price-Miller ride over a right rear wheel and flip hard into the turn one fence. Price-Miller slowly exited the car under his own power. Ian Madsen went to the work area with top wing damage from the incident but was able to rejoin the field.

The third attempt saw one lap completed when mayhem occurred between turns three and four when Carson Macedo caught the inside berm wrong, slide into Paul McMahan, and sent both into the wall flipping in front of most of the field. Marcus Dumesny slammed into the back of McMahan’s car, which caused a large fire to break out. McMahan quickly exited the car as the Knoxville Raceway Fire and Rescue team quickly extinguished the blaze. Sammy Swindell, Kerry Madsen, and Sawyer Phillips also were involved in the crash.

McMahan was later transported to a local hospital for observation.

After the crash was cleared, Sam Hafertepe led through the first two corners until Brown got a run to drive past Hafertepe to the lead. Hafertepe tried to counter Brown’s pass in turns one and two, but slipped enough to allow Brent Marks to drive by for second position.

After a caution with six laps complete when Brad Sweet and Tyler Courtney made contact, causing part of Courtney’s back bumper to end up on the racetrack, Brown continue to pull away from the field with Marks trying to keep pace. Just as Brown was able to encounter slower traffic on lap 11, the caution appeared for Swindell stopping on the backstretch.

Larson continued to move forward after the restart passing Courtney for fifth after he slipped off the bottom of the track. Larson then disposed of Hafertepe for Third position and set his sights on the leaders when the caution appeared for Courtney slowing with a mechanical issue.

Everyone drove to the cushion on the restart, but one lap later Larson slid Marks for second and started his pursuit of Brown. As Brown entered slower traffic with six laps to go, Larson split a pair of lapped cars three wide to close the gap quickly, but Brown had enough speed to maintain his advantage to the finish for the victory over Larson, Marks, Brad Sweet, and Rico Abreu.

After the feature, Brown made it clear that the victory was enjoyed and gave him some relief from some of the recent trials and tribulations of past preliminary nights.

“This is a big event and it’s been a while since I’ve been in contention on Saturday, and I’m looking forward to it.”

60th NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s
Wolfe Eye Clinic Qualifying Night
Knoxville Raceway
Knoxville, Iowa
Thursday, August 12, 2021

1. 83-Kasey Kahne, 15.142[16]
2. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 15.144[31]
3. 49-Brad Sweet, 15.166[23]
4. 57-Kyle Larson, 15.167[8]
5. 49X-Ian Madsen, 15.186[19]
6. 14-Kerry Madsen, 15.187[45]
7. 41-Carson Macedo, 15.193[25]
8. 19-Brent Marks, 15.194[46]
9. 17B-Bill Balog, 15.242[3]
10. 1A-Jacob Allen, 15.247[4]
11. 21-Brian Brown, 15.264[26]
12. 101-Cale Thomas, 15.285[11]
13. 83J-Lynton Jeffrey, 15.303[21]
14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 15.308[41]
15. 5-Paul McMahan, 15.335[32]
16. 39-Daryn Pittman, 15.354[36]
17. 09-Matt Juhl, 15.360[7]
18. 22-Jac Haudenschild, 15.362[12]
19. 1Z-Logan Wagner, 15.367[39]
20. 17W-Shane Golobic, 15.377[34]
21. 42-Sye Lynch, 15.404[29]
22. 73A-Scotty Thiel, 15.409[10]
23. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr., 15.427[28]
24. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 15.448[27]
25. 11T-T.J. Stutts, 15.481[44]
26. 71-Shane Stewart, 15.494[42]
27. 5X-Parker Price-Miller, 15.496[37]
28. 20G-Noah Gass, 15.506[5]
29. 24R-Rico Abreu, 15.527[14]
30. 44-Chris Martin, 15.561[9]
31. 70-Sammy Swindell, 15.575[2]
32. 3P-Sawyer Phillips, 15.626[40]
33. 97-Greg Wilson, 15.633[35]
34. 35P-Skyler Prochaska, 15.667[20]
35. 17A-Austin McCarl, 15.679[6]
36. 5V-Colby Copeland, 15.683[18]
37. 10-Jeff Swindell, 15.695[1]
38. 2DC-Dylan Cisney, 15.709[30]
39. 55W-Mike Wagner, 15.717[43]
40. N47-Marcus Dumesny, 15.755[47]
41. 11N-Harli White, 15.863[15]
42. 15M-Bobby Mincer, 15.962[48]
43. 7W-Dustin Selvage, 15.969[13]
44. 13S-Tyler Esh, 15.974[17]
45. 53-Jesse Attard, 16.022[38]
46. 53D-Jack Dover, 16.037[24]
47. 11TK-Tim Kaeding, 27.854[33]
48. 2K-Kevin Ingle, NT[22]

Heat Race #1 (10 Laps):
1. 70-Sammy Swindell[2]
2. 71-Shane Stewart[3]
3. 42-Sye Lynch[4]
4. 21-Brian Brown[6]
5. 39-Daryn Pittman[5]
6. 83-Kasey Kahne[8]
7. 14-Kerry Madsen[7]
8. 11N-Harli White[9]
9. 53D-Jack Dover[10]
10. 5V-Colby Copeland[1]
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #2 (10 Laps):
1. 3P-Sawyer Phillips[2]
2. 5X-Parker Price-Miller[3]
3. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[8]
4. 41-Carson Macedo[7]
5. 09-Matt Juhl[5]
6. 73A-Scotty Thiel[4]
7. 15M-Bobby Mincer[9]
8. 10-Jeff Swindell[1]
9. 101-Cale Thomas[6]
DNS: 11TK-Tim Kaeding[10]
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #3 (10 Laps):
1. 97-Greg Wilson[2]
2. 19-Brent Marks[7]
3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
4. 49-Brad Sweet
5. 20C-Dylan Cisney
6. 22-Jac Haudenschild
7. 20G-Noah Gass
8. 83J-Lynton Jeffrey
9. 7W-Dustin Selvage
10. 2K-Kevin Ingle
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #4 (10 Laps):
1. 35P-Skyler Prochaska[2]
2. 55W-Mike Wagner[1]
3. 11K-Kraig Kinser[4]
4. 24R-Rico Abreu[3]
5. 57-Kyle Larson[8]
6. 17B-Bill Balog[7]
7. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[6]
8. 1Z-Logan Wagner[5]
9. 13S-Tyler Esh[9]
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #5 (10 Laps):
1. N47-Marcus Dumesny[1]
2. 17A-Austin McCarl[2]
3. 5-Paul McMahan[6]
4. 11T-T.J. Stutts[4]
5. 1A-Jacob Allen[7]
6. 49X-Ian Madsen
7. 17W-Shane Golobic
8. 44-Chris Martin
9. 53-Jesse Attard
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

C-Main (8 Laps):
1. 53D-Jack Dover[6]
2. 5V-Colby Copeland[2]
3. 7W-Dustin Selvage[3]
4. 53-Jesse Attard[5]
5. 2K-Kevin Ingle
6. 13S-Tyler Esh
DNS: 101-Cale Thomas[1]
DNS: 11TK-Tim Kaeding[7]
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

B-Main (12 Laps):
1. 57-Kyle Larson[2]
2. 14-Kerry Madsen[4]
3. 83-Kasey Kahne[1]
4. 49X-Ian Madsen[3]
5. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[8]
6. 17B-Bill Balog[5]
7. 83J-Lynton Jeffrey[7]
8. 17W-Shane Golobic[13]
9. 39-Daryn Pittman[9]
10. 44-Chris Martin[16]
11. 7W-Dustin Selvage[23]
12. 20G-Noah Gass[15]
13. 11N-Harli White[19]
14. 5V-Colby Copeland[22]
15. 1Z-Logan Wagner[12]
16. 22-Jac Haudenschild[11]
17. 53-Jesse Attard[24]
18. 1A-Jacob Allen[6]
19. 15M-Bobby Mincer[20]
20. 10-Jeff Swindell[17]
21. 09-Matt Juhl[10]
22. 53D-Jack Dover[21]
23. 2DC-Dylan Cisney[18]
24. 73A-Scotty Thiel[14]

A-Main (25 Laps):
1. 21-Brian Brown[4]
2. 57-Kyle Larson[21]
3. 19-Brent Marks[5]
4. 49-Brad Sweet[7]
5. 24R-Rico Abreu[13]
6. 83-Kasey Kahne[23]
7. 17A-Austin McCarl[18]
8. 49X-Ian Madsen[24]
9. 11K-Kraig Kinser[9]
10. 42-Sye Lynch[2]
11. 3P-Sawyer Phillips[15]
12. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.[1]
13. 35P-Skyler Prochaska[17]
14. 97-Greg Wilson[16]
15. 11T-T.J. Stutts[10]
16. 55W-Mike Wagner[19]
17. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[8]
18. 70-Sammy Swindell[14]
19. 5-Paul McMahan[3]
20. 41-Carson Macedo[6]
21. N47-Marcus Dumesny[20]
22. 14-Kerry Madsen[22]
23. 5X-Parker Price-Miller[12]
24. 71-Shane Stewart[11]