Austin McCarl Brings Home the Beef at Knoxville!

Austin McCarl picked up his fourth win of the season and a half beef at Knoxville Raceway Saturday (Knoxville Raceway Photo)

Austin McCarl picked up his fourth win of the season and a half beef at Knoxville Raceway Saturday (Knoxville Raceway Photo)

Ryan Giles Makes Bacon in 360’s; Another Win for Eric Bridger in 305’s; Pat Graham Takes Dirt Truck Win

by Bill Wright

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (July 14, 2018) – Austin McCarl came from the fourth row to claim his fourth win of the year at Knoxville Raceway on South Central Coop Night at the Marion County Fair Saturday. The win was worth $4,000, and in addition to the prize money, the TKS Motorsports #2KS team won a half beef. Ryan Giles won half a hog for his third 360 win of the year, and Eric Bridger claimed his seventh feature of the season in the 305 class. The Dirt Trucks made their annual appearance as well, and Pat Graham was the victor of that 15-lap main event.

Before a lap could be completed in the 20-lap 410 feature, Scott Bogucki spun in turn four. AJ Moeller could not avoid him and suffered some front-end damage. Both would restart, but Moeller would retire quickly. Once green, pole-sitter Tasker Phillips took the early lead, while Austin McCarl and last week’s feature winner, Matt Juhl made contact high in turn two. Both would save their machines and continue.

McCarl would jet from fifth to third on lap two before second running Jordyn Brazier slowed to a stop to bring out the caution. Phillips led McCarl, Lynton Jeffrey, Davey Heskin and Carson McCarl back to green. Jamie Ball would tag the wall on that restart and retire.

Phillips had gotten a good start on that attempt, but Austin shot by him this time, and took the point. Carson McCarl nabbed fourth, in a good battle with Davey Heskin, who would use the bottom to go from fifth to third. Austin McCarl was back in traffic by lap seven. Meanwhile, a four-way battle for third ensued between Jefffrey, Heskin and Carson and Terry McCarl.

Bogucki lost a driveline seven laps in, bringing another yellow flag. Austin McCarl led Phillips, Jeffrey, Heskin and Carson McCarl back to green. Austin would pull away unchallenged and spending the last eight laps in traffic. Behind him, his brother Carson and father Terry were in a battle for fourth, with Terry taking the spot with two to go.

At the stripe, Austin captured the half beef ahead of Tasker Phillips, father Terry who passed Jeffery on the last lap, and Carson McCarl. Heskin, Brooke Tatnell, Mark Dobmeier, Juhl and Brazier completed the top ten. Terry McCarl registered quick time on the night, while also taking his heat race. Dobmeier and Juhl claimed the other heats.

“I thought (Tasker) would go to the top and he surprised me there,” said Austin of the races first restart, while standing in Victory Lane. “He went to the bottom and protected the slider, and I would have done the same thing. He caught me totally off guard. I didn’t know what he was going to do on the second restart. We had some close calls, both in the feature and the heat race. We were just fortunate to come out of it. I really wanted that cow man! We have a great racecar on this slick track. Four wins this year…coming in with zero…this has been a hell of a year so far. I hope we can keep it up. August is right around the corner.”

A season-long battle between Ryan Giles and Clint Garner in the 360 class continued on Saturday. Both started up front, ahead of a 31-car field. Giles got the jump when the green dropped ahead of Garner, Jack Dover, Travis Rilat and Mason Daniel. Things slowed for a spun Dylan Peterson on lap four. Rilat used the restart to gain third, and Sawyer Phillips moved into the top five. He would gain fourth from Dover on lap seven, and put on a good duel with Rilat for third.

Giles smacked the turn four wall hard on lap ten but kept his #9 moving as he headed into lapped traffic. One more caution appeared for an incident involving Cody Ledger and McKenna Haase. Ledger would retire. Giles was able to keep his momentum up front and win over Garner, Rilat, Dover and Sam Hafertepe Jr., who gained fifth with two to go. Phillips, Jamie Ball, Daniel, Matt Moro and hard-charger Carson McCarl completed the top ten. Jon Agan set quick time for the 360’s, while Moro, Joe Beaver, Ledger and Haase won heats. Jason Martin took the B main.

“That was a lot of fun,” said Giles, who made his sixth career trip to Victory Lane. “I definitely respect that (Garner) gave me room there. I tagged the wall coming out of turn four earlier in the race. I didn’t know how bad it was. I haven’t hit the wall with one of these before. It was fun. Hat’s off to everybody that makes this possible.”

A zero draw for the feature invert, put 305 point leader, Eric Bridger, on the pole. He would lead wire to wire in the non-stop 15-lap event. The best racing was between rookie Mike Ayers and second-year driver Kelby Watt for the second spot. Watt would finally wrangle the position, and finish there, ahead of Ayers, Jayce Jenkins and Ryan Leavitt. Matthew Stelzer, Evan Epperson, Rob Kubli, Mike Mayberry and Chase Young rounded out the top ten. Bridger also set quick time, while Kubli and Watt won heats.

For Bridger, it was his seventh win of a dominating year. It was the ninth in his career, putting him second on the all-time list here, behind only Devin Kline and his eleven wins.

“We were debating all night about how tight we were going to (make the car),” said Bridger in Victory Lane. “I think we got it right. We had some good opportunities there. I think the front row captured it tonight. It was fun. (Lapped traffic) made it interesting.”

Myles Michehl has been turning in a solid year in the Dirt Trucks in central Iowa this season, and led their 15-lap main event early on with Lou Sipolt and Shonn Mapes in tow. Early on, however, sixth starting Pat Graham was a factor, snatching third on the second lap and second a circuit later.

Graham would track Michehl down and the two would race hard the rest of the way. Michehl still led ten laps in, when the only caution of the race flew for debris. Two laps later, Graham would slide in front to take the lead. He would close out his first career win at Knoxville over Michehl, former Knoxville sprint car regular Jeff Johnson, Rick Clark and Bryan Spangler. Sipolt, Mapes, Jeff Frevert, Lucas Richardson, Del Enos and Justin Schroeder completed the field.

“We’ve had a few battles the last few weekends,” said Graham afterwards. “I thought I had a good run on (Michehl) in one and two, but then he switched lines. I had to rethink my go-in and I think it worked out. This racetrack is a blast. I haven’t been here for a while, but we love coming here. I’ve always loved racing here. It’s an awesome facility.”

Join us next Saturday, July 21 for 3M Night featuring a Kid’s Candy Drop! The 410, 360 and 305 sprint cars will all be in action! For more information, visit

Posted by on Jul 15 2018. Filed under 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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