Stenhouse Tops Knoxville Midget Nationals

By Bryan Gapinski Knoxville, Iowa, June 23---Ricky Stenhouse scored a wire-to-wire victory in the 6th annual Pepsi/Mt. Dew Knoxville Midget Nationals Saturday Night at Knoxville Raceway. The event was sanctioned by the USAC National, Badger, POWRi, SMRS, ARDC, RMMRA Midget Car Series.
Stenhouse took the lead at the start from his teammate Levi Jones. Stenhouse quickly moved away from the field and held a 2.8 second when the caution appeared on lap eight for a stalled car. On the restart Darren Hagen passed Jones for second and closed to within a two car length when the caution appeared for another stalled car six laps later.
Jerry Coons Jr. passed Jones for third place on the restart. Hagen running one-car length behind Stenhouse suffered a flat tire on the 17th lap, retiring from the event. On the restart Stenhouse and Coons pulled away from the field while Jones, Brady Bacon, Kevin Swindell and Davey Ray led a group of eight cars battling for the top ten positions.
Brad Mosen hit the inside frontstretch wall with two laps remaining setting up one final chance for Coons to challenge Stenhouse. On the restart Stenhouse pulled away and went onto victory driving the Tony Stewart Racing/Spike-Hawk Chevrolet#21. Coons, Ray, Jones, Swindell, Bacon, Badger point leader Brad Kuhn, Danny Stratton, POWRi point leader Mike Hess, and Don Droud Jr. completed the top ten.
Hagen driving the RFMS Racing/Spike/ford-Esslinger passed Droud with two laps remaining to win the 20-lap King Doddlebug feature run earlier in the evening. Droud, Dustin Morgan, Jones, Stenhouse and Steve Sussex earned automatic starting positions for the 25-lap championship feature. 
The event was slowed by three separate accidents which saw Brad Loyet, Coons and Swindell (together) and Alfred Galeridge flip. Loyet was transferred to Knoxville Hospital & Clinics for observation. A total of sixty driver/car combinations completed in the event.

25-lap Championship Feature: 1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 2. Jerry Coons, Jr., 3. Davey Ray, 4. Levi Jones, 5. Kevin Swindell, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Brad Kuhn, 8. Danny Stratton, 9. Mike Hess, 10. Don Droud Jr., 11. Cole Carter, 12. Chuck Gurney Jr., 13. Scott Hatton, 14. Dustin Morgan, 15. Dave Darland, 16. Chris Windom, 17. Brett Anderson, 18. Casey Shuman, 19. Chad DeSelle, 20. Matt Sherrell, 21. Donnie Ray Crawford, 22. Brad Mosen, 23. Brandon Waelti, 24. Steve Sussex, 25. Darren Hagen, 26. Russ Harper, 27. Bradley Galedrige, 28. Tracy Readinger, 29. Chase Scott. 

10-lap Semi Feature Winners: Coons, Mosen, Ray.

20-lap King Doddlebug Feature: 1. Hagen, 2. Droud, 3. Morgan, 4. Jones, 5. Stenhouse, 6. Sussex, 7. Ray, 8. Kuhn, 9. Mosen, 10. Gary Taylor, 11. Hess, 12. Windom, 13. Gurney, 14. Shuman, 15. Waelti, 16. Ryan Durst, 17. Anderson, 18. Crawford, 19. Buddy Luebke, 20. Aaron Fiscus, 21. Bacon, 22. Stratton, 23. Harper, 24. Readinger, 25. Tony Roney, 26. Alfred Galedrige Jr., 27. Jonathan Beason, 28. Swindell, 29. Coons, 30. Brad Loyet. 

8-lap Heat Race winners: Coons, Hagen, Ray, Swindell, Sussex, Jones.
Feature Lap Leaders: King Doddlebug: Droud 1-17, Hagen 18-20.
Championship Feature: Stenhouse 1-25.
**Loyet flipped on the first lap of the 20-lap feature. Coons & Swindell flipped on the first-lap restart of the 20-lap feature. A.Galedrige flipped on lap 6 of the 20-lap feature. Mockler & Luebke flipped during the second semi.