By Lonnie Wheatley, KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 5, 2006) – It took less than eight minutes for "The Bulldog", Jesse Giannetto, to capture the $10,000 winner's share in Saturday night's non-stop 25-lap conclusion to the 16th Annual American Sprint Car Series Knoxville Nationals. The Palo, IA, native completed the 25-lap distance in just seven minutes and 49.511 seconds.
Giannetto slipped around early pacesetter Larry Pinegar on the 12th circuit then raced away to his first O'Reilly ASCS National Tour feature win with a 5.682-second advantage at the checkered flag aboard the Westman-powered Bulldog Motorsports/Professional Freight Sales No. d1 Eagle.
Starting from the front row outside, Pinegar outgunned polesitter Larry Ball, Jr., for the lead at the drop of the green flag, as fourth-starter Giannetto climbed to second on the opening round.
Giannetto stalked Pinegar over the early rounds, with lapped traffic coming into play by the eighth round. Giannetto soon closed to Pinegar's rear bumper and when Pinegar briefly hesitated in lapped traffic, Giannetto's tenacity paid off with what proved to be the race-winning move exiting turn two on the 12th circuit.
Holding down the third position from the outset, Josh Higday then began challenging Pinegar for second. As Higday and Pinegar swapped the runner-up slot several times over the ensuing rounds, Giannetto checked out and held a straightaway advantage by the time Higday took command of second.
Giannetto worked lapped
traffic masterfully over the final rounds to take the checkered flag with a
healthy lead over Higday, with eighth-starter
Thursday night preliminary
feature winner Johnny Anderson claimed sixth, with Friday night winner
After Rager Phillips and Don Droud, Jr., led the way in the early stages of the 15-lap "B" Main, Chuck Swenson took command on the eighth lap to take the win in front of Droud, Rilat and Jake Peters, who made a late move around Jeff Mitrisin to take the final transfer to the "A" Main event.
Dustin Daggett wired the field in the "C" Main, with Randy Martin topping the "D" Main. Troy Meyer kicked off the night with an "E" Main victory.
"E" Main - Top 6 Advance to "D" Main:
E Feature (8 Laps): 1. 11m-Troy Meyer, 2. 84-Toby Chapman, 3. 00m-Danny Martin, Jr., 4. 53-Joe Beaver, 5. 75h-Danny Horner, 6. 51s-Lee Sowell, 7. 33-Alan Zoutte, 8. 4x-Tim Gee, 9. 33x-Cameron McGahan, 10. d12-Doc Sloan, 11. 51J-Ryan Jamison, 12. m20-Mike Brecht. Disqualified: 31-Mark Pace (failed to report to scales after taking the checkered flag in fourth.
"D" Main - Top 5 Advance to "C" Main:
D Feature (10
Laps): 1. 14-Randy Martin, 2. 11x-Garry
Lee Maier, 3. 69m-Chad Meinholdt, 4. 7c-Chris Morgan, 5. 97-Cory Seeling, 6.
7m-Kevin Ramey, 7. 00m-Danny Martin, Jr., 8. 04-Frankie Heimbaugh, 9. 53-Joe
Beaver, 10. 84-Toby Chapman, 11. 29x-Brandon Harkness, 12. 75h-Danny Horner,
13. 19T-Matt Tiffany, 14. 11m-Troy Meyer, 15. 53h-Matt Harms, 16. 14J-Josh
Riggins, 17. 1x-Jake Martens, 18. 51s-Lee Sowell, 19. 67-
"C" Main - Top 5 Advance to "B" Main:
C Feature (12
Laps): 1. 85-Dustin Daggett, 2.
k9-Justin Zimmerman, 3. 18x-Tony Bruce, Jr., 4. 2x-Bryan Dobesh, 5. 9n-Wade
Nygaard, 6. 29n-Larry Neighbors, 7. 94-Jerrod Hull, 8. 41k-Ray Allen Kulhanek,
9. 8-John Carney, Jr., 10. 99-Curt Michael, 11. 2w-Kevin Welsh, 12. 11x-Garry
Lee Maier, 13. 98-J.D. Johnson, 14. 11p-Preston Peebles II, 15. 20-Luke
"B" Main - Top 4 Advance to "A" Main:
B Feature (15
Laps): 1. X-Chuck Swenson, 2. 2J-Don Droud,
Jr., 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 57x-Jake Peters, 5. 10-Jeff Mitrisin, 6. 75-Jesse
Hockett, 7. 9-Rager Phillips, 8. 34-Luke Hall, 9. 88-Steven King, 10. 15-Jon
Corbin, 11. 11c-Roger Crockett, 12. 85-Dustin Daggett, 13. 18x-Tony Bruce, Jr.,
14. 1-Sean McClelland, 15. 00-Stacey Alexander, 16. 2x-Bryan Dobesh, 17.
5x-Dave Glennon, 18. 48-Tyler Thompson, 19. 61J-Danny
A Feature (25
Laps): 1. d1-Jesse Giannetto, 2. 24-Josh
Higday, 3. 21-
Lap Leaders: Larry Pinegar 1-11, Jesse Giannetto 12-25.