Star Field for Hard Knox


Sheldon Haudenschild (17) and Shane Golobic (17w) will compete in Friday night’s Hard Knox program at Knoxville Raceway. (photo by Paul Arc)


KNOXVILLE, Iowa – It’s the hour of race night that all Knoxville Nationals competitors hope to avoid – Hard Knox night.

After the two prelims, the top 16 in points were locked in Saturday’s feature while 17th through 26th will make up the top five rows of the B-main. Tim Kaeding secured the guaranteed final B-main position.

Chris Windom, Corey Day, Roger Crockett and Colby Copeland occupied spots 27-30 and narrowly missed the cut.

These drivers and the many behind them who weren’t so lucky on their preliminary nights and couldn’t crack the top 26 in points at the famed Knoxville Raceway. As a result, they have the chance to regroup with four golden tickets to Saturday’s big dance up for grabs for tonight’s top four in the Hard Knox feature.

Those who manage to do so will leave from the 21st to the 24th tomorrow evening. The event will feature a full slate of races with qualifiers, rounds and main races. Provided all drivers below the cut line connect, the field will have 75 entries.

As usual with Nationals, a handful of very talented drivers ran into trouble in their preliminaries and are on the roster for tonight looking to lock down.

Among Wednesday’s drivers, perhaps the most prominent name is Sheldon Haudenschild, who sits 37th in points.

The 30-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car feature winner qualified eighth but struggled in his qualifying race before missing out on the transfer to the preliminary feature by two places.

History suggests the Wooster, Ohio native has a good chance of claiming one of the four spots as he notched four top-four finishes in the Outlaw half-mile competition. He is looking to make his fourth career final at the Nationals.

Cory Eliason of Visalia, Calif., will be looking to rebound after an under-par on Wednesday left him 62nd in points.

Eliason is still getting to grips with the No. 71 Indy Race Parts after being in the seat just over a month at this point, but the new couple have had success, and they’ll be looking for more tonight. .

Since stepping into the Bernie Stuebgen-prepared race, Eliason has finished seventh in the Kings Royal and landed a pair of Tezos All-Star Circuit of Champions top 10s.

World of Outlaws full-time player Brock Zearfoss was buried in the points (82nd) ​​on opening night.

After narrowly missing the qualifying invert, Zearfoss could not advance his heat which left him in the C main. He made the B main but could not advance further than 15th in the B.

Zearfoss is aiming to make its third main event on Saturday in four tries.

Much like Wednesday, Thursday saw a handful of high-quality drivers get into tough spots who will compete tonight.

Rico Abreu had an unforgettable evening which ultimately saw him unable to get out of Main B and find himself 55th in points. Luckily for Abreu, he is the reigning Hard Knox winner and is looking to claim another one to earn his sixth career Nationals start.

Misfortune struck Lebanon’s Spencer Bayston of Indiana as the Hoosier was in a battle to be transferred from last night’s main B until a problem slowed him down from coming to the white flag, knocking him down at the 21st and 65th points.

On the bright side, the CJB Motorsports driver showed his early speed by going sixth fastest in qualifying and is looking to put together a full night at the Hard Knox.

Other notable drivers will be vying for one of these coveted four spots, including 1983 Nationals winner Sammy Swindell, Anthony Macri, Bill Balog, Brady Bacon, Terry McCarl, Kerry Madsen and many more.
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