KERCHNER: A Reason Not To Sleep


CONCORD, N.C. — It was 5:30 a.m. and sleep deprived racing enthusiasts began arriving at the gate at Des Moines airport for the flight back to Charlotte.

We were all sleep deprived. Some of us getting only an hour or two of sleep and others who hadn’t even bothered to hit the hay.

We were joined by World Racing Group CEO Brian Carter, MRN radio host Steve Post and a slew of others, but the topic of conversation was not our lack of sleep, but what had kept us up half the night.

What we all witnessed Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway was something for the history books. Something that had never been done before and may never be done again.

Donny Schatz’s romp from 21st to win the Knoxille Nationals for the seventh time in the last eight years will be something race fans will talk about for decades to come. Yes, the race was 50 laps and not 30 as it was through most of its first 50 years. But the dominance that Schatz showed in blasting his way through the field was something rarely seen in a race of this magnitude and his run of seven victories and a second-place finish during an eight-year span is not only unprecedented, but truly remarkable.

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Mike Kerchner
Mike Kerchner is a veteran racing journalist and has been a member of the SPEED SPORT family since joining Chris Economaki at National Speed Sport News in 1991. He is now the Editor-in-Chief of SPEED SPORT Magazine.