Brian Brown is a “Rim Rider” with Win #35 at Knoxville!

Brian Brown in Victory Lane Saturday night at Knoxville (Kendra Jacobs Photo)

Ryan Giles and Kevin Hetrick Win Their Third Features in the 360’s and 305’s

by Bill Wright

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (May 13, 2017) – Brian Brown tied the “Rim Rider” Randy Smith for seventh on the all-time win list at Knoxville Raceway Saturday night by notching his 35th in the 410 class. Smith dominated much of the 1980’s at Knoxville, winning six track championships between 1979 and 1991. Brown emulated Smith in riding the cushion after an exciting pass of Ian Madsen to take victory in his Casey’s General Stores/FVP #21. Ryan Giles passed Calvin Landis with two laps to go to claim his third 360 win here, while Kevin Hetrick also claimed his third career win in the 305 class.

Everyone was on the edge of their seats at the start of the 20-lap 410 feature, as front row starters, Ian Madsen and Austin McCarl joined Brown three-wide in turn two in a battle for the lead. When things settled, Madsen had the advantage over McCarl and Brown. Brown would pass Austin on the second lap and begin his pursuit of the leader.

Great action ensued back in the pack, while up front Madsen maintained his advantage. Things were getting interesting at the halfway point in lapped traffic, as Brown closed on Madsen, but with twelve lap in the books, a smoking Davey Heskin would stop in turn four, bringing the caution flag.

Madsen led Brown, McCarl, Kerry Madsen and Brooke Tatnell back to the green. Brown had momentum coming to the cone and executed a slider that narrowly missed the leader in turn two. From there, he would pull away to victory, “riding the rim”. Ian Madsen was second ahead of a steady Austin McCarl. Kerry Madsen was fourth ahead of hard-charger, Lynton Jeffrey. Tatnell, Josh Schneiderman, Craig Dollansky, Terry McCarl and Wayne Johnson rounded out the top ten. Kerry Madsen posted his second quick time of the year, while RJ Johnson, Brown and Wayne Johnson were heat race winners.

“What a fabulous car my team gave me,” said Brown in Victory Lane. “I missed my daughter’s graduation from the University of Missouri today, so the least I could do was win this one for her. The top four cars that we started with, could win anywhere in the country. I had a good restart on Ian and made it stick. Kerry, Ian…Austin is doing a great job with Troy’s (Renfro) team. I think as a group we’re very strong. Come June 9 and 10 (when the World of Outlaws visit), it wouldn’t surprise me at all to have one of the local cars to pull in Victory Lane here.”

Chaos ensued when the green flag fell on the 18-lap 360 feature. Before a lap could be completed, Chris Morgan, Josh Riggins and Devin Kline were upside down in a chain reaction accident. James Broty was also involved as was Tom Lenz, who was the only one to restart.

The second try would result in a non-stop event. Matt Covington grabbed the lead on lap one using the low groove, but fellow row one starter, Calvin Landis, was up to the challenge. The pair would trade the lead four times, before Landis would take command on lap five, ahead of Covington, Ryan Giles and Carson McCarl.

Giles was utilizing the low side, and when Covington went to the cushion to try and catch the leader, he would shoot under him for second on lap 12. Five laps later, he would repeat the move in turn two to cruise by Landis and take the lead coming to the white flag. Giles would hold on for his third career win, ahead of Landis, Carson McCarl, Covington and Cap Henry. Clint Garner, Matt Moro, Chris Martin, Jamie Ball and Sawyer Phillips completed the top ten.

Moro set quick time over the 33-car field, while Kline, Tyler Groenendyk, Garner and Broty were heat race winners. Morgan claimed the B main. An incident to start the third heat race saw Jon Agan and Cody Wehrle get upside down. Neither were hurt, but they were done for the night.

“This Eagle car has really been hooked up this year,” said Giles in Victory Lane. “It’s a brand-new car, and we kind of took a gamble on it. I have to thank Gary Isom. He really steered me this direction. We worked hard all night. We had a power steering line break in qualifying, and it’s been non-stop. I was almost too tired to start the race. Lapped traffic helped me get by (Covington). Passing cars hasn’t been my strong suit, but this year, we’ve been moving forward. I’m really excited to see what the rest of the year brings.”

Kevin Hetrick and Ryan Leavitt, winners of the first two 305 features of the year, started on the pole of that class’s 15-lap main event, by virtue of an eight invert, that put high-point man, Eric Bridger outside row four. Hetrick would take the lead early over Leavitt and Matt Stephenson.

Chris Walraven was on the move from row three, utilizing the high side to pick off fourth by lap seven. A pass of Stephenson for third was negated, however, when Frank Rodgers spun nine laps in.

The restart saw Hetrick leading Leavitt, Stephenson, Walraven and Matthew Stelzer. Walraven shot around both Stephenson and Leavitt to take second on the restart, but Leavitt shot back under him on lap 12. As the leaders came to the white flag lap, a caution for a slowing Brad Comegys would set up a green, white, checker finish.

Hetrick would hold on to his lead and his second win of the season, but Walraven would retake second at the line. Corey Kautz made a last lap pass for third, ahead of Leavitt and Tyler Glass. Stephenson, Stelzer, Bridger, Brandon Worthington and hard-charger Mike Mayberry rounded out the top ten. Bridger had a perfect score by setting quick time and winning his heat. Leavitt and Kautz also won heat races.

“I kind of wanted to use the lapped traffic to my advantage,” said Hetrick. “But we had the restarts, and I thought maybe the clean air would help. We took the white flag, and I saw the yellow. My heart about broke. I saw Leavitt and Walraven on the scoreboard and they’re tough competition. This Ostrich engine took off on the restarts. The best part about this one is it’s the first victory with my daughter here.”

A fund raising competition saw the University of Iowa and its Stead Family Children’s Hospital and Iowa State University’s general scholarship fund going head to head. Over $800 was raised by Iowa fans and their flag will fly above the Knoxville Raceway for the rest of the season. Over $300 was raised for Iowa State’s charity.

Join us next Saturday night, May 20, for McKay Insurance Agency/Nationwide Night featuring the 410, 360 and 305 sprint car classes! For more information, visit www.KnoxvilleRaceway.com!

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Posted by on May 14 2017. Filed under Local News, Local Sports, Professional Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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