"Visit Australia" named presenting sponsor for 2003 - 2005 Knoxville Nationals. Knoxville, Iowa (July 3, 2003) - In a joint announcement issued by Knoxville Raceway and mIn Motorsports Management this week, "Visit Australia -Down & Dirty Down ...
"Visit Australia" named presenting sponsor for 2003 - 2005 Knoxville Nationals.
Knoxville, Iowa (July 3, 2003) - In a joint announcement issued by Knoxville Raceway and mIn Motorsports Management this week, "Visit Australia -Down & Dirty Down Under Tour" was introduced as the presenting sponsor for the Knoxville Nationals for the next three years.
The 2003 event will be known as the Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals presented by "Visit Australia". Both sponsors will use the event and the live Speed Channel television broadcast to introduce new products. Ford will introduce the new Built Ford Tough 2004 F150, while "Visit Australia" will introduce the first of three annual tours between the USA and Australia featuring professional sprint car racing.
"On behalf of our Australian partner, Cyril Peel, Sofact Pty., Ltd., and the Sydney, New South Wales and Australian Tourist Commission, we are very excited about our role in promoting international growth and recognition of sprint car racing," said Bruce Neimeth, Vice President, General Manager for mIn Motorsports Management. "We can't think of a better place to kick off this program than Knoxville Raceway, the Sprint Car Capital of the World".
"The "Down & Dirty Down Under" Tours a business was created to take advantage of the exceptional values in travel costs between the USA and Australia as a result of the recent downturn in domestic and international tourism. The primary destination in Australia will be Sydney, an ideal location for visitors to make their home away from home for eight days. This January they'll have direct access and reserved seats to Parramatta City Raceway for some exciting sprint car racing as well as access to Sydney Harbor, the Olympic facilities and of course easy access to the rest of Australia for air and car day trips. And best of all, its summer in Sydney in January!
The tour sales and marketing will handled by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a US company. Globally, the name Carlson Wagonlit Travel is recognized in more than 4100 locations in 141 countries. With Carlson Wagonlit Travel offices located in every major business center around the world, travelers will benefit from their local presence and global reach.
"We are pleased to be a part of another major step in the continuing growth and recognition of sprint car racing all over the world", said Ralph Capitani, Director of Racing at Knoxville Raceway, the home of the Knoxville Nationals. "For at least the next three years, we will support and promote the fact that the stars and champions of the Knoxville Nationals and Knoxville Raceway will travel to Australia to participate in existing and new sprint car race events that can be enjoyed by all sprint car fans everywhere. We're also looking forward to supporting the commitment by mIn and Sofact to expand into the European market to bring race fans to the USA and Australia".
Knoxville Raceway has a proud heritage of international sprint car racing, with Garry Rush, Snr., of Australia (7th, 1979), Tim Gee of Canada (10th, 1986), and Kerry Jones of New Zealand (DNQ, 2001) being each country's highest-placed driver in the 42-years of Knoxville Nationals competitions. In 1994, the half-mile dirt track partnered with the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum and the Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, and its Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic to promote international sprint car racing through the Australian/American Challenge Cup. Since 1997, that global competition has become known as the Kele World Challenge, and has paid out nearly $140,000 in bonus monies to thirty international competitors from all four participating countries. This year's $10,000-to-win, fully-inverted, 16-lap Kele World Challenge will be run on Friday, August 15, during the Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals, presented by Visit Australia, and will feature sixteen drivers from Australia, Canada, the United States, and possibly New Zealand.
mIn Motorsports Management is responsible for the development of the live television broadcasts for the Knoxville Nationals and Chili Bowl Midget Nationals on Speed Channel for the next three years.
<pre> Kele World Challenge dash:
2002 Donny Schatz $10,000 USA 2001 Donny Schatz $10,000 USA 2000 Danny Lasoski $10,000 USA 1999 Randy Hannagan $ 5,000 USA 1998 Skip Jackson $ 5,000 AUS 1997 Skip Jackson $ 5,000 AUS
Australian/American Challenge Cup points:
1996 Danny Smith $ 4,000 USA 1995 Skip Jackson $ 2,000 AUS 1994 Max Dumesny $ 1,000 AUS
Kele World Challenge - Money Won:
Donny Schatz $23,000 USA Danny Smith $16,550 USA Skip Jackson $15,900 AUS Danny Lasoski $12,500 USA Brooke Tatnell $ 8,500 AUS Randy Hannagan $ 8,000 USA Brad Furr $ 6,000 USA Tommy Tarlton $ 5,600 USA P.J. Chesson $ 5,000 USA Kerry Madsen $ 4,800 AUS Brent Antill $ 4,500 USA Max Dumesny $ 4,500 AUS Peter Murphy $ 4,100 AUS Terry McCarl $ 4,000 USA Chad Kemenah $ 2,700 USA Lynton Jeffrey $ 1,800 AUS Jeff Shepard $ 1,700 USA Ricky Logan $ 1,300 USA Daryn Pittman $ 1,200 USA Toni Lutar $ 1,075 CAN David Murcott $ 1,025 AUS Joey Saladana $ 1,000 USA Garry Brazier $ 1,000 AUS Trevor Green $ 1,000 AUS Jason Meyers $ 900 USA Christi Passmore $ 600 USA Kerry Jones $ 500 NZ Joe Gaerte $ 500 USA Phil Gressman $ 500 USA Greg Hodnett $ 0 USA
Kele World Challenge - Summary:
USA 19 drivers - $ 95,550 AUS 9 drivers - $ 42,625 CAN 1 driver - $ 1,075 NZ 1 driver - $ 500
TOTAL 30 drivers - $139,750