Knoxville, Iowa - July 27 - Knoxville Raceway regulars Calvin Landis and Jeff Mitrisin led the way in capturing the opening round feature events at the 2nd annual Pella Corporation 1200 LB Nationals at Marion County Fairgrounds Saturday night. The...
Knoxville, Iowa - July 27 - Knoxville Raceway regulars Calvin Landis and Jeff Mitrisin led the way in capturing the opening round feature events at the 2nd annual Pella Corporation 1200 LB Nationals at Marion County Fairgrounds Saturday night. The events were sanctioned by the All Stars, NCRA and IRA.
In the first feature, Landis guided his self-owned Maxim to a flag to flag win in the 20-lap event. It was a race which saw red flags interrupt the start twice. First Justin Henderson and then John Schultz bent their sprinters in separate incidents and then John VanDenBerg tore up additional machinery on the second attempt to get the rain-delayed Friday night event started.
When the race finally took the green, Landis utilized his pole position start to grab the lead as he ran on the cushion of the half-mile oval. By the two-mile mark he had created almost a front-chute gap between himself and second and third running Brent Antill and Kenny Jacobs who were battling each other for the runner-up spot.
Lap six saw the front runners head into lap traffic which only intensified the battle between Antill and Jacobs. Just before the half-way mark, Jacobs took the second spot but was far behind the lead car. It wasn't until the 12th go around that Landis entered some heavy lap traffic which gave Jacobs a chance to cut into his lead. Four laps later the yellow flag was displayed for fourth running Travis Rilat who had lost a right rear tire.
On the single-file restart Landis kept his line as Jacobs shot his car to the low side. Both drivers chose good lines but Landis was just faster on the cushion. Slowly, slowly he began to pull away and with no traffic in sight he was able to generate a considerable margin as he roared across the finish line to take his first feature event win at this historic oval. It paid the Phoenix, Arizona driver $3,000. Jacobs settled for second, Paul McMahan took third, Jeff Shepard, a sixth row starter was fourth and Antill was fifth. Rounding out the top ten finishers were Kelly Kinser, Kerry Madsen, Dean Jacobs, Ed Lynch, Jr. and Skip Jackson.
The second qualifying feature saw Chris Walraven utilized his front row start to grab the first round of the ten-mile dash. Kim Mock roared by Walraven on the second lap as he shot to the low side of turns one and two and roared down the backstretch with the lead. Mock seemed to have the race in control until his right rear tire let go with explosive force on lap six. That gave the lead back to Walraven for the restart.
When the race resumed Walraven took command as Jac Haudenschild and Jeff Mitrisin battled it out for the second place spot. Mitrisin prevailed as he began to chase down Walraven who had pulled away to from the battling duo. At the half-way point, Walraven held a five car-length advantage. The top three cars, Walraven, Mitrisin and Haudenschild were within five car lengths of each other on the cushion. It was at this point that the Haudenschild mount began to throw smoke as an indication of problems ahead for the Ohio driver.
Lap 16 saw a yellow flag for a stopped car and that is when Haudenschild pulled in with a very sick engine and parked his machine for the night. Chad Kemenah had roared from 21st to sixth at this juncture.
On the single-file restart Mitrisin was able to pull away from fifth row starter Blake Feese who had quietly worked his way to the front. However, that is as far as he would advance in this race as Mitrisin was beginning to check out on the 24-car field. When the checkered flag flew, Mitrisin had covered the field by nearly 20 car lengths to record the $3,000 win. Feese came across for second, Jason Johnson took third, Kemenah finished fourth and defending event champion Don Droud, Jr. was fifth. Brooke Tatnell, Terry McCarl, Byron Reed, Dennis Moore, Jr. from the twentieth spot and Joe Beaver rounded out the top ten finishers in this final qualifying event.