Fast Facts: 17th Lucas Oil Knoxville Nationals
By Robert HolmanDirtonDirt.com weekend editor
Dates: Sept. 16-18 ($7,000-to-win features Thursday and Friday and heats, consolations and $50,000-to-win main event Saturday)
Track: Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway (semi-banked, half-mile clay oval).
2021 purse: In excess of $287,000, the purse includes a record $50,000 to the 100-lap winner and at least $2,500 to all 30 starters.
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Most recent winner: Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who won his second career Knoxville Nationals in 2019.
Tickets: Thursday and Friday adult general admission $30 (13-19 $20; 6-12 $15; 5-and-under free); Saturday $35 (13-19 $30; 6-12 $256; 5-and-under free). Add $5 for reserved seats. Pit passes: $50 each day.
On the web: knoxvilleraceway.com
Track phone: (641) 842-5431
Live streaming: MavTVPlus
Notes: After the 2020 event was cancelled because of pandemic restrictions, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series returns to Knoxville for the Knoxville Lucas Oil Nationals. … The race, which is presented by Brandt Professional Agriculture, enjoys a purse increase to the winner’s share of Saturday’s finale for the first time since 2008. First place now pays $50,000, an increase of $10,000, while the runner-up’s share is increased from $20,000 to $25,000. Positions 19-22 have also received a purse increase. … There have been in 12 winners in 16 Knoxville Lucas Oil Nationals. … Jimmy Owens (2018-’19) of Newport, Tenn.; Mike Marlar (’16-’17) of Winfield, Tenn.; Scott Bloomquist (’05, ’09) of Mooresburg, Tenn.; and Brian Birkhofer (’04, ’14) of Muscatine, Iowa, are repeat winners. … Owens and Marlar are the only back-to-back winners. … Tennesseans have won six of 16 Knoxville Lucas Oil Nationals, including the last four. … The 2019 event drew 55 entries. … The record car count of 98 was set in 2004’s inaugural event. … Owens has led more feature laps (188) than any other driver in event history. Owens has logged laps at the front in seven of the 16 main events. … The 2006 edition, won by Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., produced the most lead changes (9). … The event’s oldest winner, Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., was 52 years and 11 months old when he won the Knoxville Nationals in 2010. … Bloomquist and Josh Richards have five top-five finishes, while Brian Birkhofer and Steve Francis had four apiece. … Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., has started 15 of 16 100-lappers, the most of any driver, with a best finish of fourth place three times (’08, ’14, ’17). Mars started the first 15, while he scratched from consolation race in 2019. … Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., holds the Late Model track record at 16.631 seconds. … To set Saturday’s lineups, drivers earn points through their time trials, heats and features on Thursday and Friday. Teams will take the highest point total of their two nights to set their starting positions for Saturday’s events. The top 24 cars in points are locked into the A-main starting in order by point totals, with the highest point total starting on the pole. Teams must qualify on Thursday. Teams that qualify Friday only can not start better than 15th on Saturday. … Saturday’s program includes two 15-lap B-mains and the 100-lap main event. … The Hoker Trucking Series and Malvern Bank Series co-sanction an invitation-only $4,000-to-win program Saturday. ... A driver autograph session is set for 3 p.m. Saturday in the main show barn. … Knoxville Raceway, originally a horse track, hosted its first automobile race in 1901. The track began hosting weekly events in 1954. … The facility has 24,172 seats, including 16,289 in the main grandstand.
Knoxville Nationals winners
2004: Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, Iowa
(Drivers failing to transfer from B-main positions 4-11, $500; drivers failing to transfer from B-main positions 12-24, $400)
(Action includes a $4,000-to-win event for the Malvern Bank Super Late Model Series)