Madsen Wins, McCarl Is Knoxville Champion

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Kerry Madsen (Ken Berry photo)

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — After a lengthy delay due to a power outage, the Knoxville Raceway faithful were treated to three exciting features on Mediacom Season Championship Night Saturday.

Kerry Madsen nabbed the $5,000 410 sprint car feature after inheriting the lead late from Brian Brown. Jon Agan won a duel with McKenna Haase to claim the 360 main event and Ryan Leavitt led from start to finish to capture the 305 feature.

Austin McCarl (410), Clint Garner (360) and Eric Bridger (305) were crowned Lucas Oil Knoxville Championship Cup Series titlists.

Before a lap could be completed in the 25-lap 410 finale, Rager Phillips, Glen Saville and Chase Wanner find themselves pointing the wrong way in turn two.  All rejoined the field.  Brian Brown shot out from inside row two to lead early over Tasker Phillips and Kerry Madsen.  Madsen quickly moved into the second spot, with Davey Heskin riding the low side in tow.

Brown was quickly into lapped traffic on the seventh circuit, opening up over a straightaway lead on Madsen.  The battle was on for third, as Matt Juhl challenged Heskin and briefly took the spot on lap nine. Heskin regained the spot, while Austin McCarl continued to advance from his starting position outside row four. He got by Juhl and then set his sights on Heskin for third, passing him with five to go.

With just four laps to go, the leader suddenly slowed. Madsen, who had gained some ground in traffic, assumed the lead. He went on to claim his 21st career feature win here aboard the Tod Quiring No. 2m ahead of hard-charger Austin McCarl, Brooke Tatnell, Heskin and Juhl.

Time trials were scrapped due to a power outage that saw racing finally commence around 9:30 p.m.

“I watched McKenna run the 360 A, and she was driving really hard (on the cushion),” said Madsen of his second win here this year. “I thought I don’t want to hit that thing. You had to be really cautious going into one. Guy (Forbrook) gave me a good racecar tonight, and the guys worked hard all week. It’s been a good year. I really want to thank the fans tonight for waiting for the power to come back on. Thanks to Knoxville Raceway for really handling it well too. I think this will give us some momentum heading into the rest of the season.”

“It was awesome!” said Austin McCarl of his championship aboard the TKS Motorsports No. 2KS. “We had a great year at Knoxville with four wins. We came in with zero. Anytime you can win at this place is special.  We struggled a little early in the year with qualifying and we got that figured out. I knew every time I pushed off that I had a great car come feature time. Hats off to Troy and Tammy (Renfro) and the rest of the team.”

What could have been a tighter point race in the 360 class, fizzled when Ryan Giles exited on the first lap of that 20-lap event.  That handed the title to now eight-time champ Clint Garner.

Agan outbattled Haase for his 12thcareer Knoxville victory. Haase finished second, ahead of Sawyer Phillips.

Ryan Leavitt was never seriously challenged after taking the early lead from the second row inside in the non-stop 18-lap 305 main event.

Bridger’s championship was his second in as many years.