Lasoski wins 360 feature to open Knoxville Nationals
The first of two preliminary nights of the Arnold MotorSupply 360 Knoxville Nationals got off to huge start on Thursday night as fellow Missouri competitors Danny Lasoski and Jonathan Cornell battled back and forth the entire 20 lap feature.
Just when it looked like Cornell had a run to pass Lasoski on the last lap, his left rear tire popped coming off of turn four and he coasted across the finish line in a heartbreaking fifth place. Cornell led laps 1-4, Lasoski 5-11, Cornell 12-13 and Lasoski 14-20. And those are just at the finish line. That doesn’t count the other passes in the race.
The win for Lasoski was enough to place him third overall in the Nationals qualifying points system for the night after timing 10th and finishing second in his heat race.
After qualifying a disappointing 35th, Brian Brown advanced from his heat race and into the feature,where he started 19th and raced his way to second place, putting on a great show for the fans.
Kevin Swindell went out late in the qualifying draw and managed to clock in sixth fastest and then finished third in the feature. That was enough to give Swindell a share of the overall points lead. After Thursday night he is tied with Brady Bacon, who put together a solid night. He timed second, finished third in his heat and seventh in the feature.
Also having good points nights was Nebraska’s Jack Dover, who finished fourth in the feature and is fourth in the point totals. Paul McMahan is fifth after a eighth place feature finish.
Clint Garner sits sixth in points after he set quick time at the beginning of the night, thanks to the Parker Performance engine under his hood. Winning time trials is worth the same amount of points as the feature. Garner wasn’t able to finish in the top four of his heat race and had to run the B-main, where he finished second. After starting 22nd in the A-main, he clawed his way up to 13th.
Randy Hannagan was looking good at qualifying fifth, winning his heat race and was marching to the front of the feature when his car popped out of gear on lap five and he had to pull the car in for a 23rd-place finish. Although Hannagan sits 10th in points, his team has to be disappointed in what might have been.
The underdog story of the night was Deloit, Iowa driver Ryan Anderson, who used a 12th-place qualifying, second-place heat race finish and a ninth-place feature finish to net a eighth-place point total.
Winning heat races were Kyle Larson, Tony Schilling, Danny Jennings, Jesse Giianetto and Randy Hannagan. Terry McCarl won the B-Main.
Fifty-six cars raced on night number one and 56 more are scheduled for Friday night before the field is combined into their respective championship features on Saturday night.
360 Knoxville Nationals Thursday Prelim feature
1. Danny Lasoski, 2. Brian Brown, 3. Kevin Swindell, 4. Jack Dover, 5. Jonathan Cornell, 6. Brad Sweet, 7. Brady Bacon, 8. Paul McMahan, 9. Ryan Anderson, 10.Kyle Larson, 11. Jesse Gianetto, 12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 13. Clint Garner, 14.Tony Schilling, 15. RJ Johnson, 16. Henry Van Dam, 17. Terry McCarl, 18. Jake Martens, 19. Bobby Mincer, 20. Tony Norem, 21. Danny Jennings, 22. Logan Forler, 23. Randy Hannagan, 24. Jon Agan.