Chris Knudsen drives his late father’s ’69 stick-shifted Camaro to the Stock class win at the NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
BRAINERD, MINN. – Chris Knudsen earned his first NHRA national event victory on Sunday after defeating Brett Speer in the Stock Eliminator final round. Making his second final round appearance, Knudsen nailed a near-perfect .002 light in the final to earn his first national event Wally.
Knudsen’s win was special as he was driving the same car his late father drove to the 1998 Brainerd winners circle. His father passed the following year never getting a chance to defend his title.
Chris used a string of stellar reaction times to run over the field at Brainerd. He posted two .002 reactions including one in the final round. His worst light of eliminations was a .022 reaction time in round four.
Knudsen fell on the tough side of the ladder as he drew national points leader Joe Santangelo in the first round. After moving past Santangelo, Knudsen faced Jeff Adkinson, Larry DeForrest, Ryan Hutar, and Hannah Line to reach the final round.
His opponent in the final was none other than Super Stock finalist Brett Speer. Speer, the DragChamp pre-race pick to win Stock, fell behind at the tree and broke out trying to make up the difference. Although he lost the Stock final, Speer would go on to claim the class victory in Super Stock.