World of Outlaws Sprint Cars

21 Years Of Knoxville’s World Challenge

The 21st annual SPEED SPORT World Challenge takes the green flag Saturday at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway. Here’s an a excerpt from Shawn Miller’s feature story on the history of the international sprint car race that appeared in the August issue of SPEED SPORT Magazine.

By Shawn Miller

Brooke Tatnell is the defending winner of the SPEED SPORT Knoxville World Challenge. (Frank Smith Photo)

Brooke Tatnell is the defending winner of the SPEED SPORT Knoxville World Challenge. (Frank Smith Photo)

Like “The Little Engine That Could,” the SPEED SPORT Knoxville World Challenge has been gaining traction.

It is no longer viewed as a fill-in race during the annual Knoxville Nationals at the famed Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. The SPEED SPORT Knoxville World Challenge is a marquee event on the grandest stage.

“Our whole goal with the program is to build relationships throughout motor sports,” Knoxville Raceway General Manager Brian Stickel said. “This event is a premier event for us. That’s why we put it on the eve of the biggest sprint car event in the world. It deserves that status.”

The 21st edition of the race that pits top American sprint car drivers against international competitors is set for Friday.

“We’ve seen more cars and more interest,” National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum Executive Director Bob Baker said. “As it goes on in the future we’re going to see more interest. A lot of people outside this country want to be a part of the Knoxville Nationals. I think if you have international drivers participating in the biggest sprint car race in the world it only adds to the popularity and the interest of Knoxville.”

The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located outside of turn two at Knoxville Raceway, has played a major role throughout the storied history of the SPEED SPORT Knoxville World Challenge. The executive team from the Hall of Fame selects the qualifiers each year, monitors those races to determine the eligible drivers and serves as a “support system” for Knoxville Raceway.

This year there were three qualifying races — the 41st annual Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic in Australia and two events in New Zealand (although one was later canceled) — from late November through January. To earn eligibility for the SPEED SPORT Knoxville World Challenge, drivers from the United States needed to take the green flag in one competitive race. International sprint car competitors are automatically eligible for the event.

SPEED SPORT World Challenge Winners
2013 – Brooke Tatnell
2012 – Donny Schatz
2011 – Lucas Wolfe
2010 – Craig Dollansky
2009 – Lynton Jeffrey
2008 – Kerry Madsen
2007 – Dean Jacobs
2006 – Brooke Tatnell
2005 – Daryn Pittman
2004 – Daryn Pittman
2003 – Travis Rilat
2002 – Donny Schatz
2001 – Donny Schatz
2000 – Danny Lasoski
1999 – Randy Hannagan
1998 – Skip Jackson
1997 – Skip Jackson
1996 – Danny Smith
1995 – Skip Jackson
1994 – Max Dumesny

Posted by on Aug 8 2014 Filed under Featured, Latest Headlines, Sprints & Midgets, Top Stories, World of Outlaws Sprint Cars. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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