ALLSTAR: NCRA: Knoxville 1200# pit notes

KNOXVILLE, IA - The 1200 ...

KNOXVILLE, IA - The 1200# Nationals was a historical event, bringing together five groups for the first time, the All Star sprints, National Championship Racing Association (NCRA), Interstate Racing Association (IRA), Knoxville regulars (Midwest Mafia) and invaders (non-point regulars in the other four groups). Of the 97 cars on hand for the Nationals, 34 were Knoxville regulars, 25 represented the IRA, 15 were Invaders, 13 represented the All Stars and 10 were from the NCRA. Drivers came from 18 states, Australia and New Zealand. The race was run under Knoxville Speedway rules. The cooperation was evident Saturday morning when All Star president Bert Emick led a driver and owner meeting among the sanctioning bodies to discuss a common set of rules and further cost cutting measures (in addition to the 1200 pound minimum weight) for next year. The groups will meet again in December at the annual PRI trade show.

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A total of 16 different chassis were represented at the Nationals. The tally was 37 Maxim, 24 Eagle, 5 J&J, 4 Gambler, 4 Avenger, 4 Twister, 3 Stealth, 2 American Challenge, 2 Stevenson, 2 Schnee and one each of JB, Kain, Moore, Mirage, Englo and Harris. Engines were built by 30 different engine builders. Chuck Merrill of Maxim gave a chassis to the first Maxim driver over the finish line Saturday.

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Gary Wright was running second in his heat Friday after starting ninth, but blew his engine, ending his hopes for the Nationals title. He started ninth in the Saturday E Main and finished second to transfer to the D where he finished fourth.

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New Zealand's Kerry Jones visited Ohio Speedweek last year, and is visiting the states for five weeks this season. Jones drove a Pennsylvania based car last season, but this year he shipped over his own Harris chassis on a container ship (along with a midget for fellow New Zealander Michael Kendall who competes in Indiana) and will make Knoxville his home for the next few weeks. Vicki Beattie is hosting the Jones group at her home. The trio consists of companions Trevor Akers (builder/mechanic) and mechanic Bridget Shaw. Larry Weeks and former 360 racer Chris Tice are also helping out Jones, a 10-time Kiwi feature winner last season, this season.

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California driver Mike Faria was kept overnight in Knoxville hospital after getting tee boned in a hard heat race flip. Faria suffered a concussion and was expected to be released Sunday.

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Jim Knight, who owns the machine Chad Kemenah drives in his annual visits to Australia each season, reports he is building a new speedway near Melbourne. The track is patterned after Ohio's Attica Raceway Park and will seat 20,000.

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All Star regular Byron Reed missed the 1200# Nationals as his wife Kelly is expecting the couple's first child any day now.

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The scoring with the Knoxville Raceway transponder system was the first time the All Stars have competed utilizing computerized scoring since an event at Crystal (MI) Raceway in 1998. A passing points system was used for lineups, with eight cars inverted for Friday night's mains. Winners Kahne started 11th and Droud eighth in Friday's mains.

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The weekend's activities marked the fourth time the All Stars have competed at Knoxville, the other events being in 1995, 1997 and 1998.

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Aaron Hammer, crew chief on the Kenny Jacobs No. 6, celebrated his 20th birthday Friday evening. IRA driver Travis Tennyson celebrated his birthday Saturday.

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The All Stars announced a change to their August schedule. The event originally scheduled for Sat. Aug. 25 at K-C Raceway in Chillicothe has been dropped from the schedule. The event on that evening (The Mystery 40) will now be run at Attica Raceway Park in Attica.

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The All Stars will be busy at the beginning of August. This Thursday, they move to Eldora Speedway for the annual two nights before the Big One event. Then it's on to the annual Thunder Through the Plains Tour co-sanctioned by the NCRA. Thunder Hill Speedway in Mayetta, KS opens the Thunder Tour on Monday, Aug. 14, with State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, MO hosting the Tuesday round. Joplin 66 Speedway in Joplin, MO will host the Wed. Aug. 15 race. The all-new Jetmore (KS) Motoplex hosts the Thursday, Aug. 16 round, followed by a trip to 81 Speedway in Wichita, KS on Friday and a visit to Tulsa (OK) Speedway on Saturday Aug. 18.

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Stanley Kolan, owner of East Bay Raceway in Gibsonton, FL, has announced his season ending 2001 Sprint Fall Nationals on Nov. 1-2-3 will now pay $30,000 to the Saturday night winner for the All Star sprint event, plus $10,000 to win for the companion 360 sprint Fall Brawl event.

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-Scott Hall

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Series Sprint
Drivers Kenny Jacobs , Chad Kemenah