Former Knoxville Raceway promoter dies
Former Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway promoter Ray Grimes, who rescued the track from financial collapse in his first year at the helm at the historic track, died Wednesday in Indianola, Iowa. He was 84.
Grimes, who insisted on never taking a paycheck from the racetrack, promoted the oval for three seasons in ’74, ’76 and ’77 (injuries from a snowmobiling accident prevented him from promoting the track in ’75).
"All of us at Knoxville Raceway and the Marion County Fair Association are deeply saddened by the passing of former race promoter Ray Grimes,” the track posted on its website. “Grimes’ influence and place in history and development of Knoxville Raceway and the Knoxville Nationals are still felt today.
Grimes and his wife Naomi, both members of the track’s Hall of Fame, combined to expand the Knoxville Nationals sprint car weekend to four days, along with developing the event’s scoring system.
Besides Naomi, his wife of 64 years, survivors include daughters Teri Riggins and Linda Selvage. Visitation is 4-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at Overton Funeral Home in Indianola. The funeral is 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at First United Methodist Church in Indianola with graveside services and interment 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 6 in Stearns Cemetery in Fithian, Ill. In lieu of flowers, memorials can go to Knoxville's National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum. Visit overtonfunerals.com for a full obituary. — Eric Arnold and Bob Wilson