Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Knoxville Raceway Many things have changed over the years for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, but one constant has been Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville,...
Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Knoxville Raceway
Many things have changed over the years for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, but one constant has been Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa. The series has been visiting the famed half-mile since its inaugural season of 1978. The 2008 season, will mark the 30th consecutive year that the series has contested an A-Feature event at the track, beginning with a full night of racing on Saturday, April 26.
The list of drivers that have won with the series at Knoxville Raceway is a venerable "Who's Who" of sprint car racing, beginning with three-time series champion Sammy Swindell who was victorious in the series first A-Feature event at the track in 1979. Fellow Hall of Fame driver Doug Wolfgang won the series first overall event at the track, which was the 1978 Knoxville Nationals.
Steve Kinser, the 20-time Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion, won his first event at the track in 1978, in a preliminary event for the Knoxville Nationals and followed that up the following season with another win prior to the Nationals. He picked up his first World of Outlaws A-Feature win at the track in 1980. During his career, Kinser has won the Knoxville Nationals, a record 12 times and has won a total of 54 events with the series at the track, including preliminary features. He has won at the track in 22 different seasons.
Eight other active World of Outlaws drivers have won A-Feature events with the series at Knoxville, led by seven-time track champion Danny Lasoski. The native of Dover, Missouri is the winningest driver in Knoxville Raceway history with 89 triumphs. He also has four wins in the Knoxville Nationals. Lasoski picked up his most recent win with the World of Outlaws at the track in 2004.
Terry McCarl has six Knoxville Raceway track championships to his credit and has won a total of 43 times at the half-mile, which places him fourth on the all-time list. He won his first World of Outlaws A-Feature event at his home track last season.
Donny Schatz the two-time defending World of Outlaws champion has a total of seven wins at Knoxville in his career, including in the last two Knoxville Nationals. He also won last April with the series at the track.
Jac Haudenschild has 17 career wins at the half-mile, including nine total victories with the World of Outlaws. His most recent win with the series at Knoxville was in 1998.
Craig Dollansky, the current World of Outlaws point leader has won 10 times in his career at Knoxville, including four times with the World of Outlaws, with two of those being A-Feature wins. The native of Elk River, Minnesota is the only driver that has six Top-Five finishes in the six events that have been contested this season, including two wins.
Jason Meyers made history in 2001 when he picked up his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win at Knoxville Raceway, thus making him the first driver ever to accomplish that feat. He leads the series with three A-Feature wins this season and is second in points.
Joey Saldana has four career wins at Knoxville, with three of those coming with the World of Outlaws. He earned his first A-Feature win with the series at the track in 2006, which was his first season behind the wheel for Kasey Kahne Racing.
Kraig Kinser has two career wins at Knoxville, including in the 2005 Knoxville Nationals. That triumph put him and his father Steve in the record books as the first father and son to win sprint car racing's biggest event.
Kerry Madsen, who is currently fifth in World of Outlaws points, has 14 career wins at Knoxville and was the 2005 track champion, driving for Vermeer Motorsports, the same team he is driving for this season.
Shane Stewart won the Knoxville 360 Nationals last season. He has four career wins at the track, including a preliminary feature with the World of Outlaws in 2005.
The event on Saturday, April 26 will be the first of three races contested by the series this season at Knoxville Raceway.
2007 Race Recaps:
April 28: Donny Schatz found his way to the winner's circle at the famed half-mile for the third straight time.
Schatz battled Joey Saldana and Jason Meyers down the stretch for the $10,000 win, which was the 55th A-Feature win of his World of Outlaws career.
The 25-lap A-Feature got off to an auspicious start when Sam Hafertepe Jr. got upside, leading to a complete restart. On the second start, Schatz thundered down the front straightaway winning a drag race with Kerry Madsen, who was charging on the high side of the race track.
Madsen fought back on the second lap to take the lead, with Schatz powering his way around on the high side of the track on the following circuit.
Joey Saldana charged around Schatz on the 12th lap, and began to pull away, until he encountered heavy lapped traffic. In traffic, Schatz was able to close the gap, and on the 18th lap, the reigning World of Outlaws champion dove to low side of the second turn to take the lead from Saldana.
The native of Fargo, North Dakota had to endure a late red flag, followed by a caution with a single lap remaining. By way of World of Outlaws rules, a race must end with two consecutive green flag laps of racing, thus setting up a two-lap shootout between Schatz, Saldana, and Meyers.
Schatz used a very strong restart to power his way into the first turn. He widened that gap on the final lap, winning by over a second.
Saldana was second, with Meyers behind him. Craig Dollansky was fourth, with Terry McCarl rounding out the Top-Five.
June 16: Terry McCarl picked up his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win at his home track, where he has claimed six titles over the years.
After lining up third for the 25-lap contest, the native of Altoona, Iowa took the lead from polesitter Randy Hannagan in heavy lapped traffic on the 19th lap, and pulled away for the $10,000 victory.
Hannagan led from the outset of the race, and opened a couple of sizeable advantages that were negated each time by the caution flag. He kept his car glued to the bottom of the track as he searched for his first series win since 2001. He used strong restarts to maintain the lead in open racetrack, and got a little bottled up in traffic late in the event, giving McCarl the opening he needed on the high side of the track.
Late in the race, Craig Dollansky shadowed Hannagan and McCarl and on a late restart used the middle to groove to make it three wide heading down the back straightaway as he battled for the lead. As the laps wound down, Dollansky moved to the top of track searching for the fastest line around the half-mile.
McCarl lined up for the A-Feature in the third spot and remained there until the ninth lap when Kerry Madsen lost a left rear tire while battling Hannagan for the lead. For the next nine laps, McCarl studied Hannagan's every move and patiently waited until the pair encountered heavy lapped traffic with nine laps to go.
Craig Dollansky was third, with Danny Lasoski fourth and Donny Schatz fifth.
What to look for this year at Knoxville Raceway:
* Donny Schatz, the two-time defending series champion, has won four events over the last two seasons at the famed half-mile, including the last two Knoxville Nationals. He has five consecutive Top-Five finishes in World of Outlaws events at the track.
* Steve Kinser, has over 50 career wins at Knoxville Raceway, including 12 victories in the Knoxville Nationals.
*Danny Lasoski is the winningest sprint car driver in Knoxville Raceway history, with 89 triumphs. The native of Dover, Missouri also has seven Knoxville Raceway track championships to his credit, the most all-time.
* Terry McCarl has 43 career wins at Knoxville, including his first with the World of Outlaws last season. The six-time track champion has three consecutive Top-Five finishes with the series at the half-mile in his home state.
* Craig Dollansky has 10 wins in his career at Knoxville, including one in a World of Outlaws A-Feature. He was third and fourth in two starts in 2007.
* Jason Meyers won his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature event at Knoxville in 2001, becoming the first driver in series history to accomplish that feat. He finished in the Top-10 in both events at the track last season.
* Joey Saldana has three A-Feature wins at the famed ½-mile with the World of Outlaws, including in 2006. Last season he finished second and sixth in two events with the series and also had two consecutive runner-up finishes in the Knoxville Nationals.
* Kerry Madsen won the 2005 Knoxville Raceway championship driving for Vermeer Motorsports, the same team he is driving for this season. He has 14 career wins at the track, and is currently fifth in points with the World of Outlaws.
* Kraig Kinser has two career wins at Knoxville, including the 2005 Knoxville Nationals, which made him and his father Steve, the first father/son duo to win sprint car racing's biggest event.
* Shane Stewart won the Knoxville 360 Nationals last season. He has four career wins at the track, including a preliminary feature with the World of Outlaws in 2005.
By the Numbers- Knoxville Raceway:
0.5- Miles around Knoxville Raceway
1- World of Outlaws driver that hails from the state of Iowa- Terry McCarl
5- Drivers that led laps in A-Feature competition with the series at the track last season
6- Track championships at Knoxville Raceway for Terry McCarl
7- Track championships for Danny Lasoski at Knoxville; Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that have won A-Feature events with the series at the track
8- Degrees of banking in the turns at Knoxville Raceway
12- Wins in the Knoxville Nationals for Steve Kinser 14.407- Track record established by Brooke Tatnell on May 6, 2006
16- Drivers that have won a World of Outlaws A-Feature event at Knoxville Raceway dating back to 1979 (excluding the Knoxville Nationals)
17-Career wins for Jac Haudenschild at Knoxville Raceway
21- A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws at Knoxville Raceway for Steve Kinser (excluding the Knoxville Nationals)
43- Career wins at Knoxville for Terry McCarl of Altoona, Iowa
58- Career wins at Knoxville for Steve Kinser, including preliminary feature wins and SuperClean Knoxville Nationals titles
60- Number of feet wide that the back straightaway is at Knoxville Raceway
70- Number of feet wide that the turns are at the half-mile
78- A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws at Knoxville excluding the Knoxville Nationals, dating back to 1979
80- Number of feet wide that the front straightaway is at the half-mile
89- Career wins for Danny Lasoski at Knoxville, most all-time
334- Miles from Huset's Speedway where the World of Outlaws compete on April 25 to Knoxville Raceway
500-Seats at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum at Knoxville
1954- Year that weekly racing began at Knoxville Raceway
1979- Year that the World of Outlaws first raced at Knoxville Raceway
7,383- Seats in the back grandstand at the track
10,000- Dollars to the winner on Saturday, April 26
16,289- Seats in the main grandstand at Knoxville Raceway
24,172- Total seats at Knoxville Raceway.
Tickets: On Saturday, April 26 at Knoxville Raceway, General Admission tickets for adults will be $25, with General Admission tickets for children just $12.50. Reserved tickets for adults will be $27, with Reserved tickets for children $13.50. For ticket information visit: www.knoxvilleraceway.com or call (641) 842-5431.
Next Up: .The Missouri High-Banked Nationals at US 36 Raceway in Cameron, Missouri. The 3/8-mile produces blazing fast speeds and is one of just two tracks on the World of Outlaws schedule that has sub-10 second qualifying times.