Six NST drivers locked into Knoxville Nationals KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- Two National Sprint Tour drivers wouldn't mind making Saturday's 46th annual Super Clean Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway a Jason and Jason show. Jason Solwold...
Six NST drivers locked into Knoxville Nationals
KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- Two National Sprint Tour drivers wouldn't mind making Saturday's 46th annual Super Clean Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway a Jason and Jason show.
Jason Solwold finished third in Friday's A-scramble, while Jason Meyers took sixth. Combined with points previously accrued, Meyers will start fourth on Saturday and Solwold will roll off eighth. Donny Schatz, who finished second in the scramble, will start on pole with Joey Saldana alongside. Another Jason, Jason Johnson, starts third.
Meyers and his team tried a new setup Friday, and learned from that experiment.
"The car was not as good as we wanted it to be," Meyers said. "We know that's not the setup to use. We were just trying something different. It all just depends on the track. You never know."
Meyers is looking forward to Saturday's 30-lap main event, which pays $140,000 to win.
"I'm very optimistic," he said. "We have a good car, and a good team. I'm looking forward to it."
As strong as Schatz has looked, Meyers knows nothing is guaranteed until the checkered flag falls on Saturday.
"We still have 30 laps to go," Meyers said. "Anything can happen."
Solwold is hoping his car is better Saturday night.
"We've got to our car right," Solwold said. "We changed it all around. Hopefully we can get it right. It's squatting on the right rear. Hopefully we can get it figured out."
A consistent grumble among those in Wednesday's qualifying show was how the track was wider and racier on Thursday.
"The track was 20 feet narrower (Wednesday) than it was today," Solwold said following Friday's race. "That's the problem with two different nights. We didn't have a good track Wednesday. You couldn't pass. That beat us up in the points. I'm not sure I like the points format. It sucks."
Solwold's team changed motors following Wednesday's program, and Solwold saw improvement on Friday.
"Our car was a little better," he said. "We changed motors. It seemed like we were running better. I think we just missed something tonight. Hopefully the track stays nice and wide Saturday."
Other NST drivers locked into Saturday's main event are Tim Kaeding (12th), Brian Paulus (14th), Paul McMahan (17th) and 12-time Nationals champion Steve Kinser (19th).
Shane Stewart is among those who will have to advance through Saturday's B-main to start the A-main. Stewart was third in Friday's B-scramble, and will start fourth in Saturday's 22-lap B-main. The top four transfer into the main event.
Stewart's team had to change motors following Wednesday's action.
"We were a little better tonight," Stewart said Friday night. "We're trying to get a good balance. We're getting close. We've got our work cut out for us. Watching Donny Schatz tonight helped. The lower line is the place to be, if you can make your car work there. That's where I'll have to be tomorrow."
Stewart feels he'll be able to transfer out of the B.
"We have as good a chance as anyone," he said. "I've started 16th in the B and made it out before. If I can get to the A, I know I'll pass some cars."
Joining Stewart in the B-main will be Kerry Madsen and four-time Nationals champion Danny Lasoski, who will start 18th and 20th, respectively. Madsen also finished eighth in Friday's Factory Value Parts World Challenge, while McMahan was fifth.
Madsen faced an uphill battle after clocking in 42nd quick on Thursday.
"We just dropped the ball," he said. "If the track is wide enough tomorrow, we can use our lane."
Jason Sides starts sixth in the C-main, while Dean Jacobs starts second in the D-main.