Justin Grant Cashes $5,000 in USAC’s Return to Knoxville!

Justin Grant won in USAC’s return to Knoxville Saturday night (Knoxville Raceway Photo)

Wayne Johnson Cruises to 12th Win in 360’s, Kevin Hetrick Wins 3rd of Season With 305’s

by Bill Wright

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (June 3, 2017) – Justin Grant led from start to finish to score his first ever triumph at the “Sprint Car Capital of the World” in the crazy 30-lap AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series feature Saturday night at the Knoxville Raceway. The Ione, California native was the class of the field despite several caution periods throughout the event. The win came aboard the Sam McGhee Motorsports #11 and was worth $5,000. Wayne Johnson was also a wire-to-wire winner in the 360 sprint car class. In the 305 class, Kevin Hetrick made a last corner pass to record his third victory of the season and fourth in his career here. The largest crowd of the season thus far was on hand to enjoy Iowa Corn District 5 and Iowa Corn District 9 Night.

Grant shot out from his pole position to start the USAC main in event with Robert Ballou and Chad Boespflug in tow. Just one lap was recorded when a multi-car accident on the backstretch marred things. Among the crashed cars were veterans Jon Stanbrough and Brady Bacon. Nick Bilbee, Hunter Schuerenberg and Brody Roa were also involved. Stanbrough and Bilbee would retire, while Bacon would make extensive repairs and rejoin the field.

Tyler Courtney, who was running fourth on the restart, slammed the turn one wall when action resumed, but kept it on all fours and kept on trucking. The lead trio remained the same, but action heated up back in the pack. By lap five, Chris Windom had charged from 18th into the top ten. Courtney rebounded and passed Boespflug for third on lap six, but eight circuits later, he would suffer a vicious ground-pounder in turn two. He walked away from his destroyed machine.

Grant led Ballou, Boespflug, Chase Stockon and CJ Leary back to green. A wicked battle for fifth commenced involving Josh Hodges and Windom before Dave Darland, who was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in the afternoon, bicycled in turn two and came to a stop. While the leaders remained the same, Hodges and Windom battled for fifth. Soon, CJ Leary entered the fray, and he and Windom went back and forth a number of times for position.

No one would match Grant in the end, as he sailed under the checkers ahead of Ballou, Boespflug, Stockon and Leary. Hard-charger Windom, Kevin Thomas Jr., Hodges, Shane Cottle and Bacon, back from the tail, rounded out the top ten. Thomas set quick time on the night, while Hodges, Windom, Courtney and Bacon won heat races. Leary took a B main that was marred by a flip involving Joe Bares. He was uninjured.

“Those yellows and reds were killing me,” said Grant in Victory Lane. “You don’t want to sit around and think about things, especially here at Knoxville. The nerves start playing on you. It’s incredible to be standing in front of this crowd on this racetrack. These guys give me a great racecar. This thing was a rocket ship tonight. I can’t put this into words. I wasn’t comfortable at the start of the night, but here we are. It shows how good this team is.”

“We got beat fair and square tonight,” said Ballou. “Justin ran 30 perfect laps. We pretty much (stunk) tonight, compared to where we should be. I’m rusty. We need a jump start. I lost forty pounds over the winter after breaking my neck and we’re trying to find out what makes me comfortable. I’m glad to be second, because it felt like about a tenth place car. To be on the podium…just to race again is a blessing.”

“(Grant’s) been fast all year,” said the third running Boespflug. “They’ve been the one to chase all year. We’ve been struggling the last few races, so to get on the podium tonight…I think we found some things and hopefully, we can carry this momentum on to PA Speedweek. It was my first time here, and hopefully, we can come back next year.”

Wayne Johnson drove around front row starters, Tayler Malsam and Terry McCarl and never looked back to record his twelfth 360 win. McCarl chased him most of the way, while Clint Garner settled into third after passing Ryan Giles on lap three.

The event was slowed only once on lap eleven, when the sixth place car of McKenna Haase and the seventh place machine of Jamie Ball came together in turn one. Haase spun, collecting Matt Moro who crashed into turn two. He was unhurt.

Johnson led the field back to green, ahead of McCarl, Garner, Giles and Malsam. Johnson pulled away the last seven laps to win over McCarl, Garner, Giles and Ball. Malsam, hard-charger Chris Martin, Austin McCarl, Joe Beaver and Christian Bowman completed the top ten. Malsam set quick time, while Haase, Devin Kline and Ball won heat races.

“We’ve been so bad in the last year and a half, and we haven’t known what we’ve been doing,” said Johnson in Victory Lane. “They convinced me we needed to do some stuff different. Old school guys got old school ways. They talked me into some crazy things and they worked. I knew right away our car was good. To drive by those guys early…Terry’s no slouch here. I just knew the car was good on the bottom in one and two.”

Chris Walraven was the pacesetter early in the 15-lap 305 feature ahead of Matt Stephenson and Ryan Leavitt. Casey Greubel slowed to a stop with four laps in the books, and Walraven led the field to green ahead of Stephenson, Leavitt, Kevin Hetrick and Tyler Glass. Hetrick shot into third, and shot around Stephenson for second on lap six.

Kade Higday entered the top five and traded fourth with Stephenson twice. Eric Bridger then entered that battle for position as well. Up front, Walraven was cruising on the bottom, tailed by Hetrick. On the final lap, the leader hesitated behind a lapped car in three. Hetrick made his winning move, sliding across Walraven’s nose and dragging to the finish line for his fourth career win here. Walraven trailed him ahead of Stephenson, Bridger and Higday. Glass, Leavitt, Matthew Stelzer, Brandon Worthington and Brad Comegys rounded out the top ten. Higday posted quick time, and Stephenson, Dan Henning and Leavitt won heats.

“I thought Chris was going to have the win there,” said Hetrick after his victory. “We kept gaining, and thank goodness there was lapped traffic, or he would have been gone. The lapped car worked to my advantage, and we’ll take it. To win three out of five here is unbelievable. There’s still nine races left, and we’ll just take it one race at a time.

Things heat up next Friday and Saturday night, June 9 and 10. The Brownells “Big Gun Bash” will feature the Craftsman World of Outlaws taking on the Knoxville regulars. On Friday night, the 305’s will be in action, while the 360’s will be running Saturday. For more information, visit www.KnoxvilleRaceway.com!

Knoxville Raceway – Sprint Car Capital of the World!
www.knoxvilleraceway.com
Knoxville Raceway: 30m: The @World World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returns to the Sprint Car Capital of the World June 9-10 for the Brownells, Inc. Big …

410 Results

Time Trials (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 44, Kevin Thomas Jr., Cullman, AL (1), 18.549 (NTR); 2. 32, Chase Stockon, Fort Branch, IN (25), 18.782; 3. 23C, Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN (9), 18.798; 4. 69, Chad Boespflug, Hanford, CA (4), 18.931; 5. 12, Robert Ballou, Rocklin, CA (7), 18.941; 6. 11, Justin Grant, Ione, CA (22), 19.095; 7. 71P, Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN (35), 19.097; 8. 63, Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK (32), 19.102; 9. 17N, Nick Bilbee, Indianapolis, IN (3), 19.166; 10. 17GP, Stevie Sussex III, Laveen, AZ (5), 19.190; 11. 30, CJ Leary, Greenfield, IN (15), 19.191; 12. 2, Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, MO (12), 19.222; 13. 81, Jon Stanbrough, Avon, IN (19), 19.229; 14. 21, Carson Short, Marion, IL (34), 19.240; 15. 91R, Brody Roa, Buena Park, CA (18), 19.266; 16. 52, Isaac Chapple, Willow Branch, IN (30), 19.268; 17. 74X, Josh Hodges, Tijeras, NM (14), 19.372; 18. 5, Chris Windom, Canton, IL (26), 19.522; 19. 17R, Kyle Robbins, New Castle, IN (8), 19.561; 20. 78, Rob Caho Jr., Wyoming, MN (21), 19.612; 21. 15F, Aaron Farney, Brookston, IN (28), 19.653; 22. 66S, Corey Smith, Kokomo, IN (6), 19.675; 23. 71A, RJ Johnson, Phoenix, AZ (23), 19.812; 24. 57, Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN (33), 19.944; 25. 7K, Bruce St. James, Phoenix, AZ (16), 19.961; 26. 4X, Eric Schulz, Sioux Falls, SD (10), 20.003; 27. 77K, Katlynn Leer, Moulton, IA (27), 20.427; 28. 0, Alex Schriever, Hartford, SD (11), 20.527; 29. 77, Dustin Smith, Russiaville, IN (13), 20.542; 30. 12G, Kelly Graham, Hedrick, IA (20), 20.688; 31. 21K, Ryan Kitchen, Lincoln, NE (31), 20.865; 32. 19, Joe Bares, Grand Rapids, MI (2), 20.915; 33. 42AU, Gary Rooke, Oak Flats, NSW, Aust. (29), 21.020; 34. 71, Robert Bell, Colfax, IA (17), 21.060; 35. 14S, Rob Sharits, Sioux Falls, SD (24), 21.963.

Heat one (started), 8 Laps, 2:41.1: 1. Josh Hodges (2); 2. Robert Ballou (5); 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (6); 4. Jon Stanbrough (3) / 5. Nick Bilbee (4); 6. Aaron Farney (1); 7. Bruce St. James (7); 8. Gary Rooke (9); 9. Dustin Smith (8)

Heat two (started), 8 Laps, 2:41.7: 1. Chris Windom (2); 2. Justin Grant (5); 3. Chase Stockon (6); 4. Carson Short (3) / 5. Stevie Sussex III (4); 6. Corey Smith (1); 7. Eric Schulz (7); 8. Robert Bell (9); 9. Kelly Graham (8)

Heat three (started), 8 Laps, 2:41.8: 1. Tyler Courtney (6); 2. Brody Roa (3); 3. Dave Darland (5); 4. RJ Johnson (1) / 5. CJ Leary (4); 6. Kyle Robbins (2); 7. Ryan Kitchen (8); 8. Katlynn Leer (7); 9. Rob Sharits (9)

Heat four (started), 8 Laps, 2:42.3: 1. Brady Bacon (5); 2. Shane Cottle (1); 3. Chad Boespflug (6); 4. Hunter Schuerenberg (4) / 5. Isaac Chapple (3); 6. Joe Bares (8); 7. Rob Caho Jr. (2); 8. Alex Schriever (7)

B main (started), 12 Laps, 4:14.7: 1. CJ Leary (3); 2. Nick Bilbee (1); 3. Stevie Sussex III (2); 4. Isaac Chapple (4); 5. Aaron Farney (7); 6. Dustin Smith (13) / 7. Kyle Robbins (5); 8. Bruce St. James (9); 9. Katlynn Leer (11); 10. Eric Schulz (10); 11. Gary Rooke (17); 12. Alex Schriever (12); 13. Corey Smith (8); 14. Rob Sharits (18); 15. Rob Caho Jr. (6); 16. Kelly Graham (14); 17. Joe Bares (16); 18. Robert Bell (18); 19. Ryan Kitchen (15)

A main (started), 30 Laps, NT: 1. Justin Grant (1); 2. Robert Ballou (2); 3. Chad Boespflug (3); 4. Chase Stockon (5); 5. CJ Leary (11); 6. Chris Windom (18); 7. Kevin Thomas Jr. (6); 8. Josh Hodges (17); 9. Shane Cottle (21); 10. Brady Bacon (8); 11. Isaac Chapple (16); 12. Dave Darland (7); 13. Stevie Sussex III (10); 14. Carson Short (14); 15. Aaron Farney (19); 16. Hunter Schuerenberg (12); 17. Dustin Smith (22); 18. Tyler Courtney (4); 19. RJ Johnson (20); 20. Brody Roa (15); 21. Nick Bilbee (9); 22. Jon Stanbrough (13). Lap Leader: Grant 1-30. Hard-charger: Windom.

360 Results

Time Trials (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 26, Tayler Malsam, Seattle, WA (1), 16.140; 2. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (17), 16.205; 3. 2C, Wayne Johnson, Knoxville, IA (13), 16.228; 4. 2M, Matt Moro, Polk City, IA (12), 16.269; 5. 40, Clint Garner, Sioux Falls, SD (21), 16.275; 6. 5M, Troy Manteufel, St. Peter, MN (6), 16.285; 7. 9, Ryan Giles, Grimes, IA (14), 16.314; 8. 70, Calvin Landis, Knoxville, IA (4), 16.316; 9. 53, Joe Beaver, Knoxville, IA (26), 16.318; 10. 2KS, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (18), 16.326; 11. 22, Rager Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (25), 16.370; 12. 3, Nate Van Haaften, Otley, IA (7), 16.373; 13. 55, McKenna Haase, Des Moines, IA (3), 16.391; 14. 15, Christian Bowman, Altoona, IA (2), 16.491; 15. 5J, Jamie Ball, Knoxville, IA (8), 16.513; 16. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (16), 16.553; 17. 5MRP, Devin Kline, Knoxville, IA (9), 16.596; 18. 17, Tyler Groenendyk, Oskaloosa, IA (20), 16.714; 19. 81A, Chris Morgan, Topeka, KS (24), 16.908; 20. 19, Rob Weuve, Oakland Acres, IA (5), 17.035; 21. 8L, Tom Lenz, Marion, IA (19), 17.053; 22. 9M, Ricky Montgomery, Lakewood, CO (23), 17.080; 23. 14, Josh Riggins, Lincoln, NE (10), NT; 24. 3P, Sawyer Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (11), NT; 25. 6, Mitchell Alexander, Knoxville, IA (15), NT; 26. 26N, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Aust. (22), NT.

Heat one (started), 7 Laps, 1:58.2: 1. McKenna Haase (2); 2. Chris Martin (1); 3. Ryan Giles (4); 4. Austin McCarl (3); 5. Matt Moro (5); 6. Tayler Malsam (6); 7. Chris Morgan (7); 8. Ricky Montgomery (8) DNS – Scott Bogucki

Heat two (started), 7 Laps, 1:57.5: 1. Devin Kline (1); 2. Christian Bowman (2); 3. Clint Garner (5); 4. Rager Phillips (3); 5. Terry McCarl (6); 6. Calvin Landis (4); 7. Rob Weuve (7) DNS – Josh Riggins, Mitchell Alexander

Heat three (started), 7 Laps, 1:57.2: 1. Jamie Ball (2); 2. Tyler Groenendyk (1); 3. Wayne Johnson (6); 4. Joe Beaver (4); 5. Nate Van Haaften (3); 6. Sawyer Phillips (8); 7. Troy Manteufel (5); 8. Tom Lenz (7)

A main (started), 18 Laps, NT: 1. Wayne Johnson (4); 2. Terry McCarl (2); 3. Clint Garner (3); 4. Ryan Giles (5); 5. Jamie Ball (8); 6. Tayler Malsam (1); 7. Chris Martin (13); 8. Austin McCarl (12); 9. Joe Beaver (9); 10. Christian Bowman (11); 11. Rager Phillips (14); 12. Calvin Landis (17); 13. Nate Van Haaften (18); 14. Devin Kline (10); 15. Sawyer Phillips (21); 16. Tyler Groenendyk (15); 17. McKenna Haase (7); 18. Chris Morgan (19); 19. Tom Lenz (22); 20. Rob Weuve (20); 21. Matt Moro (6); 22. Troy Manteufel (16); 23. Ricky Montgomery (23) DNS – Josh Riggins, Scott Bogucki, Mitchell Alexander. Lap Leader: W. Johnson 1-18. Hard-charger: C. Martin. Howard Law $200: Rob Weuve.

305 Results

Time Trials (Qualifying Order): 1. 24, Kade Higday, Pleasant Hill, IA (20), 17.042; 2. 56W, Chris Walraven, Knoxville, IA (5), 17.210; 3. 35, Kevin Hetrick, Gladstone, IL (11), 17.270; 4. 81E, Eric Bridger, Winterset, IA (22), 17.305; 5. 76, Brad Comegys, Bondurant, IA (1), 17.318; 6. 1B, Ryan Leavitt, Knoxville, IA (6), 17.351; 7. 55X, Matt Stephenson, Altoona, IA (19), 17.386; 8. 12T, Tyler Glass, Cedar Rapids, IA (16), 17.525; 9. 1K, Kelby Watt, Adel, IA (7), 17.552; 10. 99, Matthew Stelzer, Papillion, NE (21), 17.571; 11. 64, Casey Greubel, Lacona, IA (8), 17.582; 12. 0, Mike Mayberry, Fremont, IA (9), 17.607; 13. 41, Jeff Wilke, Genoa, IL (13), 17.801; 14. 41D, Dan Henning, Columbia, IA (17), 18.083; 15. 71, Brandon Worthington, Indianola, IA (15), 18.156; 16. 21, Evan Epperson, Muscatine, IA (4), 18.161; 17. 1, Clifford Jones, Pleasant Hill, IA (14), 18.223; 18. 67, Jon Hughes, Knoxville, IA (3), 18.498; 19. 26, Chase Young, Des Moines, IA (18), 18.549; 20. 23K, Rob Kubli, Milo, IA (10), NT; 21. 23T, Travis Rewerts, Des Moines, IA (12), NT; DQ (Scales) – 48D, Dallas Mendenhall, Unionville, MO (2)

Heat one (started), 6 Laps, NT: 1. Matt Stephenson (4); 2. Matthew Stelzer (3); 3. Eric Bridger (5); 4. Jeff Wilke (2); 5. Evan Epperson (1); 6. Chase Young (7); 7. Dallas Mendenhall (8); 8. Kade Higday (6)

Heat two (started), 6 Laps, 1:48.8: 1. Dan Henning (2); 2. Tyler Glass (4); 3. Brad Comegys (5); 4. Chris Walraven (6); 5. Casey Greubel (3); 6. Clifford Jones (1) DNS – Rob Kubli

Heat three (started), 6 Laps, 1:47.4: 1. Ryan Leavitt (3); 2. Kevin Hetrick (6); 3. Brandon Worthington (2); 4. Kelby Watt (4); 5. Mike Mayberry (1); 6. Jon Hughes (5) DNS – Travis Rewerts

A main (started), 15 Laps, NT: 1. Kevin Hetrick (4); 2. Chris Walraven (1); 3. Matt Stephenson (2); 4. Eric Bridger (5); 5. Kade Higday (10); 6. Tyler Glass (7); 7. Ryan Leavitt (3); 8. Matthew Stelzer (8); 9. Brandon Worthington (12); 10. Brad Comegys (6); 11. Jeff Wilke (14); 12. Evan Epperson (16); 13. Mike Mayberry (15); 14. Clifford Jones (17); 15. Dan Henning (9); 16. Jon Hughes (18); 17. Kelby Watt (11); 18. Dallas Mendenhall (20); 19. Casey Greubel (13); 20. Chase Young (19) DNS – Rob Kubli, Travis Rewerts. Lap Leaders: Walraven 1-14, Hetrick 15. Hard-charger: Higday.

Comments

comments

Posted by on Jun 4 2017. Filed under Local Sports, News, Professional Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

       

Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google
 
Log in | Copyright by Oskaloosa News