Tim Shaffer in #83
Knoxville, Iowa, August 14, 2010. Tim Shaffer of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, won an epic 50th Annual Knoxville Nationals at the Knoxville Raceway driving his Weld Racing wheel equipped #83. The win was worth $150,000 and was the first time a brand-new winner was crowned since 2006.
This year’s championship main was historic because it was the longest in the history of the event. The race was 50 laps in length and included an all-inclusive pit stop at lap 25. Nationals’ championships in previous years had been 30 laps until 2009 when the race was 40 laps and included a stop for fuel only. This race was the longest in the history of this race track. It was likely to be remembered as one of the most dramatic races in this track’s history too, as Shaffer started seventh on the grid and was conservative through much of the race.
The much-anticipated competition yellow came at the halfway point and allowed the drivers five minutes to change anything they wanted on their cars. When the race went back to green, Swindell continued to lead. Kinser slowed dramatically on the 31st lap and pulled in the pits with a puff of smoke, giving Brown back the third spot. At lap 43, Shaffer got by Brown for third spot and those two waged a torrid battle until Brown’s right-rear tire blew and the yellow flag came out at lap 44. With only three laps remaining, it looked like Swindell might end a 27-year Nationals drought, but his left-rear tire blew in turn four and he flipped over backwards to bring out a red flag. That gave Schatz the lead for the 48th lap but his machine began to smoke and sputter. Shaffer used a slide job, took the lead on the white-flag lap and sped away to the checkered flags.