NASCAR Truck Series Comes To Knoxville Raceway


For a state that already embraces its auto-racing scene quite well, Iowa is about to push the pedal even harder. 

Already the crown-jewel site for sprint-car competition, Knoxville Raceway is set to host its first-ever NASCAR race with Friday’s Camping World Truck Series event. The Corn Belt 150 (8 p.m., FS1) will signal a new chapter in Iowa’s illustrious auto-racing history. 

Whether you’re a diehard NASCAR fan religiously following every series, an Iowan looking to take advantage of this intriguing event or somewhere in between, there’s a storyline for you ahead of this historic weekend.         

Let’s dive in. 

Knoxville takes center stage

Walk into Knoxville Raceway — particularly on Knoxville Nationals weekend — and the energy engulfs you. Tucked away in south-central Iowa, more than 25 miles off Interstate Highway 80, Knoxville transforms into auto-racing heaven when the bright lights flip on. 

Now, a national audience gets to experience the same.  

While the track and city already wield much legitimacy in the racing world, adding the NASCAR tag to any Knoxville Raceway event is bound to increase the spotlight. Those who’ve ripped off more Knoxville laps than they can count are ecstatic to share this beloved track with racing’s top scene. 

“From being a kid,” Knoxville veteran Donny Schatz said this week on DIRTVision, “and seeing this place go from just a race track to the expansion that it’s had, it really is the ultimate mecca of dirt-track racking.”


Speaking of Donny Schatz …

With 10 titles and 300 career wins in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series — including 10 Knoxville Nationals victories — few have mastered the sprint-car scene better than Schatz.

He’s transformed from lovable newbie to dominant champion inside Knoxville Raceway’s walls. The sprint car Hall of Fame that sits just outside the track will undoubtedly feature plenty of Schatz recognition when his career closes. 

This week, it’s time for a new challenge. 

Schatz will make his Truck Series debut Friday night, racing in the No. 17 Little Giant Ford car for David Gilliland Racing. He knows the track and Knoxville’s aura better than anyone. But there’s no question, racing a truck requires different focal points than driving a sprint car. 

“I feel like I’ve been here enough to see how things are going to change,” Schatz said on DIRTVision. “Now, obviously getting in a different type of vehicle like a truck, I don’t know how they handle.  

“Even in a sprint car, sometimes you get here and do one lap and felt like you just did 10. That’s the level of aggression that you have to have. And even though the trucks will probably be not as quick at speed, I know they’re going to have to be up on the wheel for that 150 laps.” 

Don’t forget about the other ‘Dirt Ringers’

Several other sprint-car racers are taking advantage of this unique opportunity and will make their truck debut Friday.    

That list features Parker Price-Miller, who’ll drive the No. 3 truck for Jordan Anderson Racing; Devon Rouse, who’ll drive the No. 33 truck for Reaume Brothers Racing; Morgan Alexander, who’ll drive the No. 44 truck for Niece Motorsports; Brian Brown, who’ll drive the No. 51 truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports; and Jessica Friesen, who’ll drive the No. 62 truck for Halmar Friesen Racing.     

“Running anything around here other than a sprint car I think will help me just get acclimated to lifting points and different things,” Brown said on DIRTVision. “But at the end of the day, they are two completely different vehicles.” 

Brett Moffitt is back

One had to figure some or all of NASCAR’s Iowans would find a way into this event.

And that’s exactly what’s happened. 

Grimes native Brett Moffitt will race in the No. 37 truck for AM Racing, having announced the move earlier this week. Xfinity driver and Des 

Moffitt, who won the 2018 truck title, began the year racing full-time in the Truck Series and Xfinity Series. He declared for Truck Series points to begin the season but switched to the Xfinity standings in April.

Moffitt’s roots, though, are in dirt-track racing. As a 14-year-old newbie, Moffitt won at Knoxville Raceway on July 19, 2007, becoming the youngest driver ever to win a feature event at the track.

Moines native Michael Annett will also drive the No. 02 truck for Young’s Motorsports.    



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