Why Race the Knoxville National$ – DTD Exclusive

58th Annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey's General Stores - Knoxville Raceway

By NEAL WILT

KNOXVILLE, IA – It is the biggest Sprint Car Race in the world, and has the largest purse of any short track event.

It is the four day extravaganza known as the Knoxville Nationals raced at the Knoxville Raceway located on the Marion County Fairgrounds. This sleepy hamlet of 7,200 people swelled to a sellout crowd of over 21,000 grandstand ticket holders for the Saturday portion of the show. An estimated 4,000 additional patrons were in the pits and suites located around the track.

In 2018 96 drivers attempted to qualify for this event.

Why you may ask?

In addition to being the most prestigious Sprint Car Race in the world, it also pays the most money. Every time a driver takes to the track in a race they are earning money. Saturday night’s A-Main is $150,000 to win and pays a minimum of $9,500 to start. To finish fifth in Saturday night’s B-Main, one spot out of qualifying will garner the driver $8,000.

Preliminary Features raced on Wednesday and Thursday pay $12,000 to win, and $1,000 to start. Heat races pay $150 to win.

Just shy of 30 drivers won over $10,000 for the four day affair. 13 drivers won over $20,000.

Brad Sweet raced a total of 85 laps; a 10-lap heat race, 25-lap Feature on his Preliminary night and the 50-lap A-Main and won $164,000. The car earned just shy of $2,000 for each lap of competition turned.

Based on official finishes and the posted payout for the 58th Annual Knoxville Nationals below is the estimated money won by each driver:

Brad Sweet $164,125;

Donny Schatz $80,430;

Kyle Larson $44,625;

Tim Kaeding $32,125;

Aaron Reutzel $28,090;

Carson Macedo $24,570;

Dominic Scelzi $24,150;

Tim Shaffer $24,125;

David Gravel $24,090;

Greg Hodnett $23,100;

Chad Kemenah $23,090;

Logan Schuchart $22,305;

Shane Stewart $19,780;

Rico Abreu $19,625;

Ian Madsen $19,070;

Gio Scelzi $18,100;

Terry McCarl $16,240;

Kerry Madsen $16,090;

Matt Juhl $15,325;

Paul McMahan $14,670;

Jacob Allen $14,490;

Brian Brown $13,690,

Brock Zearfoss $12,900;

Daryn Pittman $12,760;

Parker Price-Miller $12,530;

Austin McCarl $12,270;

Lucas Wolfe $11,090;

Sheldon Haudenschild $10,285,

Brent Marks $9,495;

Jamie Veal $9,070;

Sam Hafertepe Jr. $7,350;

Spencer Bayston $7,300;

Cory Eliason $7,150;

Brooke Tatnell $6,745;

Hunter Schuerenberg $6,580;

Sammy Swindell $5,700;

Mark Dobmeier $5,625;

Trey Starks $5,400;

Skylar Gee $5,155;

Davey Heskin $4,800;

Skylar Prochaska $4,750;

Josh Schneiderman $4,700;

Jason Sides $4,635;

James McFadden $4,330;

Clint Garner $4,175;

Kraig Kinser $4,100;

Kevin Thomas Jr. $3,950;

Dave Blaney $3,950;

Willie Croft $3,840;

Cale Thomas $3,825;

Josh Baughman $3,710;

Greg Wilson $3,645;

John Carney II $3,590;

Sammy Walsh $3,425;

Don Droud Jr. $3,325;

Brady Bacon $3,325;

Rager Phillips $3,255;

Joey Saldana $3,000;

Lee Jacobs $2,950;

Chase Johnson $2,900;

Harli White $2,850;

Tasker Phillips $2,750;

Tom Harris $2,725;

Matt Covington $2,685;

Bobby Mincer $2,675;

Jeff Swindell $2,600;

Shane Golobic $2,430;

Clyde Knipp $2,325;

Scott Bogucki $2,230;

Thomas Kennedy $2,225;

Paige Polak $2,210;

RJ Johnson $1,975;

Sawyer Phillips $1,975;

Chris Martin $1,875;

Jake Bubak $1,860;

Bill Balog $1,830;

Carson McCarl $1,810;

Bobby McMahan $1,800;

Wayne Johnson $1,800;

Kevin Ingle $1,750;

Roger Crockett $1,715;

Gary Taylor $1,675;

Brian Paulus $1,665;

Jamie Ball $1,650;

Chase Wanner $1,600;

Allan Woods $1,575;

Danny Dietrich $1,500;

Jordyn Brazier $1,485;

Jenna Frazier $1,330;

Cole Duncan $1,250;

Lynton Jeffrey $1,110;

Kasey Kahne $550;

AJ Moeller $400;

Jac Haudenschild $270;

Kyle Reinhardt $200;

Matt Moro $120