Wednesday Notables for the 59th Knoxville Nationals

Wednesday Notables
The 59th annual Knoxville Nationals kick off on Wednesday Night with 53 cars on the entry list for the first evening. Photo By Connor Ferguson

The biggest week in sprint car racing has finally arrived at Iowa’s famous Knoxville Raceway, with 105 cars entering themselves in this year’s NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals.

With 53 cars slated to take to the track on each night of prelims, we’ll give you the most notable and unique storylines and drivers to watch for on opening night.

Wednesday Notables for the 59th Knoxville Nationals

It starts with Kasey Kahne Racing’s James McFadden, who Knoxville regulars will be no stranger to.

With Kahne out of his own car due to health issues, McFadden has been tasked with taking the reigns of the No. 9 at some of the biggest events over the summer.

The Australian capped off a recent appearance on the track by winning the 360 Knoxville Nationals main event on Saturday.

Another driver that has reaped success at Knoxville in the past comes with Sammy Swindell.

As a winner of the 1983 Knoxville Nationals as well as the 2016 360 Nat’s, Swindell has made his name famous in the sprint car world.

Earlier this season, he started on the pole and lead 10 laps in the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway.

The pair will be joined by a driver that hasn’t yet gotten to victory lane in the Knoxville Nationals, but one that’s name is especially well known in racing circles.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Kyle Larson will come to Nationals once again in hopes of winning the event this year.

Larson won a pair of Nationals preliminary nights in both 2012 and 2013 as well as capturing a third-place finish in the 2018 event.

Finishing right behing Larson last year was Aaron Reutzel – the reigning and defending champion of Tony Stewart’s Ollie’s Bargain Outlet series.

Reutzel finished in the top five of last week’s 360 Nationals, too.

Nationals week was kicked off on Sunday with the Capitani Classic at Knoxville before a pair of races at Oskaloosa.

The races feature unique challenges where drivers can choose to start at the rear of the field and race their way to victory for some extra cash.

Brady Bacon – who won the first ever Corn Belt Nationals in July – took that challenge and earned the win, going from 26th to first in 13 laps. Bacon takes to the half-mile dirt oval on Wednesday too.

Another pair of drivers will come in that had loads of success last year at Knoxville, as Dominic Scelzi picked up the final World Challenge win and younger brother Giovanni Scelzi became the youngest driver to ever start in a Nationals A-Main.

The NOS Energy Drink World of Outlaws drivers are a plenty on Wednesday, too, at least for the heavy hitters.

The reigning rookie of the year in Ian Madsen, as well as Logan Schuchart and Ironman 55 winner Sheldon Haudesnschild will face up against Donny Schatz, who’s season is starting to come together.

Schatz is now just two points out of first place in the standings to Brad Sweet (who races on Thursday night), but this week isn’t about points in the slightest.

All of these guys want to walk out with the $150,000-first-place prize.

Wednesday Entry List
1B – Travis Rilat
1S – Logan Schuchart
1X – Don Droud Jr.
2C – Wayne Johnson
2KS – Austin McCarl
2M – Kerry Madsen
2MM – Matt Moro
3H – Jac Haudenschild
4A – Chad Kemenah
J4 – John Garver
5H – Spencer Bayston
5J – Jamie Ball
7S – Tim Kaeding
7SW – Jeff Swindell
7TAZ – Tasker Phillips
7X – Justin Henderson
9 – James McFadden
9X – Jake Bubak
11 – Dale Blaney
11C – Roger Crockett
13 – Mark Dobmeier
13X – Paul McMahan
15 – Donny Schatz
17 – Sheldon Haudenschild
18 – Ian Madsen
18R – Ryan Roberts
19 – Brent Marks
19P – Paige Polyak
19T – Kevin Thomas Jr.
20 – A.J. Moeller
27 – Carson McCarl
39 – Sammy Swindell
41S – Dominic Scelzi
44S – Trey Starks
45 – Rusty Hickman
48 – Danny Dietrich
51 – Freedie Rahmer
56 – Joe Simbro
56N – Davey Heskin
57 – Kyle Larson
64 – Scotty Thiel
68 – Chase Johnson
70X – Justin Peck
71 – Giovanni Scelzi
73AF – Joey Moughan
74 – Brodie Tulloch
75 – Glenn Saville
83J – Lynton Jeffrey
85 – Chase Warner
87 – Aaron Reutzel
88 – Tanner Thorson
99 – Brady Bacon
99X – Skylar Gee

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