View from the Stands (8/9/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Joey Saldana will be on the pole for Saturday championship race. (Serena Dalhamer photo)
Night two of the 53rd FVP Knoxville Nationals was a rollercoaster of a night for some, and a great performance from Brian Brown. It started off with the excitement of Robert Bell with new sticker tires on all four wheels, some extra cash from fans, he drew the number one pill, and he blew the engine in hot laps. I was bummed that we didn’t get to hear Robert Bell is “quick time” at the Nationals, because the crowd would have went crazy! Toug break for Sheldon Haudenschild as well as he was done for the night after contact with a car during hot laps. Continue reading →
2013 Knoxville Nationals Preview
(8/5/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
The Knoxville Nationals is one of the hardest races to win, the most prestigious, and pays the most money, $150,000 to the winner! I study a lot of stats, data, prior year finishes, and try to account how their current season is progressing to come up with my power rankings and predictions. As I look into my crystal ball, this is how I break down the field.
View from the Stands (8/4/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Shane Stewart won his fifth 360 Nationals title, as expected. He and Paul Silva have the right combination for this event, and should be close next week for Knoxville Nationals. Hope they can get up front then as well.
The race behind Stewart was good, with Kevin Swindell, Kyle Larson, Brad Sweet, Wayne Johnson, Clint Garner, Jason Johnson, Danny Lasoski… all were swapping positions throughout the entire race. Larson was running eighth at halfway, and then all of a sudden he picked off cars quickly and moved into fifth by lap 20, and third on lap 24, and he and Kevin raced hard for second on the last restart.
View from the Stands (8/2/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Night one of the Arnold Motor Supply 360 Nationals is in the books and what a show Danny Lasoski and Kyle Larson put on for us! On the start of the feature front row starters Danny Dietrich and Larson went low racing each other to the bottom, leaving the top open and Lasoski took advantage and raced by them both and came away with the lead. Larson would catch Lasoski in traffic and attempted a last lap slider going into turn three, but the veteran Lasoski stuck his 1m on the bottom coming off of turn four to win by a car length.
Lasoski timed tenth, and barely made it through his heat race finishing fourth and transferring after a hard fought battle with Dustin Selvage. That heat race set the tone for the feature, and the Dude is fifth in points and will start mid-pack on Saturday night. The feature was so good, and probably the most aggressive I’ve seen the Dude at Knoxville in a long time. Hopefully this gives him a confidence boost as well going into next week, because I desperately want to see him run 50 laps in that race.
View from the Stands(7/29/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Brown & Kaeding (Ryan Northcote photo)
I can remember 2004 when Terry McCarl was a weekly competitor and there were a couple of nights where he just blew the field away and won features in dominating fashion. He was in a completely different gear than the rest of the field, and I just knew he was going to be up front at the Nationals that year. T-Mac was, and he went on to lead the first fifteen laps of the Nationals and finish fifth that year. I haven’t seen that kind of performance, or had that same feeling since then from a Knoxville Regular, until I saw Brian Brown this week. HOLY COW! Brian Brown was FAST in the 410 feature, and probably would have won the 360 feature if he didn’t have to pull in for the throttle sticking wide open in that race. Brown and his team have to be anxious for Nationals. I’m having a heckuva time trying to decide who to pick to win the 360 Nationals now. Brown or Shane Stewart? I’m giving the edge to Stewart, but only because he has won the race the past three years. It’s a toss up between these two guys and I will be shocked if anyone other than these two drivers wins.
View from the Stands (7/22/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Danny Lasoski (Danny Howk photo)
Danny Lasoski won his first race at Knoxville Raceway June 2, 1984, twenty-nine years later he gets win number 99 at the famed half-mile. Hard to believe someone is within grasp of 100 career wins here at Knoxville, but The Dude is going to pull it off at some point, another milestone in his already storied Hall of Fame career! Lasoski has struggled in 2013 to this point and if he is going to start peaking, now is the time to do it three weeks before the Nationals.
View from the Stands (7/16/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Bronson Maeschen (Brandon Anderson photo)
Bronson Maeschen pulls into victory lane. (Brandon Anderson photo)
Selvage and Maeschen race for the lead. (Brandon Anderson photo)
Bronson Maeschen…. 410 point leader! Bronson has matured as a driver, a very good driver, and after six top fives, finishing second twice this season, and almost winning last week, he wins the feature this week and it works out he has a fifty point lead over Ian Madsen, and 115 point lead over third place Terry McCarl. If Maeschen wins the title, he would be the first resident of Marion County to win the Knoxville track championship since Mike Brooks in 1980, and I believe Earl Wagner is the only other Marion County driver to do that. Bronson has been consistent all season. He has seven top five’s, nine top ten’s, and two quick times. If Bronson just keeps doing what he has done all season, I think he gets it done. With only four more weekly races left, it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch! I asked him what he thought of being the point leader in the pits afterwards and he said, “I guess the target is on my back now huh.” Good answer. Being the point leader doesn’t mean much until the end of the season.
View from the Stands (7/8/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Twin features night is always pivotal for the track championship, and that was proved to be the case again this year. Ian Madsen came into the night with a 188 point lead over Bronson Maeschen and at the end of the night Madsen retained the point lead, but it is now a slim 27 points over Maeschen with Terry McCarl lurking 47 points back. Last week I said I had this feeling T-Mac was going to find a way to pull this out, and it’s looking more like it. Over the course of a whole season, Terry has always been the man and has seven track championships to back that up. Somehow, someway, I think he wins it in the end. But boy would I like to see someone new like Ian or Bronson win it.
View from the Stands (7/1/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Well, Mark Dobmeier certainly has something figured out since Guy Forbrook joined their team. Congrats to the Lunstra/Dobmeier #13 team for their performance. Has to be rewarding making that drive from Grand Forks and going home with a trophy, and they won again Sunday at Huset’s. They have timed eighth and sixth the past two weeks, which is a huge help considering they hadn’t timed in the top ten all season previously. Keep an eye on this team over the next month leading up to Nationals. Dobs just moved way up in my Nationals Power Rankings this week.
View from the Stands (6/25/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Wayne Johnson races with Davey Heskin and Dustin Selvage.
This past Saturday night we finally had good weather and the sun was out all day long. The track was ready to go right at 6:45 and widened out quickly which made for slower time trial laps, but better heat racing. You can tell the Nationals are getting closer, as more drivers are coming to visit and get some laps around the big half-mile.