2021 08 14 Knoxville Kyle Larson Paul Arch Photo Dsc 6135 (30)a
Kyle Larson celebrates winning the 60th Knoxville Nationals. (Paul Arch photo)

Knoxville Nationals Preview: Thursday

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Reigning NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals winner Kyle Larson leads a field that includes four other winners of the prestigious event during Thursday night’s qualifying events for the 61st annual event.

Larson drove Paul Silva’s No. 57 to victory in the 60th running of the event last year and will be back aboard the machine looking for his third straight August victory at the half-mile track. Larson also won the One-And-Only during the pandemic plagued 2020 season.

The top drivers in points through the two qualifying nights are locked into the front eight rows for Saturday’s 50-lap, $175,000-to-win main event.

Larson tuned up for the Nationals with a victory in Monday’s Sage Fruit Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway.

Brad Sweet, who won the Nationals in 2018, turned in a dominant performance to win last weekend’s Ironman 55. He’ll be among those to beat on Thursday.

Knoxville Nationals winners Kraig Kinser (2005), Tim Shaffer (2011) and Sammy Swindell (1983) are also entered in Thursday night’s program.

World of Outlaws competitors Jacob Allen, Spencer Bayston, Bill Rose, Kasey Kahne, Carson Macedo and Noah Gass are also scheduled on Thursday.

All Star champion Tyler Courtney and multi-time Knoxville Raceway champion Brian Brown are set for Thursday night, along with USAC midget champion Buddy Kofoid, Zeb Wise, Daryn Pittman, Tim Kaeding, Kerry Madsen, Rico Abreu, Logan Wagner, Anthony Macri and Chad Kemenah, among others.

Thursday’s main event pays $12,000 to win.

1          Logan Wagner               Harrisonville, Pa.

1a        Jacob Allen                    Hanover, Pa.

2k        Lynton Jeffrey               Sydney, Australia

3tk       Tim Kaeding                 San Jose, Calif.

4w       Matt Wasmund             Jackson, Minn.

5          Spencer Bayston          Lebanon, Ind.

5c        Dylan Cisney                 Port Royal, Pa.

6          Bill Rose                         Plainfield, Ind.

6a        Adam Cruea                  Troy, Ohio

7bc      Tyler Courtney              Indianaplois, Ind.

7taz     Tasker Phillips               Pleasantville, Iowa

09        Matt Juhl                       Tea, S.D.

9          Kasey Kahne                 Enumclaw, Wash.

11k      Kraig Kinser                    Bloomington, Ind.

11n      Harli White                      Lindsay, Okla.

11t –    T.J. Stutts                        Liverpool, Pa.

11x      Michael Kofoid                Penngrove, Calif.

12        Tyler Drueke                   Eagle, Neb.

15h      Sam Hafertepe Jr.         Sunnyvale, Texas

15m     Bobby Mincer                 Burlington, Iowa

16        Brooke Tatnell                 Sans Souci, Australia

17b      Bill Balog                          Brookfield, Wis.

17s      Sammy Swindell              Lakeland, Tenn.

18r       Ryan Roberts                  Aurora, Neb.

19w     Chris Windom                 Canton, Ill.

20g      Noah Gass                      Mounds, Okla.

21        Brian Brown                     Grain Valley, Mo.

21k      Thomas Kennedy            Winnipeg, Manitoba

24r       Rico Abreu                      St. Helena, Calif.

25        J.J. Hickle                        Quilcene, Wash.

26        Zeb Wise                         Angola, Ind.

27        Carson McCarl                Altoona, Iowa

27h      Daryn Pittman                 Owasso, Okla.

28        Tim Shaffer                     Aliquippa, Pa.

35        Zachary Hampton          Plainfield, Ind.

35k      Chad Kemenah               Alvada, Ohio

39m     Anthony Macri                Dillsburg, Pa.

41        Carson Macedo               Lemoore, Calif.

42        Sye Lynch                        Cowansville, Pa.

44        Chris Martin                    Ankeny, Iowa

47x      Dylan Westbrook            Scotland, Ontario

49        Brad Sweet                     Grass Valley, Calif.

49x      Cale Thomas                   Fairland, Ind.

57        Kyle Larson                      Elk Grove, Calif.

83jr      Kerry Madsen                 St. Marys, Australia

83t       Tanner Carrick                Lincoln, Calif.

88        Austin McCarl                 Altoona, Iowa

97        Greg Wilson                     Benton Ridge, Ohio

97g      Alan Gilbertson                Kasson, Minn.

99        Skylar Gee                        Leduc, Alberta