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Knoxville Raceway facts for kids

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Knoxville Raceway
Sprint Car Capital of the World
Knoxvilleraceway-frontgrandstands.jpg
Location 1000 N Lincoln St
Knoxville, Iowa 50138
Capacity 21,135
Owner Marion County Fair Association
Operator Marion County Fair Association
Opened 1878 as horse racing track
Major Events Knoxville Nationals
360 Knoxville Nationals
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Corn Belt Weekend
Oval
Surface Dirt
Circuit Length 0.5 mi (0.8 km)
Banking 8 degrees
Lap Record 0:14.407 (Brooke Tatnell, Rush Racing, 2006)

Knoxville Raceway is a semi-banked 1/2 mile dirt oval raceway (zook clay) located at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa, United States. Races at the "Sprint Car Capital of the World" are held on Saturday nights from April through September each year. Some special events such as the Knoxville Nationals, 360 Knoxville Nationals and Late Model Knoxville Nationals are multi-day events. Weekly racing events at the track features multiple classes of sprint cars including 410 cubic inch, 360 cubic inch and Pro Sprints (previously 305 cubic inch). Each August, the Raceway holds the paramount sprint car event in the United States, the Knoxville Nationals. The track is governed by the 24-member fair board elected by Marion County residents.

History

The first weekly races were held at the Knoxville Raceway in 1954. After internal issues with the sanctioning body—the Southern Iowa Stock Car Racing Association—in 1956, Marion Robinson of Des Moines, Iowa was appointed as race promoter. During Robinson's tenure, the cars progressed from stock cars to modifieds to supermodifieds to sprint cars. Robinson created what would become the Knoxville Nationals in 1961. The event took place over two days and featured a $5,000 purse where today it is now nearly one million dollars.

Timeline

  • 1878 – Race track is built for horse racing.
  • 1901 – First automobile race staged with 2 cars owned by Well's Manufacturing and Tone's Spices Co.
  • 1914 – First race.
  • 1917 – Old wooden grandstand was built (2,000 capacity).
  • Until late 1930s: Infield is used for Knoxville high school football games.
  • 1950–1954 – Stock car racing becomes popular after WWII and a few races per year are sanctioned by Newton Stock Car Association.
  • 1954 – Weekly racing begins. Banking, fencing, and lights are added to the track.
  • 1955 – Weekly racing sanctioned under the Oskaloosa's Southern Iowa Stock Car Racing Association.
  • 1956 – Marion County Fair Board begins sanctioning its own racing and hires Marion Robinson as race promoter.
  • 1959 – Wooden bleachers were added to the west of existing grandstand. (5,000)
  • 1961 – First Knoxville Nationals held, and won by Roy Robbins.
  • 1969 – Wood grandstand was razed.
  • 1970 – New steel and aluminum grandstand. (8,139 seats)
  • 1974 – Promoter Marion Robinson leaves May 1974.
  • 1974 – P. Ray Grimes named promoter, later expands the Nationals to 4 days and creates Nationals scoring point system.
  • 1978 – Remainder of wooden bleachers replaced with steel and aluminum.
  • 1978 – Ralph Capitani named Race Director and Promoter.
  • 1981 – New lighting.
  • 1982 – Wings on sprint cars becomes mandated for safety.
  • 1983 – 360 sprint cars begin competing.
  • 1984 – Grandstands expanded to higher rows in sections A-J.
  • 1987 – First year Nationals were on TNN television.
  • 1987 – Grandstand expansion completed upper tier in sections K-N (11,584).
  • 1990 – Temporary seating added to backstretch for Nationals.
  • 1991 – NSCHoF&M built (400 additional seats).
  • 1991 – Backstretch permanent grandstand added, Sections P-Z (17,224).
  • 1991 – First year of 360 Nationals.
  • 1994 – Backstretch grandstand expanded, sections P-ZZ (19,400).
  • 1995 – Knoxville Nationals broadcast live for first time on TNN.
  • 1996 – Main grandstand upper tier addition, VIP suites, new Musco Lighting. (23,200).
  • 2002 – Concrete added to infield pit area.
  • 2003 – Main grandstand sections AA & BB refitted, added handicap seating (24,192).
  • 2004 – First year of Late Model Knoxville Nationals.
  • 2010 – First points season for 305 sprint cars.
  • 2011 – Ralph Capitani retires at the end of the 2011 season.
  • 2012 – Toby Kruse named GM & Promoter, John McCoy named Race Director.
  • 2013 – Brian Stickel named GM & Promoter.
  • 2014 – New video boards added by Impact Signs.
  • 2015 – McKenna Haase became the first woman to win a feature Sprint Car race at Knoxville Raceway.
  • 2015 – GM Brian Stickel resigns.
  • 2016 – John McCoy given the Promoter and Race Director title. Gary Schumacher named as Business Manager. Spire Sports + Entertainment's Kendra Jacobs, named as Marketing Director.
  • 2017 – Additional fencing constructed in turns 1 and 2
  • 2018 – Seats were widened during the off season, eliminating 3,320 seats from the main grandstand and lowering the overall seating capacity to 21,135.
  • 2021 – The track will host a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on July 9 as part of the Corn Belt Weekend. This will be the first race at the track to ever be sanctioned by NASCAR.

Track records

  • The driver with the most 410 feature wins at the Knoxville Raceway is Danny Lasoski of Dover, Missouri with 112 feature wins.
  • The driver with the most 360 feature wins is David Hesmer of Marshalltown, Iowa with 65 feature wins.
  • The driver with the most consecutive wins is Doug Wolfgang of Sioux Falls, SD with 10 wins to start the 1977 season. He won 13 of the 18 events that year including the Knoxville Nationals.

One-lap track records

Date Driver Lap Time Average Lap Speed
410 Wing Sprint Car
May 6, 2006 Brooke Tatnell 14.407 124.939 mph (201.069 km/h)
360 Wing Sprint Car
June 15, 2013 Joe Beaver 15.520 115.979 mph (186.650 km/h)
305/Pro Sprints Wing Sprint Car
May 7, 2016 Christian Bowman 16.736 107.552 mph (173.088 km/h)
Non-Wing Sprint Car
June 3, 2017 Kevin Thomas Jr. 18.549 97.040 mph (156.170 km/h)
Late Model
September 25, 2008 Earl Pearson, Jr. 16.631 108.231 mph (174.180 km/h)
Midget
N/A Bob Wente 22.22 81.008 mph (130.369 km/h)
IMCA Modified
N/A John Moore 22.932 78.492 mph (126.320 km/h)

Sprint car track champions

Knoxville Championship Cup Series Driver Champions
Year 410 Class 360 Class 305/Pro Sprints Class
2020 Brian Brown Carson McCarl Matthew Stelzer   
2019 Brian Brown Carson McCarl Matthew Stelzer
2018 Austin McCarl Clint Garner Eric Bridger
2017 Ian Madsen Matt Moro Eric Bridger
2016 Danny Lasoski Clint Garner Christian Bowman
2015 Danny Lasoski Clint Garner Stacey Alexander
2014 Ian Madsen Joe Beaver J Kinder
2013 Bronson Maeschen Clint Garner Larry Ball Jr.
2012 Terry McCarl Clint Garner Matthew Stelzer
2011 Danny Lasoski Clint Garner Carson McCarl
2010 Brian Brown Clint Garner Steve Breazeale
2009 Johnny Herrera Clint Garner Matthew Stelzer
2008 Danny Lasoski Matt Moro
2007 Brian Brown Josh Higday
2006 Billy Alley Jake Peters
2005 Kerry Madsen Jake Peters
2004 Terry McCarl Jake Peters
2003 Terry McCarl Billy Alley
2002 Terry McCarl Brian Brown
2001 Terry McCarl Randy Martin
2000 Terry McCarl John Kearney
1999 Terry McCarl David Hesmer
1998 Skip Jackson David Hesmer
1997 Skip Jackson David Hesmer
1996 Danny Lasoski Randy Martin
1995 Johnny Herrera Larry Pinegar II
1994 Danny Lasoski Lee Nelson
1993 Danny Lasoski Danny Young
1992 Danny Lasoski Dwight Snodgrass
1991 Randy Smith Dwight Snodgrass
1990 Danny Lasoski Jordan Albaugh
1989 Danny Lasoski Mike Twedt
1988 Randy Smith David Hesmer
1987 Randy Smith Mike Chadd
1986 Danny Lasoski Wayne Redmond
1985 Randy Smith Dean Chadd
1984 Rocky Hodges Stacey Redmond
1983 Randy Smith Mackie Heimbaugh
1982 Tim Green
1981 Tim Green
1980 Ricky Hood
1979 Richard Smith
1978 Shane Carson
1977 Doug Wolfgang
1976 Doug Wolfgang
1975 Roger Rager
1974 Lonnie Jensen
1973 Dick Sutcliffe
1972 Lonnie Jensen
1971 Ray Lee Goodwin
1970 Joe Saldana
1969 Bob Williams
1968 Dick Sutcliffe
1967 Bill Utz
1966 Jerry Blundy
1965 Jerry Blundy
1964 Bill Utz
1963 Greg Weld
1962 Bud McCune
1961 Earl Wagner
1960 Jerry Hayes
1959 Earl Wagner
1958 Earl Wagner
1957 Dean Sylvester
1956 Jack Delano
1955 Kenny Crook
1954 Kenny Crook

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum

The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum is located just outside Turn 2 of the Knoxville Raceway. It features rotating exhibits to highlight the history of both winged and non-wing sprint cars.

Coordinates: 41°19′38.97″N 93°6′42.27″W / 41.3274917°N 93.1117417°W / 41.3274917; -93.1117417

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