KNOXVILLE, IOWA (January 21, 2005) - Legendary open-wheeler Wally Pankratz of Orange, California, has filed entries for both the Hoosier Tire Midwest Masters Classic and the Pepsi/Mt. Dew Knoxville Midget Nationals, June 3-4, at the...
KNOXVILLE, IOWA (January 21, 2005) - Legendary open-wheeler Wally Pankratz of Orange, California, has filed entries for both the Hoosier Tire Midwest Masters Classic and the Pepsi/Mt. Dew Knoxville Midget Nationals, June 3-4, at the Knoxville Raceway. The year 2000 United States Auto Club (USAC) Western States Midget Series champion will pilot Mike Thompson's Eagle chassis winged 360-cubic-inch sprint car in the Friday night Masters Classic and his own Fontana-powered Edmunds midget car in the Friday-Saturday King Doodlebug Classic/Knoxville Midget Nationals double-header.
Pankratz's debut in the Hoosier Tire Midwest Masters Classic won't be easy, though, as past champion Jerry Crabb of Des Moines, Iowa, has also entered the event in his Detrick Excavating sprinter. Pankratz will be vying for the prestigious "Rookie of the Race" award in the event that is only open to drivers age fifty and over. Crabb won the event in 1998 by besting the late John Bankston and noted midgeteer Billy Engelhart, himself a two-time Masters Classic champion.
In the Friday night King Doodlebug Classic and the Saturday night Pepsi/Mt. Dew Knoxville Midget Nationals, Pankratz and his Sta-Rite/HASA/Trench Shoring midget will face early entrant Tim Siner of Waterloo, Illinois, and over fifty others. Siner and his Hoosier Tire Midwest/George Weber Chevrolet midget is representing the new Gateway Racing (GRI) sanction, which joins American (ARDC), Badger (BMARA), Midwest (MARA), and Rocky Mountain (RMMRA) as the weekend's midget car sanctioning bodies. The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (NSCHoF) induction weekend's racing events will also feature the Saturday night program of Knoxville's own winged 410 c.i.sprint car division.
The sixteenth annual NSCHoF induction banquet will be held on Saturday afternoon on the Marion County Fairgrounds. For more information on the midget and sprint car racing, visit the track's web-site at www.knoxvilleraceway.com. For more information on the induction weekend, visit www.sprintcarhof.com.