It’s the second week of August. NASCAR is approaching it’s playoff season. The Verizon IndyCar Series is four races from crowning a champion. Things are heating up. Though, for one week, the racing season worldwide takes a pause, and all eyes turn to Southern Iowa. Knoxville Raceway, to be exact.
Racing’s biggest names come together in Knoxville, IA this week
That’s because this week, the track holds it’s annual Knoxville Nationals – the highest paying sprint car race in the world. With a purse of over 1 million dollars, and a Saturday feature worth $150,000, it’s easy to see why so many drivers are drawn to Knoxville.
The nationals officially start on Wednesday evening, with the first of two qualifying nights that set the top 20 for the main event on Saturday. Although, the 410 events kick off as early as Sunday evening.
In fact, former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie of the year Kasey Kahne, drove in Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen International before flying from New York to race at Knoxville. Kahne is entered into the entire week of events, and he’s not the only big-name driver who will try his luck at the track this year. Another cup series driver Kyle Larson is on the entry list, along with two-time Chilli Bowl Champion Rico Abreu.
Top Drivers Arrive To Compete
Even drivers from as far as Australia come to Knoxville trying to win the big bucks in the Nationals A-Main. However, despite the talent that has come through the Nationals, and the drivers who have tried to master the track, few have been able to conquer the World of Outlaws’ Donny Schatz.
Dating back to 2006, Donny Schatz has won every single Knoxville Nationals, except two, losing to Tim Shaffer in 2010 and Jason Johnson in 2016. It seems as though Schatz is unbeatable at the track, and he doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
In the first World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series race at Knoxville this season, Schatz was dominant in his victory, taking the win by nearly half a lap at the half-mile, dirt oval. He’s the favorite to win once again this season, but he’ll have to compete with the big names from around the world.
The Knoxville Nationals kick off on Wednesday. Hot laps will begin at 7:15 p.m. CT.
LWOS will have coverage all week from Knoxville, as our own Connor Ferguson will be posted at the track. Follow our motorsports department on twitter at @LWOS_Motorsport and Connor at @cfchangs9.