If you are into short track dirt racing and/or World of Outlaws winged cars then you know all about the Knoxville Nationals in Knoxville Iowa. It is arguable the most prestigious winged race in the country. I grew up just out side of Knoxville in Oskaloosa and often scraped up enough money to attend a regular weekly event but could never afford the Nationals. At that time it was pre-winged cars and they were called Modifieds. The Nationals is a week long affair and remains on my bucket list and I will get it done in the next couple of years.
However, this year we were in Knoxville during the Nationals but conflicts prevented us from attending any of the races. We were fortunate enough to visit the Museum and stroll through shopping centers watching the crews prep the cars for the big night of racing. Yes, I did say shopping centers but I could have just as easily said city parks, office buildings or restaurants! As the photos in this post will attest to, the crews park there rolling garages where ever permitted, pull the race cars and tools out and go to work.
Who needs a pit pass? All you need to do is drive around Knoxville (most are located just outside the track), park your car and go for a walk. It is a strange site to see rows of 18 wheelers with race cars being rebuilt out front of a Goodwill Store. Although there are extremely expensive race cars and haulers it is very reminiscent of the old days when racers traveled the circuit and would go into the local Chevy dealer or hot rod shop to repair the race car for the next race.