2010: Shaffer Shocks Schatz At Knoxville
Swindell grabbed the lead from outside the front row and paced the majority of the event, waging a thrilling battle with Schatz. Schatz, the four-time defending race winner, tried a slide job on Swindell for the first time on lap 10, but Swindell, who was trying to win at Knoxville for the first time since 1983, shut the door.
The controversial mid-race pit stop came at lap 26 and all of the contenders changed tires. Following the restart, it continued to be a two-car race with Swindell and Schatz out front. Schatz slid under Swindell in turn three on lap 35 of the half-mile Marion County Fairgrounds, but Swindell crossed back under Schatz to hang onto the lead.
The pair got a breather when Brian Brown, who was running fourth, stopped with a flat tire after 44 laps.
Schatz slid under Swindell to lead lap 45, but Swindell was back in front on lap 46. Schatz tried again on lap 47, taking the lead only to have Swindell hold the advantage at the line. The race changed on lap 48 when Swindell cut a tire while leading and flipped in turn four, continuing his string of dreadful luck in the Knoxville Nationals.
Schatz led on the restart, but Shaffer was up to the task from the beginning. After seeing Schatz cross back under him to lead lap 48, Shaffer took control as the pair raced to the conclusion of lap 49. With Schatz’s engine going sour, Shaffer powered away to victory.
Schatz held on to finish second with Shane Stewart, who won the Aug. 11 preliminary feature and last week’s 360 Knoxville Nationals, finishing third.
Craig Dollansky, who started 24th, and Kerry Madsen completed the top five.
Shaffer credited his victory to the relationship with crew chief Brian Kemenah, the brother of driver Chad Kemenah. “It’s a great team and a great crew chief,” Shaffer said. “Brian Kemenah is a great crew chief and we just clicked from the beginning.”
Stevie Smith won the B main, while Danny Lasoski claimed the C main, but failed to make the A main for the first time since 1989. Jonathan Cornell topped the D main and Greg Nikitenko won the E main.