AMOCO KNOXVILLE NATIONALS - RACE RECAPS FROM THE PAST (1986-1990) The second half of the 1980's brought familiar faces to victory lane at the Amoco Knoxville Nationals, but the first race of the 1990's offered a climatic ending and popular...
AMOCO KNOXVILLE NATIONALS - RACE RECAPS FROM THE PAST (1986-1990)
The second half of the 1980's brought familiar faces to victory lane at the Amoco Knoxville Nationals, but the first race of the 1990's offered a climatic ending and popular winner.
In 1986, two years had passed since Steve Kinser won his last Knoxville title. For "the King of the Outlaws" that was long enough. Kinser beat Dave Blaney on the original start and held off Ron Shuman to tie Ken Weld and Doug Wolfgang as a four-time event winner. Wolfgang, Jeff Swindell and Bobby Davis, Jr. rounded out the top-five.
The following year Kinser was out to become the first five-time Nationals Champion and the only one seemingly able to slow down the number 11 was Mother Nature. Rains forced the qualifying programs to be held on Saturday with the championship features being held on Sunday evening. Kinser led all-thirty laps and his Knoxville victory helped set a record for Outlaw wins in a single season (46). Bobby Davis, Jr. piloted Paul Morgan's #6 to the runner-up spot while a jubilant twenty-four-year-old Mark Kinser finished third. Kenny Jacobs finished fourth ahead of Jimmy Sills.
In 1988, Steve Kinser completed his second three-peat winning 28th Nationals. The win was worth $30,000 for Kinser. Bobby Davis, Jr., Dave Blaney, and Sammy Swindell completed the top-five.
In 1989, Doug Wolfgang broke Kinser's string of wins and became the second five-time winner by leading all 30 laps of the "A" Feature. Wolfgang and Kinser shared the front row, but it was "the Wolf" that led the way. Kinser gave up his runner-up position with a flat right rear tire and Dave Blaney picked up the spot and tried to mount a charge for the lead. Wolfgang had the field covered in the #8d while Blaney held of Nationals Rookie Stevie Smith, Sammy Swindell and Bobby Davis, Jr.
The 1990 version of the August extravaganza for the World of Outlaws came down to an eight-lap shootout between longtime Outlaw competitors Sammy Swindell and Bobby Allen. Allen, who first competed in the Nationals in 1973, used his patented bottom line to get the #1a around the Knoxville half-mile while Swindell, who has competed in the event since 1974, used the high groove. Swindell's #1 TMC machine was smoking for most of the race and began spraying oil late in the race. After taking the lead on lap 26, Swindell twice bounced off the wall because his helmet had been covered by oil. Allen made his final move as the pair entered turn three on the 28th lap. He took the white flag and held off Swindell by three car lengths. Stevie Smith repeated his third-place finish ahead of track champion Danny Lasoski and Doug Wolfgang, who advanced from the D-Main passing 62 cars during the final program.