Knoxville 360 Nationals Friday prelim notes

Higday & Adams star in Knoxville 360 Nationals Prelims ASCS - KNOXVILLE, Iowa (June 13, 2003) - Iowa's Josh Higday and Florida's Kenny Adams starred in Friday night's Advance Auto Parts Knoxville ASCS 360 Sprint Car Nationals 20-lap qualifying...

Higday & Adams star in Knoxville 360 Nationals Prelims

ASCS - KNOXVILLE, Iowa (June 13, 2003) - Iowa's Josh Higday and Florida's Kenny Adams starred in Friday night's Advance Auto Parts Knoxville ASCS 360 Sprint Car Nationals 20-lap qualifying features. The victories for Higday and Adams marked the first in O'Reilly ASCS National Tour action presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers for both drivers.

Higday took command in the evening's first feature and charged to a convincing victory, while Adams fought Billy Alley's bids for the lead to snare the victory in the second qualifying feature.

Cody Branchcomb, last year's ASCS Brodix Rookie of the Year, led the feature field for the first qualifier to the green flag with Higday alongside. Branchcomb led through the first two corners before Higday raced into the lead down the backstretch.

Once in front, Higday established a large lead in the non-stop 20-lap qualifier. Higday held a straightaway advantage over the field in the Ostrich-powered Jocko's Eagle until the latter stages, when eighth-starter Shane Stewart began chipping into his lead.

Higday still took the checkered flag with a half-straightaway advantage over Stewart, who overtook Erin Crocker for second on the 14th round. Brian Brown passed Crocker for third a lap later, but failed to pass post-race inspection.

Travis Rilat raced past Crocker in the closing rounds for what proved to be the show position, with Crocker holding off Don Droud, Jr., for fourth, with John VanDenberg and Danny Jennings next across the line. After being sent to the rear for apparently jumping the initial start, current ASCS point leader Darren Stewart charged through the field to claim eighth, with 18th-starter Randi Miller and Zach Chappell completing the top ten.

While Adams led the field to the green flag in the second feature, it was outside front row starter Steve Breazeale who jumped into the early lead, only to have the race interrupted by separate turn one tumbles by Joe Beaver and Brett Mather.

As the race resumed, Adams charged past Breazeale and survived another pair of early cautions, including a wild turn two flip by Jesse Hockett after six rounds.

Adams continued to set the pace on the restart, with Billy Alley and Terry McCarl in pursuit. McCarl's bid for victory lane would end two laps later when his machine lost power.

With the remaining 13 laps uninterrupted, Adams led the way on the high side with Alley challenging on the low side in a crowd-pleasing battle. Alley kept the pressure on and eventually slipped by Adams to briefly take command on the 15th round. Alley abandoned his line briefly however, and Adams raced back into the lead on the 17th round and collected the victory aboard the Goodson Farms machine.

"Alley drove by me there, and I knew it was time to get my elbows up," stated Adams in victory lane. Alley finished a strong second in front of Randy Martin and Jake Peters. After losing a right front torsion arm while running third in the early going, Dennis Moore, Jr., restarted at the rear and raced back through the field to round out the top five.

Completing the top ten in the second qualifying feature were Garry Lee Maier, Mike Houseman, David Hesmer, Ed Ergenbright and Shane Liebig.

With 75 cars on hand, the field was split into an odd and even program, based upon their draw.

In the odd program, Higday, Rilat, Shane Stewart and Brian Brown topped heat race action, with Wayne Johnson overtaking Randi Miller in lapped traffic to win the B Feature before Higday snared the feature win.

In the even program, Hockett, Rick Ziehl, Peters and Breazeale won heat races, with Ergenbright winning the B Main before Adams fought off Alley to take the checkered flag in his first ever visit to Knoxville Raceway.

-ascs-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Erin Crocker , Rick Ziehl , Brian Brown , Cody Branchcomb , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Jesse Hockett , Kenny Adams , Danny Jennings , Wayne Johnson