The biggest melee of the night came in the 50-lap Midwest Truck Series feature, a race where Lake Geneva’s James Swan somehow avoided a mess that many couldn’t on his way to victory.
Swan was running third on the 35th lap right after a restart when the front row of Kevin Knuese on the inside and Jerry Brickner on the outside made contact and both spun in front of the field between turns three and four. The pile-up that followed saw eight trucks sustain damage running into each other or the wall, with several others spinning to take evasive action. Rock Christiansen, Tyler Schley, Dan Calhoun and Trucks series points leader John Ovadal Jr., received the most damage, with all four towed off and their nights finished.
Swan was able to duck low to avoid the mess, and after a long red flag for cleanup and ensuing restart he would lead the rest of the way. Former SPS track champions Brickner and Levon Van Der Geest were able to retain their positions after the wreck after Knuese ‘tapped out’ taking blame for the accident, and they finished second and third, respectively, at the finish.
“Oh my, I would much rather be lucky than good. Holy cow did we get lucky today,” said Swan after the race. “We had a good truck, I wouldn’t say it’s a great truck. Lucky starting spot, a couple lucky restarts, and to miss the big wreck there at the end, and then to be able to hold off Jerry, I really appreciate him running me clean.”
Cautions ended up breeding cautions in a race that included a strong field with a number of former SPS Bandolero racers and track and series champions from around the Midwest. Racing went green from the start until Kenny Joosten got into Chester Ace while racing for third on lap 18, and four more cautions followed over the next 12 laps even before the lap 35 red flag.
Knuese had the field covered up until the last incident, starting on the pole and resisting a number of challenges in leading 32 of the first 34 laps. Joe Valento challenged on the outside early and led two laps at the line by a slim margin, but Knuese had the answer as Valento, Swan and Jason Stark all took their shots on the outside early and past the mid-race point.
Catch the full story for this nights action at StateParkSpeedway.com