Editor’s Note: In advance of the 2018 5-Hour Energy Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway, we’re taking a look back at the 2017 running of the 360 Knoxville Nationals. Below is the race recap from the 2017 360 Knoxville Nationals, won by Clint Garner.
KNOXVILLE, Iowa – In his 14th attempt, Clint Garner finally found his way to victory lane during the 27th annual 360 Knoxville Nationals presented by Great Southern Bank at Knoxville Raceway.
Garner took home $15,000 for his breakthrough victory.
Before a lap could be completed, Friday’s preliminary winner Greg Hodnett spun in turn one to bring out the caution flag. He would restart at the tail, while up front, Garner took the point ahead of two-time event winner Wayne Johnson and Aaron Reutzel. Jamie Ball maneuvered by Reutzel for third on lap two.
Garner used the low side, as he and Johnson separated themselves from the field and entered lapped traffic on the tenth circuit. A lap later, Brian Brown, who started twelfth, was into the top five. The last caution came with thirteen laps in the books. Calvin Landis slowed to a stop without brakes.
Garner led Johnson, Ball, Reutzel and Brown back to green flag racing. Johnson got a run under Garner at the cone, but was shut down into turn one. That sent him up the track, and Ball got by him for second. Meanwhile, Brown jumped by Reutzel into fourth. Johnson would use the low side to shoot back by Ball.
Brown would slide in front of Ball on lap 16 to take third. Garner continued his mastery up front on the cushion. Johnson would bobble in the marbles on lap 19, and Brown would reel him in. While Garner sailed away up front, Brown took second with four laps to go.
The win was Garner’s 33rd career triumph here in the 360 class, second on the all-time list only to David Hesmer. Brown came home second as the hard-charger, ahead of Johnson, Reutzel and Ball. Christopher Bell, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Jeff Swindell, Tim Shaffer and Hodnett, who recovered from the tail, rounded out the top ten.