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THAT’S KNOXVILLE: Brown Beats Outlaws in Big Guns Bash Finale
KNOXVILLE, IA – June 11, 2022 – Fifty-nine times Brian Brown has now triumphed in a 410 Sprint Car at Knoxville Raceway. But this one might be his most special in a long time.
“That’s Knoxville,” Brown said with assertion in Victory Lane. “Chalk that one up on the board for Knoxville.”
Brown’s jubilation in Victory Lane as he emerged from his car victorious in the Brownells Big Guns Bash and the weight of this win can best be illustrated with a few stats: his sixth career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Feature win, first in Outlaws action since June 14, 2019 – ending a 90-race drought with The Greatest Show on Dirt.
But one accolade he earned Saturday night that stands out above the rest has to do with one man that helped get him into the winner’s circle – Sprint Car Hall-of-Famer Danny Lasoski.
Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, has 122 victories with the Series in his career, and now has one as a crew chief to match.
“My whole career, I’ve been a really, really big fan of Brian Brown’s,” Lasoski said. “I helped him get his start with my dad, and there’s nothing that makes me more proud to be a part of this team with Casey’s, FVP and all these partners here that make this happen.”
“Danny has been great since he’s come on board,” Brown, of Higginsville, MO, said. “But, me and Danny are just a small piece of this whole puzzle.”
Together, they figured out the right combination to beat one of the most stacked fields of 410 Sprint Cars assembled anywhere in the country so far this year. Forty-seven cars came back to the Marion County Fairgrounds Saturday night, and Brown topped them all, much to the pleasure of his fans and dismay of his doubters.
“Everybody always says, ‘Oh Brian can’t beat the Outlaws,’ or he can’t do this, or he can’t do that,” Brown said in Victory Lane. “But we just beat the Outlaws tonight and that’s very special to our team.”
To pull off the win, Brown had to knock-off one of the Outlaws’ very best – the three-time and defending Series champion Brad Sweet. He and his NAPA Auto Parts #49 led the opening 14 circuits around the historic half-mile before Brown got a big run on him, using the high side of Turns 3-4. They crossed the stripe and bolted into Turn 1, where Brown decided to pull the trigger.
“You kinda build a sixth sense about where guys are,” Sweet said when asked if he was surprised by Brown’s close presence. “I knew I wasn’t getting off the corners like I needed to, so you just knew he was going to have a run.”
A big slide job through the wide, sweeping corner sent the local crowd into a frenzy as they watched their favorite begin to pull away down the backstretch. According to Brown, it wasn’t the first time the Knoxville faithful had seen the maneuver this year.
“That move that I [used to] get by Brad there – I used that a couple weeks ago,” Brown said. “It pays to run here and run with [the Outlaws].”
A red flag brought the action to a halt with seven laps to go, which restacked the field and erased Brown’s lead. On the restart, Sweet tried to get back by Brown in the low groove, but Brown was too fast on the top. He led the remaining seven laps, unchallenged after that point, and collected $10,000 for his 59th career victory at Knoxville, tying him for third-most all-time with seven-time track champion Terry McCarl.
“It’s a dream come true to beat the Outlaws,” Brown said, dedicating the win to former car owner Lonny Parsons, who passed away recently.
Sweet held off a hungry Spencer Bayston in the closing laps to bag his 10th podium of the season – the most by any driver. Though he came up one spot short of his second win of the season, he recognized where he could have been better for the next time he’ll be here in August for the 61st running of the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals.
“The line I wanted to run, I felt like I needed to move off of it sooner,” Sweet said. “I think the top got a little faster. I knew Brian was gonna be really fast on the top of the racetrack, so I’m a little disappointed in maybe a couple of the decisions I made as a driver.
“Any time you come to Knoxville, you’re thinking about the Nationals, so to leave here in June with a really nice balance is definitely a plus.”
The Outlaws will get a few days off before getting back into action next Friday-Saturday night, June 17-18, at Beaver Dam Raceway in Beaver Dam, WI. If you can’t be at the track, DIRTVision has you covered with a FAST PASS subscription to watch The Greatest Show on Dirt.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
NOS Energy Drink Feature (25 Laps)
Lap Leaders: Brad Sweet 1-14, Brian Brown 15-25KSE Hard Charger Award: 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[+11]
BIG CLEAN SWEEP: Marks Beats Outlaws, Knoxville Regulars on Big Guns Bash Friday
KNOXVILLE, IA – June 10, 2022 – A win at Knoxville Raceway is special anytime a driver can get one. But to Brent Marks, it’s more than just another Victory Lane stage – it’s long-awaited success at a place he’s been trying so hard to improve at.
“This ranks right up there for me,” said Marks, of Myerstown, PA. “I’ve spent a lot of time here and struggled a lot; been working really hard to get a good program here. I felt like we had some strength last year at the Nationals. I just couldn’t wait to come back.”
After 30 career attempts, Marks finally broke through Friday night for his first-ever win at The Sprint Car Capital of the World, collecting $10,000 for his efforts on night #1 of the Brownells Big Guns Bash.
Better yet, he did it in dominating fashion, a clean sweep of the program – collecting his first career Slick Woody’s Quick Time Award for fastest overall lap in My Place Hotels Qualifying, winning his Heat Race, the DIRTVision FAST PASS Dash and leading all 25 laps of the NOS Energy Drink Feature.
But to do it, he had to hold off the best of the best all throughout the program. A grand total of 52 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series competitors packed the infield pit area, consisting of full-time Outlaws, Knoxville 410 Sprint Car regulars and even a fellow Pennsylvanian in Anthony Macri – the winningest Sprint Car driver in the nation so far this year.
With all the big guns in the house, Marks never let the pressure get to him. He gassed it at the drop of the green and took off, opening a nice advantage over Brian Brown and Logan Schuchart before hitting lapped traffic on Lap 8.
While Marks zoomed through lapped traffic, Brown was not as quick getting by the slower cars and allowed Marks to widen the gap. Schuchart took advantage of the situation and made a move for second on Brown but gave it right back two laps later. As they approached the checkered, in came the wrench to crash everyone’s plans.
A red flag was displayed after track points leader Austin McCarl took a tumble in Turns 1-2 with 22 laps complete, resetting the field and erasing Marks’ lead. With only three laps remaining, everyone knew it was go-time.
“When that red came out, I was kind of licking my chops, just because Brent doesn’t run here a lot,” Brown said. “But he’s a smart racecar driver, I knew that, so it’s like ‘I’m gonna dig in my bag of tricks here and figure out anything I’ve ever did here to try and win.’”
While Marks pulled away slightly again on the restart, Schuchart pulled the trigger to the low side for second when Brown checked-up on the cushion. They came around to take the white and Schuchart gave it everything he had but was unable to catch Marks as he crossed the stripe for the win.
“We didn’t need that red, that’s for sure,” Schuchart said. “I felt like we had a very good chance at getting Brent before the red came out, even after we went down the backstretch almost side-by-side. He made the smart move in taking away my line.”
Even for the guy who had dominated all night, sitting idle in the car waiting for the incident cleanup was concerning for the restart.
“Sitting there under red, I think we just lost too much air pressure or something and I got really tight,” Marks said. “I just went into defense mode there. With Brian [Brown] being behind me – I know how good he is here, how he can win these races at the very end – I was just trying to block all lanes as much as I could so he couldn’t get a run on me.”
Marks is trying to be a contender at Knoxville come Nationals time in August. Though he’s struggled at Knoxville in the past, he traveled way out of his way, past closer races, to come and compete with the best and get better this weekend. And it’s paid off.
“It’s a very difficult racetrack, and you’ve gotta be a really smart driver in order to win races here,” Marks said. “I feel like I’m getting to that point.”
Schuchart crossed in second to record his seventh-straight top-10 finish. After debuting a brand-new car at Bristol in April, the Shark Racing #1s squad has been one of the most consistent teams on the tour and continued it with their sixth podium of the season Friday.
Brown crossed the stripe third in his Casey's/FVP #21, matching his best finish of the season against the Outlaws. He and crew chief Danny Lasoski put their heads and loads of experience together Friday and bagged a solid run as the highest-finishing Knoxville regular in the field.
“I’m a Knoxville guy, true and true,” Brown said. “To be able to represent them… I don’t care if it’s an Outlaws race or not, it’s just a race that’s got tougher crowd.
“There’s been so many years I’ve been amped-up and try to do different stuff when the Outlaws come to town. As a team, we just wanted to stick to the basics and do what we do every single week here.”
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series continues the Brownells Big Guns Bash Saturday evening with another $10,000 check on the line. Tickets are available online or at the gate; DIRTVision goes live from Knoxville Raceway at 6:15pm CT.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Lap Leaders: Brent Marks 1-25