Inside Line Promotions
Kaleb Johnson Sets Preliminary Night Quick Time and Battles Inside Top Five Before Misfortune Strikes at 360 Knoxville Nationals
(Photo by Paul Arch)
Inside Line Promotions – KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Aug. 8, 2023) – Kaleb Johnson put himself in position to record a stellar performance during the 33rd annual Xtream Powered by Mediacom 360 Knoxville Nationals presented by Great Southern Bank.
Johnson kicked off the premier ASCS National Tour event at Knoxville Raceway last Thursday by setting quick time in qualifying out of 50 competitors.
“A good draw definitely helped that, but you still have to lay down a good lap,” he said. “My second lap was crucial. It was four tenths faster than my first lap. I was able to hit the bottom really well in turns three and four. The tough part was trying to pass cars and being able to get to third in the heat race was crucial as well.”
A run from sixth to third place in a heat race locked Johnson into the eighth starting spot in the main event.
“I got a good first start and they called it back,” he said. “On the second attempt I spun my tires and got sandwiched between a couple of cars. I fell back four or five spots right away. After that I was able to get close to some cars and pass them. The main line was around the bottom. I tried the top and just couldn’t keep enough momentum to get around them. I felt we had a better car than 12th, but I needed to make a better decision on the start to get a better finish.”
Johnson’s 12th-place finish combined with his qualifying and heat race points put him seventh in overall event points following the two preliminary nights that involved more than 100 drivers. That earned him the seventh starting spot in the main event on Saturday, marking his first time making the 360 Knoxville Nationals A Main.
“I got a really good start on the bottom and I think I was in fifth right away,” he said. “I got a little too antsy and missed the bottom a couple of times and fell back to ninth. We went to the top in turns one and two. I was able to pass a car to get to eighth. We had a caution near the end and I was in seventh. I used the restart to my advantage and hit the bottom in turns one and two. I crossed the start/finish line in fifth coming to the white flag. I was racing close with someone so I slid him in turns one and two. He drove into the back of me and I couldn’t save it. The next thing I knew I was flipping.”
The contact led to a series of flips and a DNF for Johnson, who was credited with an 18th-place result.
The team is returning to Knoxville Raceway this Thursday through Saturday for the 62nd annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s. It marks Johnson’s first attempt at the crown jewel race featuring the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.
“I’m super excited,” he said. “It’s something we haven’t done before, but last weekend gave me a lot more confidence. I feel we’re rolling decent and we’re doing well on half miles. If we can make our A Main on the prelim night that’s our goal. It’s the biggest race of the year going against the toughest drivers in the country. I don’t have many expectations other than to do the best we can and have fun along the way.”
QUICK RESULTS –
Aug. 3 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 3 (6); Feature: 12 (8).
Aug. 5 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Feature: 18 (7).
SEASON STATS –
33 races, 0 wins, 6 top fives, 11 top 10s, 12 top 15s, 19 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Thursday through Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, for the 62nd annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series s
MEDIA LINKS –
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – David Kramer Drywall
David Kramer Drywall was established in 1987 as a leading company in the Sioux Falls, S.D., region. For more information, visit http://www.DavidKramerDrywall.com.
“I got to know him through my work and he’s turned into a friend who supports our race team,” Johnson said. “They do a lot of quality drywall services and I recommend anyone who is looking for that type of work in the Sioux Falls area to check out their website.”
Johnson would like to thank Merle Johnson Farm Toys, Oddson Underground, Inc., Folkens Brothers Trucking, Joel Pingeon Trucking, Blondie Motorsports, Construction Products & Consultants, GRP Motorsports, Innovative Design/Sletten Properties, Turn 2 Lodge, Cressman Sanitation, Hohn Palmer LLC, State Bank of Fairmont, AB Custom Construction, Specialized Caulking Sealants, The Minnesota Mafia, Guaranteed Rate-Mike Brudigan Home Loans, The Ron Weber Team, David Kramer Drywall, Big Al’s Diecast, Heartland Properties, Dave’s Lawn Care & Landscaping, TL Racing, Hepfner Racing Products, TJ Forged Wheels, Howe Motorsports, Moyle Racing Engines, Kistler Racing Engines, Forged in Dirt and Team DGRD for their continued support.
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS –
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program by joining Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com. For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.
Article Credit: Inside Line Promotions
Submitted By: Shawn Miller