KNOXVILLE, Iowa. — Lucas Wolfe is still chasing the first points-paying victory in his World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series career, but on Friday night at Knoxville Raceway he dominated the best drivers in the world by winning the Premier Chevy Dealers Knoxville World Challenge, the third of three feature events during the night before the focus quickly turns to Saturday’s 51st Goodyear Knoxville Nationals $150,000-to-win A-main.
Wolfe, a Mechanicsburg, Pa. native, has been heating up on the World of Outlaws circuit lately, but a victory at Knoxville during the biggest week in sprint car racing certainly brought a smile to the series top rookie in 2008.
“This was the most money I’ve ever won in one event,” said Wolfe, who pocketed $10,000 for the win.
At the halfway point, Wolfe’s lead was 4.2 seconds over Jason Sides, Shane Stewart, Lynton Jeffrey and Ian Madsen. The lead trio remained the same with five to go. On lap 17, Jason Johnson took fourth from Jeffrey in a charge of his own. Stewart reeled in Sides in the non-stop event coming for the white flag and made the pass for second, but Wolfe was all alone to collect his first career Knoxville win worth $10,000.
“I had a good opportunity to start up front and have a clean racetrack ahead of me,” said Wolfe. “We were able to get by lapped cars well. The World Challenge has been good to me the last two years. We’ve had disappointing Nationals, but this event has given us a good week. I’d like to thank everyone that puts it on. I’m always happy to come out here. It’s a place we deserve to be at. I wish we had ten Outlaw races here.”
“Things worked well,” said the popular Stewart. “You can’t get greedy. This is a sport that will kick you in the teeth at any time. I won’t have any trouble sleeping tonight, that’s for sure. Every time I’ve hit the track the last ten days, it’s been incredible.”
“It hasn’t really happened for us,” said the third running Sides of his Nationals run. “We made a motor change tonight, and that gave us some speed. I think Shane is one to watch for tomorrow. He may have one for them.”
Johnson finished fourth ahead of Jeffrey.