Meyers One Step Closer after Night 2 Win at Knoxville Nationals
Stevie Smith and Outlaws points leader Craig Dollansky are Saturday’s front-row starters
KNOXVILLE, Iowa – Aug. 9, 2012 – Like a wrinkled grocery list after a day at the store, Jason Meyers scratched off his racing goals one by one over the last decade.
The two-time defending World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion had accomplished nearly everything and anything he set his sights on before hanging up his racing suit in the offseason, choosing to focus on his family rather than chasing sprint car races across the country.
Every goal was met and crossed off except one – a Goodyear Knoxville Nationals title.
“Out of all the goals we’ve set in sprint car racing, we’ve achieved them all except for winning the Knoxville Nationals,” he said.
Meyers is one step closer to that dream after he recorded an emphatic victory on Thursday on the second qualifying night of the 52nd annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway. Driving for longtime family friend Tom Tarlton, Meyers led the final 18 laps in his return to the famed half mile.
“This gives me one more opportunity to go out there and do it,” he said. “We’ve got a great car. I think we’ve got a great shot at it.”
Meyers, who started third, passed polesitter Mark Dobmeier for the lead on the restart on lap eight. Meyers then outlasted a late charge from Tim Shaffer, who started 15th and worked the bottom to within a couple car lengths of the leader in the closing laps.
“When you can hit the bottom here and nail it, I don’t care how good you hit the top, the bottom will be faster,” Shaffer said.
Kraig Kinser won a late-race battle with Stevie Smith to earn the final spot on the podium.
“I’ll take third,” Kinser said. “I’ll take it any day. I really feel like we accomplished what we set to do here. This is really great for me.”
Smith finished fourth and Lance Dewease rounded out the top five. While those drivers made their way to the front, that wasn’t the place to be early on.
Sammy Swindell was forced to the pits on lap five while running fourth after his U-joint broke, relegating him to a 23rd-place finish.
Three laps later, second-running Greg Hodnett brought out the first caution after stopping in turn four. Hodnett went to the work area and was able to continue, but he placed 11th after restarting at the back.
Fast qualifier Ian Madsen spun exiting turn two on the restart while running ninth. Danny Lasoski flipped after crashing into Madsen, who finished 16 th after making repairs. Lasoski’s night was finished and he was credited with 22nd.
Dusty Zomer’s left rear tire expired with 10 laps remaining while he was running 10th. He placed 21st after the incident.
Dobmeier faded in the closing laps to finish sixth with Jason Johnson seventh, 21st-starter Tim Kaeding eighth, Brian Brown ninth and 17 th-starter Johnny Herrera rounded out the top 10.
Unofficially, the 16 drivers locked into Saturday’s $150,000-to-win feature are: Smith, Craig Dollansky, Jonathan Allard, Brown, Donny Schatz, Joey Saldana, Meyers, Kaeding, Kinser, Lucas Wolfe, Madsen, Kyle Larson, Shane Stewart, Daryn Pittman, Dewease and Paul McMahan.