Just Misses Championship Finale Despite Issues
New Oxford, PA – August 17, 2021
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: World of Outlaws
Kyle Reinhardt was hoping the third time would be the charm.
He had tried twice before to make the prestigious Knoxville Nationals, the most recent being in 2018 in the Capitol Renegade No.91. Each of his prior attempts would likely best be described as long shots. This year was different.
The Capitol Renegade program has come a long way since 2018. That year, their week in Knoxville included a scratch on their qualifying night and they opted not to run the D-main on Championship Saturday. This year, Reinhardt and Capitol Renegade had a legitimate shot at making the big show together.
8/11: 410 Sprint Car Knoxville Nationals – Knoxville Raceway – Knoxville, IA
(Qualifying Night: 49 cars, Qualifying 32nd, Heat 1st, A-main 21st)
As is always the case with the large number of cars that enter the Knoxville Nationals, half of the field qualifies on Wednesday night, while the remaining teams qualify on Thursday night.
Kyle Reinhardt and the Capitol Renegade team were among 49 cars slated to qualify on Wednesday, the opening night of the 60th Annual edition of “The Nationals”. The All Star Circuit of Champions Rookie of the Year candidate was the 38th driver to take to the track for time trials. On his second circuit, he logged the 32nd quickest lap in the field.
Reinhardt knew his No.91 had a better lap in it, but the motor wasn’t exactly cooperating during his shot under the clock. However, it was good enough to provide him with an outside front row starting spot in the second heat. The crew went to work after time trials to make sure Reinhardt had what he needed to capitalize on the starting spot because the top 4 finishers would transfer directly to the night’s A-main, providing a solid opportunity to accumulate points for the week. The better the finish, the better their position to make the A-main on Championship Saturday, which would pay a hefty $10,000 to start.
The car was stout in the heat race. Reinhardt blasted to the lead at the drop of the green. He never relinquished the top spot, cruising to the win by 2.144 seconds over Zeb Wise, and locking himself into the 25-lap feature event later that night.
Unfortunately, just a few laps into the A-main, the earlier issues Reinhardt bubbled up again and he slid backwards in the field, ultimately finishing 21st.
“Motor issues hurt our time trial, got it sorted out and won our heat race, but motor issues resurfaced in the (feature) race, and we couldn’t go anywhere. Car was fast when it would run, which was encouraging, but at this deal you can’t afford to miss the slightest opportunity“, Wayne Quackenbush of Capitol Renegade shared.
8/13: 410 Sprint Car Knoxville Nationals – Knoxville Raceway – Knoxville, IA
(Hard Knox Night: 69 cars, Qualifying 5th in Flight #2, Heat 2nd, A-main 9th)
With both qualifying nights in the books, points were tallied to set up the remainder of the week. The top 16 teams in points were automatically locked into the A-main on Championship Saturday, while the next 10 teams in points would make up the first five rows of Saturday’s B-main. The remaining teams, 27th and lower in points, would compete in Friday night’s Hard Knox program to take another shot at making Saturday’s finale.
The 69 teams who signed in to make the most of Friday’s second opportunity were divided into two flights for timed qualifying. Kyle Reinhardt was the 18th of 34 cars to take to the track in Flight #2. He tripped the timing light on his second lap with a 16.031, ranking him 5th quickest for the night.
In the fifth heat, Kyle started inside row two behind the front row of Wayne Johnson and Sammy Swindell. Reinhardt charged past Swindell into 2nd on the opening lap and never looked back. He was unable to close on Johnson but rode home comfortably in 2nd, locking into Friday’s main event.
Reinhardt and team had a solid night going and had put themselves in position to achieve the main goal of the week. The Capitol Renegade, Champion Brands, Henry’s Wrecker Service No.91 would line up 4th in Friday’s 25-lap A-main, behind a front row consisting of the legendary Jac Haudenchild and the ever-popular Rico Abreu.
Reinhardt held serve near the front of the field, running 3rd or 4th during the first half of the event. At the midpoint of Friday’s A-main, the Neptune City, NJ native was still running in a transfer spot to put himself in his first ever Knoxville Nationals Championship Saturday A-main, but issues arose that left the dangling carrot just out of reach.
“Unfortunately, I lost brakes and couldn’t hold the bottom. Dropped back a few spots and finished 9th”, Reinhardt commented.
He would have one more shot on Saturday night to advance from his 15th starting spot in the B-main to a top-4 finish to make the show.
8/14: 410 Sprint Car Knoxville Nationals – Knoxville Raceway – Knoxville, IA
(Championship Saturday: 88 cars, B-main 22nd)
Saturday’s mission at Knoxville was clear cut for Kyle Reinhardt: Roll off 15th in the B-main, pass eleven cars, and transfer to the A-main. It was also a tall order in a last chance qualifying race that had a starting lineup that was better than almost any feature event across the country on any given night. Everything would have to be perfect.
It didn’t take Reinhardt long Saturday night to determine things were not perfect. The brake issue from Friday night reared its head again early in the B-main. Attempting to be fast around Knoxville with brake issues was an unwinnable battle. Reinhardt eventually retired from the event and was officially credited with 22nd, bringing an end to the team’s Nationals week.
“I have mixed emotions. We were so close. Friday was our moment. Despite our motor and brake issues, we were right there, fighting for it, running in a transfer spot. To be that close and not make it is really disappointing”, Reinhardt commented. “We haven’t had brake issues all year, so it’s frustrating for it to happen here. All that said, the B-main is nothing to be ashamed of here. We have nothing to hang our heads about“, he concluded.
Thanks to Our Partners!
RQM Motorsports would like to sincerely thank Capitol Renegade, Capitol Custom Coaches & Trailers, Champion Brands, Fibreworks Composites, Henry’s Wrecker Service, J&J Auto Racing, FK Rod Ends, Kinsler Fuel Injection, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Kelly Racing Fuel, B.C. Walter Trucking, Arai Americas, Auto Meter, KSE Racing Products, InTech Trailers, Fel-Pro, Taylor Ignition Wires, Miller Welders, K&N Filters, Mettec, AL Driveline, Jesel Valvetrain, DMI, All-Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads, ISC Racers Tape, HMS Motorsports, Ultra Lite Brakes & Components, Rider Racing Engines, Saldana Racing Products and HP Engines for their support during the 2021 racing season.
Kyle and the Capitol Renegade team will resume their All Star Circuit of Champions rookie campaign this week with events in Michigan and Indiana on August 20th and 21st. Friday night, the series will compete for $5,000 to win at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, MI. The tour will move on to Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, IN for a shot at the $6,000 winner’s share on Saturday night. Just 16 races remain on the series’ 2021 schedule and Reinhardt currently sits 9th in points in his first season on the tour.
The 8/21 event at Plymouth Speedway has been CANCELLED. Instead, Kyle and the All Stars will race at Waynesfield Raceway Park in Ohio Saturday night.
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