South Pacific Sprint Car Championship Set For January 1st at Bay Park Speedway in New Zealand

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (December 26, 2004) - Round number two of the Clean-O World Challenge qualifiers is set to take center stage in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, on Saturday, January 1st, with the South Pacific Sprint Car Championship at Willie Kay's Todd & Pollack Bay Park Speedway. Entered in the 25-lap, $3,000-to-win winged 410-cubic-inch sprint car championship are Americans Billy Alley of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Dickie Gaines of Mitchell, Indiana. Both are seeking qualifying spots in the Clean-O World Challenge, presented by, on Friday, August 12th, at the Knoxville Raceway during the 45th annual Knoxville Nationals.

Billy Alley, recently named the 2004 "Rookie of the Year" by the North American 410 Sprint Car Poll, is making a return appearance to the site of his first-ever '410' win in January of 2004. Alley also won the $10,000-to-win '360' Knoxville Nationals in early August at the start of the Cox Design & Metal Fabrication Southern Iowa SprintWeek. Later that week, Dickie Gaines won the $30,000-to-win Ultimate Challenge, which was part of the Non-Winged World Championship tour at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. It is not known at this time if the non-winged sprint car veteran, and son of 1974 Knoxville Nationals winner Dick Gaines, will compete in the August 10-13 Knoxville Nationals, presented by the Midwest Ford Dealers, and its Clean-O World Challenge.

Other entrants in the South Pacific Sprint Car Championship at Bay Park are eight-time sprint car New Zealand titlist Allan Wakeling, Greg Pickerill, Phil Game and Colin Entwhistle (in a recently-imported Brent Kaeding Maxim). Also entered is 2004 Knoxville International Driver Development (KIDD) program recipient Stevie Walsh of the Auckland suburb of North Shore City. Walsh raced with National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Bob Trostle in 2004, and he will return to the 'Trostle Twenty' in 2005. All drivers competing in the South Pacific Sprint Car Championship will qualify for the $10,000-to-win Clean-O World Challenge invitational at Knoxville, which will again be a points-paying round of the Cox Design & Metal Fabrication Southern Iowa SprintWeek.