James McFadden is two-for-two at Atomic; Scores ‘Night Before The Knittel’ worth $5,054

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James McFadden is two-for-two at Atomic; Scores ‘Night Before The Knittel’ worth $5,054

Story By: Tyler Altmeyer/ASCOC

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (September 13, 2019) – With plans to compete in Pennsylvania during the coming weekend, ‘Speedweek: Reloaded’ winner James McFadden was unsure of his team’s return to Atomic Speedway for Friday’s ‘Night Before The Knittel.’ Suffice it to say, the decision to stay in the Buckeye State proved exciting, as well as valuable.

For the second time in as many nights, Warrnambool, Australia’s James McFadden is an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 main event winner in Chillicothe, Ohio. The victory, valued at $5,054 with the ‘54’ honoring the late Dean Knittel’s car number, was accomplished in convincing fashion, eventually driving by Rudeen Racing’s Cory Eliason on lap 16 before escaping to a lengthy command in traffic.

The multi-time World Series of Sprintcars champion now owns four All Star Circuit of Champions victories in 2019, all of which occurring in pairs: Plymouth Dirt Track and Jackson Motorplex on July 25 & 26, followed by back-to-back wins at Atomic Speedway on September 12 & 13.

Although no match for McFadden during the late stages of the 30-lapper, Cory Eliason chased the Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb entry to the final checkers, followed by Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing super sub Tim Shaffer, Clute, Texas’ Aaron Reutzel, and six-time Series champion, Chad Kemenah.

“Everyone knows the Kasey Kahne Racing guys, as well as the No. 9 cars, are some of the best in the world,” James McFadden said, driver of the Wicked Energy Gum/Team ASE/Curb.com/No. 9 sprint car. “They really make my job a lot easier. I certainly enjoy driving their car.”

Starting fourth on the feature grid, McFadden gained his first spot in the running order with only one lap knocked off the counter, as outside-pole sitter and lap one leader, Aaron Reutzel, lost his footing in turn two and fell off the edge of the speedway. Although Reutzel was able to quickly regain his momentum, multiple spots were lost, ultimately dropping from first to fourth.

After a caution on lap four, green flag competition returned with McFadden chasing Chad Kemenah and race leader Cory Eliason. Slower traffic entered the picture by lap nine giving McFadden the opportunity to close-in on the lead pair’s advantage. Just two circuits later, McFadden made a move, this time driving by Chad Kemenah with a long-range slide job through turns three and four. The move stuck, now switching his focus to Eliason.

As the laps clicked by, the road blocks widened, eventually leading to a three-to-four car, nose-to-tail battle amongst the top-four in traffic. Unaffected by lappers stacking up two and three wide ahead of him, McFadden remained collective and continued his pursuit of Eliason’s familiar No. 26.

Incidentally, the midpoint of the 30-lap program marked as the turning point for McFadden. Utilizing a near-perfect drive through the first and second corner on lap 16, McFadden exited turn two right on the back bumper of Eliason. Exercising his signature slider yet again, McFadden dove hard into turn three and drove right by the Rudeen Racing entry. By no surprise, the slider was a success, allowing McFadden to secure the lead by the time the cars reached the flagstand.

Although caution flags would reappear on lap 20, the quick momentum shift proved to be nothing but an advantage for McFadden, using the ensuing restart to escape to a near-straightaway margin.

The front-runners did encounter traffic one more time during the final five circuits, but McFadden was on point.

“Things were very similar in the end, maybe a little more slick than last night,” McFadden continued, who won the main event by a margin of victory equalling 1.4 seconds. “We weren’t very far off from where we were last night. Our base package is pretty good right now.”

The three-day All Star Circuit of Champions invasion of Atomic Speedway will conclude on Saturday evening, September 14, with the second running of the Dean Knittel Memorial. Headlined with a 30-lap main event awarding a $12,554 winner’s share, as well as a guaranteed $754 for each A-Main starter, the evening blockbuster will also hand out bonus money incentives for heat race winners ($154), dash winners ($454), overall fast qualifier ($554), most A-Main laps led ($354), and the A-Main’s hard charger, which will result in a $754 bonus.

Those seeking additional news and notes pertaining to Atomic Speedway should visit the facility live on the Web at www.atomicspeedway.net.

Contingency Awards/Results: Atomic Speedway – September 13, 2019:
Event: ‘The Night Before The Knittel’
Entries: 37
C&R Racing All Star Warm-Ups: Cory Eliason – 11.638 seconds
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Aaron Reutzel – 11.361 seconds
Ford Performance Heat #1: Brandon Wimmer
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Sye Lynch
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Kory Crabtree
Mobil 1 Heat #4: Cory Eliason
JE Pistons Dash #1: Cory Eliason
Fatheadz Eyewear Dash #2: Aaron Reutzel
Classic Ink USA Screenprinting B-Main Winner: Cap Henry
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet A-Main Winner: James McFadden
MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Brock Zearfoss (+9)
Cometic Gasket Most A-Main Laps Led: James McFadden (16-30)
Rayce Rudeen Foundation First Non-Transfer: Skylar Gee
(Lincoln Electric, MSD Performance, Fatheadz Eyewear, Rayce Rudeen Foundation, Cometic Gasket: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)

Qualifying

Group (A)

  1. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 11.361; 2. 70X-Justin Peck, 11.413; 3. A79-Brandon Wimmer, 11.631; 4. 4-Cap Henry, 11.669; 5. 45-Trevor Baker, 11.690; 6. 99-Skylar Gee, 11.757; 7. W20-Greg Wilson, 11.939; 8. 9J-Dean Jacobs, 12.068; 9. 35-Zach Hampton, 12.081; 10. 9W-Lance Webb, 12.379

Group (B)

  1. 14-Tim Shaffer, 11.461; 2. 13-Paul McMahan, 11.475; 3. O7-Gerard McIntyre, 11.586; 4. 42-Sye Lynch, 11.749; 5. 11N-Buddy Kofoid, 11.914; 6. 83X-Nate Reeser, 12.218; 7. 4D-Josh Davis, 12.245; 8. 27-Cody Gallogly, 12.403; 9. 4XX-Bradley Ashford, 12.411

Group (C)

  1. 22C-Cole Duncan, 11.430; 2. K4-Chad Kemenah, 11.725; 3. 40-George Hobaugh, 11.845; 4. 60-Kory Crabtree, 11.917; 5. 4X-Jimmy Stinson, 11.933; 6. 59-Bryan Nuckles, 11.967; 7. OOH-Hunter Lynch, 12.323; 8. 1B-Keith Baxter, 12.670; 9. 44-Charlie Vest, 12.698

Group (D)

  1. 21-Brinton Marvel, 11.492; 2. 11-Dale Blaney, 11.532; 3. 9-James McFadden, 11.560; 4. 26-Cory Eliason, 11.589; 5. 70-Brock Zearfoss, 11.753; 6. 15-Mitch Harble, 11.928; 7. J4-John Garvin, 12.103; 8. 54-Danny Smith, 12.178; 9. 40i-Mark Imler, 12.548

Heat #1 – Group (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer

  1. A79-Brandon Wimmer [2]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel [4]; 3. 70X-Justin Peck [3]; 4. 9J-Dean Jacobs [8]; 5. W20-Greg Wilson [7]; 6. 99-Skylar Gee [6]; 7. 9W-Lance Webb [10]; 8. 35-Zach Hampton [9]; 9. 45-Trevor Baker [5]; 10. 4-Cap Henry [1]

Heat #2 – Group (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer

  1. 42-Sye Lynch [1]; 2. 14-Tim Shaffer [4]; 3. O7-Gerard McIntyre [2]; 4. 13-Paul McMahan [3]; 5. 11N-Buddy Kofoid [5]; 6. 83X-Nate Reeser [6]; 7. 27-Cody Gallogly [8]; 8. 4D-Josh Davis [7]; 9. 4XX-Bradley Ashford [9]

Heat #3 – Group (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer

  1. 60-Kory Crabtree [1]; 2. K4-Chad Kemenah [3]; 3. 22C-Cole Duncan [4]; 4. 40-George Hobaugh [2]; 5. 4X-Jimmy Stinson [5]; 6. 1B-Keith Baxter [8]; 7. 59-Bryan Nuckles [6]; 8. OOH-Hunter Lynch [7]; 9. 44-Charlie Vest [9]

Heat #4 – Group (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer

  1. 26-Cory Eliason [1]; 2. 9-James McFadden [2]; 3. 11-Dale Blaney [3]; 4. 21-Brinton Marvel [4]; 5. 70-Brock Zearfoss [5]; 6. J4-John Garvin [7]; 7. 15-Mitch Harble [6]; 8. 54-Danny Smith [8]; 9. 40I-Mark Imler [9]

Dash #1 (4 Laps)

  1. 26-Cory Eliason [2]; 2. K4-Chad Kemenah [4]; 3. 42-Sye Lynch [1]; 4. A79-Brandon Wimmer [3]; 5. 70X-Justin Peck [5]

Dash #2 (4 Laps)

  1. 87-Aaron Reutzel [1]; 2. 9-James McFadden [2]; 3. 14-Tim Shaffer [3]; 4. 22C-Cole Duncan [4]; 5. 60-Kory Crabtree [5]

B-Main (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer

  1. 4-Cap Henry [1]; 2. J4-John Garvin [4]; 3. 4D-Josh Davis [13]; 4. 1B-Keith Baxter [6]; 5. 99-Skylar Gee [3]; 6. 9W-Lance Webb [9]; 7. 27-Cody Gallogly [10]; 8. 35-Zach Hampton [11]; 9. 4XX-Bradley Ashford [15]; 10. 40I-Mark Imler [16]; 11. 44-Charlie Vest [17]; 12. 45-Trevor Baker [2]; 13. 83X-Nate Reeser [5]; 14. OOH-Hunter Lynch [14]; 15. 54-Danny Smith [12]; 16. 15-Mitch Harble [7]

A-Main (30 Laps)

  1. 9-James McFadden [4]; 2. 26-Cory Eliason [1]; 3. 14-Tim Shaffer [6]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel [2]; 5. K4-Chad Kemenah [3]; 6. 22C-Cole Duncan [8]; 7. 11-Dale Blaney [11]; 8. 70-Brock Zearfoss [17]; 9. 11N-Buddy Kofoid [18]; 10. A79-Brandon Wimmer [7]; 11. W20-Greg Wilson [20]; 12. 13-Paul McMahan [13]; 13. O7-Gerard McIntyre [12]; 14. 9J-Dean Jacobs [16]; 15. 42-Sye Lynch [5]; 16. 60-Kory Crabtree [10]; 17. 4X-Jimmy Stinson [19]; 18. 21-Brinton Marvel [14]; 19. 40-George Hobaugh [15]; 20. 4D-Josh Davis [23]; 21. J4-John Garvin [22]; 22. 4-Cap Henry [21]; 23. 1B-Keith Baxter [24]; 24. 70X-Justin Peck [9] Lap Leaders: Aaron Reutzel (1), Cory Eliason (2-15), James McFadden (16-30)

2019 All Star Circuit of Champions Driver Standings (After 9/13/2019):

  1. Aaron Reutzel – 4992
  2. Dale Blaney – 4948
  3. Cory Eliason – 4880
  4. Paul McMahan – 4752
  5. Brock Zearfoss – 4740
  6. Greg Wilson – 4558
  7. Gerard McIntyre – 4374
  8. Skylar Gee – 4312
  9. George Hobaugh – 3714
  10. Justin Peck – 3298

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