World of Outlaws to sanction Knoxville 41st Nationals

KNOXVILLE, IA (August 6) -- "This race -- there's nothing that compares to it," Mark Kinser said after successfully defending his Amoco Ultimate Knoxville Nationals championship last August. "There's literally no other feeling of excitement in...

KNOXVILLE, IA (August 6) -- "This race -- there's nothing that compares to it," Mark Kinser said after successfully defending his Amoco Ultimate Knoxville Nationals championship last August.

"There's literally no other feeling of excitement in the world. It'll just well tears up in your eyes when the checkered flag falls. I bawled like a baby last year for about three days. The adrenaline pump is just amazing."

Kinser would like nothing more than to win his fourth Nationals title in six years when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series sanctions sprint car racing's ultimate event at Knoxville Raceway Wednesday through Saturday. It's not the record $125,000 first prize he craves, it's the prestige of winning the event. He will have even more competition this year, as 14 drivers have combined to win the series' first 44 main events and 10 have won the 19 Preliminary Features. One hundred twenty-eight drivers from 24 states and three foreign countries crowd into the Knoxville Raceway pit area for the $706,950 event.

Danny Lasoski, the 1998 Nationals winner and a seven-time Knoxville Raceway track champion, has exchanged the series points lead with Kinser 11 times since early March. Jason Meyers, a Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate, became the first driver to win the first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature of his career at the legendary semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval. Stevie Smith is the two-time defending Iowa Classic champion.

Kinser, the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' two-time champion, has driven the #5M Mopar Maxim owned by his father, 17-time car owner champion Karl Kinser, to victory in two "Month of Money" races -- the Kings Royal and the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup. He leads the standings by 26 points over "The Dude."

Lasoski, who drives NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart's #20L J.D. Byrider Eagle, has won "A" Features at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Knoxville Raceway and State Fair Motor Speedway. He has won a record 75 feature races and seven track championships at "The Home of the Nationals."

Steve Kinser, the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' defending and 16-time champion, has won a record 11 Nationals championships and 30 "A" Features at Knoxville Raceway. He has won Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Features at State Fair Speedway twice, Lakeside Speedway and Eldora Speedway this season, running his career total to 449.

Three-time Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion Sammy Swindell says he will race in his 28th Nationals despite the pain in his hands. The 1983 Nationals winner suffered broken bones in both hands in a crash with a push truck following his qualifying laps during the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway July 24th.

Craig Dollansky, the defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion, won the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Devil's Bowl Speedway and the Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway. He has won Nationals Preliminary Features the last three years and finished among the top five in the main event in 1996 and 2000.

Donny Schatz, who led laps 2-25 before finishing second in last year's Nationals championship feature, has won "A" Features at Huset's Speedway, Lebanon Valley Speedway, Heartland Park Topeka, Williams Grove Speedway and New Egypt Speedway this season. A broken drive line coupler in the #15 Parker Stores J&J early in Friday's "Night Before Big One" race snapped a streak of 15 straight top-10 finishes.

Andy Hillenburg drove his #2 Luxaire J&J to victory in the 2001 season opener at Kings Speedway and the First Preliminary Feature at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to take the lead in the point standings for the first time in his 14-year career. He won Nationals Preliminary Features in 1994 and 1995.

Smith has driven his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Maxim to victory at Rolling Wheels Raceway, I-55 Raceway and Hagerstown Speedway this year, in addition to his second straight Iowa Classic title. He won the Second Preliminary Feature at the 1993 Nationals, then led nine laps in a classic battle with Steve Kinser in the championship race.

Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate Jeff Shepard exchanged the lead with Swindell five times during the Second Annual Channellock Challenge at Bristol Motor Speedway, only to finish second. He drove six-time Knoxville Raceway champion Guy Forbrook's #5 Wirtgen Maxim into sixth place at Knoxville Raceway on April 28th.

Joey Saldana set Kings Speedway's single-lap record on opening night and has raced into the top 10 in 24 "A" Features. The 1996 Rookie of the Year has driven Dennis Roth's #83 Beef Packers Eagle into the top 10 in all three "A" Features at Knoxville Raceway this season.

Paul McMahan, the runner-up in the inaugural World of Outlaws Gumout Series points race, drove Warren Johnson's #U2 United Expressline Eagle to his first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature victory at State Fair Motor Speedway March 23rd. He has finished in the top 10 in two of three main events at Knoxville this year.

Tim Shaffer opened the season with a third-place run at Kings Speedway. He also drove David Helm's #11H Vivarin Maxim into third place in the Iowa Classic and had a six-place run at Knoxville Raceway July 16th. He won the "A" Feature at the Terre Haute Action Track two nights later.

Brad Furr, a Gumout front-runner in 2000, is racing for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award this season. He finished in the top 10 in the first four Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Features, including a runner-up run at Kings Speedway. He ran ninth in the Iowa Classic at Knoxville Raceway June 29th.

Meyers, the 2000 Gumout Series Rookie of the Year, has driven DOCC Motorsports' #20 Eagle Raceway Eagle for most of the season. He has recorded 10 top-10 finishes, including his July 16th victory at Knoxville Raceway.

Danny Wood, the 2000 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, has won Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Preliminary Features at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Eagle Raceway this season. He has driven Sher-Don Motorsports' #21W Pepsi Avenger into the top 10 in two of three "A" Features at Knoxville Raceway.

Randy Hannagan, the series' 1995 Rookie of the Year, won the first "A" Feature of his Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series career at I-55 Raceway March 24th. He drove TH Racing's #1X K&C Drywall Eagle into eighth place at Knoxville Raceway April 28th.

Dale Blaney is driving for his brother, 1995 series champion and current NASCAR Winston Cup star Dave Blaney. He won the "A" Feature at Tri-City Speedway May 12th.

Johnny Herrera, the Knoxville Raceway track champion in 1995, replaced Australian Brooke Tatnell in Lonny Parsons' #6 Casey's General Stores Maxim in mid-May. He has six top-10 finishes, including a fourth in the Iowa Classic and a runner-up run in the "Night Before The Big One" race last Saturday at Eldora Speedway.

Knoxville Raceway
Knoxville, IA
Semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval
Office and track phones: (515) 842-5431 and (515) 842-3220
At the north edge of Knoxville on SR 14 (located on the Marion County Fairgrounds)
http://www.knoxvilleraceway.com/Q

-WoO-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Warren Johnson , Andy Hillenburg , Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Jason Meyers , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Dave Blaney , Johnny Herrera
Teams Williams