Knoxville ToC race report

McCarl masters Brodix Tournament of Champions at Knoxville KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 10, 2003) - Terry McCarl outdueled Jesse Giannetto then held off Shane Stewart's last lap bid for the lead to win Sunday night's 30-lap Brodix Tournament of ...

McCarl masters Brodix Tournament of Champions at Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 10, 2003) - Terry McCarl outdueled Jesse Giannetto then held off Shane Stewart's last lap bid for the lead to win Sunday night's 30-lap Brodix Tournament of Champions feature at Knoxville Raceway. McCarl picked up $4,000 for the victory.

In what proved to be a sign of things to come, McCarl raced from the tenth starting position to win the fifth of six heat races for the 63-car field. McCarl's heat race exploits aboard the Wesmar-powered Kearney & Sons Construction/Country Builders machine earned him the most passing points for the evening. With the top six in passing points inverted, McCarl started the 30-car main event from the third row outside.

ASCS shoe Toby Brown and Knoxville standout Giannetto led the field to the green flag. Brown led the way into turn one, then found himself alongside second row starters Billy Alley, the current Knoxville Raceway point leader, and Travis Rilat, current O'Reilly ASCS point leader, coming off turn two. Alley prevailed in the opening lap battle and paced the early rounds with Rilat in pursuit, while Giannetto slipped around Brown for third on the third lap.

Alley was just encountering lapped traffic when the caution flew after seven rounds for debris on the track. Under the ensuing caution period, Rilat's hopes were dashed when a broken right-front torsion stop forced him to the work area. Rilat restarted at the rear.

Alley would suffer misfortune as well moments after action resumed. After Giannetto slid into the lead on the restart, Alley slowed moments later and went pitside with mechanical problems, one lap after Brown's top-five run suffered a similar fate, as mechanical gremlins sent him to the pits early as well.

Giannetto paced the field after Alley's departure, with Sprint Invader rep McCarl and URC shoe Chris Coyle chasing. Meanwhile, ASCS hotshoe Shane Stewart was slicing through the field from his 20th starting position. Stewart had cracked the top ten by the lap seven caution, then was in fourth by the 11th circuit.

As Giannetto and McCarl battled for the point, Stewart overtook Coyle for third at the midway point. Coyle came to a stop several rounds later, bringing out the caution on lap 19. Giannetto fought off McCarl for two more rounds when the race's final caution appeared for ASCS Sooner Region representative Derek Drown, who tagged the turn two retaining wall, setting up a nine-lap dash to the checkered flag.

As the green flag flew again, McCarl raced into the lead exiting turn two, with Stewart dashing into second in three and four. McCarl held a slim lead over Stewart over the next few rounds, as he approached lapped traffic with two laps to go.

Stewart made a last-lap charge, diving low entering turn one to challenge for the lead. McCarl fought off the challenge, then held Stewart off to post his second big win in the past eight days at the famed half-mile clay oval.

Stewart settled for second, with Giannetto snaring the show position. Ryan Jamison and former ASCS National champion Zach Chappell traded slide jobs much of the way, with Jamison taking fourth at the line. Saturday night's winner Jerrod Hull battled into fifth in the final rounds, with Chappell claiming sixth. Fourteenth-starter David Hesmer crossed the stripe in seventh, just ahead of 19th-starter Roger Crockett and Ed Ergenbright. Josh Higday, who won last year's Brodix Tournament of Champions, charged from 30th to complete the top ten.

Alley, Drown, Coyle, Hull, McCarl and Jamison topped heat race action, with Crockett, Stewart and Eric Crocker winning the 15-lap B Mains.

Darren Stewart's night came to an early end after he lost a muffler on the final lap of his heat and was disqualified, prompting the team to load up for the night.

Cody Branchcomb's night came to an early end as well when engine problems sidelined him in heat race action.

Current ASCS Sooner Region point leader Kevin Ramey came from 16th to finish twelfth, while defending ASCS Sooner Region champion Danny Jennings finished 13th after running in the top ten for much of the race.

Current ASCS Rocky Mountain Region point leader Randi Miller exited after seven rounds in the feature when a muffler came off the Larry Weeks-owned machine.

ASCS Sooner Region representative Brian Harvill was unable to transfer to the main event from the third B Main.

-ascs/lw-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Cody Branchcomb , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Danny Jennings , Kevin Ramey , Roger Crockett