SPEED SPORT World Challenge Tonight!

Donny Schatz romped to victory in the SPEED SPORT World Challenge at Knoxville Raceway in 2012. (Mark Funderburk Photo)
Donny Schatz romped to victory in the SPEED SPORT World Challenge at Knoxville Raceway in 2012. (Mark Funderburk Photo)

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Tonight’s SPEED SPORT Knoxville World Challenge will the final chance for a driver to earn a spot in tomorrow night’s 53rd annual FVP Knoxville Nationals feature without having to run the alphabet on Saturday at Knoxville Raceway.

The 19th annual event that concludes the Friday night racing card during the Knoxville Nationals will not only pay the winner $10,000, but it will reward the 25th-place starting spot in Saturday night’s A main to a driver who finishes in the top three, but has not already locked himself into the $150,000-to-win finale.

Twenty-five drivers will start the 24-lap race on the half-mile oval. Out of those 25 drivers, five (Kerry Madsen, Daryn Pittman, Kevin Swindell, David Gravel and Shane Stewart) have already secured a spot in Saturday’s race.

The addition of the guaranteed spot to the World Challenge couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as defending SPEED SPORT Knoxville World Challenge and Knoxville Nationals champion Donny Schatz is among the drivers in the field, who have not yet made their way into Saturday’s feature.

Schatz starts seventh in the World Challenge and should he win, will have to choose between the 25th starting spot in the feature tomorrow night or third-starting spot in the B main.

Lynton Jeffrey, Jason Sides, Ian Madsen and Tim Kaeding could face similar choices as all are scheduled for Saturday’s B main.

The 25-driver field is made up of 17 Americans, seven Australians and one Canadian.

SPEED SPORT Knoxville World Challenge Starting Lineup

1. Brooke Tatnell Australia

2. Jason Johnson Louisiana

3. Rico Abreu California

4. Ian Madsen Australia

5. Terry McCarl Iowa

6. Tim Kaeding California

7. Donny Schatz North Dakota

8. Jason Sides Tennessee

9. Lynton Jeffrey Australia

10. Daryn Pittman Oklahoma

11. Kevin Swindell Tennessee

12. Kerry Madsen Australia

13. David Gravel Connecticut

14. Shane Stewart Oklahoma

15. Wayne Johnson Oklahoma

16. Jack Dover Nebraska

17. James McFadden Australia

18. Bill Rose Indiana

19. Thomas Kennedy Canada

20. Danny Dietrich Pennsylvania

21. Jonathan Allard California

22. Glen Saville Australia

23. Danny Smith Ohio

24. Tim Shaffer Pennsylvania

25. Paul Morris Australia