McCarl Gets 54th Knoxville Sprint Win
KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Terry McCarl held off Dusty Zomer in a gripping feature event at the Knoxville Raceway Saturday night.
It was the 54th career victory for the Altoona, Iowa, driver, and came aboard the TMAC Motorsports No. 24 A.R.T. powered by Rider Engines.
Joe Beaver won record time in the 360 class, while J Kinder won his second straight 305 start.
Sam Hafertepe Jr. shot out to an early lead in the 20-lap 410 main event, trailed by McCarl and Lucas Wolfe. By lap three, Ian Madsen had moved into the third spot, when polesitter, Lynton Jeffrey, blew a right rear tire and came to a stop.
McCarl sized up Hafertepe and shot under him to take the lead on lap four. A lap later, Madsen followed suit into second. Meanwhile, Zomer was moving up to fourth from his seventh starting spot.
Bronson Maeschen found some speed in the middle of the race, taking fourth from Zomer on lap nine, and third from Hafertepe on the next go-around. Madsen closed a bit on McCarl in traffic, before Jeffrey lost a left rear tire on lap 13, bringing caution for the final time.
McCarl led Madsen, Maeschen, Zomer and Hafertepe back to green. Madsen attempted a slider for the lead, but McCarl fit between the challenger and the wall to carry his momentum down the back straight. Zomer shot to third on the restart, and cruised under Madsen into second with five to go.
McCarl held off Zomer to record his 54th career win (fourth all-time).
“Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do when you’re leading,” he said. “Sometimes it’s better to be second. I was lucky that yellow came out, and I moved back down to the bottom in three and four. He showed me more than his nose (Madsen), I could see his whole car. For some reason, I didn’t take off very well. I have to thank Colin Bulmer for letting us use this A.R.T. and all our sponsors.”
Zomer settled for second, ahead of Davey Heskin, who passed Madsen on the last lap.
Maeschen, Mark Dobmeier, Dustin Selvage, Don Droud Jr., Wolfe and hard-charger, Tasker Phillips rounded out the top 10.
Heskin posted quick time of the night with a lap of 14.666 seconds, while also winning a heat race.
Randy Martin jetted out to an early advantage in the 18-lap 360 feature with Joe Beaver and Clint Garner in tow. Beaver pressured the leader early on, and went by him for the lead to complete lap three.
A good battle waged for fourth, with Jon Agan, Jamie Ball and Nate Van Haaften all vying for the spot early on. Beaver continued to lead Martin and Garner when quick-timer, Tyler Groenendyk exited on lap eight. Garner pressured Martin until gaining the runner-up spot on lap 11. He would not challenge Beaver, who covered the 18-lap event in a record time of 5:09.0 in winning his third career feature.
“I knew once we got by Randy, we were in a good spot,” said Beaver. “Lapped traffic came to us good, and it just seemed like it came easy tonight. I race Randy the way he races me, which is clean. It’s just fun racing with him and they pit by us. They’re good people. This one goes out to the Westphal (Wesmar Racing Engines) family. Bob is in a battle down in Oklahoma and we’re thinking of him.”
Garner was second, ahead of Martin, Agan and Ball.
The 305 feature proved to be a good one as well. Mike Mayberry led the 12-lapper early on, while J Kinder quickly moved into second ahead of Steve Breazeale. Point leader entering the night, Larry Ball Jr., exited on lap four, before young Sawyer Phillips slowed to bring the only caution with five laps in the books.
Mayberry led Kinder, Breazeale, Bob Hildreth and Matthew Stelzer back to green flag racing. Mayberry ran a smooth line until bobbling slightly on the turn one cushion on lap nine. It was all Kinder needed to shoot under him and take the lead. Stelzer made a similar move on Breazeale on the tenth lap to take third.
The win was Kinder’s second in a row, and the third of his career here. He didn’t know if he’d even be racing. “We weren’t supposed to be here,” he said. “If it wasn’t for Kelly Westphal of Wesmar Racing Engines, we wouldn’t be here tonight. I have to thank him. The wind was killing me a bit down the frontstretch. The caution definitely helped me out, and the cards fell our way tonight.”
Kinder led Mayberry, Stelzer, Breazeale and Stacey Alexander to the checkers.