Qualifiers set for 2004 challenge

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (September 30, 2003) - Five international qualifiers have been scheduled for the 2004 Kele World Challenge, presented by the Wirtgen Group, to be held on Friday, August 13, at the Knoxville Raceway. The eleventh...

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (September 30, 2003) - Five international qualifiers have been scheduled for the 2004 Kele World Challenge, presented by the Wirtgen Group, to be held on Friday, August 13, at the Knoxville Raceway. The eleventh annual sprint car event will again feature a $40,000-plus purse, with the winner receiving $10,000, and will be held during the 44th annual Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals, presented by Visit Australia!

Parramatta City Raceway in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia, will host the first qualifier on Friday-Saturday, December 26-27. Like the Knoxville Raceway qualifier in April of 2004, the Parramatta AUS$50,000-to-win show will be a qualifier for Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders only. This is 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 promoted by Brian Healey and Steven Green.

The second 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, Australians, Canadians, and New Zealanders. 2001 Kele World Challenge racer Christi Passmore is a former Bay Park regular. Like Parramatta, Bay Park will join the Kele World Challenge family for the first time ever in 2004.

The third qualifier will take place at the Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, on Saturday-Sunday, January 24-25, 2004. The event is the AUS$30,000-to-win Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic, which 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, which co-founded the Australian/American Challenge Cup with Knoxville Raceway in 1994.

The fourth qualifier will take place at the Springs Speedway in the Western Springs suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, on Saturday, February 28, 2004. The event will be the Springs 50-lap Classic, featuring Americans, Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders. Bill Buckley and Dave Stewart promote the world-class venue, which hosted Kele World Challenge winner Travis Rilat and runner-up Ricky Logan this past season.

The final qualifier will take place on Friday-Saturday, April 30-May 1, 2004, at the host Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa. The Spring Classic, which was a Canadian-only qualifier in 2003, will be opened up in '04 to be a qualifier for Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders. Ralph Capitani is the racing director at the half-mile Marion County Fairgrounds track, which will also host the August 13 Kele World Challenge, presented by the Wirtgen Group.

<pre> 2004 Kele World Challenge, presented by the Wirtgen Group:

Date of Qualifier       Event                                   Venue                                           Qualifier for:
Dec. 26-27, 2003        $50,000-to-win Sprintcar International  Parramatta City Raceway, Parramatta, NSW, AUS   AUS, CAN, NZ
Dec. 30, 2003           South Pacific Championship              Bay Park Stadium, Mt. Manganui, NZ              AUS, CAN, NZ, USA
Jan. 24-25              Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic          Premier Speedway, Warrnambool, VIC, AUS         AUS, CAN, NZ, USA
Feb. 28                 International 50-lap Springs Classic    Springs Speedway, Western Springs, NZ           AUS, CAN, NZ, USA
Apr. 30-May 1           Spring Classic                          Knoxville Raceway, Knoxville, IA, USA           AUS, CAN, NZ

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Jack Hewitt , Christi Passmore , Joey Saldana , Travis Rilat , Dave Stewart , Jimmy Sills