Knoxville Nationals’ 60th running postponed until 2021 by COVID-19

Trent Gower/World of Outlaws
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The 60th Knoxville Nationals, the most prestigious event in sprint car racing, has been postponed to next year, Knoxville Raceway announced in a release Tuesday.

Instead of the iconic race, the famed dirt track in Iowa will hold a three-night program Aug. 13-15 with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, ending with the Brownells Capitani Classic (previously scheduled for Aug. 9).

Because of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions, the crowd will be limited to 7,000 each night. The Knoxville Nationals typically draw a capacity crowd of 23,000, but track officials said they were unable to have a “viable event plan” approved by local government and state officials to play host to the race, which has been moved to Aug. 11-14, 2021.

“Since March, we have collaborated on several different plans with state and local officials to make the Knoxville Nationals happen,” Brian Bailey, president of the Marion County Fair Board, said. “In the end, we were just up against too many obstacles to make the event happen safely and at the level expected of the Knoxville Nationals. We’re grateful for all of the time, effort and understanding we’ve received throughout the process. Collectively, everyone is disappointed with this outcome.”

Tickets purchased for the 2020 event will be rolled over the 2021 race.

Knoxville Raceway will continue to play host to events on its 2020 schedule with a maximum capacity of 7,000.

Knoxville was the site of the World of Outlaws’ return May 8 after a two-month layoff because of the pandemic. The race was held without fans, but a limited crowd was on site when the track played host to a World of Outlaws doubleheader June 12-13 that was swept by Kyle Larson.

The postponement of the Knoxville Nationals comes on the heels of Monday’s news that the 37th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway being rescheduled to July 21.

The marquee event on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car schedule was slated for July 15-18 but was scrubbed this year because of Ohio Department of Health orders restricting mass gatherings and spectator events at large venues remains in effect during the pandemic.

Here’s the release from Knoxville Raceway on postponing the Nationals:

The Marion County Fair Board and Knoxville Raceway have postponed the 60th running of the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s until August 11-14, 2021.

In lieu of the Knoxville Nationals, Knoxville Raceway will partner with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series for three nights of racing, August 13-15, culminating with the Brownells Capitani Classic presented by Great Southern Bank, previously scheduled on Sunday, August 9. The 2020 Brownells Capitani Classic presented by Great Southern Bank will pay $50,000 to win and $3,000 to start. Due to COVID restrictions, only 7,000 spectators will be permitted to attend each night. Further information for this race will be announced at a later date.

“This is devastating for all of us on the fair board and at the track, as we know it is for all our fans, competitors, sponsors, employees and everyone in the racing community,” said Brian Bailey, president of the Marion County Fair Board. “A year without the Knoxville Nationals just feels surreal. This is not the outcome any of us wanted. We can promise everyone, that when the 60th running of the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s happens, it will be our biggest event yet. We’ll be eager and ready to welcome all 23,000-plus fans back to Knoxville.”

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Knoxville Raceway officials have worked diligently with local government and Iowa state officials to craft a safe plan to host the 60th NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s. Unfortunately, as case numbers continue to rise in the country and mass gatherings continue to be discouraged, the track’s latest and most viable event plan was not approved.

“Since March, we have collaborated on several different plans with state and local officials to make the Knoxville Nationals happen,” Bailey said. “In the end, we were just up against too many obstacles to make the event happen safely and at the level expected of the Knoxville Nationals. We’re grateful for all of the time, effort and understanding we’ve received throughout the process. Collectively, everyone is disappointed with this outcome.”

Ticketing and camping information is listed below. For all inquiries concerning the postponement of the 60th NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s, please call the ticket office at 641-842-5431.

Information on Tickets and Camping:
Tickets: All tickets purchased for the 2020 NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s will be automatically rolled over to the 2021 event. If fans prefer to forfeit their 2021 tickets and receive a refund, they are encouraged to call the Knoxville Raceway ticket office at 641-842-5431. Existing 60th NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s tickets will not be valid for the 2021 event. New tickets will be issued.

Tickets for the 2020 Knoxville Nationals will not be transferable to the aforementioned three-day World of Outlaws event this August.

Previously purchased tickets for the Brownells Capitani Classic presented by Great Southern Bank will be refunded. Information on purchasing tickets for the re-scheduled Capitani Classic on August 15 will be announced soon.

Camping: If you have a camping reservation at the race track or at the North Campgrounds during the dates of August 6 – August 15, 2020 and your plans have changed and reservation needs to be modified, please call the ticket office to request a roll over to the 2021 NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s or a refund no later than Wednesday, July 15.

2020 Season: Barring any unforeseen changes, all other events on the 2020 Knoxville Raceway schedule are on as scheduled. All events, as of now, have a maximum capacity of 7,000 spectators.

 

IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

AUTO: NOV 13 IMSA - Motul Petit Le Mans
David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2022 season this weekend with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta, which also will mark the end of the line for the DPi class.

The premier Daytona Prototype international category, which started in 2017, will be replaced by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with its LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to Le Mans.

For the third time in four years, an Acura will be crowned the champion in DPi as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing holds a 19-point edge over the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing.

Last year, WTR’s No. 10 entered the season finale with a 19-point lead but lost the title to the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express.

Full-time WTR drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor (who will be joined by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 this weekend) have a series-leading four victories this season. The MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves this weekend) won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and have five runner-up finishes this year.

Championship scenarios in the other four categories:

GTD Pro: Points leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will clinch the title by starting in their No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

–GTD: There are 140 points separating the top four teams with Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 leading by 45 points.

–LMP2: John Farano is first in the driver standings by 33 points over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel. In the team standings, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leads by 19 points over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport (Farano’s team).

–LMP3: No. 54 CORE autosport drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead by 83 points over the No. 74 Riley Motorsports of Gar Robinson.

With the 10-hour race requiring an extra driver, several stars from other racing series have been added. In addition to Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay will serve as third drivers in Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Cadillacs.

Jimmie Johnson also will be making his last DPi start in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac with Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi. Petit Le Mans could mark the last start in an IMSA prototype for Johnson, who has said limited inventory likely will keep him out of the GTP category in the Rolex 24 next year.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):


Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

TV: Noon-3 p.m., NBC; 3-10:30 p.m., USA Network. Peacock, the NBC Sports App,and NBCSports.com will have streaming coverage of the event from flag to flag beginning at noon. Leigh Diffey and Dave Burns are the play by play announcers with analysts Calvin Fish, Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe and Brian Till. The pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Hannah Newhouse, Dillon Welch and Matt Yocum.

IMSA.com live TV qualifying stream: Friday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at noon (XM 207, Internet/App 992).

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 63 degrees with an 85% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 48-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta


Daily schedule IMSA Petit Le Mans

Here’s a rundown of the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

10:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup

12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

1:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practcice

2 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:30 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

Thursday, Sept. 29

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

9 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

9:50 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

11:40 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

12:10 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

1:50 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

2:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

6 p.m.: Michelin Challenge qualifying

7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Sept. 30

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

9:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:55 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 2

1:10 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race

3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 1

9:15 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:10 p.m.: Petit Le Mans