T.J.’s Notebook: How 360 Nationals Winners Fared in the 410 Nationals

2. Brian Brown (Serena Dalhamer photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

Giovanni Scelzi has visited victory lane at the 360 Nationals and later on earned the pole position for the 410 Knoxville Nationals. – Paul Arch Photo

(August 6, 2023) — The 360 Knoxville Nationals that completed last night at Knoxville Raceway not only provide a showcase for the 360 sprint car division at the Sprint Car Capital of the World, The event also provides more track time for drivers leading into the Knoxville Nationals for the 410 Sprint Cars. Last night it provided one of the most thrilling finishes of the season as Brian Brown picked up his second 360 Knoxville Nationals title by a nose over Aaron Reutzel.

When the 360 Nationals moved from its original date in June to August one week before the 410 Nationals in 2005, it gave race teams more August laps at the Marion County Fairgrounds and expanded Southern Iowa Speedweek to a 10-day festival celebrating the sport.

With everyone focused on the 410 sprint cars with the Capitani Classic, Front Row Challenge, and Knoxville Nationals ahead, here is how the previous 360 Nationals champions fared during the 410 Nationals.

If you are looking for a good pick in your “for entertainment purposes only” Knoxville Nationals pool the 360 Nationals champion is likely to appear in Saturday’s finale of the 410 Nationals. 19 of the 32 editions of the 360 Nationals the winner also earned a starting position in the Saturday Night A-Main at the Knoxville Nationals the same year.

Since the 360 Nationals moved to August in 2005 only Clint Garner in 2017 and Kerry Madsen in 2020 failed to make Saturday’s finale of the 410 Nationals A-Main on Saturday Night, or in Madsen’s case the “one and only” final.

Throughout the 33rd year run Danny Lasoski and Sammy Swindell are only drivers to have a 360 and 410 Nationals title to their name. Lasoski won the 360 nationals in 1995 before capturing the first of his four Knoxville Nationals titles in 1998. Sammy won the 360 Nationals in 2016 to go with his 410 Nationals title in 1983.

Shane Stewart and Brown hold the honor of being the highest finishing drivers in the Saturday night 410 Nationals A-Main the same year they won the 360 Nationals with a second-place finish. Stewart was one spot away from completing the double in 2011 while Brown was a Donny Schatz pass late in the feature away from doubling up in 2014.

Six times the driver that won the 360 Nationals has returned to victory lane during one of the two preliminary nights of the 410 Nationals. Terry McCarl is the only one to accomplish this twice in 1995 and 20 years later in 2005. Wayne Johnson (08), Lasoski (95), Stewart (10), and Brown (14) are the only other drivers to do this in the past 32 years.

Shane Stewart on his way to victory during the 360 Nationals. – Serena Dalhamer Photo

Stewart had the most prolific run of all the 360 Nationals champions, winning the event six times in seven years between 2007 and 2013. Of those six years, three of them Stewart scored top five finishes in the 410 Nationals along with a 6th place finish in 2012.

Giovanni Scelzi backed up his 360 Nationals championship by winning the pole position for the 410 Nationals in 2021, finishing fifth in the finale.

Warrnambool, Australia’s James McFadden had a slugfest with Brian Brown to capture the title in 2019 and backed it up with a 8th place finish in the 410 Nationals.

During the 33 previous editions of 360 Nationals only David Hesmer did not compete at the 410 Nationals after winning 360 edition, which he did twice during his career during the inaugural event in 1991 and again in 1997.

Jesse Gianetto had a mechanical issue in 2006 after making his preliminary night feature at the 410 Nationals but did not compete for the remainder of the weekend.

Now we get to see how Brian Brown performs in the 2023 edition of the Knoxville Nationals following his victory on Saturday.

Year 360 Winner 410 Prelim 410 Friday 410 Nationals Result
1991 David Hesmer
1992 Garry Lee Maier 13th B-Main DNS B-Main DNS E-Main
1993 Garry Lee Maier 6th B-Main 12th C-Main
1994 Lee Nelson 15th B-Main 22nd B-Main DNS E-Main
1995 Danny Lasoski 1st A-Main 6th A-Scramble 5th A-Main
1996 Terry McCarl 1st A-Main 11th A-Main
1997 David Hesmer
1998 Gary Wright 6th A-Main 17th A-Main
1999 Dennis Moore Jr. 5th B-Main 10th C-Scramble 18th C-Main
2000 Wayne Johnson 17th B-Main 11th A-Main 11th C-Main
2001 Terry McCarl 4th A-Main 7th A-Scramble, 6th World Challenge 5th A-Main
2002 Jeff Swindell 5th B-Main 1st C-Scramble 9th B-Main
2003 Dennis Moore Jr. 21st A-Main 3rd C-Scramble 22nd C-Main
2004 Billy Alley 5th B-Main 5th B-Scramble, 14th World Challenge 22nd B-main
2005 Billy Alley 4th A-Main 17th A-Main
2006 Jesse Giannetto 21st A-Main DNS
2007 Shane Stewart 23rd A-Main 1st B-Scramble 23rd A-Main
2008 Wayne Johnson 1st A-Main 16th A-Main
2009 Shane Stewart 12th A-Main 2nd World Challenge 5th A-Main
2010 Shane Stewart 1st A-Main 3rd A-Main
2011 Shane Stewart 4th A-Main 2nd RoC, 2nd World Challenge 2nd A-Main
2012 Shane Stewart 7th A-Main 22nd World Challenge 6th A-Main
2013 Shane Stewart 6th A-Main 8th World Challenge 17th A-Main
2014 Brian Brown 1st A-Main 2nd A-Main
2015 Terry McCarl 1st A-Main 11th World Challenge 11th A-Main
2016 Sammy Swindell 13th A-Main 18th A-Main
2017 Clint Garner 9th B-Main 14th B-Main 10th D-Main
2018 Terry McCarl 5th A-Main 10th World Challenge 23rd A-Main
2019 James McFadden 2nd A-Main 8th A-Main.
2020 Kerry Madsen** 16th B-Main 5th B-Main
2021 Giovanni Scelzi 2nd A-Main 4th A-Main
2022 Aaron Reutzel 6th A-Main 14th A-Main