2019 Knoxville Raceway Awards Banquet

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Knoxville's own Perry Bell is pictured above receiving the Ralph Capitani Heritage Award from National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Director Bob Baker. Photo by Eric Arnold

By Bill Wright

November 16, 2019 (Altoona, IA)– Knoxville Raceway drivers, owners, officials and fans gathered Saturday night at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, Iowa. Over 650 guests witnessed over $250,000 in cash and contingencies handed out in an event emceed by track announcers Tony Bokhoven and Kris Krug.

The contingency package was headlined by a giveaway of seven chassis. Each owner in all three sprint car classes was awarded a contingency (see prize list with winners below). The Knoxville Raceway Charitable Organization (KRCO) again will provide insurance for all 2019 Knoxville point eligible drivers. Drivers also received a $1,000 gift certificate from KRCO for safety equipment purchased at Jocko’s Race Parts.

After dinner, Marketing Director Kendra Jacobs addressed the attendees. In addition to the thanks doled out to those who make Knoxville Raceway what it is, she expressed her excitement for the 2020 season and beyond.

Drivers and owners outside of the top five in each of the three respective classes received their accolades.

The “Jr. Fan Club Driver of the Year” was announced. McKenna Haase received her sixth consecutive Award.

Nick and Kirsti Peterson of Checkered Flag Concessions presented a special award to Gary Smith, who has been involved with concessions at the Knoxville Raceway for the past 50 years.

Alan DeHaai was the recipient of the “Knoxville Raceway Fan of the Year” for his involvement in the 360 Booster Club.

Bob Baker, the Executive Director of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, presented the “Ralph Capitani Heritage Award” to longtime Knoxville journalist, Perry Bell, who has been covering events at Knoxville Raceway for 39 years.

The “Lyle Boyd Hard Charger Award” awards the drivers who passed the most cars in A main events this season. Evan Epperson received the award in the Pro Series class, with Jon Agan (360) and Brian Brown (410) receiving the award in their respective classes.

Bobby Mincer was named the “Sportsman of the Year” in the 410 class, while Rob Kubli picked up the honor in the 360 class. Jeff Wilke won the award in the Pro Series class.

Mike Johnston (Pro Series), Ryan Leavitt (360), and Trey Starks (410) were named “Rookie of the Year” in their respective classes.

 

“Owner/Team of the Year” Awards went out to the Scott and Matthew Stelzer #99 (Pro Series), Carson McCarl #27 (360) and to Brian Brown #21 (410).

Matthew Stelzer dominated the Pace Performance Pro Series this year. Picture by Ken’s Racing Pix

The big hardware went out last to the top five drivers in the Lucas Oil Knoxville Championship Cup Series point standings. In the Pro Series class, Jeff Wilke (5th), Brandon Worthington (4th), Mike Johnston (3rd), Chris Walraven (2nd) and Matthew Stelzer (champion) were honored. It was Stelzer’s second career championship (2012).

 

Carson McCarl is pictured with fiancee Peyton Dollansky. This is McCarl’s first 360 championship. Picture by Ken’s Racing Pix

In the 360 class, Jon Agan (5th), Calvin Landis (4th), Clint Garner (3rd), Ryan Giles (2nd) and Carson McCarl (champion) were honored.

Brian Brown is pictured with his wife Heather. This was Brown’s 3rd championship. Photo by Ken’s Racing Pix

In the 410 class, Justin Henderson (5th), Brooke Tatnell (4th), Austin McCarl (3rd), Terry McCarl (2nd) and Brian Brown (champion) were honored. It was Brian’s third career title (2007, 2010).