|Sprint Car Capital of the World|
|Location||1000 N Lincoln St
Knoxville, Iowa 50138
|Owner||Marion County Fair Association|
|Operator||Marion County Fair Association|
|Opened||late 1800s as horse racing track|
|Major events||Goodyear Knoxville Nationals Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals Arnold Motor Supply 360 Nationals USAC Non-wing Knoxville Nationals|
|Length||0.5 mi (0.8 km)|
|Lap record||0:14.407 (Brooke Tatnell, Rush Racing, 2006)|
Knoxville Raceway is a semi-banked 1/2 mile dirt oval raceway located at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa, USA. Races at the "Sprint Car Capital of the World" are held on Saturday nights from April through September each year. Some special events may start as early as Wednesday and build up to Saturday. Regular events include 305 cubic inch, 360 cubic inch and 410 cubic inch sprint car racing. Each August, the Raceway holds the paramount sprint car event in the United States, the Knoxville Nationals. The track is governed by the 24-member fair board elected by Marion County residents.
The first weekly races were held at the Knoxville Raceway in 1954. After internal issues with the sanctioning body—the Southern Iowa Stock Car Racing Association—in 1956, Marion Robinson of Des Moines, Iowa was appointed as race promoter. During Robinson's tenure, the cars progressed from stock cars to modifieds to supermodifieds to sprint cars. Robinson created what would become the Knoxville Nationals in 1961. The event took place over two days and featured a $5,000 purse. P. Ray Grimes took over in 1974, but when he was unable to perform his duties following a snowmobile accident in 1977, Ralph Capitani took over as race director and promoter. Under the leadership of Capitani, the racetrack rose to new heights. "Cappy" retired at the end of the 2011 season.
In 2012 the duties of Race Director and Promoter were split into two positions. Toby Kruse was hired as the track General Manager and Promoter and John McCoy was named Race Director. Kruse resigned in September of 2012. In November of 2012 Brian Stickel was promoted as the General Manager and Promoter. Stickel had worked at the Knoxville Raceway as Director of Marketing and Sales for seven years prior.
- Late 1800's race track is built for horse racing.
- 1901 - First automobile race staged with 2 cars owned by Well's Manufacturing and Tone's Spices Co.
- 1914 - First race.
- 1917 - Old wooden grandstand was built (2,000 capacity).
- Until late 1930's: Infield is used for Knoxville high school football games.
- 1950-1954 - Stock car racing becomes popular after WWII and a few races per year are sanctioned by Newton Stock Car Association.
- 1954 - Weekly racing begins, banking, fencing, and lights are added to the track.
- 1955 - Weekly racing sanctioned under the Oskaloosa's Southern Iowa Stock Car Racing Association.
- 1956 - Marion County Fair Board begins sanctioning its own racing and hires Marion Robinson as race promoter.
- 1959 - Wooden bleachers were added to the west of existing grandstand. (5,000)
- 1961 - First Knoxville Nationals held, and won by Roy Robbins.
- 1969 - Wood grandstand was razed.
- 1970 - New steel and aluminum grandstand. (8,139 seats)
- 1974 - P. Ray Grimes named promoter, expands the Nationals to 4 days, and creates Nationals scoring point system.
- 1978 - Remainder of wooden bleachers replaced with steel and aluminum.
- 1978 - Ralph Capitani name Race Director and Promoter.
- 1981 - New lighting.
- 1982 - Wings on sprint cars becomes mandated for safety.
- 1983 - 360 sprint cars begin competing.
- 1984 - Grandstands expanded to higher rows in sections A-J.
- 1987 - First year Nationals were on TNN television.
- 1987 - Grandstand expansion completed upper tier in sections K-N (11,584).
- 1990 - Temporary seating added to backstretch for Nationals.
- 1991 - NSCHoF&M built (400 additional seats).
- 1991 - Backstretch permanent grandstand added, Sections P-Z (17,224).
- 1991 - First year of 360 Nationals.
- 1994 - Backstretch grandstand expanded, sections P-ZZ (19,400).
- 1995 - Knoxville Nationals broadcast live for first time on TNN.
- 1996 - Main grandstand upper tier addition, VIP suites, new Musco Lighting. (23,200).
- 2002 - Concrete added to infield pit area.
- 2003 - Main grandstand sections AA & BB refitted, added handicap seating (24,192).
- 2004 - First year of Late Model Knoxville Nationals.
- 2010 - First points season for 305 sprint cars.
- 2012 - Toby Kruse named GM & Promoter, John McCoy named Race Director.
- 2013 - Brian Stickel named GM & Promoter.
The driver with the most 410 feature wins at the Knoxville Raceway is Danny Lasoski of Dover, Missouri with 100 feature wins. The driver with the most 360 feature wins is David Hesmer of Marshalltown, Iowa with 65 feature wins.
410 Class: 1954 Kenny Crook, 1955 Kenny Crook, 1956 Jack Delano, 1957 Dean Sylvester, 1958 Earl Wagner, 1959 Earl Wagner, 1960 Jerry Hayes, 1961 Earl Wagner, 1962 Bud McCune, 1963 Greg Weld, 1964 Bill Utz, 1965 Jerry Blundy, 1966 Jerry Blundy, 1967 Bill Utz, 1968 Dick Sutcliffe, 1969 Bob Williams, 1970 Joe Saldana, 1971 Ray Lee Goodwin, 1972 Lonnie Jensen, 1973 Dick Sutcliffe, 1974 Lonnie Jensen, 1975 Roger Rager, 1976 Doug Wolfgang, 1977 Doug Wolfgang, 1978 Shane Carson, 1979 Richard Smith, 1980 Mike Brooks, 1981 Tim Green, 1982 Tim Green, 1983 Randy Smith, 1984 Rocky Hodges, 1985 Randy Smith, 1986 Danny Lasoski, 1987 Randy Smith, 1988 Randy Smith, 1989 Danny Lasoski, 1990 Danny Lasoski, 1991 Randy Smith, 1992 Danny Lasoski, 1993 Danny Lasoski, 1994 Danny Lasoski, 1995 Johnny Herrera, 1996 Danny Lasoski, 1997 Skip Jackson, 1998 Skip Jackson, 1999 Terry McCarl, 2000 Terry McCarl, 2001 Terry McCarl, 2002 Terry McCarl, 2003 Terry McCarl, 2004 Terry McCarl, 2005 Kerry Madsen, 2006 Billy Alley, 2007 Brian Brown, 2008 Danny Lasoski, 2009 Johnny Herrera, 2010 Brian Brown, 2011 Danny Lasoski, 2012 Terry McCarl, 2013 Bronson Maeschen.
360 Class: 1983 Mackie Heimbaugh, 1984 Stacy Redmond, 1985 Dean Chadd, 1986 Wayne Redmond, 1987 Mike Chadd, 1988 David Hesmer, 1989 Mike Twedt, 1990 Jordan Albaugh, 1991 Dwight Snodgrass, 1992 Dwight Snodgrass, 1993 Danny Young, 1994 Lee Nelson, 1995 Larry Pinegar II, 1996 Randy Martin, 1997 David Hesmer, 1998 David Hesmer, 1999 David Hesmer, 2000 John Kearney, 2001 Randy Martin, 2002 Brian Brown, 2003 Billy Alley, 2004 Jake Peters, 2005 Jake Peters, 2006 Jake Peters, 2007 Josh Higday, 2008 Matt Moro, 2009 Clint Garner, 2010 Clint Garner, 2011 Clint Garner, 2012 Clint Garner, 2013 Clint Garner.
305 Class: 2010 Steve Breazeale, 2011 Carson McCarl, 2012 Matthew Stelzer, 2013 Larry Ball Jr.
National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum
The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum is located just outside of Turn 2 of the Knoxville Raceway. It features rotating exhibits to highlight the history of both winged and non-wing sprint cars.
- "Schedule". Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- "Knoxville Raceway News". Retrieved 28 September 2011.
- "History". Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- "Knoxville "Wing" Track Records".
- "Career Feature Wins 1954-2010". Retrieved 26 May 2010.