Knoxville April preview

World of Outlaws Set for Visit to Knoxville Raceway History and tradition play a large part in visiting Knoxville Raceway. The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum located off of the second turn at the legendary half-mile contains a large...

World of Outlaws Set for Visit to Knoxville Raceway

History and tradition play a large part in visiting Knoxville Raceway. The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum located off of the second turn at the legendary half-mile contains a large portion of this history. Also, the drivers and crews in the pit area contribute a significant part to the story that continues to be written each week, as they have waged epic battles on the track for numerous years. Off the track, the fans play a vital role in chronicling the history of the facility, as many individuals and families have been religiously attending the half-mile decade after decade.

The World of Outlaws will look to add to this history in their first of two visits to the storied half-mile this weekend on Saturday, April 28, as they will contest a full night of racing, with $10,000 earmarked for the A-Feature winner. Since 1979, the series has been competing at the track, which is widely known from coast-to-coast and revered all across the world.

Donny Schatz and Joey Saldana swept both races last season at Knoxville, and currently sit first and second in the World of Outlaws championship standings. The pair also finished in the Top-two spots in the Knoxville Nationals last season, with Schatz claiming his first triumph in sprint car racing's biggest race after four runner-up finishes.

After a solid pair of races last weekend, Schatz reclaimed the point lead by five markers over Saldana. The native of Fargo, North Dakota leads the series with 14 Top-10 finishes in 15 races, with 11 of those finishes being in the Top-Five. The 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has won three races, including two on half-miles tracks.

Saldana, leads the series with five A-Feature wins, and has led a series-best 147 laps on the season. He has 13 Top-10 finishes driving for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, with 10 of those being in the Top-Five. The native of Brownsburg, Indiana won on a half-mile earlier this season in Florida.

Steve Kinser heads to Knoxville with an unparalleled record at the hallowed track. In World of Outlaws competition, he has won 21 A-Feature events, along with winning the Knoxville Nationals a record 12 times. In his career, he has 58 total feature wins at the half-mile. The native of Bloomington, Indiana enters the event with plenty of momentum, after claiming his second victory of the season last Saturday night at Tri-State (Ind.) Speedway, after finishing second to begin the weekend at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio.

Daryn Pittman set fast time last October in the series most recent visit to Knoxville, and came home fifth in that event. The native of Owasso, Oklahoma is currently third in the championship points, just 128 markers out of the lead. He has 11 Top-10 finishes in the first 15 events of the season. He is a former World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion, and was the 1998 Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year.

Danny Lasoski, who is a seven time Knoxville Raceway champion, heads back to the historic track fourth in World of Outlaws points. The 2001 series champion won his first race of the season on April 6 in Kentucky, and has racked up 10 Top-10 finishes. He won his first World of Outlaws A-Feature at Knoxville in 1993. The native of Dover, Missouri has seven career World of Outlaws A-Feature triumphs at Knoxville. He also is a four-time winner of the Knoxville Nationals, in addition to being the all-time feature winner at Knoxville with 88 career triumphs.

Craig Dollansky won his first World of Outlaws A-Feature event at Knoxville in 2004. The native of Elk River, Minnesota is currently fifth in World of Outlaws points, with 10 Top-10 finishes. He is one of only two drivers that have transferred to every single A-Feature from his heat race.

Terry McCarl is a six-time Knoxville Raceway track champion, claiming all six titles in a row, from 1999-2004. McCarl has 42 career wins at the track just down the road from his home in Altoona, Iowa. He finished fourth last October, as he seeks his first World of Outlaws win at his home track.

Jason Meyers won his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature event in 2001 at Knoxville Raceway, becoming the first driver in the history of the series to accomplish that feat. The native of Clovis, California earned two more Top-Five finishes last weekend, as he was fourth at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio and followed that up with a third-place effort at Tri-State (Ind.) Speedway on Saturday night, after starting the evening by setting fast time. That has him currently seventh in points. He won his first event of the season on April 13, in an event that be seen on SPEED on Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Jac Haudenschild has 17 career wins at Knoxville, including five World of Outlaws A-Feature triumphs. The fan favorite is coming off of a second-place finish last Saturday night at Tri-State (Ind.) Speedway. He is up to 9th in the championship standings on the strength of seven Top-10 finishes.

Paul McMahan continues his ascent in the championship standings, as he heads to Knoxville 10th in points. He has five Top-10 finishes on the year driving for two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The native of Nashville was sixth last Friday night at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio and was solidly running in the Top-five on Saturday night at Tri-State before contact relegated him to an 18th-place finish. He looks for his first win of the season this weekend as well as his first A-Feature win at Knoxville with the World of Outlaws.

Other drivers that will be in attendance on Saturday night include: Jason Solwold, who is just 10 points out of the Top-10 in the standings. The native of Washington is one of two drivers that has transferred from his heat race into the A-Feature in each of the first 15 events of the season, along with Dollansky.

Jason Sides, who has climbed into the 12th-spot in the standings, looks for his first win of the season as he heads to Knoxville. Also in action will be Brooke Tatnell of San Souci, NSW, Australia, who currently holds the track record at Knoxville, set in time trials last season on May 6 in a weekly show.

Tim Shaffer the 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year will be on hand, as well as Tim Kaeding, who won earlier this season in World of Outlaws action in his home state of California. Second-generation driver Justin Henderson, who has five Top-10, finishes this season will be in action, along with Randy Hannagan, who was third at Knoxville last October. Reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Chad Kemenah, who was seventh at Tri-State (Ind.) Speedway, has turned numerous laps at Knoxville in the past, as has veteran Dion Hindi of New Mexico. Jeremy Campbell, fresh off his season-best finish of fourth at Tri-State (Ind.) Speedway heads to Knoxville with plenty of momentum. Second-year driver Jason Martin of Kansas picked up a career-best finish of fourth on April 6, and is ready to compete at Knoxville. Veteran Brian Carlson of Indiana, who has turned many laps at the famed track will also be in action.

Five drivers battling for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award will be in attendance on Saturday, including: Tony Bruce Jr. of Kansas who earned his first career World of Outlaws Top-10 last October at Knoxville, Zach Chappell of Oklahoma, who picked up his best career finish with the World of Outlaws last weekend, Sam Hafertepe Jr. of Texas, Chad Hillier of Washington, and Kerry Madsen of St. Mary's, NSW, Australia, who won his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature earlier this season in Florida, and was the 2005 Knoxville Raceway track champion.

On Saturday, April 28 at Knoxville Raceway, adult general admission tickets will be $25, with reserved tickets $27. General admission tickets for children will be $13.50, with general admission tickets for children $12.50.

-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 , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Tim Kaeding , Sam Hafertepe Jr. , Tony Bruce Jr.