CONCORD, NC – The summer is rapidly passing, which means only one thing, it’s almost time for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series to head to Iowa for the biggest Sprint Car race in the world – the 5-HOUR ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Store, August 8th-11th at Knoxville Raceway.
In two weeks, everybody who is anybody in open-wheel racing will converge at the Sprint Car Capital of the World, Knoxville Raceway. With already over 80 pre-entries from four different countries, a triple-digit car count can be expected once again for the Nationals.
Included in those pre-entries are NASCAR stars and World of Outlaws car owners Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson. Larson finished second last year behind nine-time Series Champion Donny Schatz, as the Fargo, ND native collected his 10th Knoxville Nationals win. Both Kahne and Larson are slated to qualify on Wednesday.
As always at the Knoxville Nationals, the on-track action is just part of what makes the event one of a kind.
Motor Racing Network’s Winged Nation will be live under the grandstands all four nights before the racing gets underway. The Kids Zone will open each afternoon at 3pm and will feature a Casey’s General Stores pizza party, a Kone Korner ice cream party and face painting Wednesday, Thursday and Friday respectively. Friday will be packed with the inaugural 4.10-mile dash at 9am and then the Steve King Foundation Cornhole Tournament at noon.
Friday morning will also see a live auction benefitting Bobbi and Jaxx Johnson in Dyer Hudson Hall from 9am-12pm. A full list of activities can be found here: http://www.knoxvilleraceway.com/Event/knoxville-nationals
On track, Donny Schatz remains the man to beat. The nine-time World of Outlaws Champion has won 10 of the last 12 Nationals and hasn’t finished worse than second since 2004. Schatz leads the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Point Standings with 15 wins, as he seeks his 10th Series Championship.
The man to beat at Knoxville is no doubt Schatz, but that doesn’t mean other parties don’t have confidence. Last year, David Gravel and CJB Motorsports scored the first “Perfect 500” on a Qualifying Night in over 25 years and led the first 22 laps of the finale before retiring due to motor trouble. Gravel also passed Schatz to win the second night of the Brownells Big Guns Bash at Knoxville back in June. Gravel is hungry to dethrone Schatz and has shown the speed at the Marion County Fairgrounds to do so.
Kyle Larson, Brad Sweet and Brian Brown have also shown the speed at Knoxville to be considered threats to win. Every year, there’s always a surprise or two up front on Saturday, and at Knoxville, you never know what’s going to happen; the late Jason Johnson proved that in 2016 in one of the most memorable races in Sprint Car history.
If you are a Sprint Car fan, there’s only one place to be the second week of August, and it’s Knoxville, Iowa. Tickets are going fast, so be sure to reserve your seat today: https://knoxvilleraceway.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=102&_ga=2.3851123.272946350.1532552343-2109897380.1502427217