Minter Knoxville 360 final summary

Minter Races Past 12 Cars at Knoxville 360 Nationals KNOXVILLE, IA (August 4) -- Kathryne Minter drove her family's ...

Minter Races Past 12 Cars at Knoxville 360 Nationals

KNOXVILLE, IA (August 4) -- Kathryne Minter drove her family's #13m Concrete Crushing Company J&J past 12 cars in Saturday's feature racing program at the 17th Annual Knoxville 360 Nationals.

Minter, who was making her debut at Knoxville Raceway, raced into third place in the "E" Feature to qualify for the "D," then raced past seven cars to finish 16th in the "D" Feature.

"I was running third and I was really mad because I thought I wasn't going to make it," Kathryne said after the "E" Feature. "At first, they said they were only taking the top two, but they ended up taking seven. I was praying for a caution. I was catching the guy in front of me (Eric Lutz), but I just didn't have enough laps to pass him."

A malfunctioning spark plug kept the #13m from running at its full capacity.

"The car felt really good in hot laps," Kathryne said, "but we had some motor problems. We had trouble with one of the spark plugs, so we had some running issues. I was still fast even though we had the spark plug problem. We hurried to get that fixed after hot laps."

Despite having to continually deal with the engine problems, Minter improved seven positions the "D" Feature.

"We were still dealing with the motor when I went out for the 'D,' Kathryne said. "I started pretty far back, but we ran pretty well the first few laps before the track started changing. We knew it was going to change, but we didn't have time to deal with that because we were making sure we got the motor fixed. It was a brand new motor we got back from Wells Thursday, so we wanted to make sure we got it taken care of. My car was really tight in one corner and really loose in the other one, so I had to keep reminding myself to turn more here and not as much there. It was really loose in three and four, so I didn't turn as much. In one and two, it was really tight, so I had to remind myself to turn it more there. So it was pretty challenging.

"We had quite a few cautions. On one, I looked down and noticed my motor was only running at 140 (degrees). It usually runs at 200 to 210. The temperature was really low and it the motor didn't sound quite right. I knew I wasn't going to qualify (for the "C") from where I was, so I pulled in with about three laps left. I didn't want to hurt my motor, so I figured it was better to be safe than sorry. If I had been in a transfer spot, I would have stayed out."

The Knoxville 360 Nationals was definitely a learning experience for the 16-year-old driver who has only been racing three years. She accepted an invitation to race in Sunday's Brodix Tournament of Champions.

"I learned a lot, and I hope it helps me in the Brodix race," Kathryne said. "I hope I don't have to use the provisional they have for me; I want to make it by myself."

Minter has been a hit off the racetrack as well, and was invited to Monday's autograph session at Knoxville Raceway.

"I hope I can stay next week because they want me to do an autograph signing," Kathryne said. "There was also a guy from a radio show called Racing Fans Direct who wants me to be a guest. I've signed so many autographs this week; it's amazing. I've been having a really good time."

-credit: kmr

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Series Sprint