All Star Schedule Resumes With Three Stops in NY This Weekend
Knoxville, IA – August 17, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Brent Smith Photography
Kyle Reinhardt arrived in Knoxville, Iowa on August 3rd to run the 360 Nationals followed by the Capitani Classic, but the main purpose of the trip was the Knoxville Nationals for 410 sprint cars, which was slated to begin on August 10th.
This trip would be Reinhardt’s 5th Nationals. He wasn’t just showing up every year, he was learning and improving. Refining how to to approach and execute a trip to the Knoxville Nationals.
With over 100 cars entered each year, the event is no typical race. It is an unforgiving beast that penalizes you instantly for the smallest mistake. Every driver and team scratches, claws, and earns everything they get.
The goal is always Saturday’s A-main of course. The grand finale to the four day event shells out $10,000 to start and $175,000 to the victor.
In his prior trips, Reinhardt had reached Saturday’s E-main (2017 & 2018), D-main (2019) and the B-main (2021).
Would the trend continue? Would the Neptune City, NJ native log a career-best performance? Would 2022 be the year Reinhardt broke through and reached the grand finale?
Wed 8/10: Knoxville Raceway / 410 Nationals Night 1 / 51 cars, Qualifying 37th, Heat 2nd (1), A-main 16th (17)
Fri 8/12: Knoxville Raceway / 410 Nationals Hard Knox / 72 cars, Qualifying 13th Group B, Heat 5th (5), B-main 1st (6), A-main 15th (20)
Sat 8/13: Knoxville Raceway / 410 Nationals Finale / 98 cars, C-main 1st (1), B-main 20th (21)
Wednesday – Qualifying Night
Reinhardt debuted a fresh new J&J Auto Racing machine with a brand new Rider under the hood for the occasion. The goal, of course, was to give themselves the best possible shot to achieve that new career best result at The Nationals. It also seemed like a necessity given the team’s struggles to find the speed they were accustomed to, which had been absent in recent months.
Approximately half the field registered for The Nationals, 51 teams, took to the track for their qualifying night on Wednesday. Qualifying nights leverage single group time trials, making Reinhardt’s spot late in the order (44th) less than ideal.
Reinhardt’s time trial effort resulted in the 37th quickest lap and fewer points accumulated than hoped. Teams accumulate points throughout the qualifying nights based on their time trial, heat race and main event results. Qualifying awards 200 points to the winner, 198 for second, 196 for third, etc.
An invert of eight was the order of the day to translate the qualifying results into five heat race lineups. In this format, the fastest five overall qualifiers start eighth in each heat race, 6th-10th fastest start seventh, etc.
On the bright side, Reinhard’s time on the clock handed him the pole of the second heat, giving him a good opportunity to earn points and transfer to the A-main where he could accumulate additional points.
Reinhardt led the opening lap of his 10-lap heat race, but Corey Day found his way past the Jersey product on lap two. Reinhardt held a firm grasp on the runner-up spot all the way to the checkered flag and claimed a starting spot in the A-main.
On initial start of the 25-lap A-main, Reinhardt found a lane on the low side of the speedway and surged from his 17th starting spot to 13th as the field entered turn four. He appeared to be off to a great start on his mission to tally additional points, but it wasn’t to be. The caution lights flashed on for a car that was off the pace, and the lap didn’t count.
Reinhardt had already showed his hand and the competition wised up, preventing him from utilizing the same low line move on the complete restart, so he settled into the running order where he had started.
Reinhardt continued to work the low side, moving up to 16th about a half dozen laps into the race. By the halfway point, he was back to where he started. He continued to search, moving to the high side for a couple circuits around lap fifteen.
When the top groove didn’t work, Reinhardt moved back down the track and proceeded to spin off the fastest series of laps he had turned during the feature event, propelling him to a 16th place finish in the Capitol Renegade / Capitol Custom Coaches & Trailers / Champion Hi-Tech Lubricants / J&J Auto Racing No.91.
When Wednesday’s points were tallied, Reinhardt sat 24th in points of the 51 drivers who had attempted to qualify that night.
“This new J&J car is definitely a big step in the right direction. I was comfortable and we had some speed, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.“, Reinhardt commented.
Friday – Hard Knox Night
After two nights of racing, the top 16 in points were locked into Saturday night’s A-main and the next 10 in points were locked into the first five rows of Saturday’s B-main.
For the rest, it was one of the most intense nights in sprint car racing, Hard Knox Night. This year that meant a full program with 72 teams going all out to capture one of the highly coveted top four finishing spots in the A-main. Those cars would earn the right to start 17th-20th in Saturday’s finale.
For the rest, the better the finish, the better their positioning in Saturday’s ‘alphabet soup’, referring to Saturday’s E-main, D-main, C-main and B-main.
Friday’s format is slightly different than earlier in the week. The field is split into two groups for qualifying, then six heats are run with the top three finishers from each advancing to the A-main.
Kyle Reinhardt rolled out 18th of 36 cars in Group B and laid down a solid lap of 16.525. With one car remaining to qualify in the group, he sat 12th on the bump from the inversion. The last car out bumped Reinhardt to 13th quick, which moved him from a front row starting spot in his heat race to a 5th place start instead.
Reinhardt wasn’t able to gain any ground from his 5th place start in the fourth 8-lap heat race, which meant a date with B-main number two later in the evening. The starting lineup for the B-main was based off the time trial results earlier in the evening. For Reinhardt, that equated to a starting spot outside the third row.
The opening circuit of the 12-lap last chance race was a solid one for Reinhardt. He bolted from 6th to 3rd using the high side of the speedway. Over the next ten laps, Kyle did everything he could to close on second and grab an insurance spot to ensure he transferred to the A-main.
As the race wound down, the leaders reached lapped traffic and the gaps among the top three shrank. At the white flag, Reinhardt was still third but was hot on the heels of Sye Lynch, who was right on the bumper of leader Justin Henderson.
When the trio hurtled into turn three, things looked quite different. Reinhardt led Lynch and Henderson back to the line to complete an exciting final lap.
Now with a shot in the 25-lap A-main to further improve his chances on Saturday, Reinhardt wasn’t done yet. He took the green flag from the 20th starting spot and immediately began working his way forward.
Reinhardt climbed to 17th on the opening lap and was 15th by lap three. He battled for position in the middle of the pack through three restarts during the feature event, reaching 13th with seven laps remaining.
In the closing laps, the handling on Reinhardt’s machine started to go away. As a result, he slipped back a couple spots to a 15th place finish.
“The car was really good early. We just got a little tight in the last ten laps and that cost us a couple spots late. It was the difference between starting Saturday in the back of the B-main vs. the front of the C-main.“, Reinhardt commented.
On the final day of the Knoxville Nationals, 98 teams were unloaded and set up in the infield. 20 teams arrived knowing they were safely locked into the A-main, while everyone else was slotted for a B-main, C-main, D-main or E-main, with a shot to work their way to one of the final four open spots in the lineup for the grand finale.
All of the preliminary action for Kyle Reinhardt led to him owning the pole of Saturday’s 15-lap C-main. The top four finishers of that race would move on to the final four starting spots for the B-main, where they would have 22 laps to find their way to the top four to earn their way into the A-main. It was a tall order, but it had been done before.
Reinhardt didn’t get the start he wanted in the C-main. He raced the opening two circuits in the runner-up position before finding his rhythm and sailing past McKenna Haase to grab the lead.
Over the remaining thirteen laps Reinhardt was never challenged and went on to win by just over three seconds, locking in the 21st starting spot in the B-main.
Forward progress wasn’t easy to come by in the 22-lap B-main. Reinhardt found himself in one battle after another throughout the race. He navigated his way from 21st to 18th by lap three but that was the pinnacle of his progress. Much like Friday night’s feature, his No.91 got tight in the closing laps and Reinhardt ultimately crossed the finish line in 20th.
The 2022 Nationals didn’t end up being the perfect story of continuing the trend by reaching his first career Saturday night A-main, but Reinhardt did post another career best result in August in Knoxville by finishing two spots better than 2021. The trend of improvement continues.
“We made a ton of progress this week here in Iowa. Given our struggles coming into Knoxville, coming out of here with this finish is a successful week for sure. I want to thank all my guys for their hard work and of course all our partners for their support. We wouldn’t be here without them.”, Reinhardt said.
“I’m excited for the rest of our All Star season.“
Kyle and the entire Capitol Renegade team want to say a special THANK YOU to Kline's Quick Time in Knoxville for their support during the team's Knoxville swing!
Kline's Quick Time!
A Gas Station, Convenience Store, Auto Repair, and a Car Wash with 3 Wand Bays & a Touchless Automatic!
The Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions schedule resumes this weekend for Reinhardt and the Capitol Renegade team with three stops in New York. The three-race weekend kicks off Friday night at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, followed by a Saturday night show at Utica-Rome Speedway, and is capped off Sunday night at Weedsport Speedway. The events pay $8,000, $10,000 and $8,000 respectively to the winners.
47 races, 0 wins, 4 top 5’s, 9 top 10’s, 24 top 15’s
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