KNOXVILLE, Iowa – Night two of the 5-Hour Energy Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores was more than a race to the finish on the A-Main; it was a race in time to beat the impending storms. And Tim Kaeding nailed it. “King of California” Kaeding took to Victory Lane just before severe thunderstorms storms descended on Knoxville.
“I’ve got to give this one to B.C.,” said Kaeding, dedicating his win to Bryan Clauson. “Here’s another one towards your 200. I grew up racing with his Dad. Just a great family and a hell of a racecar driver.” It was an emotional night with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leading the field under parade laps driving Bryan Clauson’s 17W.
Thursday’s 25-lap A-Main is Kaeding’s third career Knoxville Nationals preliminary feature. “It’s so unbelievable,” said Kaeding. “We’ve struggled so bad here at Knoxville the last few years, especially in this 3[K] car. We had a win taken away last year, because we had a muffler that was tampered with more than anything. You know, we’ve been fast. We just haven’t been as fast as we need to be, so for us to be able to come out tonight and win prelim night at Knoxville is a feat within itself.”
With 20 World of Outlaws [email protected] Sprint Car Series victories under his belt, Kaeding charged from fourth position to second at the wave of the green, tailing Dale Blaney and finally passing him in Lap 8.
A later caution for Justin Henderson, then in third, cleared the field for Outlaw Jason Johnson and last year’s Knoxville Nationals Night 2 winner Terry McCarl to pass Blaney and duke it out for second in the final laps. McCarl managed to take it for a moment in Lap 22, but couldn’t hold it, and Johnson shot forward, looking to Kaeding just a little too late.
Coming out of Heat 1, where McCarl scored the fourth spot, the Price Chopper No. 7x had a quick engine change. “We were kind of in a hurry there, and I didn’t get the car set up exactly the way I wanted to,”said McCarl. “I think we can definitely be a lot better come Saturday night.”
Meanwhile, it was a good night for the Outlaws in Time Trials with Brad Sweet making quicktime at 15.465 seconds (and winning the Last Chance Showdown), followed by Outlaws Joey Saldana and David Gravel, former Outlaw Kerry Madsen, and Outlaw Jason Johnson, who later scored his second place spot in the A-Main.
“It’s great confidence for my race team,” said Johnson. “To be part of the World of Outlaws category you’ve got to defend your territory. Obviously we wanted to win, but I felt like we had a really good run.”
Two Outlaws will lead the field to green on Saturday night, Daryn Pittman and Jason Johnson.
Going into Friday’s 5-Hour Energy Knoxville Nationals, Daryn Pittman holds the lead in points standings with 485 points. Jason Johnson holds a close second with 481, followed by Kerry Madsen at 479, and Jamie Veal at 477. Donny Schatz and Chad Kemenah are tied for the fifth spot at 476.
-World of Outlaws Press Release. Photo credit: Mark Funderburk
A Main – 1. Tim Kaeding (4); 2. Jason Johnson (7); 3. Terry McCarl (6); 4. Kerry Madsen (8); 5. Dale Blaney (1); 6. Brent Marks (11); 7. James McFadden (5); 8. Brad Sweet (21); 9. Mark Dobmeier (9); 10. Cap Henry (16); 11. David Gravel (22); 12. Jac Haudenschild (12); 13. Bill Balog (10); 14. Kyle Larson (23); 15. Dustin Selvage (13); 16. Brooke Tatnell (3); 17. Gary Taylor (24); 18. Clint Garner (17); 19. Chris Martin (18); 20. Jason Solwold (20); 21. Ryan Bunton (15); 22. Justin Henderson (2); 23. Rager Phillips (14); 24. RJ Johnson (19)