Knoxville Nationals preview... 08/08/2000
I am back again at hot Mountain View, California with my Amoco Knoxville
Nationals' column. The views stated are mine and mine alone and should not
be taken any other way. I will give my opinions on who I think will be in
the A main or have a chance to be in the A main. If I leave any of your
favorites out, than I am sorry but I will do my best not to.
…So here it goes
in no particular order.
Sammy Swindell: has been fast for
the whole year and can be extraordinarily fast when Knoxville comes around.
Gremlins are his worst nightmare at the nationals.
Mark Kinser: No matter what goes
on rest of the year, you can never count out Mark and Karl with the
Mopars at Knoxville. Will be tough to beat and will finish in the top three
if he doesn't break.
Steve Kinser: He has been on a roll
lately. With some big wins including the Historical Big One. Leading the
WoO in points and has peaked at the right time.
Dale Blaney: With his win at the
Kings Royal is just a Nationals win away from the elusive Triple Crown.
Will be strong once again this year with Mopar power.
Danny Lasoski: Never count this
guy out of any race at Knoxville. He is the most prolific winner in Knoxville
history. Will make the bottom work again at the Nationals.
Jac Haudenschild: He has struggled
a little bit this year and has changed mechanics but I have seen him come
through the C, B and A main, so keep your eye on the Wild Child.
Johnny Herrera: Could be one of
the most underrated Outlaws but is very capable of pulling off and upset
at the historic half mile.
Stevie Smith: Came very close to
winning one year in Al Hamilton's car so he knows it can be done. Look for
him in the top ten for sure.
Craig Dollansky: Having a career
year with the support series as well and the WoO series also won an All
Star race. This guy could rock the sprint car world on August 12th.
Donny Schatz: This guy has shown
flashes of brilliance at Knoxville and could just slide in there and open
some eyes come feature time.
Andy Hillenberg: Another one of
the guys that can run up front anytime anywhere and could just surprise
someone with a top five come Saturday night.
Joey Sadana: With so much emphasis
being put on qualifying for the Nationals, this guy might be the best qualifier
in the business. Look for him in the main on Saturday night.
Jeff Shepard: This guy has a lot
of laps around Knoxville. He has been going to the Nationals for years.
This just might be his year to run up front.
Kenny Jacobs: year in and year out
Kenny is strong come Nationals time and this year should be no exception.
Look for Kenny to make the A main.
Greg Hodnett: Probably one of the
most disappointing years for Greg but the might just snap out of it with
Guy Forbrook turning the wrenches. You can never count him out.
Paul McMahan: He has impressed me
very much this year with his ability to adapt to different tracks all the
time. Look for him to be solid in the A main.
Tim Shaffer: A very frustrating
season might have turned around last weekend with his stunning win at Eldora
the night before the Big One. Time should make the A main.
Daryn Pittman: Even after losing
his crew chief earlier in the year, Daryn has been strong at times with
some good runs at Knoxville.
Randy Hannagan: Might be California's
best hope for a top finish and Randy usually qualifies well at the Nationals.
Danny Wood: Some very strong runs
at numerous venues this year have opened a lot of eyes to this WoO rookie.
Don't be surprised to see him in the A main on Saturday night.
Skip Jackson; after leaving the
weekly Knoxville points chase to go to Pennsylvania, Skip has struggled
and has since changed rides but he will be a factor at the Nationals.
Terry McCarl: Might be the best
local chance to run up front since Danny Lasoski did with Guy Forbrook.
McCarl is always tough at Knoxville.
Gary Wright: The quiet Texan always
seems to struggle at Knoxville but this might be the year for him to sneak
into the A main.
Brad Furr: After third place finishes
at the Kings Royal and the Big One, Brad may be primed for a shot at the
big time come Saturday night.
Dean Jacobs: After traveling with
the outlaws for the past few months, Dean has become a consistent top fifteen
runner with the WoO.
Aaron Berryhill: Returning from
a n injury is nothing new for this guy who was burned at Knoxville several
years ago but he is still fast at Knoxville and might surprise.
Don Droud Jr.: Always a good qualifier,
has run Knoxville quite often. Look for a strong run from this guy.
Jeff Mitrisin: He has battled with
Terry McCarl the whole year for the Knoxville Raceway points championship.
So this guy might be tough on one of the qualifying nights.
Jason Meyers: This will be Meyers'
first Nationals but that won't phase this youngster as he has ventured from
California to run strong in the Gum Out series.
Randy Anderson: After last week's
performance drove by Danny Lasoski at Knoxville, this guy just might have
James and PJ Chesson: These two
guys are strong no matter where they race. Knoxville is no exception. Look
for one or both in the A main on Saturday night.
Travis Whitney: Might be the most
overlooked driver in the country. This guy can mash the gas. He will at
Knoxville this year.
PA POSSE: I don't know which one
of these guys will be there but Fred Rahmer, DeWease, Don Kreitz Jr.,
Keith Kauffman, Todd Shaffer, Billy Pauch, Sean Michael and Len Thompson
all have a chance to make the big dance if they show up.
CALIFORNIA CONTINGENTS: Look for
Peter Murphy (we claim him as a Californian now), Tim Kaeding, Jason
Statler, Bonini Jr., Ryan Flynn will all be at the Nationals trying
to carry the torch for the Golden State.
LONG SHOTS: Chad Kemenah: A strong
run last week at Eldora has moved him into this category. Phil Gressman:
some strong runs with the All Stars have made him a candidate. Ed Lynch
Jr.: The ugliest car in sprint car racing always seems to be fast during
one of the night at the Nationals. Shane Stewart: Some strong runs
in the GumOut Series warrant this position. Brian Paulis: Very improved
over the past couple of years he will get better. Rocky Hodges: Everybody
seems to be throwing dirt on this guy he just keeps coming back.
So there you have it and I GUARENTEE that
the winner of the 2000 Knoxville Nationals will be one of those guys.
BFS NOTES: Is
Jay Drake hot or what? He has won so many nonwinged sprint car races
that I can't even count… Kasey Kahne has been just as hot on the
USAC Sprint Midget circuit and he won last week at the Belleville
Nationals… Dave Moulis picked up a huge win at the GumOut
Series event in Wisconsin last month… Kevin Huntley and Brian Ellenburger
have been fast of late in the All-Star series… Ricky Gaunt
has been fast in SCRA competition winning more races this year than
his whole career combined… Corey Kruseman went to Indiana Sprint
Week and picked up a win at Haubstadt… Bud Kaeding earned
his first ever USAC non-winged National Sprint Car race during sprint
week at the opener in North Vernon… Richard Griffin continues
to march toward yet another SCRA crown for him and the Madera Produce
team… Former Steve Kinser crewman Jimmy McBee won his first
sprint car race at Lincoln Speedway a few weeks ago… Speaking of
former King crewman, Jason Johnson continues to impress on the very
fast ASCS National Tour… Wayne Johnson is having a spectacular
year leading the ASCS Tour at the beginning of August… Chris Eash
returned early from his devastating knee injury to win races at Susquehanna
and Williams Grove on consecutive weeks… Keith Kauffman just
keeps on going winning races at an alarming rate for a man in his fifties…
Fred Rahmer is having one of his spectacular years winning a race
almost every weekend in PA… Lance DeWease also is wining in PA… Todd
Shaffer and Don Kreitz Jr., had a huge crash at Williams Grove
that ruffled some feathers… Jessie Wentz has caught fire of late
wining a race and two seconds at Lincoln… Rumor has is that Dave
Ely has had a falling out with some of his supporters and will not go
to Knoxville… Blake Robertson has been almost unbeatable at Tulare…
Brent Kaeding has been the same at Chowchilla… Congratulations
go out to the entire County Builders Race Team (Keith, Rod, John, Mark,
and of course Carol) when Ronnie Day picked up his first Golden
State King of California title at Watsonville… Roger Crockett
continues to win races at Placerville, Chico and Petaluma… Dave
Lindt Jr., is the point leader at Petaluma… Monte Facinto
continues to lead the Rebels Cuppers… Jason York has been
very strong at Chico for the past couple of months and has closed
within a few points of Johnny Rodriguez in the points standings…
A three way battle has made the USAC Western States 360 Championship
something to watch with Tony Hunt leading over Todd Ellison
and Davey Hamilton by just a few points… Congratulations to Brian
Coelho on his first ever sprint car win at Watsonville… Mike
Faria is beating on the door for his first 410 win and should get it
before the season is over… Damion Gardner has won a couple of races
this year on the very tough NARC/ Golden State Circuit. That is all
I have for this week (month?) I will be back after the Knoxville Nationals
with full coverage of all four days. Hope to see you there! BF
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