From Bill Wright / knoxvilleraceway.com
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 7, 2022) – Logan Schuchart won a late duel with Donny Schatz and escaped disaster with a well-timed caution to conquer the 11th Annual Xtream Powered by Mediacom Capitani Classic Sunday night at Knoxville Raceway. The win was worth $9,000 for the driver of the Shark Racing #1s. Scotty Johnson made a mid-race pass to claim his fifth victory of the season in the Pro Sprints class.
Schuchart started outside row one for the 25-lap main event and led early over pole-sitter Sye Lynch, Aaron Reutzel, Tyler Courtney and Gio Scelzi. Courtney was an early mover, taking third from Reutzel on lap three before a spin by Tasker Phillips slowed things.
Courtney moved into second on the restart, with Reutzel and Scelzi in tow. By lap five, Reutzel had claimed the runner-up spot from Courtney, while Donny Schatz moved into the top five.
Schatz was on a roll, blowing by Scelzi for fourth on lap six, shooting by Courtney for third on lap eight, and cruising by Reutzel for second on lap ten, as Schuchart began entering lapped traffic.
Schatz gained quickly on Schuchart and took the point in turns three and four with eight to go. Schatz momentum was affected a lap later in the same spot, and Schuchart used the low groove to roar back to the point.
Going down the backstretch on lap 20, Schuchart encountered the slowed car of Brady Bacon, got hard on the brakes and made some contact with the limping sprinter. Somehow, he kept it going, and though Schatz roared by the pair, the yellow lights came on for Bacon, and put Schuchart back at the fore.
The last five laps saw Schatz all over the leader, but unable to get by. Schuchart’s win was the second in his career here, and the first at the Capitani Classic. Schatz finished just .391 of a second behind, followed by Reutzel, Brad Sweet and Parker Price-Miller. Courtney, David Gravel, Scelzi, Anthony Macri and Davey Heskin rounded out the top ten.
Aussies James McFadden and Lynton Jeffrey set quick time over their respective groups. Heskin, Buddy Kofoid, Daryn Pittman, Justi Peck, Macri and Scelzi were heat winners. The B mains were won by McFadden and Brian Brown. The normal Pole Shuffle was canceled because of impending weather. Jeffrey and Brown were both flip victims in their heats, but were uninjured. Brown returned for his B main.
“It’s nice to get back in Victory Lane,” said Schuchart. “We’ve been working so hard. Anytime the 15 car goes by you here, you know he’s going to be good. It’s always tough. I felt so good, I thought there’s no way someone’s going to pass me. I saw a car to the inside of me and I knew exactly who it was before I ever even saw the car. He just rolled around there good, and the lapped cars helped me a little in getting back by him…but they about bit me too. We were able to make it through that, which felt really good. Hopefully, we got some good notes for Saturday. Capitani winners have a good record on Saturday night, and we want to keep that going.”
“That’s what we’re here for…the excitement,” said Schatz. “(Schuchart) was going for it, and we were going for it. He got the better end of it. He’s lucky he didn’t end up crashed (in the caution incident). We don’t want to see anybody tearing stuff up. Everyone’s bringing their good stuff here tonight and seeing what you got. I saw it coming, I tried to just get out of the way. I felt we were a little better, we just couldn’t find a way around. He moved around the racetrack and hustled it hard. We just couldn’t get it done. It’s good to get the week started good. The guys will go try to make things better, and they’ve been doing a good job of that. I can’t wait for Wednesday.”
“It’s a great night,” said Reutzel. “The field of cars that are in this race…it’s hard enough just to make it. To run third…we’re really proud of that. We tried some things tonight, because we felt like it would be a good time to test leading into Nationals. I think there’s a few things we’ll change to make ourselves a little better.”
The Pro Sprints 15-lap feature got off to a rough start when pole-sitter Mike Johnston was slow to take off, setting a chain reaction that saw Brandon Worthington get upside down. He was not injured. The second try at green saw Scotty Johnson, who was starting outside row one, jump and get penalized a row.
Things were all green from there. Johnston shot out and set a good pace in the lead, while Johnson settled into second, ahead of Jeff Wilke and Kade Higday, up from row four. Higday shot by Wilke for third on the second lap.
Johnston’s run was a good one on the low side, but a minor slip up on the tenth circuit, gave Johnson an opportunity, and he took it. Johnson roared by into the point with just five laps remaining.
Higday continued his good run, snatching second from Johnston on the white flag lap. Johnson’s fifth win of the season came ahead of Higday, Johnston, Tyler Groenendyk and Wilke. Chase Young, Mike Mayberry, Eric Bridger, Ryan Navritil and Josh Jones completed the top ten. Higday set quick time, and Groenendyk and Mayberry were heat winners.
“That was probably one of the best races I ever ran,” said Johnson in Victory Lane. “(Johnston) and I were at it the whole time. He was right there and I was right there. I was just hoping he’d mess up off the bottom. When he did, I was able to take advantage. We had some last minute adjustments. The track changed completely after the rain (a short delay prior to the feature).”
The 61st NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals Presented by Casey’s opens up Wednesday, August 7 with BRANDT Professional Agriculture Night! For more information, visit or check Knoxville Raceway’s website at www.KnoxvilleRaceway.com or on Facebook and Twitter.
A main (started), 25 Laps, NT:
1. Logan Schuchart (2); 2. Donny Schatz (8); 3. Aaron Reutzel (3); 4. Brad Sweet (7); 5. Parker Price-Miller (6); 6. Tyler Courtney (4); 7. David Gravel (9); 8. Gio Scelzi (5); 9. Anthony Macri (10); 10. Davey Heskin (13); 11. Carson Macedo (18); 12. Kasey Kahne (16); 13. Kerry Madsen (17); 14. Daryn Pittman (11); 15. Justin Peck (14); 16. James McFadden (19); 17. JJ Hickle (23); 18. Buddy Kofoid (15); 19. Blake Hahn (22); 20. Shane Golobic (24); 21. Tasker Phillips (12); 22. Brady Bacon (21); 23. Sye Lynch (1); 24. Brian Brown (20).
See the full story and results:
Photo: knoxvilleraceway.com / Paul Arch