Shane Clanton claims first night of Knoxville Late Model Nationals

Shane Clanton led all the way to score the win on Thursday night

On a Thursday evening when the track known as the ‘Sprint Car Capital of the World’ hosted the first night of the Lucas Oil Knoxville Late Model Nationals, the racing proved to be top dominant and wide open around the historic Knoxville Raceway which opened the door for pole starting Shane Clanton to score a preliminary victory. After a second night of preliminary action on Friday, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will eventually contest the $50,000-to-win Knoxville Nationals on Saturday night.

The Capital Race Cars driver from Zebulon, Georgia earned $7,000 for his efforts on the half-mile track located in Knoxville, Iowa in a race aired live by

Points earned by drivers during the action held on Thursday and Friday will go toward setting lineups for Saturday’s racing action.

A total of 48 cars were signed in for competition

Qualifying Results:

Group A Results- 1. Spencer Hughes(17.557), Justin Zeitner, Tim McCreadie, Bobby Pierce, Ricky Thornton Jr., Jesse Sobbing, Chris Simpson, Hudson O’Neal, Spencer Diercks, Mike Marlar

Group B Results-  1. Brandon Overton(17.494), 2. Jimmy Owens, 3. Jonathan Davenport, 4. Earl Pearson Jr., 5. Ted Pospisil, 6. Brandon Sheppard, 7. Kyle Strickler, 8. Billy Moyer, 9. Garrett Alberson, 10. Johnny Scott

Heat 1 Results: 1. Shane Clanton, 2. Ross Robinson, 3. Brian Shirley 

Heat 2 Results: 1. Chris Madden, 2. Hudson O’Neal, 3. Justin Zeitner

Heat 3 Results: 1. Ryan Gustin, 2. Ricky Weiss, 3. Tim McCreadie

Heat 4 Results: 1. Chase Junghans, 2. Kyle Strickler, 3. Earl Pearson Jr.

Heat 5 Results: 1. Aaron Marrant, 2. Tad Pospisil, 3. Jimmy Owens

Heat 6 Results: 1. Stormy Scott, 2. Jonathan Davenport, 3. Brandon Sheppard

B-main 1 Finish: 1. Mike Marlar, 2. Ricky Thornton Jr., 3. Spencer Hughes

B-main 2 Finish: 1. Garrett Alberson, 2. Daniel Hilsabeck, 3. Chris Spieker

Feature Re-cap: The 25-lap feature got underway with Clanton leading O’Neal, Pearson, Davenport and McCreadie. Davenport moved forward on the second lap when he got around Pearson to take over the third position. But the action would slow after three completed laps when Madden’s car dropped off the pace to bring out a yellow flag. 

Pearson regained third on the restart to fall in behind Clanton and O’Neal. O’Neal would then close in on Clanton to challenge for the lead until a caution was shown to the field on lap 10 when O’Neal slowed.

Pearson and Davenport assumed second and third with O’Neal’s departure with Sheppard and McCreadie rounding out the top-5.

At the halfway mark, Sheppard moved into challenge Davenport for third but the World 100 winner held the spot. At the same time, Pearson was keeping Clanton in his sights as the leaders closed in on the tail of the field.

Even though Pearson closed in late, Clanton would ultimately cruise under the checkered flag to claim the win.

Feature Results: 1. Shane Clanton, 2. Earl Pearson Jr., 3. Jonathan Davenport, 4. Brandon Sheppard, 5. Kyle Strickler, 6. Tim McCreadie, 7. Jimmy Owens, 8. Ryan Gustin, 9. Brian Shirley, 10. Chase Junghans, 11. Aaron Marrant, 12. Mike Marlar, 13. Garrett Alberson, 14. Ricky Weiss, 15. Spencer Hughes, 16. Stormy Scott, 17. Ross Robinson, 18. Chris Spieker, 19. Tad Pospisil, 20. Daniel Hilsabeck,  21. Hudson O’Neal, 22. Ricky Thornton Jr., 23. Justin Zeitner, 24. Chris Madden

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