Swindell Adds to Legendary Career at Knoxville Raceway

Swindell Adds to Legendary Career at Knoxville Raceway
He retakes Outlaws points lead, which is swapped for the seventh time this season
KNOXVILLE, Iowa – April 28, 2012 – Simply put, Sammy Swindell’s statistics at Knoxville Raceway are phenomenal.
Swindell claimed the first World of Outlaws feature at the famed half mile in 1979 and he picked up the lone event – not counting the Knoxville Nationals – last season. He’s a former Knoxville Nationals champion and is closing in on 50 career feature victories at the track.

“It’s a track where you’ve really got to carry the corner speed and your momentum, and really hit the marks just right,” he said. “The line gets so narrow on the bottom and the top running it that you have to be almost perfect. I think my experience and the amount of laps help make up for that.”

That was evident Saturday night as Swindell passed Brian Brown for the lead on lap 15 and cruised to his 15th career World of Outlaws victory and 48th overall at Knoxville Raceway.

The win was his third of the season and allowed Swindell to regain the points lead, which has been swapped seven times this season. Swindell holds a seven-point advantage over Donny Schatz as the top five are separated by a mere 58 points.

“I think we’ve had the car that could win the last few races,” Swindell said. “We had one at Haubstadt, but had a part break and still managed a third with a wounded car. If we keep this thing running, we’ve got a chance of winning every night.”

Swindell uncharacteristically qualified 16th quickest, which gave him the final spot in the invert and the pole position for the fourth-and-final heat race. He led all eight laps to pick up his series-best fifth heat win of the season, which locked him into the dash.

Swindell started last – 10th – and drove to seventh in the six-lap race, which aligned him on the inside of the fourth row for the 25-lap feature.

A trio of red flags within the first three laps stalled the race, but allowed Swindell to climb to fourth. He picked up third place on lap three and grabbed the runner-up position on lap five.

Chasing his first career World of Outlaws feature win, polesitter Brian Brown had driven to nearly a half-straightaway advantage when Swindell began to close the gap. As Brown battled through traffic on lap nine, Swindell edged closer.

With 11 laps remaining, Swindell rocketed off the bottom in turn four and passed Brown for the top spot at the finish line. Swindell then negotiated thick lapped traffic and a final caution with six laps remaining.

Brown, who started on the outside of Swindell on the double-file restart with six laps to go, entered turn one side by side only to lose ground as they exited the turn. Craig Dollansky passed Brown for the runner-up position on the backstretch.

“We sure would have liked to have been one spot better, but we definitely learned some things here tonight,” Dollansky said. “Sammy, he had a real good car. He’s been strong here the last couple of years.

“Second with this group of cars that were here tonight is nothing to shake a stick at.”

Joey Saldana slipped past Brown for the final podium spot with a couple laps remaining.

“It was a good, solid feature,” Saldana said. “I was a second-place car at best. We ran third and that’s about where we were. Sammy was definitely the class of the field.”

Brown finished fourth with nine-time Knoxville Raceway track champion and former World of Outlaws champion Danny Lasoski rounding out the top five with a last-lap pass on Schatz.

Knoxville regular Dusty Zomer charged from 21st to seventh and Jason Sides earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from 23     rd to eighth. Brad Sweet was ninth and Terry McCarl finished 10th.

In his first career race at Knoxville Raceway, Trey Starks led all eight laps to claim his heat race. Ian Madsen, McCarl and Swindell were the other heat winners. Saldana set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 14.881 seconds and Don Droud Jr. claimed the Last Chance Showdown.