knoxville notes: contenders tune up in cappy classic

KNOXVILLLE, Iowa — Sixty-nine cars and drivers signed in for Sunday night’s 11th annual Capitani Classic at Knoxville Raceway, which is traditionally the last chance for competitors to get laps at the legendary half-mile track before the Nationals begin on Wednesday night.

While many of the drivers considered contenders to win the 61st annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals, took advantage of the opportunity, one notable did not.

Brent Marks, who swept the Historical Big One and Kings Royal at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway last month, did not compete on Sunday night.

Race winner Logan Schuchart, Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet, David Gravel, Carson Macedo Brian Brown, Gio Scelzi and Aaron Reutzel were among 24 drivers who qualified for Sunday’s 25-lap main event.

• Reigning Knoxville Nationals winner Kyle Larson and Brown were among the drivers scheduled to compete in Monday night’s 27th annual Sage Fruit Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway.

The race will pay the winner $21,000. Larson won the event last year.

• Saturday night’s 50-lap Knoxville Nationals feature is scheduled to pay $175,000 to win from a $995,105 four-day purse.

• The feature pays $10,000 to qualify for the 24-car field.

• Cole Macedo will make his Knoxville Nationals debut as a quasi-teammate to his brother Carson. Cole Macedo will pilot the Dietz Motorsports No. 14 sprint car owned by Phil Dietz, who is the crew chief and co-owner of the Jason Johnson Racing No. 41 driven by Carson Macedo on the World of Outlaws tour.

• Cole Macedo has won nine features this season driving for Ohio-based Ray Brooks Racing.

• California racer Justin Sanders will take his first crack at Knoxville Raceway aboard Kevin Swindell’s No. 39 Swindell SpeedLab machine. Sanders will compete in both the 360 Nationals and the Knoxville Nationals.

• Macedo and Sanders are among 12 rookies. The others are Corey Day, Tyler Drueke, Carson Short, Blake Hahn, Lachlan McHugh, Buddy Kofoid, Chris Windom, Garet Williamson, Dylan Westbrook and Alan Gilbertson.

• Seven drivers who have won the Knoxville Nationals are entered in the 61st annual event led by 10-time winner Donny Schatz. The others are Tim Shaffer, Sammy Swindell, Kraig Kinser, David Gravel, Brad Sweet and reigning champion Kyle Larson.

• With more and more drivers transitioning from non-winged racing to winged sprint cars, six USAC national midget champions are entered in the Knoxville Nationals. They are Michael Kofoid, Tyler Courtney, Spencer Bayston, Kasey Kahne, Rico Abreu and Chris Windom.

• Four-time USAC champion Brady Bacon is also scheduled to return to the Knoxville Nationals this year.

• Harli White and McKenna Haase are the only female drivers entered in this year’s Knoxville Nationals.

• There are four sets of brothers entered in the Knoxville Nationals — Macedos, Madsens, McCarls and Phillips.

• Terry McCarl and his sons, Carson and Austin, are entered as are Mike Wagner and his son Logan.

• There are nine Australians and four Canadians entered in the Nationals.

• World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Rookie of the Year contender Spencer Bayston will sport a new look on his CJB Motorsports No. 5 during the Knoxville Nationals, with the car featuring TrueTimber’s Strata camo pattern.

• Tim Kaeding will drive a second Jason Sides Motorsports entry at Knoxville, with Robbie Price wheeling the primary No. 7s machine.

Keyword: Knoxville Notes: Contenders Tune Up In Cappy Classic

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