Sunday, November 26, 2023

Brock Zearfoss and Ayrton Gennetten Collide in Friday Night Knoxville Nationals Feature

Ayrton Gennetten and Brock Zearfoss after their collision on Friday night in Knoxville.
Ayrton Gennetten and Brock Zearfoss after their collision on Friday night in Knoxville. Photo courtesy of Christopher DeHarde/

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — As Ayrton Gennetten and Brock Zearfoss ran sixth and seventh respectively in the Friday night Hard Knox feature at the Knoxville Nationals, the two collided, leading to a rather large difference of opinion on what happened at Knoxville Raceway.

Gennetten slid from the low groove to the high groove through Turn 2 with 15 laps to go in the 25 lap feature. Zearfoss hit the back of Gennetten’s No. 3 machine as the pair went down the backstretch. Gennetten spun and hit the outside wall while Zearfoss’s No. 3Z car caught Gennetten’s right rear wheel. Zearfoss’s car spun around in the air before landing on all four wheels.

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Zearfoss didn’t mince words about the accident.

“A guy decided he wanted to slide across the bottom to the top, took his good old time,” Zearfoss said. “We had a good run, he crashed. So that’s the way it is. We’re racing for a transfer into the feature for tomorrow and he’s just running for a local Saturday night.”

Gennetten brought his car back to the pits and the Gravois Mills, Missouri native couldn’t continue. Right front frame damage and front rack damage ended Gennetten’s night.

“I was kind of just going to the top,” Gennetten said. “And the next thing I know, we’re just getting turned around. We were fast, and it just sucks that we got turned around. It’s just one of them things where, it’s like […] I told him to come down here and talk to me and he didn’t.

“It sucks that we got turned. We had a good car, had a solid top-five run going and probably would’ve ran in the top five and put ourselves up pretty good for tomorrow. But now we’ve got to get a backup car down and try to work ourselves out of the C.”

The frame can be repaired, but not in time for Saturday’s races. The time crunch necessitates a move to a backup car.

After the accident, Zearfoss continued to finish 14th and will line up 20th in Saturday’s B-Main. Gennetten finished 24th and will start 10th in Saturday’s C-Main. The top four in each preliminary race advance in the Alphabet Soup toward the $175,000-to-win A-Main on Saturday evening.

Rico Abreu won the feature ahead of Kerry Madsen, Sheldon Haudenschild and Brian Brown. The quartet will start 21st through 24th in Saturday’s 50-lap feature.

After the race, a small number of fans passed by Zearfoss’s car while the Jonestown, Pennsylvania native was near a rear tire. After a brief exchange of words, those words became punches near the tool chest.

“There’s fans and people that think they want to come and talk shit,” Zearfoss said. “But you know what, that’s the way it is. You know, we’re out here racing for money and them guys are sitting in the stands drinking beer. So that guy can get screwed, and we’ll race our way in tomorrow.”

Saturday’s Knoxville Nationals program begins with a 10-lap E-Main scheduled to start at 8:10 p.m. CT. All five races are available to watch on Dirtvision.

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