Brian Brown won an initial advantage on Friday to race the 360 Knoxville Nationals. (Photo by Frank Smith)
KNOXVILLE, Iowa – Brian Brown drove wire to wire to Med-Am Building Supply 360 Knoxville Nationals presented by the Great Southern Bank for second night at Knoxville Raceway on Friday.
Linton Jeffrey emerged as the best player on both playoff nights and will sit at the top of the tournament on Saturday in the $15,000 winning event. Jeffrey was using a borrowed engine
Brown started in third and front rowers Christopher Thram and Blake Hahn quickly fired in to take an early lead, ahead of Thram, Wayne Johnson, Terry McCarrell and Hahn. Jeffrey worked out the top five on lap four.
McCarl used the low side to take third from Johnson on lap five. Brown hit traffic in the eighth arrondissement, but the crash involving Kilby Watt brought together Davy Heskin, who flipped upside down, and Caleb Johnson.
The Restoration period saw Brown lead Thram, McCarle, Johnson, and Jeffrey. Jeffrey worked with Johnson for fourth, and Clint Garner followed him to fifth halfway. McCarl used the high side to get Theram for second place with six goals.
Brown was in laps of traffic with three of them remaining and ran away to win by more than four seconds.
McCarle came in second, and Jeffrey took third place with two remaining, followed by Thram and Garner.
Set a watt fast time on a 56-car field.
“It’s good to be here,” Brown said. “360 Nationals…the last night was good for us, but qualifying night…we don’t seem to qualify well. We dig a hole and start deep. We have to be in the top three rows (inside the third row). I feel like if our car was like that, If we do our job we can beat anyone in the world.”
“He (Thram) did a great job,” McCarle said. “I started finding the bottom there and got up beside him. We didn’t quite get there, and he took my streak away from me. That’s exactly what I was going to do with him. It took a bit to get started. After that yellow my tire didn’t want to take off and didn’t feel as close as I used to. I do before the yellow.”
It’s good news (to be the better driver),” Jeffrey said. “I can’t believe it. I didn’t have a motor until this morning. I didn’t know, but Jodi Hegwood loaned us one (led by Devin Klein). They were kind enough to get it out of his car and put it in his car all night. It’s a really good motor. I So excited. Sitting on the 360 Nationals pole is definitely a feather in the cap. We’ll just try to finish it off.”
Feature (20 laps): 1. Brian Brown (3); 2 – Terry McCarl (4); 3 – Linton Jeffrey (6 years old); 4 – Christopher Thram (1); 5 – Clint Garner (7); 6 – Wayne Johnson (5 years old); 7 – Cal Thomas (13 years old); 8 – Kyle Larson (21 years old); 9 – Tasker Phillips (9); 10 – Blake Hahn (2); 11 – Tyler Courtney (12 years old); 12 – Ian Madsen (19 years old); 13 – Carson McCarl (10 years old); 14 – Brady Bacon (22 years old); 15 – Justin Sanders (11); 16 – Harley White (17 years old); 17 – Jake Boback (20); 18 – Brady Forbrook (24 years old); 19 – Ryan Roberts (23 years old) 20 – Cam Martin (15 years old); 21 – Austin Miller (18 years old); 22 – Kilby Watt (8); 23 – Davey Heskin (14 years old) 24. Caleb Johnson (16 years old).