KNOXVILLE, Iowa — official release — Tim Aylwin/ASCS photo — After several small rain delays, the 24th annual Arnold Motor Supply 360 Knoxville Nationals kicked off Thursday night with Davey Heskin taking his first 360 sprint car victory at the Knoxville Raceway over the hard charging Jason Johnson.
“It was a fast track tonight. We were just balls to the wall out there,” said Heskin. “We’ve had a mediocre season so far. I feel like so to park it here…even on a prelim night…it’s really special.”
Jumping to the lead on the start, Heskin found the tail of the field on lap eight.
Moving to second on lap six, traffic allowed Johnson to close the gap. Traffic played into Heskin’s hands, as all roads to the No. 56 were blocked before the caution flag waved on lap 11 for the stalled No. 29 of Russ Hall.
Having to play out the restart twice due to debris, Johnson stayed close to challenge for the lead but would slowly watch the Deluxe Crates No. 56 begin to pull away.
Working again among the back markers in the closing laps, Johnson seized the opportunity to strike. Taking the white flag, the Stenhouse, Jr. Racing / Curb Agajanian Performance Group No. 41 made the bid for the lead, but would come up short as Davey Heskin grabbed the win.
“I needed lapped traffic for sure,” Johnson said. “He left the door open for me on the white flag lap; but the driver missed the line.”
Tony Bruce Jr. rebounded to finish third after a test run this past Saturday night that resulted in a fifteenth place finish. Current Knoxville Raceway 360 point leader Joe Beaver finished fourth from eighth with Lee Grosz crossing fifth.
Qualifying saw Beaver fastest at 15.906 seconds.
RESULTS: Knoxville 360 Nationals; Knoxville Raceway; August 1, 2014
Fast time: Joe Beaver, 15.906 seconds (47 cars).
First Heat (8 laps): Kevin Swindell, Joe Beaver, Jonathan Cornell, Brady Bacon, Calvin Landis, Johnny Herrera, Matt Moro, Trevor Reynolds, Steve Block, Aaron Reutzel.
Second Heat (8 laps): Randi Miller, Lee Grosz, Russ Hall, Derek Hagar, Randy Hannagan, Chris Martin, Brandon Hanks, Jared Goerges, Sawyer Phillips, Kevin Ingle.
Third Heat (8 laps): Jason Johnson, Jamie Ball, Tony Bruce Jr., Dustin Selvage, Alan Zoutte, Mike Van Haaften, Shawn Petersen, Justin Henderson, Brant O’Banion.
Fourth Heat (8 laps): Cole Wood, Davey Heskin, Andy Gregg, Danny Lasoski, Matt Covington, Danny Holtgraver, Matt Juhl, James Mosher, Dave Getchell.
Fifth Heat (8 laps): Ryan Roberts, Casey Friedrichsen, Cody Ledger, Danny Jennings, Nate Van Haaften, Brad Loyet, Carson McCarl, Patrick Bourke, Ryan Kitchen.
B Main (12 laps): Van Haaften, Landis, Hannagan, Covington, Loyet, Herrera, Holtgraver, Moro, Juhl, Martin, Hanks, Van Haaften, Phillips, Bourke, Zoutte, McCarl, Reynolds, Goerges, Petersen, Getchell, Block, Mosher, Henderson, O’Banion.
Feature (20 laps): Heskin, Johnson, Bruce, Beaver, Grosz, Friedrichsen, Ball, Swindell, Bacon, Selvage, Cornell, Jennings, Roberts, Gregg, Wood, Covington, Landis, Miller, Hagar, Hannagan, Van Haaften, Lasoski, Ledger, Hall.