Inside Line Promotions - KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Aug. 16, 2021) - Roger Crockett produced his best NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey's General Stores performance since 2013 last weekend at Knoxville Raceway.
Crockett qualified fifth overall during his preliminary night on Wednesday and sixth in his group on Friday's Hard Knox Night before capping the event with a ninth-place result in the C Main last Saturday.
"Our speed was really good early in the night, but we just couldn't get the car good later in the night," he said. "We're missing something. When the track slows down our car isn't in the race track. I can hardly get in the gas. When the track had speed we were extremely fast. When the track was wet we were really good. We just couldn't get it figured out late in the night."
Crockett's fifth-place qualifying effort lined him up on the outside of the fourth row in a heat race on Wednesday. Crockett hustled to fifth, which was one position shy of locking into the main event. He then ended the night fifth in the B Main to fall only one spot out of making the A Main once again.
"The heat race is tough when you start eighth," he said. "We got as close as you're going to get with not transferring. We were really good and even in the B Main we were good. I didn't get a good start and made a couple of mistakes. We lost the transfer and we gained it back, but a yellow fell and the officials said we weren't in front of the guy we passed so we were put back into fifth. There just wasn't enough time to build up momentum to make the pass again.
"To not capitalize on our good draw and early speed was pretty frustrating. I felt like our speed was really good. As we found out later in the week we struggled late in the night so I don't know what we would have had that night."
Crockett showed speed on Friday to make the heat race inversion. He finished fourth, which missed a lock-in spot by only one position. However, a third-place result in a B Main transferred Crockett into the rear of the main event. He gained four positions to finish 19th.
"The Knoxville Nationals is a tough race to make," he said. "We had our opportunity on Friday, but couldn't make the most of it. We put a different engine in hoping it'd help us out a little bit. We didn't have it tuned right and were a little bit off in hot laps and in qualifying. We got it tuned right and then our gearing was wrong. Basically changing the engine threw off our whole night."
Crockett lined up on the inside of the third row in the C Main on Saturday.
"We go out in C Main hot laps and the car felt perfect," he said. "I could go high, go low. The car felt absolutely perfect. We didn't change one thing. The track slowed down over a second from hot laps to when we raced and then we were back to not being any good again. We couldn't get the car in the race track and we dropped back a few positions to finish ninth."
QUICK RESULTS -
Aug. 11 - Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa - Qualifying: 5; Heat race: 5 (8); B Main: 5 (4).
Aug. 13 - Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa - Qualifying: 6; Heat race: 4 (3); B Main: 3 (4); Feature: 19 (23).
Aug. 14 - Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa - C Main: 9 (5).
SEASON STATS -
18 races, 1 win, 5 top fives, 8 top 10s, 10 top 15s, 13 top 20s
UP NEXT -
MEDIA LINKS -
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - Champion Racing Oil
Champion Brands, LLC, is a globally recognized industry leader in specialty lubricants for 60 years. Champion also produces and blends more than 300 products including fuel, oil and engine additives and lubricants for the automotive, heavy truck, agricultural and specialty markets. For more information, visit http://www.ChampionBrands.com.
"Since we've used Champion Racing Oil we haven't had any bearing problems and everything looks great in the motors," Crockett said.
Crockett would also like to thank Tracker Native Tobacco, Theodore Concrete Construction, BC Motorsports, RR Bounds Trucking, Rocket Designs, FK Rod Ends, Olson Custom Designs, Maxim Chassis, Factory Kahne, Smith Titanium, Moose Blocks, KW Motorsports, Blaine's Motor Supply, K1 RaceGear, TJ Forged, Indy Race Parts, Bell Helmets, AL Driveline, Newlin Bar Service, Rider Racing Engines and KSE Racing Products for their continued support.
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*PHOTO BY PAUL ARCH*