Kevin Knuese held off a strong field of trucks to pick up the win in the season opener for the Midwest Truck Series at Madison International Speedway. The race was the 176th at Madison since the series debuted back in 1997.
Mike Corvo and Knuese paced the nineteen truck field to the green flag. The pair ran side by side until Knuese took the top spot on lap 2. Knuese put four truck lengths between himself and Corvo while Dan Jung and James Swan battled it out for third. On lap 4 Jung drifted up the hill in turn three to give the third position to Swan.
Knuese continued to lead but by lap 10 both Corvo and Swan were closing the gap knowing there was a lot of racing yet to go. On lap 13 a spinning truck on the backstretch brought out the race’s first yellow flag just after Swan had taken the second position.
On the two by two restart Knuese lined up on the outside of Corvo and was able to maintain his lead. Following the top two were Swan, Nick Egan and Mike Bachaus. Swan would eventually work his way past Corvo for second with Kelly Bires quickly moving up through the field and breaking into the top five.
With four laps to go Bires moved past Corvo to take the third position and started to chase the top two. Time was running out for both Bires and Swan as they attempted to chase down the leader. But the day belonged to Knuese who cruised to victory lane.
Finishing behind Knuese in the top five were Swan, Bires, Corvo, and Egan.
“The truck was set up great. It was a good race,” said Knuese in a post race interview.
Tommy Pecaro was fastest in qualifying with a lap of 18.890 (95.289 mph). Heat wins went to Gabe Sommers and Mike Corvo.
30 Lap Feature: (1-10) Kevin Knuese, James Swan, Kelly Bires, Mike Corvo, Nick Egan, Dan Jung, Michael Bachaus, Dave Edwards, Reagan May, Danielle Behn
(11-19) Gabe Sommers, Derek Doerr, Rock Christiansen, Ross Christiansen, Rick Corso, Jerry Wood, Tommy Pecaro, John Baumeister Jr., Ken Calhoun
Heat One: Gabe Sommers, Dave Edwards, Rick Corso, Danielle Behn, Ross Christiansen, Rock Christiansen, John Baumeister Jr., Ken Calhoun, Kelly Bires
Heat Two: Mike Corvo, Kevin Knuese, Jerry Wood, Dan Jung, James Swan, Nick Egan, Reagan May, Tommy Pecaro, Derek Doerr, Michael Bachaus Qualifying
(1-10) Tommy Pecaro, James Swan, Nick Egan, Michael Bachaus, Kevin Knuese, Reagan May, Dan Jung, Derek Doerr, Jerry Wood, Mike Corvo III
(11-19) Dave Edwards, Gabe Sommers, Rick Corso, Danielle Behn, Rock Christiansen, Ross Christiansen, Ken Calhoun, John Baumeister Jr.