KNOXVILLE, IA: Brian Brown has been racing at Knoxville Raceway since 2003.
He’s climbed to sixth on the track’s all-time wins list, taking 47 checkered flags at the track going into Friday night’s Brownells Big Guns Bash.
The Missouri native, though, has never won a feature race at Knoxville in a World of Outlaws sanctioned race.
That changed Friday night when Brown jumped out in front of Daryn Pittman to the lead in turns one and two and didn’t look back.
Brian Brown beats Outlaws for first ‘Feature’ win at Knoxville
“I got a really good start,” Brown said. “I haven’t been running the top much. I knew I was running my tires off a little bit. You don’t know how far you’re ahead. Lapped traffic got intense a couple of times. I kept my composure and here we are.”
Brown crossed the line in front of the second-place Pittman by 4.049 seconds, a large margin of victory in the series.
But for Brown, he said it felt like a lot less.
“Oh, you’re leading,” Brown said. “You don’t know. To me, it felt like four tenths of a second there.”
The win is Brown’s fourth career World of Outlaws victory.
He previously had at a few different tracks, but never could conquer the big guns at Knoxville.
“I always thought I’d like to win my first Outlaw show at Knoxville,” Brown said. “We’ve won them in Charlotte, Arizona and Kansas, but this one’s special. “This one’s for you Knoxville fans!” exclaimed Brown in Victory Lane. “You guys support us every Saturday night. It’s important for us to run well in front of you guys when the Outlaws are in town. I’m proud of everyone on the team.”
The No. 21 team treated the event like a normal week in the Knoxville Championship Cup Series – where he’d won four times prior this season in the four races they were in town to enter.
As for the looming Knoxville Nationals, it by no means was a statement for August.
Brown’s team – like everyone else – has work to do.
“This doesn’t mean nothing for Nationals,” Brown said.
Behind Brown earning his best career finish at Knoxville was Pittman in the No. 83 Roth Motorsports car.
He blew away every one in the field aside from Brown, earning a strong P2 finish for his team that has been struggling as of late.
“[Brown’s] good here,” Pittman said. “I was unsure how far you could be behind a guy to pull the trigger on him. I know not completing the pass would kill our speed. I was maybe a little hesitant to do that.”
Pittman’s crew made a complete engine change between the team’s heat race – which they won by the way – ahead of the Dash that would set the lineup for the main event.
“I’ve got to thank my guys,” Pittman said. “They worked their tails off. We got an engine changed before the Dash, and I went out there and the car was really good. I have to thank Dennis and Teresa (Roth). We’ve got a super race team. I’m super-excited about the direction we’re headed.”
Rounding out the podium was the CJB Motorsports No. 5 of Shane Stewart.
Stewart and co. earned their best finish since he parked his car in victory lane for the first time this year at Nashville on June 1.
“There’s no spots easy here with these guys,” Stewart said. “We were able to get back by Donny [Schatz] there on the last lap, but this race was over at the green flag. Brian and those guys did a great job.”
Donny Schatz was battling for a majority of the race, however, with Brad Sweet – who stole the points lead away from the No. 15 team last Saturday at Granite City Speedway.
The pair finished fourth and fifth, and Schatz gained two points back on a tight race at the top.
The Outlaws are back in action at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday and will be battling mother nature like they have many times both locally at the track and on the national tour.
There’s a 50% chance of a rain, but if there’s a window to fit the show in for the series, they will make it happen.
“After tonight, we’ve just got to get back to the drawing board and have another good night tomorrow,” Brown said.
Brownells Big Guns Bash Night 1 Results
1. Brian Brown
2. Daryn Pittman
3. Shane Stewart
4. Donny Schatz
5. Brad Sweet
6. Carson Macedo
7. Logan Schuchart
8. Kraig Kinser
9. David Gravel
10. Sheldon Haudenschild
11. Dominic Scelzi
12. Terry McCarl
13. Kerry Madsen
14. Brent Marks
15. Ian Madsen
16. James McFadden
17. Lynton Jeffrey
18. Matt Juhl
19. Sammy Swindell
20. Davey Heskin
21. Mason Daniel
22. Sawyer Philips
23. Josh Schneiderman
24. Jacob Allen
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