KNOXVILLE, IA (August 12, 2021): Brian Brown withstood a two-hour rain delay at the start of the night and he was ahead of all the carnage that occurred during the A Main on night two of the Knoxville Nationals. The early attrition helped Kyle Larson advance through the field quickly on his way to second place.
The A Main had Sam Hafertepe, Jr. on the pole with Sye Lynch on the outside. Paul McMahan lined up third with Brown in fourth. Brent Marks and Carson Macedo made up the third row. Brad Sweet and Tyler Courtney were in the fourth and Kraig Kinser and T.J. Stutts were in the fifth. Row six belonged to Shane Stewart and Parker Price-Miller.
It took three tries to get the race started, and Brown seemed impatient. “I wanted to get that race going, I couldn’t get going very well.” Indeed, he fell back on both attempted starts. He was fortunate that a caution for Stewart wiped out the first and then a spectacular crash by Price-Miller nullified the second. When the race did get going, Brown found himself in second, behind Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Marks was third, followed by Lynch, Courtney and Rico Abreu.
The action was stopped on the second lap for a huge wreck between turns three and four. Macedo rode the inside berm before shooting across the track into McMahan, causing both cars to turn over. Macedo lost his fuel tank and McMahan developed a fuel leak, As other cars piled in, McMahan’s car caught fire. He was able to climb out before things became too hot. Fortunately, the fire crew was on the scene quickly and the fire did not spread to any other cars. Although cars were strewn all over the track, Sammy Swindell was trying to negotiate through the maze when his car was hit from behind and he also tumbled. Somehow, Larson was able to pick his way through the wreckage. Remarkably, no drivers were hurt in the crash. McMahan was taken in for a check-up, however.
When racing resumed, Brown was able to power by Hafertepe. Marks did the same one lap later. Hafertepe held third for the rest of the first half of the race. However, he lost the spot to Courtney and then Sweet went charging by. Abreu followed as well and there was a good battle going on for the third spot.
Swindell stopped on the backstretch for the final caution of the night. That allowed Larson to close the gap. Soon he was racing in fourth. He moved up a notch when Courtney retired a lap or two later.
Brown was cruising, as was Marks. But Larson chased him down and took over the second spot with ten laps remaining. Although Larson cut into Brown’s lead, the margin was too substantial for any late-race heroics by Larson.
Brown took the win, which was a big relief to him. “This is a big event and it has been a while since I think I was in contention,” he said. He then confided that he was chewed out by his crew chief, his uncle Danny Lasoski, “for not running the car hard enough” on Monday at Oskaloosa, where he finished second to Larson. “I was going to run the wheels off,” he said with a laugh.
Larson salvaged a good points night despite some hardships. “I dug myself a hole in the heat race and fell back. I had to pass some good cars to get fifth.” That was good enough to get him onto the front row of the B Main, which he easily won. “Then, I was just hoping to do what Logan did, go twenty-first to seventh.” But the crashes and misfortunes of others all worked to his advantage. “Let’s call it tenth to second,” he said. Although his car was working good, Larson admitted to “overdriving” and “making mistakes,” and he observed that Brown did not make any on his way to the win.
Taking third was Marks, who “brought something completely different to the track tonight.” He explained that his team made a lot of changes to the car after the Capitani Classic and that the car felt good. “Hopefully, we can get it a little better,” he summed up.
Sweet and Abreu battled for fourth and fifth. Kasey Kahne also climbed from the last row to get sixth. Austin McCarl, Ian Madsen, Kinser, and Lynch completed the top ten.
Heat winners were Sammy Swindell, Sawyer Phillips, Greg Wilson, Skylar Prochaska, and Marcus Dumesny. Jack Dover won the C Main, and Larson topped the B. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Kahne, lapping in 15.142 seconds.
The top point getter this night was Sweet, at 481. Larson was just one behind. Marks checked in with 479 and Kahne tabbed 475. Brown scored 471, Ian Madsen 463, Courtney 460, Macedo 441, Lynch 436, and Kinser 432.
The drivers locked into the A Main for Saturday are: Scelzi, Sweet, Larson, Marks, Schatz, Gravel, Kahne, Schuchart, Brown, Ian Madsen, Tatnell, Courtney, McFadden, Henderson, Peck, and Dietrich.
Racers locked into the B Main for Saturday are Baughman, Macedo, Lynch, Bayston, Eliason, Kinser, McMahan, Kerry Madsen, Sheldon Haudenschild, and Hafertepe.
Four more spots in the A Main will be up for grabs during the Hard Knox program on Friday night.
A Main: Brian Brown, Kyle Larson, Brent Marks, Brad Sweet, Rico Abreu, Kasey Kahne, Austin McCarl, Ian Madsen, Kraig Kinser, Sye Lynch, Sawyer Phillips, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Skylar Prochaska, Greg Wilson, T.J. Stutts, Mike Wagner, Tyler Courtney, Sammy Swindell, Paul McMahan, Carson Macedo, Marcus Dumesny, Kerry Madsen, Parker Price-Miller, Shane Stewart.
DNQ: Brock Zearfoss, Bill Balog, Lynton Jeffrey, Shane Golobic, Daryn Pittman, Chris Martin, Dustin Selvage, Noah Gass, Harli White, Colby Copeland, Logan Wagner, Jac Haudenschild, Jesse Attard, Jacob Allen, Bobby Mincer, Jeff Swindell, Jack Dover, Dylan Cisney, Matt Juhl, Scotty Thiel, Kevin Ingle, Tyler Esh, Cale Thomas, Tim Kaeding.
All Star Circuit of Champions returning to Lernerville Speedway for 2-events including Don Martin Memorial
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) is returning to Lernerville Speedway in 2022 for two nights of action including the Don Martin Memorial XXXI.
The All-Stars will make their first appearance at ‘The Action Track’ on Friday, April 29. The appearance will mark the series return to Lernerville for the first time since 2019 as COVID-19 cancelled their 2020 appearance and rain washed out this year’s visit.
On July 6th the All-Stars will return for the $25,000-to-win ‘Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXXI’, one of the most prestigious Sprint Car events in the history of the sport.
“We’re very excited to bring in the All-Stars and their thrilling brand of high-level Sprint Car racing” said Lernerville Speedway General Manager Mike Lysakowski said in a statement. “I have always been a fan of the All-Stars and for 2022, we had more freedom in choosing a date for this year’s Silver Cup. We believe we have chosen a date that is very conducive to bringing both national and regional Sprint Car aces to Lernerville.”
Western PA Speedweek to return in 2022
SHIPPENVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western PA Speedweek is returning for 2022 following a successful reboot earlier this year.
The five consecutive nights of winged 410 Sprint Car action will see the best regional drivers vying for an A-Main feature purse that is increasing to $14,000 with $3,000 going to the winner each night and a $300 minimum to start!
The action takes place Wednesday, June 1st through Sunday, June 5th at Michael’s Mercer Raceway (Mercer, PA), Thunder Mountain Speedway (Brookville, PA), Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA), Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) and Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA), with the round-trip total clocking in at exactly 259 miles from beginning to end.
The group time trial format used last season was extremely popular with both drivers and fans alike, and will also be utilized again in 2022.
Ryan Smith of Fleetwood, PA is the defending Speedweek Champion after winning two features and a podium in three events in 2021.
Lernerville Speedway not on World of Outlaws schedule in 2022
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Lernerville Speedway, a fixture on the World of Outlaws tour since their inception in 1978, is not on the Outlaws schedule for 2022. The fate of the Don Martin Silver Cup is unknown at this time.
Lernerville officials were planning for two NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car events as well as a World of Outlaws Late Model event for 2022 and were shocked and surprised when the schedule was released on Monday.
Pittsburgh Racing Now has reached out to World Racing Group, the parent company of the World of Outlaws, for comment but have not received a response as of publication.