KNOXVILLE, IOWA (November 26, 2003) - The 30th annual Knoxville Raceway awards banquet was held Saturday night on the Marion County Fairgrounds with Terry McCarl of Altoona, Iowa, and Billy Alley of Lincoln, Nebraska, receiving top honors. ...
KNOXVILLE, IOWA (November 26, 2003) - The 30th annual Knoxville Raceway awards banquet was held Saturday night on the Marion County Fairgrounds with Terry McCarl of Altoona, Iowa, and Billy Alley of Lincoln, Nebraska, receiving top honors. McCarl was crowned the track's 410-cubic-inch sprint car division champion for the fifth consecutive year, while Alley garnered his first 360 c.i. sprint car title. Two-time track champion Doug Wolfgang of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, entertained the 550 people in attendance as the evening's guest speaker. $160,000 in cash, and an additional $100,000 in contingency prizes, were distributed over the course of the evening by emcees Tony Bokhoven, Justin Zoch and Mike Roberts.
The top five drivers in Knoxville's 410 division were McCarl, Australian Kerry Madsen, Ricky Logan of Arkansas, Travis Cram of Washington, and Australian "Skip" Jackson. The top three owners, and their check amounts, were Terry and Lori McCarl ($20,000), Steve Gunder ($15,000), and Ed Gifford Motorsports ($12,000). Rookie of the Year in 2003 in the 410 class was Brian Brown of Missouri, while Sportsman of the Year was awarded to Australian Lynton Jeffrey. Bob Vielhauer's Beaver Drill & Tool team was named Owner of the Year, while his driver Wayne Johnson of Oklahoma landed the Lyle Boyd Hard Charger Award. Colin Northway of Iowa received the Most Improved title.
The top five drivers in Knoxville's 360 division were Nebraskan Alley and Iowans Jesse Giannetto, Josh Higday, David Hesmer and Ed Ergenbright, respectively. The top three owners, and their check amounts, were Billy Alley ($8,000), Jesse Giannetto's Dago Motorsports ($6,000), and Josh Higday ($5,000). Rookie of the Year in 2003 in the 360 class was champion Alley, while Sportsman of the Year was awarded to popular Bobby Mincer of Iowa. Jesse Giannetto's Dago Motorsports team was named Owner of the Year, while hometown talent Joey Beaver landed the Lyle Boyd Hard Charger Award. Versatile Eric Mason of Iowa received the Most Improved title.
Long-time Knoxville Raceway and National Sprint Car Museum supporter Don Lamberti of Ankeny, Iowa, received the prestigious Heritage Award. Veteran Marion County Fairboard member Grant Rankin was presented with the equally-prestigious Taylor "Pappy" Weld Memorial Award. Nick McHargue and Jimmy Thompson each were given Fan of the Year Awards. Justin Henderson (410) and retiring Ed Ergenbright (360) were voted the Most Popular Drivers by the Knoxville Junior Fan Club. Keith Hutton Dedication to Motorsports Awards were presented by his wife Jenny to mechanic Jeff Woodruff and to the Robert Bell crew. These awards will be given annually in memory of fallen sprint car racer Keith Hutton.
Knoxville Raceway director of marketing & sales Karen Owen was pleased to report that over 200 sponsors contributed to the record $260,000 awarded in cash and manufacturers' products at the post-season awards banquet. The money is generated from nightly race sponsorships, and billboards and program advertisement sales. According to fairboard member Dwayne Robuck, the many contingency sponsors of the evening were All Pro Cylinder Heads, American Racer Tires, Boubin Tire, Cox Engineering, DMI Enterprises, Eagle Chassis, Fast Wings, KSE Steering Gear, Lev Wings, NBC Steering Gear, Real Wheel, Sander Engineering, Vortex Racing Products, Weld Racing, Winters Rear-Ends & Drivelines, and Wolfweld Chassis.