World of Outlaws Make Springtime Knoxville Stop

There’s never a bad time to visit Knoxville Raceway. And for the first time in a dozen years, the historic half mile is ready to welcome the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars in the month of April.

“The Sprint Car Capital of the World” is the destination for the Premier Chevy Dealers Clash (April 26-27). The trip will be the first two of eight scheduled nights at Knoxville for the World of Outlaws in 2024.

It’s only April, but it’s never too early to start padding the notebook for August’s NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s – offering up Sprint Car immortality, a $190,000 winner’s check, and more than a million dollars in total purse money.

RELATED: Vote for the Knoxville Nationals as USA Today’s Best Motorsports Race

A huge field of stars from all over the country is expected to fill the Knoxville pit area this weekend with plans to chase a pair of $12,000 paydays and prepare for “The Granddaddy of ‘Em All.”

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Let’s look at the weekend’s top storylines:

TOP FIVE IS TIGHT: The 2024 World of Outlaws championship battle appears primed to stay tight all the way to Charlotte, NC when #AllDirtRoads lead to the World Finals. The top five tightened this past weekend, and only 68 points separate the leading five drivers.

David Gravel continues to lead the way despite a crash at Paducah cutting into his advantage. He’s been the most consistent driver in 2024 behind the wheel of the Big Game Motorsports #2 having already bagged eight podiums and 12 top fives through 15 races.

Donny Schatz sits second – 34 markers behind Gravel – amid his pursuit of an 11th championship. With only two finishes outside the top 10 so far this season, it’s the most consistent he and the Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing team have looked in recent years.

Giovanni Scelzi holds down the third spot after leading the points earlier in the season. A DNF at 81 Speedway to conclude March put an end to his perfect stretch of top 10s, but Scelzi and KCP Racing have since rebounded with six straight finishes of ninth or better.

Logan Schuchart and Shark Racing have been quietly consistent all season, leading them to the fourth spot only 12 points behind Scelzi. The Hanover, PA driver owns a 6.8 average finish this year and hasn’t finished worse than 12th.

Carson Macedo completes the current top five, four markers behind Schuchart. The Jason Johnson Racing #41 continues to shake off a forgettable start at the 2024 DIRTcar Nationals. In the 11 races since the season opening event, Macedo hasn’t missed the top 10 and owns a 4.45 average finish.

SCHATZVILLE: It’s impossible to head to Knoxville without viewing Donny Schatz’s mind-blowing résumé on the Marion County Fairgrounds that he’ll look to add to this weekend.

His Knoxville Nationals success is well documented with 11 triumphs in the sport’s most prestigious race, one away from Steve Kinser’s record of 12. He’s also been on the podium a whopping 20 times in “The Granddaddy of ‘Em All.”

But the Knoxville success isn’t limited to the Nationals for Schatz. The 10-time Series champion has topped 11 World of Outlaws Features at the Iowa oval in months not named August. He’s the second most recent April winner with the Series, topping a spring visit back in 2007. The Fargo, ND native has also won in May, June, and October at Knoxville.

ROOKIES IN RHYTHM: Michael “Buddy” Kofoid and Bill Balog are separated by 22 years of age, but they’re united in being rookies on the World of Outlaws tour. And lately they’ve been united in being two of the fastest cars on track.

Kofoid is one of, if not the hottest drivers among the World of Outlaws roster at the moment. He’s reeled off four consecutive podiums and 10 consecutive top 10s aboard the Roth Motorsports #83. The Penngrove, CA driver has qualified for the finale in both of his Knoxville Nationals attempts, picking up Rookie of the Year honors in 2022 before grabbing a top 10 last year. He nearly won at the half mile last year, finishing second with the All-Star Circuit of Champions.

Balog has logged four consecutive finishes of sixth or better including a runner-up at Paducah, his first Series podium since 2019. The “North Pole Nightmare” has plenty of Knoxville experience with tastes of success here and there. He’s been in the top 10 in multiple Knoxville Nationals prelims.

The chase for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year currently sees Kofoid holding a 102-point advantage over Balog heading into Knoxville.

APRIL ABSENCE: This weekend is set to end a 12-year drought of April World of Outlaws action in Knoxville. But before this recent absence the half mile was a common stop of the tour in the spring.

The World of Outlaws have contested 43 Knoxville Features in the month of April. The first was April 21, 1979 and topped by Sammy Swindell. The Germantown, TN legend also claimed the most recent on April 28, 2012. Swindell has won the most in April with 13 checkered flags. The only driver that will be in the pit area this weekend with an April World of Outlaws win on the black zook clay is Donny Schatz.

This weekend will reignite the tradition of the country’s greatest Sprint Car drivers visiting the Marion County Fairgrounds in the spring.

KNOXVILLE KNOWLEDGE: Knoxville has always offered some of the toughest local competition in the country for the World of Outlaws to face and expect this weekend to be no different.

Brian Brown headlines the crop of Knoxville regulars. “Blackjack’s” 65 overall Knoxville victories rank second behind only the legendary Danny Lasoski. Among those wins are a trio with The Greatest Show on Dirt including one last June.

Two-time and defending Knoxville track champion – Austin McCarl – will be in the hunt to secure his first World of Outlaws win at his home track. The Altoona, IA native is a former Knoxville Nationals pole sitter (2022), and last year he sat on the pole of night one of the Premier Chevy Dealers Clash before earning his third career World of Outlaws top five.

Plenty of more local talents are likely to join the field this weekend including Knoxville’s own Riley Goodno, Tasker Phillips (Pleasantville, IA), McKenna Haase (Des Moines, IA), Chris Martin (Ankeny, IA), Cole Mincer (Burlington, IA), and more.

THIS WEEKEND AT A GLANCE

WHEN AND WHERE 

Friday-Saturday, April 26-27 at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, IA

ON THE INTERNET

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
X – @WorldofOutlaws
Instagram – @WoOSprint
Facebook – Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsSprintCarSeries
YouTube – Youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws
DIRTVision – DIRTVision.com – Platinum annual FAST PASS for $299 or monthly FAST PASS for $39/month

CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (15/82 Races):

1. David Gravel – Big Game Motorsports #2 (2110 PTS)
2. Donny Schatz – Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing #15 (-34 PTS)
3. Giovanni Scelzi – KCP Racing #18 (-52 PTS)
4. Logan Schuchart – Shark Racing #1S (-64 PTS)
5. Carson Macedo – Jason Johnson Racing #41 (-68 PTS)
6. Michael Kofoid – Roth Motorsports #83 (-108 PTS)
7. Sheldon Haudenschild – Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing #17 (-154 PTS)
8. Bill Balog – B Squared Motorsports #17B (-210 PTS)
9. Brock Zearfoss – Brock Zearfoss Racing #3Z (-314 PTS)
10. Landon Crawley – Sides Motorsports #7S (-388 PTS)

NOS ENERGY DRINK FEATURE WINNERS (10 Drivers): 

3 Wins – David Gravel, Sheldon Haudenschild
2 Wins – Donny Schatz
1 Win – Brad Sweet, Tyler Courtney, Brent Marks, Giovanni Scelzi, Carson Macedo, Rico Abreu, Brady Bacon

FEATURE LAPS LED (13 Drivers):

94 Laps – David Gravel
77 Laps – Sheldon Haudenschild
56 Laps – Giovanni Scelzi
55 Laps – Carson Macedo
54 Laps – Rico Abreu
42 Laps – Donny Schatz
26 Laps – Brady Bacon
25 Laps – Brad Sweet
13 Laps – Anthony Macri, Michael Kofoid
11 Laps – Bill Balog
3 Laps – Brent Marks
1 Lap – Tyler Courtney 

SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS QUICKTIME AWARDS (8 Drivers):

4 Quick Times – Carson Macedo
2 Quick Times – Brent Marks, Michael Kofoid, Giovanni Scelzi, David Gravel
1 Quick Time – Landon Crawley, Brian Brown, Aaron Reutzel

HEAT RACE WINNERS (20 Drivers): 

8 Heat Wins – David Gravel
6 Heat Wins – Giovanni Scelzi, Sheldon Haudenschild
5 Heat Wins – Carson Macedo, Michael Kofoid
4 Heat Wins – Brent Marks, Rico Abreu
2 Heat Wins – Brian Brown, Tyler Courtney, Landon Crawley
1 Heat Win – Corey Day, Justin Peck, Bill Balog, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Brock Zearfoss, Logan Schuchart, Bill Rose, Ryan Timms, Donny Schatz, Danny Sams III

TOYOTA DASH APPEARANCES (30 Drivers):

12 Dashes – David Gravel
11 Dashes – Giovanni Scelzi
10 Dashes – Carson Macedo
9 Dashes – Sheldon Haudenschild, Michael Kofoid
7 Dashes – Rico Abreu, Bill Balog
5 Dashes – Brent Marks, Donny Schatz, Landon Crawley, Logan Schuchart
4 Dashes – Tyler Courtney, Brian Brown
2 Dashes – Brad Sweet, Aaron Reutzel
1 Dash – Anthony Macri, Justin Peck, Zeb Wise, Corey Day, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Brock Zearfoss, Bill Rose, Ryan Timms, Garet Williamson, James McFadden, Logan McCandless, Ayrton Gennetten, Brady Bacon, Emerson Axsom, Danny Sams III

MICROLITE LAST CHANCE SHOWDOWN WINS (12 Drivers):

1 LCS – Austin McCarl, Bill Balog, Corey Day, Kasey Kahne, Koty Adams, Jace Park, Anthony Macri, Landon Crawley, Logan McCandless, Garet Williamson, Brock Zearfoss, Kevin Newton

KSE HARD CHARGER AWARDS (12 Drivers):

2 Hard Chargers – Carson Macedo, Logan Schuchart, Donny Schatz
1 Hard Charger – Aaron Reutzel, Jace Park, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Brock Zearfoss, Chase Randall, Chris Windom, Noah Gass, Austin McCarl, Giovanni Scelzi

PODIUM FINISHES (15 Drivers):

8 Podiums – David Gravel
5 Podiums – Donny Schatz, Carson Macedo, Michael Kofoid
4 Podiums – Sheldon Haudenschild
3 Podiums – Brad Sweet, Rico Abreu, Giovanni Scelzi
2 Podiums – Tyler Courtney, Brent Marks
1 Podium – Justin Peck, Anthony Macri, Aaron Reutzel, Bill Balog, Brady Bacon

TOP 10 FINISHES (36 Drivers): 

14 Top 10s – Giovanni Scelzi
13 Top 10s – Donny Schatz, David Gravel, Logan Schuchart
12 Top 10s – Michael Kofoid
11 Top 10s – Carson Macedo
9 Top 10s – Sheldon Haudenschild, Bill Balog
6 Top 10s – Tyler Courtney
5 Top 10s – Brent Marks, Rico Abreu
4 Top 10s – Anthony Macri, Brock Zearfoss
3 Top 10s – Brad Sweet, Brian Brown, Aaron Reutzel
2 Top 10s – Ryan Timms, Chase Randall, Cole Macedo
1 Top 10 – Justin Peck, Kasey Kahne, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Zeb Wise, Corey Day, Cory Eliason, Landon Crawley, Jacob Allen, Chris Windom, Garet Williamson, James McFadden, Joe B. Miller, Kraig Kinser, Ayrton Gennetten, Brady Bacon, Emerson Axsom, Scotty Milan

2024 WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE & WINNERS:

No. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Total Wins)

1. Wed, Feb 7 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Brad Sweet (1)
2. Thurs, Feb 8 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (1)
3. Fri, Feb 9 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Tyler Courtney (1)
4. Sat, Feb 10 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Sheldon Haudenschild (1)
5. Mon, March 4 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Donny Schatz (1)
6. Fri, March 15 / Cotton Bowl Speedway / Paige, TX / Brent Marks (1)
7. Sat, March 16 / Cotton Bowl Speedway / Paige, TX / Giovanni Scelzi (1)
8. Sat, March 23 / Kennedale Speedway Park / Kennedale, TX / Carson Macedo (1)
9. Sat, March 30 / 81 Speedway / Wichita, KS / Rico Abreu (1)
10. Fri, April 5 / US 36 Raceway / Osborn, MO / David Gravel (2)
11. Sat, April 6 / Arrowhead Speedway / Colcord, OK / Sheldon Haudenschild (2)
12. Fri, April 12 / Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 / Pevely, MO / David Gravel (3)
13. Sat, April 13 / Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 / Pevely, MO / Donny Schatz (2)
14. Fri, April 19 / Paducah International Raceway / Paducah, KY / Sheldon Haudenschild (3)
15. Sat, April 20 / Tri-State Speedway / Haubstadt, IN / Brady Bacon (1)

For the full 2024 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car schedule, CLICK HERE.

DIRTcar Series PR