KNOXVILLE LIVE: Gravel Wins
9:40: Johnny Herrera won the fifth and final heat with Kraig Kinser, Jason Johnson and Greg Hodnett also transferring. Kyle Larson finished fifth.
9:32: Tim Kaeding won the fourth heat. Also transferring were Shane Stewart, Skylar Prochaska and Josh Schneiderman. Daryn Pittman finished fifth and will join Donny Schatz in the B main.
9:26: Donny Schatz’s bid for seventh Knoxville Nationals title just took a hit. After qualifying eighth, Schatz failed to transfer out of his heat, finishing fifth to Ian Madsen by less than a foot.
Randy Hannagan won the third heat ahead of Justin Henderson, Brady Bacon and Madsen.
9:20: Brandon Wimmer wins the second heat over Jeff Swindell, Brad Sweet and Bob Weuve. No. 2 qualifier Lynton Jeffrey finished 6th and did not transfer.
9:14: Don Droud Jr. won the first heat with James McFadden, David Gravel and fast qualifier Paul McMahan also transferring to the feature.
9:09: The first heat race has pushed off.
9:01 p.m.: A group of race fans organized a fund raiser over the Internet for low-budget Iowa sprint car racer Robert Bell and presented a new right-rear tire and $850 to the longtime Knoxville Raceway supporter, who competes in Thursday night’s program.
849 p.m.: Paul McMahan was fast qualifier tonight with a lap of 15.210 seconds.
Second through fifth were Lynton Jeffrey, Justin Henderson, Shane Stewart and Davey Heskin. Donny Schatz qualified eighth. Kyle Larson was 10th. Full qualifying order will be posted shortly in the Race Rewind section of this website.
It was McMahan’s 15th WoO fast time of the season.
7:54 p.m.: The first group of hot laps is complete and group two is on the race track.
8:11: Shane Stewart turned the fastest lap during hot laps.
8:06: As hot laps continue, here are a few notes for the evening:
-Donny Schatz, winner of six of the last seven Knoxville Nationals, qualifies tonight and then plans to fly home this evening before returning on Friday.
-Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon is here this evening, hanging out with the Paul Silva Racing team and the No. 57 driven by Shane Stewart, which carries Gordon’s Kick-It Foundation on the side.
-Brian Brown is among the spectators here tonight. He will race tomorrow. Read his column about the Knoxville Nationals in the opinion section of this website.
-Ray Evernham and Erin Crocker were among a collection of well known racing folks on today’s USA Airways flight from Charlotte, N.C.
7:50 p.m.: The first two groups for hot laps are currently on the half-mile black dirt oval wheel-packing a wet a muddy surface. Hot laps are expected to begin within the next 15 minutes.
Davey Heskin will be the first to qualify tonight with Greg Hodnett hitting the track eighth, Dale Blaney 11th, Kyle Larson 12th, Donny Schatz 14th, Daryn Pittman 15th, Sammy Swindell 17th, Brad Sweet 26th, Paul McMahan 27th, Shane Stewart 38th and Kraig Kinser 39th out of 49 cars.