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Knoxville Raceway

Eckert, Korte among Knoxville heat winners

September 27, 2007, 10:33 pm
By Michael Rigsby
Brady Smith won the fifth heat Thursday night. (Michael Rigsby)
Brady Smith won the fifth heat Thursday night. (Michael Rigsby)

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Sept. 27) — Josh Richards' fourth-place finish in his heat race was good enough to earn the pole position for the weekend's first $6,000-to-win semifeature.

Rick Eckert of York, Pa., overcame a poor qualifying effort to outrun Richards and everyone else in the first heat. Joining Eckert as heat race winners were Randy Korte of Highland, Ill. (piloting the Gerstner Plumbing No. 7), Scott James of Lawrenceburg, Ind., last year's winner Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., and Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis. Wayne Chinn won the C-main and Chad Simpson won the B-main.

"We got pretty dang lucky, but that's Knoxville," Eckert said. "When you qualify bad, you get to start up front here, and it's as simple as that. Our car was good in the heat, but we were so bad in qualifying, we'll have to battle our butts off to move up front starting 18th in the main."

Korte wrestled the lead from Matt Furman early in the second heat and went on to the checkered flag.

"Every time I'm in this car it's been great, and I don't want to say much more than that or we'll jinx it I think," said Korte, who made a strong run in the same car at the World 100. "The car was flat-out awesome. Every time we've been in it, it's been flat-out awesome. What more can you say? We'll go out there and give it everything for 25 laps."

Shirley overtook Eric Jacobsen on the final lap to win the fourth heat.

"It's not so much that we're confident, it just feels like every time we step in a car, whether it by Rayburn, Rocket, whatever ... we're totally clicking," Shirley said. "I just believe that right now, we're running as good as we ever have."

Smith's high-side pass of Dan Schlieper helped him to victory in the fifth and final heat.

"I've raced with Dan enough to know what he was going to do, and I knew that I had to hang it out in the corner, and just drive it really hard to get around him and we did," Smith said. "This puts us (starting) 11th, and I really do think we can make a good run from there."

Fourth annual Lucas Oil Knoxville Late Model Nationals (Sept. 27)

First heat: (1) Rick Eckert, (2) Chris Spieker, (3) Billy Drake, (4) Josh Richards, (5) Donnie Moran, (6) Steve Shaver, (7) Andy Eckrich, (8) Chris Simpson, (9) Kerry Hansen, (10) Wayne Chinn, (11) Chad Chenoweth, (12) Rod Smith

Second heat: (1) Randy Korte, (2) Jimmy Mars, (3) Steve Francis, (4) Eddie Kirchoff, (5) Chad Simpson, (6) Chris Madden, (7) Jeff Aikey, (8) Boone McLaughlin, (9) Darrel DeFrance, (10) Curt Schroeder, (11) Matt Furman, (12) Johnny Johnson

Third heat: (1) Scott James, (2) Scott Bloomquist, (3) Darin Duffy, (4) Darrell Lanigan, (5) Curt Martin, (6) Ken Schrader, (7) Ryan Newman, (8) Jay Johnson, (9) Nick Marolf, (10) Junior Coover, (11) Al Stettner, (12) Terry Casey.

Fourth heat: (1) Brian Shirley, (2) Eric Jacobsen, (3) Shannon Babb, (4) Jeep Van Wormer, (5) Kevin Cole, (6) Matt Miller, (7) Chris Smyser, (8) Matt Aukland, (9) Paul Glendenning, (10) Jill George, (11) Alonzo Grosse, (12) Nick Kramer.

Fifth heat: (1) Brady Smith, (2) Brian Birkhofer, (3) Darren Miller, (4) Billy Moyer, (5) Dan Schleiper, (6) Denny Eckrich, (7) Jason Utter, (8) John Duty, (9) Todd Shute, (10) Jacob Murray, (11) Rich Bell.

C-main: (1) Wayne Chinn, (2) Kerry Hansen, (3) Paul Glendenning, (4) Darrel DeFrance, (5) Jill George, (6) Rich Bell, (7) Nick Marolf, (8) Rod Smith, (9) Chad Chenoweth, (10) Nick Kramer, (11) Curt Schroeder, (12) Al Stettner, (13) Jacob Murray, (14) Matt Furman, (15) Alonzo Grosse, (16) Todd Shute, (17) Junior Coover, (18) Terry Casey, (19) Johnny Johnson.

B-main: (1) Chad Simpson, (2) Donnie Moran, (3) Denny Eckrich, (4) Ken Schrader, (5) Dan Schlieper, (6) Matt Miller, (7) Jason Utter, (8) Chris Smyser, (9) Steve Shaver, (10) Andy Eckrich, (11) Kerry Hansen, (12) Jay Johnson, (13) John Duty, (14) Wayne Chinn, (15) Kevin Cole, (16) Ryan Newman, (17) Chris Simpson, (18) Jeff Aikey, (19) Boone McLaughlin, (20) Curt Martin, (21) Matt Aukland, (22) Chris Madden.

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