The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is set to make its debut at Knoxville Raceway, the Sprint Car Capital of the World on June 9.
While the trucks might be racing at Knoxville for the first time, the track has a long history in the world of dirt racing. Having started out as a horse track built in 1878, it turned into an auto-racing facility not long after the turn of the 20th century.
It will be after a long time that stock-car racing will be back on the dirt surface.
“It’s going to be quite significant,” said Bob Wilson, the track historian at Knoxville. “It’s going to be the first time (the trucks visit) and it’s going to be a different sort of race than our regular people are used to seeing. However, I think the stands will be filled with NASCAR people who are really interested in this.”
The event will also mark the debut of Knoxville legend Donny Schatz, a 10-time winner of the Knoxville National, in one of NASCAR’s national touring series.
“Donny Schatz is one of the premier drivers to ever race on Knoxville dirt,” Wilson said. “He has just been a phenomenal sprint car driver. And so for him to take the time to go to the Truck Series and try it out (says a lot).”
Schatz will be joined by hometown hero Brian Brown in making the series debut.