The “Knoxville World Challenge” is billed as the finale race of Friday night Qualifying every year at the Knoxville Nationals. This prestigious race is an international invitational event, pays $10,000 to win, and involves drivers that have qualified through racing in specific events in Australia, Canada (in past seasons but apparently not for 2012 TBC) and New Zealand over the previous 12 months.
Only drivers that have entered the Knoxville Nationals, received qualifying points on either the Wednesday or Thursday nights of the Nationals and who have qualified for the race by competing in one of the international qualifier events are eligible to compete.
We now know when and where those international qualifier events are:
- The First International Qualifier will be held on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at the Western Springs Speedway in Auckland, New Zealand. Donny Schatz has confirmed that he will be in the field.
- The Robertson Holden International Speedway in Palmerston North, New Zealand, will host the Second International Qualifier on Saturday, December 3, 2011. Sammy Swindell looks like attending along with Ricky Logan and Jonathan Allard.
- The Final International Qualifier will be on January 21 & 22, 2012, as Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, hosts the 40th annual Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic – a $40,000 to win race. As usual a large contingent of Americans is expected to venture to Warrnambool for what is Australia’s version of the Knoxville Nationals.
The concept of the Knoxville the World Challenge was invoked in 1994, where Australia’s Max Dumesny took inaugural honours. Since the race’s inception, 55 Drivers participating in the Knoxville World Challenge have shared in nearly $330,000 of prize money.
Last year the 2011 Knoxville World Challenge was taken out by: Lucas Wolfe, followed by (next five places): Shane Stewart, Jason Sides, Jason Johnson, Lynton Jeffery and Sammy Swindell.