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Shark Week at Knoxville: Jacob Allen Helps Shark Racing Sweep Preliminary Features

Jacob Allen shortly before Thursday's feature race at the 2022 Knoxville Nationals.
Jacob Allen shortly before Thursday's feature race at the 2022 Knoxville Nationals.
Jacob Allen shortly before Thursday’s feature race at the 2022 Knoxville Nationals. Photo courtesy of World Racing Group/Trent Gower.

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — As Logan Schuchart did on Wednesday night, Jacob Allen followed up his teammate’s victory by winning Thursday night’s preliminary feature at the Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway.

Allen led every lap and held off all challengers in the No. 1a Shark Racing machine. Zeb Wise started on pole position ahead of Allen and Brad Sweet. Sweet moved past Wise early for second place and then set off after the Hanover, Pennsylvania native.

Sweet got closer as Allen approached lapped traffic and even passed Allen briefly for the lead. However, Allen got back around the 2018 Knoxville Nationals champion and kept the lead. Allen won ahead of Sweet and Carson Macedo in third place.

Allen’s win was his first World of Outlaws triumph at Knoxville Raceway. It was also his fourth of the 2022 World of Outlaws season.

“I felt like I had a really good pace going,” Allen said. “I felt like I kept my momentum up. A couple of times I had to go low to pass a lapped car and I felt good down low as well. I guess just sometimes the bad side of leading the race is you don’t know what the guys behind you, if they’re really close or what they’re seeing and what lines they’re picking up.

“Knoxville seems to change its lines through the course of the race. So yeah, it just felt good, I guess the only bad part of the thing was that Brad passed me right there. But other than that it was pretty awesome!”

Sweet wasn’t mad about finishing second. The three time World of Outlaws champion felt like if his car worked a bit better then he would’ve gotten the lead. Lapped traffic made the difference for the Grass Valley, California native.

“I thought Jacob did a good job,” Sweet said. “I think his car was working good in spots and he did a good job making it more difficult for me changing his lines up.”

Macedo was right behind Allen and Sweet, waiting in the shadows for a chance to pounce.

“When I got to third I was a pretty long way back and I was able to reel in the lead duo there,” Macedo said. “I felt like my car was pretty solid in certain spots and could run the top really well. But I couldn’t really run the bottom quite like I wanted to or sweep through the middle or do some of the things I felt like you really needed to do there to drive by both of them.”

After Wednesday and Thursday’s features, the top 16 drivers in the Knoxville Nationals points system were locked into Saturday night’s feature. Austin McCarl finished fourth in Thursday’s A-Main, earning enough points to qualify for Saturday’s pole.

Kyle Larson finished fifth on Thursday after starting 22nd, earning the Hard Charger Award.

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