Danny Smith to miss the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic?
KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 24, 2003) - As Americans are starting to head 'Down Under' for Kele World Challenge qualifiers in Australia and New Zealand, news comes that American Danny Smith may not have a ride for the late January AUS$30,000-to-win, The Standard-sponsored Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic (GASC) at the Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia. The likeable veteran from Danville, Indiana, has won the prestigious and historic international event six times in his last twenty-one consecutive appearances at the Classic (1983, '85, '87, '88, '89, '96). Only Australian legend Garry Rush, Snr., has won more Classics (seven).
The January 24-25 GASC event has been won in the past by Americans Jimmy Sills, Jac Haudenschild, Jack Hewitt, Danny Smith, Danny Lasoski, Donny Schatz and Joey Saldana. Due to it's unique 31-year history and heritage involving Yank competitors, the Classic remains the only Kele World Challenge qualifier for Americans racing in Australia. Rob Harris promotes the high-banked track for the Premier Speedway club and he has indicated that, to date, eight Americans are expected to compete there next month. They are Brent Antill of Iowa, Trevor Brillman of Nevada, Erin Crocker of Massachusetts, Jason Johnson of Louisiana, Paul McMahan of California, Daryn Pittman of Oklahoma, Joey Saldana of Indiana, and Shane Stewart of Oklahoma.
Later this week, on December 26-27, Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders will have the first chance to qualify for the August 13, 2004, US$10,000-to-win Kele World Challenge, presented by the Wirtgen Group, at the Knoxville Raceway. The qualifying site will be the Parramatta City Raceway in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. The AUS$50,000-to-win show marks the first time in the eleven year history of the Kele World Challenge that Sydney-siders will be able to qualify at their home track, which is ably promoted by Brian Healey and Steven Green.
Another qualifier will take place at the Bay Park Stadium in Mount Manganui, New Zealand, on Tuesday, December 30. Willie Kay will promote the South Pacific Championship for winged 410-cubic-inch sprint cars at the American-style dirt track, and the race is expected to draw Americans P.J. Chesson of New Jersey and Billy Alley of Nebraska, in addition to 24 talented New Zealanders.
Those seeking to help 1996 Kele World Challenge champion Danny Smith land a quality ride for the 2004 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic are urged to contact either Danny at 317-745-4768 in America or Phil Johnson at 0407 041637 in Australia.
Those seeking more information on the upcoming qualifiers, including those in late February at the Springs Speedway in Auckland, New Zealand, and in late April/early May in Knoxville, Iowa, are encouraged to visit the following web-sites:
www.parramattacityraceway.com.au - Parramatta City Raceway,
www.baypark.co.nz - Bay Park Stadium,
www.springsspeedway.com - Springs Speedway,
www.premierspeedway.com.au - Premier Speedway,
www.knoxvilleraceway.com - Knoxville Raceway.