Brown Best on Night 2 at Knoxville

Brian Brown

"It's probably by far one of the biggest wins of my career to this point." (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

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KNOXVILLE, Iowa - Brian Brown will start the 53rd annual FVP Knoxville Nationals in the same spot he finished last season - second.

Brown, who came up a half-car length shy of scoring the win last season, took the checkered flag in Thursday's qualifying night that locked in the top-16 starters for Saturday night's 50-lap feature.

"It's probably by far one of the biggest wins of my career to this point," Brown said about his win in the 25-lap race. "The car was pretty good tonight. I had a couple moments there - I had a little issue with my tear offs and kind of got a little out of control there, but I got that taken care of and rolled on."

When the green flag flew, Brown quickly worked his towards the front from the fifth starting position and took the lead on lap 3 from pole-sitter Roger Crockett. From there, Brown held off a number of charges from Kerry Madsen to take the win.

"I got a really, really good start," Brown said. "I went down there and rolled the bottom real nice and got a good run. I actually came down the backstretch and got a little excited and just kind of blew it across there and I think I could have got the lead on the first lap. It didn't really matter. We just had to get rolling and I knew with Kevin (Swindell) and Kerry and them guys up front, if they get our front it would be very tough for us to beat them."

Madsen did all he could do to catch Brown to try and get the win.

"I was pushing as hard as I could," Madsen said. "I stayed a reasonable distance the whole race and he just ran a good race. I'm pretty disappointed, but in about five minutes when we realize that we are in a good state for Saturday night we are going to be happy about tonight's racing."

Swindell came home third after finishing on the podium for two nights last weekend in the 360 Nationals and then at Southern Iowa Speedway.

"To think I was going to come in here and be on the podium in all five nights that I raced was not what I thought would happen at all, especially when it came to the 410," Swindell said. "Really excited to be just in the race and to have the opportunity to drive such a good car."

Brown will be joined on the front row by pole-sitter Joey Saldana. In 2012, Brown started fourth with Saldana starting sixth and finishing 11th while driving for Kasey Kahne Racing. This season, Saldana is behind the wheel of the No. 71m for Dan Motter.

"To be able to start on the front row with Joey Saldana is going to be pretty special," Brown said. "We've got a great team assembled my guys work really, really hard. They deserve where we are going to be starting Saturday night with the opportunity to win it. It's pretty exciting and now we have a couple days to relax and come back tomorrow and watch some racing and hopefully be in contention on Saturday night."

Saldana, who was the fastest qualifier tonight, earned the most points over the two days of qualifying with 483 with a fourth-place finish in his heat and a fifth-place run in the feature.

"We drew a good pill, obviously that helps," Saldana said. "Qualifying is huge here and luckily we got out of that heat. Had a good solid feature. We definitely got some work to do if we are going to have a shot, but very pleased."

The rest of the top 10 in points after qualifying were Shane Stewart (481), Justin Henderson (481), Brad Sweet (480), Wednesday's fastest qualifier Paul McMahan (477), Wednesday's Feature winner David Gravel (474), Madsen (473), Swindell (473) and tonight's Hard Charger Cody Darrah (468).

Daryn Pittman (464), Steve Kinser (461), tonight's Last Chance Showdown winner Danny Lasoski (460), Stevie Smith (458), Roger Crockett (457) and Greg Hodnett (457) completed the top 16.

Six-time and defending Nationals winner Donny Schatz is 20th.

Friday will see the top-four finishers from the A-Main move into spots 17-20 in Saturday's feature. Tomorrow will consist of qualifying, heats, D, C, B and A-Main as well as the Speed Sport Knoxville World Challenge.

Related Topics:

World of Outlaws, Brian Brown

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