AMSOIL Sprints
Sunday, 2 June 2024


Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.) officially stamped his name as a first-time points-paying USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature winner on Saturday night at Iowa's Knoxville Raceway. Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.) officially stamped his name as a first-time points-paying USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature winner on Saturday night at Iowa's Knoxville Raceway. Rich Forman Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Knoxville, Iowa (June 1, 2024)………When Daison Pursley won at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park in February of 2023, he was reintroducing himself to the racing world after a severe spinal cord injury briefly derailed both his life and career.

With a victory on Saturday night at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway, the Locust Grove, Okla. racer introduced himself to the racing world as the legit deal, the genuine article, the real McCoy.

Whereas Pursley’s Volusia triumph nearly 16 months ago is technically listed as a non-points special event in the record books, there was no technicality in any form or fashion this time around.  Pursley officially stamped his name as a certified points-paying USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature winner in what was his 54th career series start on Saturday night at Knoxville’s famed half-mile.

For his efforts at the Avanti Windows & Doors Corn Belt Clash, Pursley pocketed a $12,000 top prize and the distinction of becoming the first points-paying USAC National Sprint Car feature winning driver since Jadon Rogers in 2022 at Indiana’s Tri-State Speedway.

Yet, more than anything, Pursley completed a task that had been lingering in his mind for some time.  After three consecutive third place results in his three most recent series starts, Pursley had grown tiresome of merely being in the hunt for a victory.  He held a burning desire to finish the job up front, and finish with authority.

At the controls of his Team AZ Racing/Apache Transport – Oak Craft Elegant Cabinetry/DRC/1-Way Chevy, Pursley led the initial 12 laps before a wonky restart seemingly cost him dearly.  Nonetheless, Pursley maintained his cool and capitalized late by tracking down race leader and fellow Okie Brady Bacon with nine laps remaining to earn the long-awaited and long-anticipated distinction.

“It’s huge,” Pursley reflected.  “I feel like I’ve been super close so many times to finally winning a points-paying USAC race, and tonight, I was finally able to pull it off.  I thought I gave it away once when I messed up on that restart and let Brady get underneath me.  I thought it was over from there because Brady usually doesn’t make any mistakes.  I’m just very, very fortunate to have a very fast racecar.  I just didn’t give up there.  I wanted to win really bad, and I think that showed here tonight.”

On the other hand, for Team AZ Racing, it was a repeat celebration at Knoxville.  With Jake Swanson at the wheel of the No. 21AZ, the team scored the Saturday night Corn Belt Clash finale in 2023.  On this particular evening in 2024, the team rolled from the number one spot and remained there for most of the first half of the 30-lap main event distance.

Action came to an abrupt halt on the opening lap as 24th running Eric Schulz barrel-rolled five times down the back straightaway to prompt a red flag.  The South Dakota driver ultimately walked away from the incident.

Following the restart, Pursley maintained command up front by pulling out to a 2.2 second lead over Bacon who had threaded the needle en route from sixth to second, blasting by C.J. Leary for the second position in turn three on the fifth lap.

Moments later, impressive 18-year-old up-and-comer Xavier Doney (7th) biked atop the turns three and four cushion before banging off the guardrail and flipping over several times.  Doney, who won a heat race earlier in the program, climbed out and walked away under his own power.

Forced to restart behind Leary due to scoring reverting back to the last completed lap, Bacon took back second for himself with a topside maneuver on the fifth lap reset, then began to reel Pursley in as the top-two broke away from the remainder of the contingent.

Among that contingent was eighth running Logan Seavey who suddenly slowed on the front straightaway 13 laps into the contest.  After being pushed into the Indy Metal Finishing Work Area for service, Seavey’s Abacus Racing team swapped out the car’s mag box.  However, the repairs didn’t take, and Seavey was out of the show with a season worst 21st place result.

On the ensuing lap 14 restart, Pursley’s car experienced a failure to launch.  Bacon took advantage of the situation and powered past Pursley to take over the top spot entering turn one.  Pursley subsequently drifted over the cushion in turns three and four, thus allowing Bacon to march forward to a hefty 2.192 second advantage.

The yellow flag was displayed once more on lap 16 as Carson Garrett tagged the guardrail around the perimeter of turns three and four.  On the following restart, Pursley again wasn’t able to take off as planned, which allowed Leary to swipe the second spot away ever so briefly.  However, a half lap later, Pursley recovered and dove back under Leary in turn three to retake the runner-up spot.

By the time lap 22nd had arrived, Pursley had gained his second wind.  It was then that he had caught back up to Bacon and surged past with a charge on the inside of turn three.

“I had to keep him within distance to make a move,” Pursley explained.  “I just tried to keep on pressuring him in three and four.  Thankfully, he went down there, and then missed it in one and two.  He messed up down there in three and four and hit the curb wrong.  That allowed me to inch closer to him every time.  It was very hard to hit the bottom of two consistently and I feel like I did a good job with that.  I’m very fortunate that he missed it right there and I was just close enough to make a move into three.”

In the immediate laps, Pursley pumped up his lead over Bacon to over a second and found himself in total control down the stretch while Bacon posed on two wheels above the turn three cushion, putting an end to any inkling of a late-race comeback.

Pursley steadily increased his interval over Bacon throughout the final laps, crossing the stripe 2.211 seconds out in front of the field over Bacon, Kevin Thomas Jr., C.J. Leary and Kyle Cummins.

Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) turned heads in Honest Abe Roofing Qualifying by going out last in the order and laying down the fastest lap of the night, thus becoming the fifth driver in the history of the series to record 50+ fast times in his career along with Tom Bigelow (65), Dave Darland (62), Tracy Hines (60) and C.J. Leary (50) who reached the mark one night earlier.  In the end, Bacon notched his fifth consecutive podium feature finish with the series in his Dynamics, Inc./Next Level Metal – Davis Brothers Trucking – Hutson John Deere/Triple X/Rider Chevy.  Now, in 11 career USAC Sprint Car starts at Knoxville, he has finished on the podium in 11 of them.

Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) and his Rock Steady Racing team were racing with heavy hearts at Knoxville following the Friday passing of 2000 Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway sprint car track champion Tony Jarrett.  Jarrett was the father-in-law of Rock Steady crewman Brian Karraker and was well-known in the Indiana sprint car community.  Sporting a helmet honoring Jarrett, KTJ recovered from a 15th place finish the night before to score a solid third place result on Saturday in his Inferno Armor – Eddie Gilstrap Motors – Creative Finishing/Mach-1/Stanton Chevy.

J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, Ariz.) was once again the man on the move at Knoxville.  For the second night in a row, the USAC Triple Crown champion was the hard charger, advancing from 17th to 10th in his Yeley Racing/Avanti Windows & Doors – CK Electric – Apache Transport/Spike/Stanton Chevy.  Furthermore, he collected a $500 bonus from ProSource as the Corn Belt Clash Passing Master after advancing a total of 21 positions throughout the two nights of racing at Knoxville.




USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 1, 2024 – Knoxville Raceway – Knoxville, Iowa – Avanti Windows & Doors Corn Belt Clash – 1/2-Mile Dirt Oval

HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: 1. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-19.708; 2. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-19.769; 3. C.J. Leary, 15x, BGE Dougherty-19.863; 4. Carson Garrett, 15, BGE Dougherty-19.918; 5. Jake Swanson, 2B, 2B Racing-20.027; 6. Daison Pursley, 21AZ, Team AZ-20.031; 7. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-20.224; 8. Kyle Cummins, 3p, Petty-20.245; 9. Xavier Doney, 74, Doney/Lawson-20.275; 10. Joey Amantea, 88J, JPA-20.306; 11. Mitchel Moles, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-20.329; 12. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-20.377; 13. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-20.396; 14. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3R, Rock Steady-20.432; 15. Chase Johnson, 4J, Ford-20.485; 16. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-20.495; 17. J.J. Yeley, 2, Yeley-20.576; 18. Wesley Smith, 44, Smith-20.640; 19. Korbyn Hayslett, 1H, Hayslett-20.933; 20. Jadon Rogers, 17GP, Dutcher-20.981; 21. Logan Calderwood, 73, Ford-20.998; 22. Charles Davis Jr., 47, Davis-21.064; 23. Hunter Maddox, 24m, Maddox-21.131; 24. Kobe Simpson, 21K, Simpson-21.322; 25. Eric Schulz, 38, Grein-21.428; 26. Tyler Graves, T4, Graves-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Robert Ballou, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Joey Amantea, 4. Carson Garrett, 5. Matt Westfall, 6. Logan Seavey, 7. Korbyn Hayslett, 8. Charles Davis Jr., 9. Eric Schulz. 2:45.569

ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Kyle Cummins, 3. Mitchel Moles, 4. Jake Swanson, 5. Justin Grant, 6. J.J. Yeley, 7. Jadon Rogers, 8. Hunter Maddox, 9. Tyler Graves. 2:47.168

T.J. FORGED / CAR IQ THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Xavier Doney, 2. Daison Pursley, 3. Chase Johnson, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Wesley Smith, 7. Logan Calderwood, 8. Kobe Simpson. 2:48.136

ELLIOTT’S CUSTOM TRAILERS & CARTS SEMI: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Korbyn Hayslett, 2. Logan Calderwood, 3. Charles Davis Jr., 4. Jadon Rogers, 5. Kobe Simpson, 6. Eric Schulz, 7. Hunter Maddox, 8. Tyler Graves. 2:54.648

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Daison Pursley (1), 2. Brady Bacon (6), 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (9), 4. C.J. Leary (4), 5. Kyle Cummins (11), 6. Justin Grant (5), 7. Robert Ballou (8), 8. Mitchel Moles (13), 9. Jake Swanson (2), 10. J.J. Yeley (17), 11. Chase Johnson (15), 12. Matt Westfall (16), 13. Carson Garrett (3), 14. Chase Stockon (14), 15. Jadon Rogers (20), 16. Charles Davis Jr. (22), 17. Korbyn Hayslett (19), 18. Logan Calderwood (21), 19. Kobe Simpson (23), 20. Joey Amantea (12), 21. Logan Seavey (10), 22. Xavier Doney (7), 23. Wesley Smith (18), 24. Eric Schulz (24). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Daison Pursley, Laps 13-21 Brady Bacon, Laps 22-30 Daison Pursley.

**Eric Schulz flipped on lap 1 of the feature. Xavier Doney flipped on lap 5 of the feature.

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-1080, 2-Kevin Thomas Jr.-1018, 3-C.J. Leary-1017, 4-Daison Pursley-989, 5-Brady Bacon-972, 6-Justin Grant-880, 7-Kyle Cummins-869, 8-Robert Ballou-862, 9-Mitchel Moles-845, 10-Chase Stockon-801.

BUBBY JONES MASTER OF GOIN’ FASTER PRESENTED BY SPIRE SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT POINTS: 1-Kevin Thomas Jr.-275, 2-C.J. Leary-275, 3-Logan Seavey-260, 4-Brady Bacon-258, 5-Daison Pursley-256, 6-Justin Grant-236, 7-Kyle Cummins-230, 8-Mitchel Moles-226, 9-Jake Swanson-205, 10-Robert Ballou-204.

OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-C.J. Leary-81, 2-Robert Ballou-74, 3-Logan Seavey-69, 4-Daison Pursley-67, 5-Joey Amantea-54, 6-Brady Bacon-50, 7-Carson Garrett-50, 8-Kyle Cummins-47, 9-Matt Westfall-45, 10-Kevin Thomas Jr.-44.

FINAL CORN BELT CLASH PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-J.J. Yeley-21, 2-Carson Garrett-18, 3-Kyle Cummins-16, 4-Brady Bacon-13, 5-Jake Swanson-10, 6-Charles Davis Jr.-10, 7-Daison Pursley-8, 8-Chase Johnson-8, 9-Xavier Doney-8, 10-Kevin Thomas Jr.-7.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 11, 2024 – Grandview Speedway – Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania – 17th USAC Eastern Storm – 1/3-Mile Dirt Oval



Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Daison Pursley (19.918)

Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: Brady Bacon (19.708)

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Robert Ballou

Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Kevin Thomas Jr.

T.J. Forged / Car IQ Third Heat Winner: Xavier Doney

Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts Semi Winner: Korbyn Hayslett

Hard Charger: J.J. Yeley (17th to 10th)