KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Aug. 12, 2016) – Friday night at the Knoxville Nationals, referred to by some as FVP Hard Knox Friday night, featured 77 cars vying for positions 17-20 in Saturday night’s Championship feature.
Qualifying was divided into two flights, with Dave Blaney in flight one. Blaney powered the Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop 71M to the No. 7 qualifying position with a 15.288-second lap around the Knoxville Raceway half-mile.
The qualifying to heat race formula placed Blaney on the outside of the front row in heat one. When the green flag waved, polesitter Sheldon Haudenschild assumed the lead followed by Blaney. On the second lap Blaney drifted a little high, but it was enough to allow Lucas Wolfe room to pass. Wolfe and Blaney raced side by side for position and the top three began to break away from the rest of the field. At the checkered flag it was Haudenschild with the heat win, Wolfe second and Blaney third. The top three earned starting positions in tonight’s A Main.
The Buckeye Bullet was ninth in the feature lineup. At the end of 25 laps, the top four were rewarded with a coveted starting position in tomorrow’s Knoxville Nationals.
When the track went green, Rico Abreu grabbed the lead followed by Danny Lasoski, Lucas Wolfe and Greg Hodnett. Blaney was shuffled back to 13th. Abreu was the flag to flag winner of tonight’s A Main, solidifying the 17th starting position in tomorrow’s championship feature. Greg Hodnett was second, Danny Lasoski was third and Lucas Wolfe was fourth, the final car to transfer from tonight’s A Main to tomorrow’s feature.
Blaney, the 1997 Knoxville Nationals champion, has one more chance tomorrow to earn one of the final four starting spots for the evening’s crown jewel event.
Tomorrow the Buckeye Bullet will start fourth in the C Main. The top four finishers in that event will transfer to the back of the B Main and the top four finishers in the B, will transfer to the Knoxville Nationals feature.
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