View from the Stands (8/10/2013)
by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Friday “Hard Knox” show was once again a success giving teams one last chance to come to Knoxville and do that they came here hoping to do, start the Saturday A-Main. Kyle Larson took advantage by dominating the feature and giving him the 17th starting spot, close enough to get to a top five possibly. Ohio drivers took spots two, three, four. Mopar engine man, Cap Henry was lucky to even get to the Nationals with not many funds to bring his car, find an engine, and needed help to tow their hauler back west, so big reward for his team. Chad Kemenah and Jac Haudenschild raced their way in as well. This new format sure beats the heck out of the old one.
Broke Tatnell passed Jason Johnson late in the World Challenge to earn a 25th spot in the A-Main on Saturday. This is the third World Challenge win for Tatnell. Jury is still out on this event. A good chunk of fans left before it started, which is too bad. And honestly the 25th spot to someone like Tatnell who has started the A-Main five times previously and has one top ten finish is fine by me. He didn’t have to go the standard route to get in to the dance, but having a extra spot up for grabs didn’t really improve the event much in my eyes, even though both Tatnell and Jason Johnson were racing for a spot to get in. I like the event, but it has always been an exhibition race, and that stigma sticks to it.
I was pretty bummed that none of our top ten point weekly competitors made their way into the Saturday A-Main, so far. But nice to have our other “Knoxville Regulars” Brian Brown, Justin Henderson, and Danny Lasoski in the show.
Heartbreaking night for Dustin Selvage on Friday. He was in a top four transfer spot and when Cap Henry went by him, it looked like it took the air off of his car and he spun it around. So close.
Danny Dietrich has the inside track on Nationals Rookie of the Year honors starting in the second row of the B-Main.
Kyle Larson will race at Watkins Glen today and fly back to Knoxville.
Thank God for great weather this year.
Tonight is the night…. Short blog today, but be prepared for a LONG one after Saturday night. I’m so excited that someone other than Schatz is likely to win. But I’m not counting the 15 car out yet. If anyone can come from the tail and win it’s him. 14th starting position is the record for furthest starting position for the winner held by Jerry Richert Sr. 1962, and Steve Kinser in 2005.
Good luck to all the drivers tonight, and be safe.
A-main Lineup: 1. 71m Saldana, 2. 21 Brown, 3. 57 Stewart, 4. 1D Henderson, 5. 49k Sweet, 6. 51 McMahan, 7. 6 Gravel, 8. 29 Madsen, 9. 71s K.Swindell, 10. 4 Darrah, 11. 9 Pittman, 12. 11 Kinser, 13. 33 Lasoski, 14. 19 Smith, 15. 11c Crockett, 16. 39 Hodnett, 17. 1KL Larson, 18. 54 Henry, 19. 63 Kemenah, 20. Haudenschild, and 25. 55 Tatnell.
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