DIRTRACKR Daily Podcast - Episode Transcript

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Jacob Allen stuns Thursday at the Knoxville Nationals, Daison Pursley back in a race car | Daily 8-12-2022

It's apparently Shark Week in Knoxville. We'll talk about that, plus who's in and who's out headed to Saturday at the Nationals. We'll also talk other Thursday results, and some good news for your Friday. Let's go!

It's Friday, August 12th, I'm Justin Fiedler. This is DIRTRACKR Daily.

Night number two of the 2022 Knoxville Nationals is in the books, and there continues to be no lack of things to talk about. After night one it was all the comments and complaints about the format and the track conditions, but last night it was all about the racing. We have our top 16 starters in Saturday's main event set, we've got a team who didn't come mess around, we've got big chargers, and plenty more to discuss today. We'll start with Shark Racing. Wednesday night, Logan Schuchart dominated the first prelim night feature, but that wasn't a big shock. Logan has been good at Knoxville in the past, and won the Capitani Classic on Sunday leading into the week. There have even been some mentions of Schuchart as a potential win pick for the big show. What I don't think anyone expected was his Shark Racing teammate in Jacob Allen to show up last night and keep the party rolling. In 17 previous features at Knoxville, Jacob had averaged worse than an 18th place finish, and his best run in that stretch in any race was 12th, which had happened a few times. Just a few months ago, when the Outlaws were through in June, Jacob had results of 21st and 25th. So I doubt anyone had money on the 1A to lead all 25 laps and pick up the Thursday night win. But that's exactly what happened. And not only did he win, he had to fight off multiple challenges in the closing laps from Brad Sweet, and that was also with the 41 of Carson Macedo closing down on the top two as well. So two prelim nights down, and a complete Shark sweep so far. The big mover in last night's main event was Kyle Larson. He had to go 5th to 2nd in the night's B-Main after missing the feature transfer from heat two, and then he drove from 22nd to 5th in the feature to earn the night's hard charger award. It was a supremely entertaining night, with racing all over the place and now we've got the first eight rows for the 61st Knoxville Nationals main event set. Incredibly, Austin McCarl will lead the field to green after he went fifth quick in qualifying, 8th to 4th in his heat, and 7th to 4th in the feature to end up as high point man. McCarl is joined in the locked in group by fellow Knoxville regulars JJ Hickle and Tasker Phillips. All three were mighty impressive these first two nights. So McCarl on the pole, Tyler Courtney will start second, Donny Schatz and David Gravel are on row two, Carson Macedo and Kyle Larson on row three, Brent Marks and Daryn Pittman on row four. Nice work there from Pittman and the Heffner crew. Brad Sweet and Hickle are on row five, Jacob Allen and Parker Price Miller are on row six, Justin Sanders earns a main event start with Swindell SpeedLab, he's joined by Buddy Kofoid on row seven. This will be Kofoid's first main event start. And rounding out the first eight rows is Phillips and Aaron Reutzel. We talked yesterday about the event points and who was in trouble after night one, and as expected, Gio Scelzi and Logan Schuchart are on the outside looking in. According to Knoxville Raceway's Eric Arnold, Logan Schuchart becomes the first ever prelim night winner to not be locked into the Saturday feature. He and Scelzi will lead the B-Main to green come Saturday night. Also in the B are Lynton Jeffrey, Zeb Wise, James McFadden, Justin Peck, Cole Macedo, Ian Madsen, Kasey Kahne, and Tim Kaeding. The top four in that B-Main will earn starting spots 17-20 for the main event. The rest of the field will take part tonight in Hard Knox qualifying night and see if they can race their way in. Some names who will compete tonight include Corey Day, Anthony Macri, Hunter Schuerenberg, Shane Golobic, Sheldon Haudenschild, Brian Brown, Rico Abreu, Cory Eliason, Spencer Bayston, and Kerry Madsen. The top four finishers in tonight's feature will grab the final four spots in the Knoxville Nationals on Saturday night. With all the talented guys starting up front, I think we are in for a wild show on Saturday. Plenty of experience, some newbies, and all the storylines you can handle. I said earlier in the week on the Passing Points podcast that I was picking Brad Sweet this week, and we'll stick with that selection headed into the weekend. The dirtrackr.com analytics prediction formula is giving the slight edge to Kyle Larson over Donny Schatz. Friday's Hard Knox program starts at 7:15PM central time with hot laps, followed by qualifying at 7:45, and opening ceremonies at 8:30. If a trip to Knoxville tonight and tomorrow isn't in the cards, make sure you're dialed in over on DIRTVision.

At Florence Speedway last night we were supposed to get double features for the opening night of the North/South 100, but rain popped up during the program and the series was forced to cancel the night's racing. Refund arrangements are being made by the track, so check with them this morning if you were there last night. Tonight's schedule is the same as what last night was supposed to be, with split field main events. The results from tonight will determine lineups for Saturday's $75,000 to win program. We ended up having 55 cars take part in qualifying last night, so no lack of good teams are in attendance. I'm not making win picks for tonight, but for tomorrow, the dirtrackr.com analytics prediction formula likes Tim McCreadie. I'll go Davenport to add more big money to his season total. Both tonight and tomorrow for the Lucas late models will be live on FloRacing if you cannot get to the race track.

In other racing from Thursday, Tony Jackson Jr. picked up the MLRA win at CJ Speedway. He topped Spencer Dierks and Chris Simpson for the $8000 victory. Chad Simpson is leading the way for the MLRA championship right now, with Johnny Scott trailing. And last night at Dallas County, Darron Fuqua bagged his first career USMTS win, outdueling Terry Phillips, Jake O'Neil, and Jason Hughes. The series moves to Lakeside Speedway tonight for the $20,000 to win Grant Junghans Memorial.

Before we get ready to shut it down for the week, I've got a little bit of good news for your Friday. At Coles County Speedway in Illinois tonight, they are having their weekly program that features six classes of micros. There will be a pair of Keith Kunz cars in the field, one for young Tate Gurney who will be making his restrictor debut, and another for Daison Pursley. This will be Daison's first time back behind the wheel since he suffered that spinal cord injury in the USAC midget feature at Arizona Speedway back on November 13th of 2021. I know it's been a long road as he continues to recover and rehab from the injury, but it's incredible to see that he'll be back in a race car this weekend. He was just starting to get rolling with his career when he had the crash. Going into that night, he had two wins, 14 top fives, and 25 top tens in 32 USAC National Midget races that season. This is just another step in the process for him, but it's a big one. Good luck to him and Tate tonight as they go racing.

If you bought DIRTRACKR shirts or decals or both over the past 24 hours since we launched the new online shop, first, thank you. Second, all the orders are in the mail today so you should have them in the coming days. If you haven't grabbed a shirt yet, you can find both the sprint car and late model versions over at shop.dirtrackr.com. Shirts are $30, but that price does include both sales tax and shipping. So when you add them to the cart and checkout, $30 is $30. The two sizes of decals are there as well. I am down to my last seven of the small decals, so keep that in mind if you want to order. I have had questions about shipping to Canada and Australia, and I would like to make that happen in the future, I just have a few things I need to figure out first. I'll keep you posted on progress there.

We've got nearly 40 shows on today's streaming schedule with a lot more to come this weekend across the services. The top shows this weekend are the Knoxville Nationals through Saturday night on DIRTVision, and the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series North/South 100 from Florence on FloRacing. From there, we've got the USMTS on RacinDirt and a ton of local and regional action coming up. To see the full daily streaming schedule with links to watch, visit dirtrackr.com/watchtonight.

Drop me a comment on YouTube or social, let me know your dirt racing plans and win picks for the weekend. I've gotta work the day job, but I will for sure be tuned in keeping an eye on both Knoxville and Florence.

That's it for the show today, enjoy the dirt racing weekend. If you have thoughts about the topics on today's show, leave them in the comments below or tweet at me.

Thanks everybody for tuning in, I'll see you tomorrow for more DIRTRACKR Daily!