Drivers ready for Knoxville Nationals

World of Outlaws Drivers Ready for 47th Annual SuperClean Knoxville Nationals World of Outlaws drivers and team head to the famed Knoxville Raceway this week for the 47th Annual SuperClean Knoxville Nationals from August 8-11. A record $150,000...

World of Outlaws Drivers Ready for 47th Annual SuperClean Knoxville Nationals

World of Outlaws drivers and team head to the famed Knoxville Raceway this week for the 47th Annual SuperClean Knoxville Nationals from August 8-11. A record $150,000 will go to the winner on Saturday night, with a four-day total purse of well over $900,000. Three current World of Outlaws drivers have won the Knoxville Nationals, and all three are former series champion.

Leading the way will be reigning series champion Donny Schatz. The native of Fargo, North Dakota won sprint car racing's biggest event last season after four runner-up finishes. Schatz battled Joey Saldana for the win, leading 19 laps to earn the biggest win of his career. He has led 49 total laps in the Knoxville Nationals during his career. Schatz, the current World of Outlaws championship point leader leads the series in most statistical categories, including wins with 13. He also won a number of races in the off-season in Australia. Schatz was victorious in the World of Outlaws first visit to Knoxville in April.

Steve Kinser is the winningest driver in the illustrious history of the Knoxville Nationals, having taken the checkered flag first a record 12 times. His first win in the event came in 1980 and his most recent win was in 2002. The 20-time World of Outlaws champion has led 302 laps in his career at the storied event, the most of any driver and also has 23 career Top-10 finishes in the race, which is the best of any driver. Kinser has led the event six times from start-to-finish. He and his son Kriag are also the only father and son duo to have won sprint car racing's biggest event. In World of Outlaws competition this season, the native of Bloomington, Indiana has won eight A-Feature events and has finished in the Top-Five 24 times.

Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion and winningest driver in Knoxville Raceway history has claimed four Knoxville Nationals wins in his career and has led 103 laps in the sprint car racing's most famed event. The native of Dover, Missouri has finished in the Top-10, 15 times in his career at the storied half-mile. His first win in the event came in 1998. He charged to a fourth place-finish last season after lining 24th, after racing his way into the finale through the B-Main, where he also started 24th. The seven-time Knoxville Raceway champion is the last driver to win back-to-back Knoxville Nationals, in 2003 and 2004. In World of Outlaws action this season, he has three A-Feature wins along with 39 Top-10 finishes and is third in points.

Joey Saldana led 11 laps in the 2006 Knoxville Nationals and finished a career-best second. The native of Brownsburg, Indiana will look for his first win in the race, as he continues his second season driving for Kasey Kahne Racing. Saldana has won nine World of Outlaws A-Feature events this season and is second to Schatz, just 93 markers out of the lead. He also leads the series with nine fast time honors in qualifying. Saldana's father Joe won the Knoxville Nationals in 1970.

Daryn Pittman is the 1998 Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year and finished 10th in the event last season. The native of Owasso, Oklahoma finished seventh in the World of Outlaws first visit this season to Knoxville Raceway in April. He has won three A-Feature events on the season with the World of Outlaws and is currently fourth in championship points on the strength of 36 Top-10 finishes.

Jason Meyers is the 2000 Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year and finished fifth in the event last season. The native of Clovis, California has four World of Outlaws A-Feature wins this season, along with 33 Top-10 finishes, as he is sixth in championship points. He has two Top-10 finishes at the half-mile this season, including a third-place performance in April. He has won twice this season on half-mile tracks, including at Eldora Speedway and Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York.

Paul McMahan has run strong at the Knoxville Nationals throughout his career. The California native who now calls Nashville home finished 11th last season with 128 cars entered in the event. In his second season driving for Tony Stewart Racing, McMahan has two World of Outlaws A-Feature wins, including a triumph at Eldora Speedway, which is owned by car owner. He also was triumphant at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin last month.

Craig Dollansky finished seventh in the Knoxville Nationals last season. The former World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion has won twice this season with the World of Outlaws, including on July 27 at I-96 Speedway in Michigan, which is also a half-mile. He finished third and fourth in his two starts at Knoxville this season with the World of Outlaws. The native of Elk River, Minnesota has 32 Top-10 finishes on the season and is eighth in championship points.

Jason Solwold, the 2004 Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year, heads to Knoxville with plenty of momentum after winning his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature event on August 3 at Charter Raceway Park in the finale of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" for the World of Outlaws on ESPN2. The native of Mt. Vernon, Washington has 28 Top-10 finishes on the season and is ninth in championship points.

Jac Haudenschild has had plenty of success in sprint car racing's biggest event in his career, with eight career Top-10 finishes in the Knoxville Nationals. He has five career World of Outlaws A-Feature wins at the track located on the Marion County Fairgrounds. The native of Wooster, Ohio has two wins this season with the World of Outlaws, including one on the half-mile at Red River Valley Speedway in North Dakota. He is currently 10th in World of Outlaws championship points on the strength of 24 Top-10 finishes.

Tim Shaffer has two Top-10 finishes at Knoxville this season. The 1999 World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year missed the Knoxville Nationals last season due to an injury he sustained at the track earlier in that season. The native of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania has 24 Top-10 finishes this season and is just outside of the Top-10 in World of Outlaws championship points.

Terry McCarl won at Knoxville in the World of Outlaws last visit to the storied track in June, as part of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2. The six-time track champion has come close on several occasions to winning the Knoxville Nationals and is one of just five current World of Outlaws drivers that have led laps in the event. The native of nearby Altoona, Iowa has 23 Top-10 finishes on the season with the World of Outlaws along with two A-Feature wins.

Jason Sides is the 2001 Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year. He won his first World of Outlaws A-Feature event of the season on July 25 at Ohsweken Speedway in Canada. It was his second career World of Outlaws win to go along with his win in the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in 2004. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee has 18 Top-10 finishes on the season.

Kerry Madsen, the 2005 Knoxville Raceway champion, is the current leader in the battle for the World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award. Hailing from St. Mary's, NSW, Australia, he won his first career A-Feature event with the series at Volusia Speedway Park in February as part of the Florida DIRTcar Nationals on the half-mile.

Randy Hannagan is the 1994 Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year. He led a number of laps in the World of Outlaws last visit to Knoxville in June and finished a season-best second. The 1995 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year with the World of Outlaws is solidly in the Top-15 in championship points.

Justin Henderson finished 10th in the World of Outlaws last visit to Knoxville Raceway in June. The former Huset's Speedway champion has 11 Top-10 finishes on the season in World of Outlaws competition. He led a number of laps last month at Cedar Lake Speedway en route to finishing a career-best third. He also led laps on the half-mile at Manzanita Speedway in Arizona earlier this season.

Chad Kemenah has always run strong at Knoxville. The reigning World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has 10 Top-10 finishes on the season, including a third-place finish on July 28 at K-C Raceway in his home state of Ohio. Last season, his crew won the Best Appearing Crew Award during the Knoxville Nationals. This season he will be behind the wheel of the No. 8K for Hard 8 Racing.

Jeremy Campbell competed in the Knoxville Nationals last season during his rookie year with the World of Outlaws. The native of Monroe, Michigan has two Top-10 finishes in the last three World of Outlaws events. He won his first Crane Cams Dash of the season on the half-mile at I-96 Speedway on July 27 in his home state of Michigan.

Chad Hillier competed in the Knoxville Nationals for the first time as a driver last season, after serving as a crew member with the Selma Shell team in 2005 at the race. The native of Burlington, Washington began the week by competing in the Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway, where he finished fifth. Hillier is currently second in the battle for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with the World of Outlaws.

Sam Hafertepe Jr., another of the rookie contenders, from Sunnyvale, Texas, will make his appearance at the Knoxville Nationals this week. The reigning American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) Sooner Region champion has competed in the Knoxville 360-Nationals in the past. He began the week with a third-place run in the Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway, which was promoted by fellow World of Outlaws driver Terry McCarl.

Tony Bruce Jr. of Kansas is the reigning Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year. He made the A-Feature in his first visit to the half-mile in a 410-sprint car last season. He has two Top-Five finishes this season in World of Outlaws competition.

Jason Martin competed in the Knoxville Nationals last year during his rookie season with the World of Outlaws. The native of Liberal, Kansas recently earned a Top-10 finish on the half-mile at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania with a very strong field of cars in attendance.

Brian Carlson has competed in the Knoxville Nationals a number of times in his career. The native of Linden, Indiana miss several races earlier this season as he recovered from an injury to his left leg.

The 47th Annual SuperClean Knoxville Nationals run from August 8-11 and the finale can be seen live on SPEED beginning at 9 p.m. Central on Saturday, August 11.

-credit: woo

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Brian Carlson , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Sam Hafertepe Jr. , Tony Bruce Jr.
Teams Williams