KNOXVILLE, Iowa – Brian Brown is two-for-two this year at Knoxville Raceway.
The Grain Valley, Mo., driver passed Josh Schneiderman just past the halfway point of Saturday’s 410 sprint car feature and held on for his 46th career win. It was worth $4,000 aboard the Casey’s General Stores/FVP No. 21 on Budweiser Night.
Joe Beaver duked it out with fellow Knoxville native Jon Agan to win a 360 feature that saw five lead changes to win his first main event at Knoxville since 2016. Matthew Stelzer was dominant, leading wire to wire in the Pro Sprints presented by Pace Performance feature.
Schneiderman shot out to an early lead ahead of Matt Juhl and Kerry Madsen in the 20-lap 410 sprint car main event. Madsen moved into second by lap four, while Brown slid into fourth. By lap six, Brown had gotten by Juhl for third, and he eked by Madsen on lap eight for second.
Up front, Schneiderman was strong on the cushion, but entered lapped traffic on lap nine. Brown shot by for the point, but the pass was negated when seventh running Justin Henderson flipped in turn two. He walked away. Schneiderman led Brown, Madsen, Juhl and Parker Price-Miller back to green.
Brown and Madsen were all over the tail tank of the leader. Brown threw a slider to take the point from Schneiderman on lap 11, with Madsen moving into second. Mark Dobmeier was running twelfth on lap twelve when he got the wrong end of a three-wide battle, and flipped in turn one. He walked away.
Brown led Madsen, Schneiderman, Juhl and Price-Miller back to green. Brown pulled away with some furious action behind him. Madsen crossed the stipe second, ahead of Juhl, a late charging Brooke Tatnell and Price-Miller.
“(Schneiderman) is a really good race driver,” said Brown in Victory Lane. “He’s just had some tough luck over the years here. That’s a family I really admire. They’ve been here a long time. I want him to win a race, just when I’m not here. My engine (lost a cylinder) with about eight laps to go. I’m proud of all of our guys. My grandpa George (Lasoski) is here, and he hasn’t been here in about three years to see me win. It’s awesome to have him back. It’s just a calming feeling to have him back in my pit.”
The 18-lap 360 feature may have been the race of the year to date. Joe Beaver led early from outside row one. Jon Agan was in second by lap two, working the low side of the big half-mile. He shot by Beaver on lap four to take the lead. Behind him, Clint Garner was taking third from Lee Grosz.
Beaver would not go away, and passed Agan briefly for the lead on lap six, but Agan kept his spot until heading into traffic on lap eight. Beaver hit the cushion to shoot around Agan, who was pinned behind a lapper. Agan freed himself and performed a big slide job on Beaver in turns one and two to take the lead back on the ninth circuit.
The pair dueled on. Beaver maintained his momentum on the top, and on lap 14, drove between Agan and the turn two wall to shoot back into the point. He would get through traffic from there to win his ninth feature here, and his first since his championship season of 2016. Garner took second with two to go, and Grosz claimed third on the last lap, ahead of Agan and Carson McCarl.
“He did the same thing on me,” said Beaver of his winning move on Agan. “He squeezed one through, and I thought, ‘The hell with this, we’re doing it too.’ I’m getting a little choked up here. What can I say about this thing? It was ripping around there. We spent a lot of time in the shop this week that we normally don’t. We found some things. It was fun! It was like going to Slideways (Karting Center) at two in the morning and giving it hell!”
Matthew Stelzer dominated the 12-lap Pro Sprints presented by Pace Performance main event for the second straight time. It was his ninth career win here. Stelzer took the lead immediately from his starting spot outside row two. Brandon Worthington gave chase, ahead of Jeff Wilke and Chase Young.
A restart with four laps down, gave Young a chance to jump up to second place, while Evan Epperson also entered the top four. Worthington dueled with Young, using the bottom to regain second with five laps to go. A final caution came out for a spun Mayberry, but nothing was stopping Stelzer.
Stelzer’s victory came ahead of Worthington, Young, Epperson and Mike Ayers.
“I’m on a mission this this year,” said a determined Stelzer in Victory Lane. “We’ve got a lot of goals to accomplish this year, and we’re starting to knock them off. I don’t know how much time I have left in this car, and I have to make time with what I have.”