BF's B.S. 08/21/2000
2000 by "B.F." Bill Foland
IA. ...For me to say that the 2000 Amoco Knoxville Nationals
were exciting would be an understatement. I haven't been to the Nationals
for a couple of years, so I guess I forgot how electric The Nationals are.
will start out with my trip, it started in the San Jose Airport early (6:20
am. p.s.t) and I left for Las Vegas where I had a 2 hour layover (not usually
good news for a gambler like me.) I know what you are thinking but yes I
did play the machines at the airport to kill some time. Things weren't going
well until I got 4 aces on a Poker machine and won $100. That was the end
of my gambling and I got on the plane with $80 more than I came with.
landed in Omaha, Nebraska and got a rent a car and headed for the track.
It is about 160 miles and I got to the track in plenty of time to get a
good seat on the back straight (what a view from the top row). Qualifying
took forever but when you have over 60 cars on a 1/2 mile that is to be
expected. Dean Jacobs picked up fast time with the help of Robert
Hubbard turning the wrenches. "Front Row Bob" made Dean
a pleasure to watch in qualifying at "Bobville".
heat races were very exciting with lots of passing and a whole lot of crashing.
In the first heat race, Travis Rilat, Kurt Winker and Mike Reinke
were involved in a huge crash on the start in turn one (nobody was injured).
Donnie Schatz was 58th car to qualify and showed there was still speed in
the track and turned in a 6th fast time effort, then proceeded to win his
heat race with ease.
Swindell had a new radically built car that looked similar to Danny
Lasoski's and struggled to make transfer in his heat race until a last
lap desperate slide job moved Brad Furr out of the way and gained
the position. That was the toughest heat race as the field included winner
Steve Kinser from 7th, 2nd place Johnny Herrera from 9th,
3rd place Jason Statler from 4th, Sammy, Furr and a disappointed
Randy Hannagan in 6th.
Shepard was 4th fastest and won his heat race with some calculated moves
to get to the front. Skip Jackson crashed hard in the heat race and
basically ruined his Nationals from there as he was headed to the C-Main
for the night. Tim Kaeding was impressive winning his heat race,
even after a yellow flag put Andy Hillenburg on his tail he was able
to speed away to the win.
main event was one of the best races I had ever seen at Knoxville and maybe
anywhere when all was said and done. No less than seven cars ran second
for at least a half lap during the 20 lap contest with Steve Kinser
coming out on top after starting 12th. Steve had it tough as he raced
with Sammy Swindell for four laps until Steve almost spun
in turns three and four but continued and this only seemed to make him faster
as he reeled in Sammy and passed him, and then Herrera - then
got by Dale Blaney on lap 15 and drove to the $10,000 preliminary
Blaney pulled the best wheelie I have ever seen on a half mile and never
lost any speed. Johnny Herrera was strong until fading at the end
when a tire sealed over. Donny Schatz came home second after coming
on strong at the end to pass Blaney on the last lap. Fourth place
went to Hillenburg in a strong run as he got into second on three
different occasions. Fifth was Sammy as he faded after Kinser
got by. Sixth went to a fast closing Randy Hannagan (from 21st after
winning the B-main from eighth) who passed Herrera at the line. Eighth
went to Dean Jacobs in a consistent run followed by Jeff Shepard
who limped home after losing a cylinder in the first few laps.
Thursday night another stellar field was intent on making the 2000 Nationals
Kinser was fast time but failed to make it out of his heat race after
an awesome battle with Stevie Smith who also failed to make the A-Main.
Don Droud Jr. was 2nd fast and also didn't transfer into the A-Main.
3rd fast Lance DeWease didn't make it out of the heat race as 4th
fast Danny Lasoski was the first one to transfer as was a surprising
Byron Reed who was fifth fast then ran third in his heat race. Ninth-quick,
Craig Dollansky ran fourth in his heat race behind Lasoski
and made it to the A-Main. Jac Haudenschild had problems in his heat
race after getting together with Matt Wasmund and the contact broke
his steering, earning him a spot in the stout B-main.
Hodnett was another driver who struggled as he timed in 17th fast then
looked to have the transfer spot until the white flag lap. After getting
hung up behind third place, Hodnett checked up giving Daryn Pittman
a chance to slide him which he did successfully and Hodnett nearly
collected the wall and failed to make the feature.
B-Main looked like a great A-Main with Mark Kinser taking the win
followed by Jac Haudenschild, Don Droud Jr., Chad Kemenah and a disappointed
Stevie Smith. Greg Hodnett had too far to go and not enough
time to get there and he failed to make the A-Main, as did Kenny Jacobs,
Lance DeWease and Jason Meyers.
A-Main got off to a strange start as Joey Saldana and Randy Anderson
got together in the middle of turns 3 and 4 with Saldana getting
upside down before the start. Front row starter Kelly Kinser in the
Daugherty 7 got out to the early lead with Paul McMahan in
tow. Kinser led for 5 laps until McMahan got by and headed
for the promised land. It was not to be for McMahan as Craig Dollansky
was flying on the high side and slid McMahan in turn 3 for the lead
on lap 11 and drove off. With only one restart and Danny Lasoski
on his tail after passing McMahan, Lasoski had nothing for Dollansky
as he tried to slide him on the restart to no avail and had to settle for
second at the finish. McMahan came home 3rd followed by a very impressive
Kelly Kinser. Fifth place went to Mark Kinser (from 21st)
followed by Saldana after restarting at the tail after his first
lap incident. Seventh place went to 22nd starter Jac Haudenschild,
eighth went to Daryn Pittman, ninth to Gary Wright and tenth
to Danny Smith.
have to thank everybody that contributed to pool that I was in and I would
have to say that Craig Dollansky definitely was "The Crowdpleaser"
in my book after the feature.
field was now qualified and set for the final two nights of racing. Friday
night is always pretty exciting as you get guys that either had problems
the first two nights or guys you might not always see up front with the
outlaws run up front in the A-Main. On Friday night Heat races went to Californian
Duane Bonini Jr. in a stellar run in the first heat race. The second
heat race went to PA Posse regular Keith Kauffman. The third heat
race was snared by Wisconsin's Joe Roe. The fourth heat race went
to Texan, Ronald Laney and the fifth and final heat race went to
C-Main went to Aaron Berryhill followed by Tim Monson. The
B-main was won by Kevin Huntley followed by Brian Ellenberger
after a huge wreck between Shawn Keen and Bob Burkle destroyed
A-Main started with Bonini Jr. on the pole with Kauffman on
the outside. Bonini Jr. got the jump but Kauffman made a bold
move in turn 2 to take the lead and was never seriously challenged for the
entire distance. Bonini was running 4th when he spun in turn 3 and
almost made in unscathed until Lee Nelson clipped him which sent
Nelson flipping wildly through the corner - destroying his car. Kauffman
continued to lead over Kerry Madsen and 14th starter Jason Meyers
made himself known to the crowd with a great run on the bottom side of the
race track. At the finish it was Kauffman over Madsen, Meyers,
Len Thompson and Ronald Laney.
The Pole Scrambles were next with Brad Furr taking the C-Main scramble
over Calvin Landis, Ricky Logan and Tim Kaeding. The B-main scramble
was taken by Don Droud Jr. over Randy Hannagan, Jimmy Carr
(in the Parsons 6 replacing injured Brooke Tatnell) and Skip
Jackson. The A-Main scramble went on without a hitch as Brian Paulus
took the win on the bottom side with Dale Blaney, Craig Dollansky and
Mark Kinser following. Danny Lasoski won the Pole position after
he beat Donny Schatz in the scramble.
final race of the night was The Kele World Challenge for the USA/Australian
qualifiers. Danny Lasoski came from deep in the field to drive by
all racers to win on the top side of the race track for once. Lasoski
proved he is able to run Knoxville on the top or the bottom with this impressive
run. second place went to Danny Smith, followed by Brad Furr,
Donny Schatz and Randy Hannagan. Kerry Madsen was the
first Australian across the line in sixth place.
have to thank Taylor Weld, Gail Custer, Jeff Jordan and Melvin
Patterson from Weld Wheels for the hospitality all weekend and
the oppurtunity to go into the Weld suite on Friday night.
onto Saturday night.... As
the races started Dion Hindi took home the E-main followed by Tim
Kuhn from Pennsylvania. The D-main was won by Oklahoma's Mike
Goodman over Wayne Johnson in a rare 410 start. The C-Main was
very exciting as Tim Kaeding made his way from eighth starting to
get into second on the high side when a yellow flag came out with two laps
to go. Jerrod Hull took off only to brake check and bunched up the
field for the second time (Jimmy Carter lost his nose wing on the
prior start) which cost Tim Kaeding a transfer spot. Brad Furr
was able to get by the stumbling Kaeding. Hull won over
Furr and Kaeding with Jason Meyers coming home in 5th
and earning the "Rookie Of The Nationals" honor.
B-Main hot laps Randy Hannagan had a rear axle break which sent him
into the wall and upside down hard down the front straight. The car was
damaged severely but Hannagan's crew was able to get it back together
by the time the B-Main came around. Hannagan broke out to a lead
and held on in the 22-lap contest over a quick closing Don Droud Jr.,
Randy Anderson and Gary Wright. California transplant
Peter Murphy in Morrie Williams car finished one spot out
in fifth place, with Brad Furr coming from 22nd to finish sixth.
Greg Hodnett failed to make the A-Main and for the first time in
memory and maybe ever Guy Forbrook didn't have a car in the Knoxville
Smith had a huge disappointment as ignition problems forced him out
of the B-Main on the first lap.
for the A-Main..... The first lap was one of the most exciting laps of the
weekend as Danny Lasoski got the jump on Schatz and took the
lead going into turn one only to have Mark Kinser come from the 2nd
row to take the lead going down the back chute and into turns 3-4. As the
lap was completed Donny Schatz was on the move and drove to the top
side to take the lead in turn one and drove off to a comfortable lead. The
red flag flew after only a few laps as Jeff Shepard spun in turn
one and took Dale Blaney and Steve Kinser upside down in the
wall. All 3 cars attempted to get back in the race with Shepard going
out first and Kinser and Blaney left in the work area. The
yellow flag fell for a false start the next lap which enabled Steve Kinser
to make it back into the field but Blaney was black flagged after
not being able to make the field in time.
Schatz continued to lead as he entered lapped traffic over Mark
Kinser with Johnny Herrera, Danny Lasoski and Craig Dollansky
exchanging 3rd place on a lap to lap basis. The red flag came out once again
just as Schatz was putting a lap on Steve Kinser for a flipping
Paul McMahan who exited the car very woozy. Schatz once again
opened a lead and with 10 laps to go looked to have a strangle hold on the
Knoxville Nationals. That is when I saw Mark making his move. Every
lap the wing was farther back and he was going forward in the middle of
the racetrack and took the lead with only 4 laps to go and Schatz
had nothing for Mark as the race ended with Mark Kinser winning
$100,000 over Schatz ($60,000), Lasoski ($30,000), Johnny
Herrera (22,500) and Dollansky (15,000).
next five were Sammy Swindell, Andy Hillenburg, Dean Jacobs, 20th
starting Jac Haudenschild and Joey Saldana who got up to sixth
before a slide job by Sammy Swindell left him stranded in the middle
of the race track and he lost several spots.
It was an amazing race as there was great racing all over the track and
I can't wait to get back to the 2001 Nationals.
following observations that I saw over the space of 4 days:
thanks to Bobby and Kim Gerould from HammerdownUSA.com...It was good
to finally meet Allen Holland from Hosehead's, he is a very
nice man...Great Lemomade was made by Jason Statler and Scott
Vogelsong on Saturday night...Tony Iacobitti from Yak Graphics
was in the pits with his lovely wife Michelle...Good to meet Tom
Schmeh from the National Sprint Car Hall Of Fame on Friday...Good
to see Kenny Woodruff back in action with Donny Schatz...Scott
Benic was in Craig Dollansky's pit helping him to a prelim night win
and a 5th place on Saturday night...There were many signs at or near the
Fairgrounds besides the standard S.U.Y.T but the best one was the sign that
read "Honk if Sammy Sucks", I can't remember going by it without hearing
a horn go off...Good to see Lorri Hall from Illinois (I Hope
you like the pictures)...Also good to see and talk with Scott Gerkin
and former Steve Kinser crewman Todd Seitz (now with Hoosier Tire)...Always
good to see Kelly Westphal from Wesmar Motors even though
I didn't see him after his girlfriend got to town...Derricke Cope
was seen with Troy Renfro in the Jimmy Carr pits...Bill
Woodside was his normal? self as I got to talk to him for a few minutes...Tony
Stewart was seen incognito wearing glasses and a beard at the Weld
trailer on Thursday...Former Nationals Queen Kendra Jacobs was very
busy and has been covering the Gumout series very well this year...Last
year's National's Queen Joanne Cram was in attendance as I saw her
for the first time since the Super Dirt Cup at Skagit...Jennifer
Moore was busy selling Mark Kinser shirts and was also very nice
to talk to her again...Kasey Kahne was at the races on Wednesday
and Thursday as it looked like he wanted to be racing very badly...Dale
Blaney "The Tall Cool One" is a very catchy nickname...California's
own Jason Meyers was named "Rookie Of The Nationals" and it was good
to see Preston Cross, "Peeps" Darrin Carter and Jason's dad, Dave
Meyers...Bill Wilburn has one of the nicest looking trailer with
graphics jumping out of the side...Nice to see Mindy Stephens working
in the WoO T-shirt booth...Jason Johnson made a ride in the Dave
Blaney two-seater worth while as he proposed to Bobbi Meyers
on the front straight on Wednesday night...Garry Brazier was the
best driver walking the pits with no ride...Brad Furr was very impressive
with the help of Mike Harper...Wish I could have made it back to
Newton to see Jessica...Duane Bonini Jr. was impressive at
The Nationals with the help of Jeremy and Tim...Saw both Lorri
McCarl and Patty Haudenschild in the hot sun selling shirts for
their husbands...Boston Bob Blair was there and having fun as usual...J.D
Kramer was busy running the Ratbag booth as he had three computers
set up with the new Sprint Car game...Shane Anderson looked
like he lost his best friend after his boy Donny Schatz ran second
(there will be many more chances buddy)...A VERY special thanks to Tammy
Mills for putting together my travel plans and to her daughter Danielle
who learned more about tires than she could ever imagine at The Nationals.
If I missed somebody (which I probably di d) I am sorry but I can only cover
so much. Until next time, See ya at the races...BF
to HammerDownUSA.com main page.
Since 06/05/00 you are HD visitor #
Free counters provided by Honesty.com.