KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Gary Wright kicked off his special weekend with a resounding win in the 19th annual Masters Classic at the Knoxville Raceway Friday night.
The Hooks, Texas driver will be enshrined on Saturday in the Naitonal Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum.
Wright’s 22-lap $2,000 win was registered in a track record time of 6:50.3, shattering the old mark set by Rick Ferkel in 1995 by 64 seconds. The win came aboard the BDS Motorsports No. 38 Maxim, usually piloted by Wayne Johnson.
Mackie Heimbaugh held the advantage from his starting spot outside of row one for the first six laps. Mike Peters and Wright moved into third and fourth behind Terry Alexander by lap three, and two laps later they were in pursuit of the leader.
Peters was the first to strike, gaining the point on lap seven. It was short-lived as four laps later, Wright could take over for good and extend his lead in the non-stop affair.
“I have to thank Bryan (Sumby) and Wayne (Johnson) for getting this extra car together,” said Wright. “It was a lot of work. The race car was great. It would roll around wherever I wanted to go. I’ve been racing Mike Peters since the 1980s, so I knew he would be hard to catch, but I just found a good line.”
Concerning his induction into the Hall of Fame, Wright stated, “It’s pretty special. When I started doing this back in 1981, I never thought I would be in a place like that. I’m tickled to death. I do appreciate it so much. It’s going to be great!”
Wright was followed by Peters, Heimbaugh, Alexander and Steve Wares.
A star-studded 41-car field showed for the 360 Knoxville Championship Cup Series side of the card. In the end, Brian Brown notched his 10th career 360 win at Knoxville, leading all 15 circuits.
Clint Garner finished second ahead of Jack Dover, Wayne Johnson and Dennis Moore, Jr.
“I dedicate this win to my Uncle Danny (Lasoski) who is going into the Hall of Fame tomorrow,” said Brown. “If it wasn’t for he and my Grandpa George, there wouldn’t be a Brian Brown racing here tonight. He’s over in the Hall of Fame watching. He’s taught me everything I know. Hopefully, he teaches me everything he knows someday. The Dunkin family gets a bad rap when the track isn’t right, but they get it right nine times out of 10, and tonight was perfect.”