Heskin Hustles To Knoxville Glory
KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Davey Heskin won his third career feature at the Knoxville Raceway Saturday night in exciting fashion, holding off Brian Brown, who had already won in the 360 class earlier in the evening.
The St. Michael, Minnesota driver’s win was worth $3,000 on McKay/Allied Insurance Night. J Kinder was victorious in the 305 class.
The start of the 20-lap 410 feature saw Heskin leading Terry McCarl, Dusty Zomer, Bronson Maeschen and Brooke Tatnell. With McCarl and Zomer going back and forth for second, Heskin built his lead.
Things ground to a halt with six laps run when Mike Moore took a hard ride in turn one. The restart saw Heskin leading McCarl, Zomer, Maeschen and Lucas Wolfe back to green. Zomer and Maeschen shot by McCarl for second and third in the next few laps, while Brian Brown made his presence felt, moving into fourth on lap 14.
Maeschen shot around Zomer with two laps to go, and it looked like smooth sailing for Heskin. His easy ride was interrupted on the white flag lap, when Ryan Bunton got into the turn two wall, bringing caution. That’s when things got even more interesting.
The green-white-checkered restart saw Heskin ahead of Maeschen, Zomer, Brown and McCarl. Brown shot into second by the time the white flag was shown. He was all over Heskin through one and two. Heskin hit the middle of turn three and slid in front of Brown, who was riding the cushion, maintaining the win in the Deluxe Crates No. 56.
“I’m speechless,” said Heskin. “The last couple weeks, we were struggling. We’ve got it figured out a little bit. I can’t thank my guys enough…my grandpa and everyone.”
Brown was second, ahead of Maeschen, Zomer and McCarl.
The 360 feature was no less exciting. Before a lap could be completed, Cole Wood got into the backstretch wall, flattening his right rear and breaking his Jacob’s ladder. He would re-enter the race a lap down later on.
Jason Johnson led the first lap from the pole before another caution came out. Jamie Ball, spun into the infield in turn two while running second. Nate Van Haaften shot by Johnson for the lead on the restart. Clint Garner got by Joe beaver for third on lap four, but Brian Brown worked his way by Garner five laps later for the same spot.
With five laps to go, Van Haaften led Johnson, Brown, Garner and Jeff Swindell. With the lead pack in heavy traffic, things got interesting. With three laps to go, Johnson retook the lead, and Brown followed him by Van Haaften into second. Brown used the low side in heavy lapped traffic to take the lead a lap later. He would hold onto his advantage and take his twelfth career 360 feature here (seventh all-time). Garner moved by Van Haaften and then Johnson on the white flag lap to claim second. Johnson was third, ahead of Swindell and Van Haaften. Jon Agan, Tony Bruce Jr., Beaver, Tyler Groenendyk and hard-charger Russ Hall rounded out the top ten.
“It was pretty tough there,” said Brown. “Nate and Jason were setting a really good pace. “I want to thank Don Long from Searsboro Telephone Company. He provides our 360 engines. We’re here because of him. It’s a great Jaymie Moyle engine from right here in Knoxville. Chad Morgan, my crew chief, made the right changes before we went out.”
Groenendyk posted quick time for the 360’s. Agan, Dustin Morgan, Kaley Gharst and Mike Houseman Jr. were heat winners. Russ Hall won the B. Chad Heimbaugh rode out a hard ride in heat one. He was uninjured.
Bob Hildreth led the first lap of the 12-lap 305 main event. Sarena Paul spun, getting into the wall with that lap in the books. J Kinder was all over Hildreth on the restart as the two tangled for the lead. Kinder took command on lap three.
At the halfway point, Kinder led Matthew Stelzer, Larry Ball Jr., Hildreth and Matt Stephenson. A lap later, it appeared Stephenson broke a rear axle and tumbled into the turn two wall. He was uninjured, but done.
Kinder led the last five laps to win his second career feature convincingly over Stelzer, Ball Jr., Hildreth and rookie, Jake Strayer.
“We went back to last year’s notes when we won,” said Kinder. “Obviously, it wasn’t too bad. I have to thank my Mom and Dad and my wife for helping to get this stuff going.”