Nicknamed the Sprint Car Capital of the World, Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway will host the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season. Best known as the home of sprint car’s most prestigious event, the Knoxville Nationals, this 143-year-old track is perhaps one of the most famous dirt ovals in the world.
While Knoxville is only a half-mile in length, it is a true action-packed track with blistering fast speeds. Although the Truck Series vehicles may not eclipse the 14.407 second track record established by sprint car driver Brooke Tatnell in 2006, based on the Truck Series races at Eldora Speedway, these rugged four wheelers will likely put on a good show for the fans.
Despite Knoxville Raceway’s notoriety for sprint car racing, it shares a connection with NASCAR through racing icons such as Jeff Gordon, Ken Schrader, Kyle Larson and Tony Stewart who have raced there during their careers. In recent years, various NASCAR Cup Series racers made the trek from Michigan International Speedway to either watch or compete in the Knoxville Nationals during the August race weekend.
Undoubtedly, the July 9 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race may prove to be one of the most anticipated races not only for this division but for NASCAR. After all, from 2013 to ’19, the Truck Series drivers and teams competed in memorable midsummer races at Eldora, the first dirt-track races in any form or fashion for NASCAR since 1970.
As the host to Round 14 of the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, the penultimate race before the playoffs, it may be a make-or-break race for those looking to fight for the championship. Perennial contenders like Matt Crafton and Stewart Friesen have to be licking their chops for this summertime spectacular as they won at Eldora in grand fashion respectively in 2017 and ’19.
Much like the history made with NASCAR competing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time in 1994, the Camping World Truck Series race at Knoxville may welcome sprint car competitors for this Friday night fight. Ultimately, when considering this track’s humble beginnings, its progress and ascension in the 21st century is a testament to motorsports’ endearing place with sports fans and its competitors around the world.