PETERSEN MEDIA: Taking to the Knoxville Raceway over the weekend to compete in his first ever 360ci Nationals, Cory Eliason would race his way into the Saturday night feature event and finish in the 16th spot.
“We had a really good car all week long, and should have finished a little better in the A, but I got into the wall late and we slipped back to finish 16th.”
Taking to the ½ mile speedway on Thursday night for qualifying, Eliason would time the Lucas Oil/Hansen Machine/NAAKE Suspension No. 5h entry in 21st quickest in time trials after going out four cars from the end.
Lining up on the front row of his heat race, the Kingsburg, CA driver would get the jump and race his way to a very important heat race win and transfer directly into the preliminary night feature event.
Finding himself in the seventh row for the 20-lap feature event, the race would move at a quick pace as Eliason was able to pick up a few spots early. Finding himself battling with Aaron Ruetzel late in the race, Eliason would keep him at bay as he would take the checkered flag with an 11th place finish.
Spectating the action on Friday night, Eliason would find himself just on the outside of the Top-20 in points for Saturday’s finale and would find himself on the front row of the B main.
Battling with Jack Dover at the front of the semi, Eliason would hold strong as his second place finish would punch his ticket into the A Main at the 26th Annual Arnold Motor Supply 360 Nationals.
Gridding the field from the 20th starting position for the 25-lap feature event, Eliason showed he had a very good car as he worked his way forward against some of the best in the business. Eliason would get up into the Top-10 in the races closing laps.
While running in the 10th spot, Eliason would brush the retaining wall and the contact would force him to briefly fall of the pace and he would lose a few spots as he gathered his machine back up. Eliason would fall back to the 16th spot where he would close out his first ever 360ci Nationals.
Heading to the Southern Iowa Speedway on Monday night to take part in the Front Row Challenge, Eliason timed the Van Dyke Motorsports entry in 21st quickest.
Running sixth in his heat race, Eliason would forced into the ‘B’ Main for one final shot at moving into the Front Row Challenge feature event. Leading the way from the onset, Eliason would feel something go south under the hood of his machine as he coasted across the finish line to pick up the win.
The issues would be terminal, as Eliason would scratch from the feature event.
“It was really cool to run well at the 360 Nationals, I just wish our results could have shown how good we were,” Eliason noted. “Monday night I think we hurt our Nationals engine, so I’m not quite sure what we are going to do. I really want to thank Harley Van Dyke and his guys for all their continued hard work, and for continuing to give me a strong car.”
The Van Dyke Motorsports team would like to thank Lucas Oil, Hansen Machine, NAAKE Suspension, Maxim Chassis, and Moyle Racing Engines for their support during the year.
2016 BY THE NUMBERS: Starts- 31, Wins-6, Top-5’s-10, Top-10’s-18
ON TAP: Eliason and the Van Dyke Motorsports team are scheduled to hit the Knoxville Raceway Wednesday night for their qualifying night at the Knoxville Nationals.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay updated with Cory Eliason by following him on Twitter @Cory_Eliason.
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