CLASSIC IN THE MAKING: Setting The Stage For The Capitani Classic At Knoxville
Trent Gower
Saturday’s winner will take home $50,000 and write their name into the history books

Two epic nights of “The One and Only” have led to Saturday’s prestigious $50,000-to-win Brownells Capitani Classic presented by Great Southern Bank at Knoxville Raceway.

Seventy drivers entered and only 24 will get the chance to compete for the biggest purse of the year.

Thursday night’s winner Kyle Larson, Friday night’s winner and defending Capitani Classic winner David Gravel, two-time All Star Circuit of Champions title holder Aaron Reutzel and Shark Racing’s Logan Schuchart have locked themselves into Saturday’s DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash and the Feature by being the top four in points after the first two races.

The four drivers have been the class of the field the past two nights and are poised to put on a show.

David Gravel at Knoxville / Frank Smith photo

Gravel, of Watertown, CT, has come to thrive when the pressure is on to win at Knoxville. He won his first Knoxville Nationals title last year and then backed that up with a win at the raceway in May after the Series had to take a two-month hiatus.  On Friday night, he overcame challenging conditions and a late race charge from Larson to claim his ninth win overall at the Sprint Car Capital of the World.

“We’re going to have to be good all 30 or 35 laps (in the Capitani),” Gravel said. “We got a little tight there at the end (of Friday’s Feature). The curb built up. We’re going to have to do our homework and I’m going to have to do a little bit better of a job to win.”

With Saturday’s race still paying full points toward the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series points standings, a win for Gravel could potential put Jason Johnson Racing in the points lead for the team points. JJR is currently six points back from the lead behind Shark Racing.

Logan Schuchart (left) races Kyle Larson (right) / Trent Gower photo

Larson, of Elk Grove, CA, has been one of the most dominant drivers at Knoxville this year. Before having to settle for a runner-up finish Friday night, he was on a streak of four wins in a row at the track. While the Knoxville Nationals – an event Larson has yet to win – had to be postponed to 2021, he has said if he wins the Capitani Classic he would probably still consider it a Nationals win because of the stout level of competition and the unique format.

“It’s definitely a cool format,” Larson said. “I feel like it rewards guys who go forward when you hit the race track. We were able to do that. We didn’t qualify well, but we were able to pass cars every time we were on the track. It’s put us in position to go for the big win.”

Logan Schuchart, of Hanover, PA, is searching for his first World of Outlaws victory at Knoxville and has shown the speed needed to get it done. He made an incredible charge from 22nd to second in the Knoxville Nationals last year. He finished second Thursday night and rebounded from a poor start to the night on Friday with a run from 21st to ninth. A win tonight would hold an extra sentimental value as this year is the 30th anniversary of his grandfather Bobby Allen’s 1990 Knoxville Nationals victory.

“This Drydene Performance race car is fast,” Schuchart said. “The guys are working hard. We’ll see what we can do.”

Aaron Reutzel, of Clute, TX, has proven to have a handle on any Knoxville format – putting himself in the top-five for the past two Knoxville Nationals – and now one of the top four drivers during “The One and Only.” A key factor to that is the speed he has every time he hits the black zook clay. He claimed two wins at the half-mile earlier this year and finished third and 10th, respectively, during the two opening nights of “The One and Only.”

“I feel like we keep getting better and better every time we come here,” Reutzel said.

Aaron Reutzel at Knoxville / Trent Gower photo

The remainder of the field will be split into four Qualifier races – lined up by their combined points from the first two nights. The winner of each Qualifier will join Gravel, Larson, Reutzel and Schuchart in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. However, the four locked in drivers will draw for positions one through four, while the Qualifier winners will draw for positions five through eight.

The top four in each Qualifier is locked into the Feature and the rest of the field will either go to the D-Main, C-Main or Last Chance Showdown.

The Brownells Capitani Classic presented by Great Southern Bank and the entire event for “The One and Only” will be marked as one of the most historic events in the history of the World of Outlaws due to the unique circumstances that have brought it to life. Only one driver will take home the $50,000 check, the trophy and the claim to history.

Grandstand tickets are sold out for the event, but limited pit passes still remain.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can still watch the race live on DIRTVision, starting at 7pm (CT).

SATURDAY’S FORMAT

  • Top 4 in accumulated Points from Thursday/Friday will be locked into the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash on Saturday.
  • The balance of the cars will be split into 4 Qualifying races straight up by points.
  • Winner will go to the dash. 2nd-4th will go to the feature by finishing position. 5th-8th to the LCS by finishing position. 9th-12th to the C-main. 13th-17th to the D-main.
  • Top 2 in points that do not transfer will start on the front row of the LCS.
  • Top 4 out of the LCS, C-Main and D-main transfer to the next race lined up on the tail by finish.
  • The Dash top 4 in points locked in cars will draw for positions 1-4 in the Dash, Qualifier winners will draw for positions 5-8. Dash finish lines up the first 4 rows of the feature.
  • Qualifiers-12 Laps, Dash-6 Laps, C-Main-12 Laps, LCS-15 Laps, Feature-30 Laps

EVENT POINTS

PREVIOUS CAPITANI CLASSIC WINNERS
2019 – David Gravel
2018 – Brad Sweet
2017 – Brian Brown
2016 – Shane Stewart
2015 – Shane Stewart
2014 – Ian Madsen
2013 – Kevin Swindell
2012 – Bronson Maeschen