KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Kerry Madsen took home $5,000 for his charge from the seventh row to victory Saturday night at the Knoxville Raceway with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.
It was the series’ first appearance at Knoxville since 2011. With 56 cars in the field, Madsen earned his 20th career victory at the famous half-mile oval aboard the Tod Quiring No. 2m.
The feature for the All Stars got off to a rough start, when a slow pace on the parade lap saw cars stacking up. Austin McCarl got the worst end of the situation, and ended up spinning to a stop with top wing damage. Once the 25-lap event was green, Matt Juhl took the point ahead of Terry McCarl, Brooke Tatnell, Lynton Jeffrey and Carson Macedo.
Sammy Swindell made an early move from sixth to fourth early, before Trey Starks found himself upside down in turn one with three laps in the books. The restart saw Juhl leading Terry McCarl, Tatnell, Swindell and Chad Kemenah.
Swindell would gain third when the green fell. Juhl and McCarl separated themselves a bit from the pack, but on the twelfth lap, the leader slowed and exited with a driveline issue.
McCarl assumed the lead by a healthy margin. Disaster struck with 14 laps down, however. McCarl jumped the turn one cushion and flipped hard into turn two.
Swindell assumed the lead ahead of Kemenah, Tatnell, Kerry Madsen (up from 13th) and Paul McMahan.
Tatnell moved into second on the restart, but Madsen was on the move, and slid from fourth to second on lap 16.
A great race for the lead developed with Swindell and Madsen swapping the point twice. Madsen would finally lead on lap 20. A final caution came out for Macedo, who blew his right-rear tire with three to go. On that restart, Sam Hafertepe Jr. had issues and spun.
Madsen would pull away to win his second All Star show in as many nights over Swindell, Kemenah, Brian Brown and Tatnell.
McMahan set quick time.
“He will not go away, will he?” said Madsen of Swindell. “He’s an absolute legend and one of my heroes growing up. I can’t believe he’s still going. Everyone asks what’s been wrong with us.We’ve actually been quick, but we haven’t caught many breaks. Last night (at Jackson Motorplex in Minnesota) was a great night, and Guy Forbrook has been working hard. That thing was a rocket ship tonight. Obviously, to win a race like this you have to have a great race car. This is a good time to get good.”
“We weren’t in this car until Thursday night, and we’ve had some things to work on,” said Swindell of his Thone Motorsports No. 59. “Our dashes we seem to back up, but we seem to get a lot better for the main. That was a heck of a start on the first lap. We were able to get by Brown there on the berm. We were able to get to fourth right away There’s a few things we struggled with towards the end, but it’s a heck of a start with this team. At my age, we’re not supposed to be doing this, but we’re proving them wrong every night.”
“I think we got better in the long runs,” said Kemenah. “I messed up on the one restart. We’ve kind of struggled all year long, so this deal here can give us some momentum coming into a pretty important week coming up here. The last few races we’ve been getting better, and we’ll just keep plugging away.”
Clint Garner topped a 44-car field in the 360 class.
Feature (25 laps): 1. Kerry Madsen (13); 2. Sammy Swindell (7); 3. Chad Kemenah (8); 4. Brian Brown (5); 5. Brooke Tatnell (4); 6. Spencer Bayston (9); 7. Dominic Scelzi (23); 8. Aaron Reutzel (18); 9. Cory Eliason (19); 10. Paul McMahan (10); 11. Tim Kaeding (20); 12. Austin McCarl (16); 13. Joey Saldana (22); 14. Lynton Jeffrey (3); 15. Parker Price-Miller (14); 16. Carson Macedo (6); 17. Tasker Phillips (17); 18. Wayne Johnson (12); 19. Ryan Robinson (24); 20. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (11); 21. Terry McCarl (2); 22. Matt Juhl (1); 23. Dave Blaney (26); 24. Jac Haudenschild (25); 25. Trey Starks (15); 26. Gio Scelzi (21).