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Local Sports

Top sprint car drivers converge on Knoxville

KNOXVILLE — Ten consecutive nights of sprint car racing begins Thursday with the 23rd annual Arnold Motor Supply 360 Knoxville Nationals and concludes with the 53rd annual FVP Knoxville Nationals on Aug. 10 at Knoxville Raceway.

This weekend, the 360 Knoxville Nationals kicks off the racing event, which is expected to draw more than 100,000 sprint car racing fans to Knoxville for the 10-day span.

Thursday and Friday are qualifying nights where the entries are divided up with half of them running each night. The drivers accumulate points from time trials, heat races and features each night and those points are how they are lined up for the E, D, C, B and A Main races on Saturday night.

Some of these drivers will switch to 410s for the Lucas Oil Knoxville Championship Cup Series event on Sunday, Aug. 4, followed by the two-day show at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa for the 16th annual Front Row Challenge with wings and the 10th annual Ultimate Challenge without wings, 

Monday’s Front Row Challenge has changed this year to be an American Sprint Car Series event for the 360 Sprints with $3,000 going to the winner. The front row qualifiers have the opportunity to relinquish their starting position and elect to start in the rear of the field for a $30,000 payday if they can make it to victory lane from the tail of the grid. Tuesday has the sprint cars running without wings in the Ultimate Challenge.

From there, it’s back to Knoxville Raceway for the 53rd Annual Knoxville Nationals Aug. 7-10.

More than 100 drivers are set to

compete for a $1 million purse and the esteemed title of FVP Knoxville Nationals Champion. While defending Knoxville Nationals champion Donny Schatz has won six of the last seven years, many drivers this year are in close contention to take over sprint car racing’s premiere title. The stage is set for one of the most competitive Nationals to date.

During the week of Aug. 7-10, Wednesday and Thursday racing events include hot laps, qualifications, last chance heats, five heat races, C feature, B feature and A feature races. Friday racing events feature a format, which will see the top four finishers from the A-Main move into spots 17-20 in Saturday’s A-Main. 

Friday’s events will include the SPEED SPORT Knoxville World Challenge where one of the top three finishers could be the 25th starting position in Saturday’s A-Main.

Saturday races will include four feature races leading up to the FVP Knoxville Nationals Championship feature.

The Knoxville Nationals combine racing with a cultural festival featuring parades, live music, camping, food, and expositions.  Special events outside the races include pancake breakfasts, past Nationals racing film showings, wine and beer tastings, fan tests, pit gate parties and much more.

For the AMS 360 Knoxville Nationals this weekend, single-day and three-day passes are available. General admission and reserved seats are available and range from $20 to $72. Discounted teen and kids’ tickets are also available. Purchase at the box office or online  at

For more information on the Front Row Challenge and Ultimate Challenge at the Southern Iowa Speedway, visit

For the FVP Knoxville Nationals, Aug.7-10, single-day and four-day passes are available. All tickets are reserved seating and range from $39 to $190 . Purchase at the box office or online at

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