Knoxville Tournament of Champions 2004 preview

Brodix Tournament of Champions grows for 2004. KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 22, 2003) - In its fifty year history, Knoxville Raceway has become known for slow-but-steady growth. As it enters its second half-century, it shows no...

Brodix Tournament of Champions grows for 2004.

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 22, 2003) - In its fifty year history, Knoxville Raceway has become known for slow-but-steady growth. As it enters its second half-century, it shows no signs of changing that ultra-successful strategy. The Brodix Tournament of Champions (ToC), which was initiated at Knoxville in 1997 as a premier touring event for the stars of winged 360-cubic-inch sprint cars, found its way back home in 2002 and has grown every year since. On Sunday, August 8, 2004, the sixth Brodix ToC will be the biggest one ever as it becomes an international invitational for the best-of-the-best from a record sixteen sanctioning bodies in the United States and Canada.

Re-joining the list of participating sanctions is the Ohio-based National Racing Alliance (NRA) Sprint Invaders, which were the 1999 tournament team champions at the host Limaland Motorsports Park venue in Lima, Ohio. That year, Keith & Betty McCall's NRA placed winner Kyle Sauder, Tim Allison, Jim Dayton and Todd Wireman in the event's 'top ten'.

Also joining the Brodix ToC for the first-time ever is the Southern Ontario Sprints (SOS) organization, ably led by Canadian Peter Turford. The inclusion of the SOS group means that the Brodix ToC invitational will now be international in scope, as current SOS champion Glenn Styres of Ontario and former Knoxville KIDD driver Adam West of Ontario are expected to attempt to qualify for the 30-car, 30-lap event.

Returning to the event are inaugural affiliates Knoxville Raceway (KNOX) and its 1997 and 2003 tournament team champions, the New York-based Empire Super Sprints (ESS) and the New Jersey/Delaware-based United Racing Club (URC), which was the 2002 tourney team champion. The Oklahoma-based American Sprint Car Series (ASCS), the 1998 team champion at Earl Baltes' Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, is returning with its national tour and all of its regional sanctions: ASCS - Gulf South, ASCS - Rocky Mountain and ASCS - Sooner. The Brodix Tournament of Champions utilizes the Brodix ASCS spec head within its one set of common technical rules.

In addition, the professionally-administered Sprints On Dirt (SOD) organization of Michigan will be back on-board in 2004 at the Brodix ToC, which will feature a $2,100 increase on the bottom-end of the Sunday night purse structure. The Missouri-based Winged Outlaw Warriors (WOW), the Minnesota-based WISSOTA Promoters Association (WISSOTA), and the Nebraska-based Eagle Sprint Touring Series (ESTS) will all re-join the field in 2004.

The surprising Sprint Invaders Association (SIA) of Illinois/Iowa, which swept this year's weekend with Casey's-Night-before-the-Tourney winner Jerrod Hull and 2003 Brodix Tournament of Champions winner Terry McCarl, will also be back. In addition, the coast-to-coast field will include the Oregon/Washington-based Northern Sprint Tour (NST) and the Montana Sprint Tour (MST).

One of the very few rule changes for the '04 invitational event will see a new sliding driver eligibility rule, based on the number of events completed by each sanction by the entry deadline of July 26, 2004. Those drivers competing with sanctions that complete 1-5 events by the deadline date will need 100% participation to be eligible for the tourney, while those with sanctions completing 6-10 events will need 90% participation. In the same way, those with a sanction completing 11-15 events will be required to participate in 80% of those races, while 70% participation will be required of those competing in sanctions with 16-20 events completed by July 26. Those drivers competing with sanctions that complete 21-25 events by the deadline date will need 60% participation to be eligible for the tourney, while those with sanctions completing 26 or more events will only need 50% participation. The intent of the rule change is to make the eligibility factor more equitable for the sanctions, as some like ASCS and WISSOTA have aggressive travel schedules while other participating sanctions have less aggressive, more locally-based schedules. However, the maximum number of drivers to be invited from each sanction has been increased from ten to fifteen.

Those seeking more information on the Saturday, August 7, $2,000-to-win Casey's Night before the Tournament or the Sunday, August 8, $4,000-to-win Brodix Tournament of Champions are urged to visit the Knoxville Raceway's web-site at www.knoxvilleraceway.com. Both features are point-paying events of the 8-night, August 7-14 Auto Trader Southern Iowa SprintWeek between the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa and the Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville. The "Mr. Sprint Car" titlist will receive a $3,000 cash bonus in 2004.

Past Brodix Tournament of Champions winners: Knoxville 1997 -- Greg Coverdale (URC), Eldora 1998 -- Phil Gressman (ASCS - Challengers), Limaland 1999 -- Kyle Sauder (NRA), 2000 -- none held, 2001 -- none held, Knoxville 2002 -- Josh Higday (KNOX), Knoxville 2003 -- Terry McCarl (SIA).

Past Brodix Tournament of Champions team champions: Knoxville 1997 -- KNOX, Eldora 1998 -- ASCS, Limaland 1999 -- NRA, 2000 -- none held, 2001 -- none held, Knoxville 2002 -- URC, Knoxville 2003 -- KNOX.

Past Brodix Tournament of Champions hard chargers (most positions passed): Knoxville 1997 -- Steve Breazeale +21 (KNOX), Eldora 1998 -- Mike Woodring +21 (ESS), Limaland 1999 -- Tim Allison +17 (NRA), 2000 -- none held, 2001 -- none held, Knoxville 2002 -- Greg Coverdale +18 (URC), Knoxville 2003 -- Josh Higday +20 (KNOX).

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