Kerry Madsen picked up the win on Season Championship night at Knoxville (Chuck Stowe Image)
Jon Agan Takes 360’s, Ryan Leavitt Tops 305’s
Austin McCarl, Clint Garner and Eric Bridger are KCCS Season Champions
by Bill Wright
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 25, 2018) – After a lengthy delay due to a power outage, the Knoxville Raceway faithful were treated to three exciting features on Mediacom Season Championship Night Saturday. Kerry Madsen nabbed the $5,000 410 sprint car feature after inheriting the lead late from Brian Brown. Jon Agan won a duel with McKenna Haase to claim the 360 main event, and Ryan Leavitt led from start to finish to capture the 305 feature. Austin McCarl (410), Clint Garner (360) and Eric Bridger (305) were crowned Lucas Oil Knoxville Championship Cup Series titlists for 2018.
Before a lap could be completed in the 25-lap 410 finale, Rager Phillips, Glen Saville and Chase Wanner find themselves pointing the wrong way in turn two. All rejoined the field. Brian Brown shot out from inside row two to lead early over Tasker Phillips and Kerry Madsen. Madsen quickly moved into the second spot, with Davey Heskin riding the low side in tow.
Brown was quickly into lapped traffic on the seventh circuit, opening up over a straightaway lead on Madsen. The battle was on for third, as Matt Juhl challenged Heskin and briefly took the spot on lap nine. Heskin regained the spot, while Austin McCarl continued to advance from his starting position outside row four. He got by Juhl and then set his sights on Heskin for third, passing him with five to go.
With just four laps to go, the leader suddenly slowed. Madsen, who had gained some ground in traffic, assumed the lead. He went on to claim his 21st career feature win here aboard the Tod Quiring #2m ahead of hard-charger Austin McCarl, Brooke Tatnell, Heskin and Juhl. Terry McCarl, Don Droud Jr., Josh Schneiderman, Tasker Phillips and Sam Hafertepe Jr. rounded out the top ten. Time trials were scrapped due to a power outage that saw racing finally commence around 9:30 p.m. Brown, Tasker Phillips and Terry McCarl won heats using passing points to line up the main event.
“I watched McKenna run the 360 A, and she was driving really hard (on the cushion),” said Madsen of his second win here this year. “I thought I don’t want to hit that thing. You had to be really cautious going into one. Guy (Forbrook) gave me a good racecar tonight, and the guys worked hard all week. It’s been a good year. I really want to thank the fans tonight for waiting for the power to come back on. Thanks to Knoxville Raceway for really handling it well too. I think this will give us some momentum heading into the rest of the season.”
“It was awesome!” said Austin McCarl of his Season Championship aboard the TKS Motorsports #2KS. “We had a great year at Knoxville with four wins. We came in with zero. Anytime you can win at this place is special. We struggled a little early in the year with qualifying and we got that figured out. I knew every time I pushed off that I had a great car come feature time. Hat’s off to Troy and Tammy (Renfro) and the rest of the team.”
What could have been a tighter point race in the 360 class, fizzled when Ryan Giles exited on the first lap of that 20-lap event. That handed the title to now eight-time champ, Clint Garner. Up front, McKenna Haase took control from the pole position, ahead of Matt Moro and Jon Agan. Agan was strong on the low side, however, and shot by Moro for second on lap four.
Haase was into lapped traffic by lap eight, before 360 Rookie of the Year Nate Mills slowed to a stop nine laps in. Haase led Agan, Moro, Calvin Landis and Sawyer Phillips. The next four laps saw a great duel between Haase and Agan for the lead. Agan slid in front of Haase twice, only to have her drive back by him. Finally, he made the bottom of one and two stick to pull into the lead for good, on lap 13.
Eighth running Tasker Phillips spun with six laps to go. Agan maintained his lead for his second win of the season here and twelfth in his career. Haase held second, ahead of Sawyer Phillips who grabbed third at the white flag. Landis, Moro, hard-charger Mason Daniel, Garner, Ryan Roberts, Cody Wehrle and Joe Beaver. Moro, Tom Lenz and Christian Bowman were heat winners.
“We’ve kind of been up and down,” said Agan of his season. “We’ve been really fast away from Knoxville. It’s been rough, but I know we’re fast. Chad Kemenah and I are good friends, and we’ve been talking about something for the last month. I didn’t want to try it and take the chance, but it was rocking. I just wish we had more race season, because that thing is good. It was a fantastic night and a way to cap it off!”
“The car was good all season,” said eight-time 360 champ Clint Garner. “I can’t thank Al Parker enough for everything he does with the engines, and J&J with the cars. Everybody really works hard all summer and dedicates their life to this. I’m just the lucky one who gets to stand up here, and take the pictures and thank everyone. It’s a blast to be here and get another one of these. I’d like to thank the people who raised the funds for the 360 purse this year.”
Ryan Leavitt was never seriously challenged after taking the early lead from the second row inside in the non-stop 18-lap 305 main event. Cruising the bottom of the track, he was pursued the distance by former track champ, Matthew Stelzer. He entered lapped traffic on the eleventh circuit.
Brandon Worthington had things working well on the low side as well, and had advanced from seventh to third with six laps to go. Young was fourth, ahead of Evan Epperson. Devin Kline, the all-time feature winner leader in the class was making his final career start and ended sixth, ahead of Rob Kubli, Eric Bridger, Mike Mayberry and Joe Simbro. Bridger’s championship was his second in as many years. Young and Leavitt were heat race winners.
“That was an awesome racetrack tonight,” said Leavitt, who picked up his third win here this season, and the fourth in his career. “I could run it about anywhere. These crew guys, they work their butts off. I could diamond the car off the top or run the car on the bottom the whole way through. This team has had a rough, rough three weeks, and we’ve grown together even more. I appreciate every single person over here. We appreciate the racing community that has really reached out to us…and all these great fans who stayed with us through the power outage.”
“It was a good year for us,” said the KCCS champion Bridger, whose title came aboard his father Dwight’s machine. “We had a rough start in the beginning. We definitely ran off a lot of wins and quick times. I have to thank my mom and dad and Gary Williams. Lucas Oil does a lot for the Knoxville Championship Cup Series too, and we have to thank them.”
Flat Track Motorcycles will be here for action on September 8. The 15th Annual Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals will commenced September 13-15. For more information, visit www.KnoxvilleRaceway.com!
Heat one (started), 8 Laps, 2:10.0: 1. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO (2); 2. 2KS, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (1); 3. 55, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust. (3); 4. 97G, Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, MO (6); 5. 49, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (5); 6. 12, Lynton Jeffrey, Prairie City, IA (8); 7. 85, Chase Wanner, Agency, IA (7); 8. 19, Bob Weuve, Newton, IA (4)
Heat two (started), 8 Laps, 2:11.1: 1. 7w, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (1); 2. 56N, Davey Heskin, St. Michael, MN (2); 3. 2m, Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust. (5); 4. 17B, Bill Balog, Hartland, WI (3); 5. 5J, Jamie Ball, Knoxville, IA (4); 6. 71A, RJ Johnson, Tampa, FL (6); 7. 75, Glen Saville, Razorback, NSW, Aust. (7)
Heat three (started), 8 Laps, 2:11.1: 1. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (4); 2. 1m, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (2); 3. 09, Matt Juhl, Tea, SD (6); 4. 9, Rager Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (1); 5. 7, Carson McCarl, Altoona, IA (5); 6. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (7); 7. 15, Bobby Mincer, Burlington, IA (3)
A main (started), 25 Laps, 7:43.2: 1. Kerry Madsen (5); 2. Austin McCarl (8); 3. Brooke Tatnell (9); 4. Davey Heskin (6); 5. Matt Juhl (2); 6. Terry McCarl (4); 7. Don Droud Jr. (7); 8. Josh Schneiderman (13); 9. Tasker Phillips (1); 10. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (16); 11. Bill Balog (11); 12. Hunter Schuerenberg (10); 13. Lynton Jeffrey (17); 14. Carson McCarl (14); 15. RJ Johnson (18); 16. Bobby Mincer (21); 17. Jamie Ball (15); 18. Chase Wanner (19); 19. Brian Brown (3); 20. Bob Weuve (22); 21. Glen Saville (20); 22. Rager Phillips (12). Lap Leaders: Brown 1-21, K. Madsen 22-25. Hard-charger: A. McCarl.
Heat one (started), 7 Laps, 1:59.9: 1. 2m, Matt Moro, Polk City, IA (1); 2. 70, Calvin Landis, Knoxville, IA (2); 3. 4, Jon Agan, Knoxville, IA (4); 4. 18, Ryan Roberts, Aurora, NE (6); 5. 33m, Mason Daniel, Springville, CA (3); 6. 57, Billy Butler, Sacramento, CA (5) DNS – 53, Joe Beaver, Knoxville, IA
Heat two (started), 7 Laps, 2:01.0: 1. 8L, Tom Lenz, Marion, IA (1); 2. 55, McKenna Haase, Des Moines, IA (4); 3. 3, Nate Van Haaften, Otley, IA (3); 4. 40, Clint Garner, Sioux Falls, SD (2); 5. 7w, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (6); 6. 6, Mitchell Alexander, Knoxville, IA (5); 7. 1A, John Anderson, Des Moines, IA (7)
Heat three (started), 7 Laps, 2:01.3: 1. 15, Christian Bowman, Altoona, IA (1); 2. 9, Ryan Giles, Grimes, IA (4); 3. 40c, Cody Wehrle, Burlington, IA (3); 4. 3P, Sawyer Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (5); 5. 24N, Nathan Mills, Bondurant, IA (6); 6. 76, Brad Comegys, Bondurant, IA (2)
A main (started), 20 Laps, NT: 1. Jon Agan (7); 2. McKenna Haase (1); 3. Sawyer Phillips (9); 4. Calvin Landis (6); 5. Matt Moro (3); 6. Mason Daniel (13); 7. Clint Garner (14); 8. Ryan Roberts (8); 9. Cody Wehrle (10); 10. Joe Beaver (17); 11. Christian Bowman (5); 12. Tom Lenz (4); 13. Brad Comegys (18); 14. Billy Butler (16); 15. Mitchell Alexander (15); 16. Tasker Phillips (12); 17. Nathan Mills (11); 18. John Anderson (19); 19. Ryan Giles (2) DNS – Nate Van Haaften. Lap Leaders: Haase 1-12, Agan 13-20. Hard-charger: Daniel.
Heat one (started), 6 Laps, 1:48.9: 1. 26, Chase Young, Altoona, IA (1); 2. 5c, Devin Kline, Knoxville, IA (2); 3. 50, Mike Ayers, West Des Moines, IA (3); 4. 99, Matthew Stelzer, Omaha, NE (8); 5. 21, Evan Epperson, Muscatine, IA (5); 6. 33, Jayce Jenkins, Colfax, IA (6); 7. 81E, Eric Bridger, Winterset, IA (7); 8. 41D, Dan Henning, Columbia, IA (4); 9. 3TJ, Joel Thorpe, Urbandale, IA (9)
Heat two (started), 6 Laps, NT: 1. 22, Ryan Leavitt, Knoxville, IA (2); 2. 0, Mike Mayberry, Fremont, IA (7); 3. 71, Brandon Worthington, Indianola, IA (3); 4. 56, Joe Simbro, Pleasantville, IA (5); 5. 41, Jeff Wilke, Genoa, IL (4); 6. 23K, Rob Kubli, Milo, IA (8); 7. 64c, Casey Greubel, Lacona, IA (9); 8. 14J, Mike Johnston, Des Moines, IA (1) DNS – 67, Jon Hughes, Knoxville, IA
A main (started), 18 Laps, 5:44.3: 1. Ryan Leavitt (3); 2. Matthew Stelzer (1); 3. Brandon Worthington (7); 4. Chase Young (2); 5. Evan Epperson (9); 6. Devin Kline (5); 7. Rob Kubli (12); 8. Eric Bridger (14); 9. Mike Mayberry (4); 10. Joe Simbro (8); 11. Casey Greubel (13); 12. Jayce Jenkins (11); 13. Mike Ayers (6); 14. Jeff Wilke (10); 15. Joel Thorpe (15) DNS - Dan Henning, Mike Johnston, Jon Hughes. Lap Leader: Leavitt 1-18. Hard-charger: Bridger.