View from the Stands (9/29/2013)
by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
The Late Model Knoxville Nationals (LMKN) was once again a successful event for us here at Knoxville Raceway. We celebrated our tenth anniversary of the event and it seems to grow in popularity and prestige each year within the Late Model community. To hear how grateful and honored all these teams and drivers are to get the opportunity to race at Knoxville Raceway is very humbling. The Late Model crowd loves Knoxville.
The format for the qualifying nights was interesting with the field being split into two groups for qualifying and heat races (Group A and Group B). 72 cars entered and the first 36 cars in the pill draw were put into group A, and the second 36 cars slated for group B. This made it more fair for time trials with the car drawing 50 or 60 not having to compete for points with the cars drawing 10 or less. The same amount of points were awarded for each set (winner received 200 points, 198, 196, etc.) The teams in Group A were put into their own set of heats, Group B in their own set of heats. Group A was then set for the inside row of the features, and Group B given the outside row. I thought this format worked well and was fair for everyone.
View from the Stands (8/11/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator Donny Schatz… wow. From fourth in the B-Main, you win that, then start 21st in the A-Main and are leading by lap 40. Are you kidding me? The legend of Donny Schatz just grew even more. To win seven of the last eight Knoxville Nationals is mind blowing. Just call him Donny Knoxville, Super Schatz, or Sheriff Schatz. He should have a Superman logo on the front of his uniform.
View from the Stands (8/10/2013) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger & Twitter Commentator
Friday Top 4 (Serena Dalhamer photos)
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.
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 (7/29/13) by Eric Arnold, Knoxville Raceway Blogger and Twitter Commentator
The Knoxville Nationals qualifying scoring system is something I get questions about frequently. I thought it would be nice to have an explanation in the blog to reference to. The Knoxville Nationals Points System was created by promoter Ray Grimes and his wife Naomi.
A perfect score is 500 points, 200 time trials, 100 heat race win, 200 feature win.
Time Trials: 1st 200 points, 2nd 198, 3rd 196, and drops 2 points per position.
Heat Races: 1st 100, 2nd 97, 3rd 94, and drops 3 points per position.
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.