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Remembering Naomi Grimes

2/21/2017 - by Bob Wilson & Eric Arnold - Track Historians All of us at Knoxville Raceway are saddened to learn of the passing of Naomi Grimes. Naomi along with her husband Ray Grimes, promoted Knoxville Raceway from 1974-1979. Together they rescued Knoxville Raceway from its financial problems and kept racing alive at the Marion County Fairgrounds. They decided to expand the Knoxville Nationals to a four-day event and invented the Nationals scoring system. Naomi, and their daughters Linda and Teri sat down at the kitchen table and used prior year’s Nationals results to form different scenarios before coming up with the Nationals scoring and point system that is still used today. Her basic schedule on Saturday nights was to work at the pit shack ...


2/15/2017 - of Pella, Iowa and Kraig Ford in Oskaloosa, Iowa will be the “Official Vehicle Providers of Knoxville Raceway”. The partnership commences with Ford Opening Night at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday, April 16. Both owned by long-time Knoxville Raceway supporter Craig Ford, and Kraig Ford will supply a new pace truck for the track in 2017 to be unveiled soon. The dealerships also provide the crowd-pleasing t-shirt gun and shooting truck, a hospitality vehicle, marketing vehicle and touring truck for the track’s traveling sprint car simulator. “Race fans have proven that they’re the most loyal of any professional sports and we’ve seen that over the years from the fans at Knoxville Raceway,” said Craig Ford, owner of ...

Remembering Gil Sonner

2/12/2017 - by Eric Arnold, Track Historian All of us at Knoxville Raceway are saddened to learn of the passing of Gil Sonner today. Gil was born on October 17, 1934 in Des Moines to parents Josephene and Donald Sonner. “Gilly” as he is known, has been the car owner of the #47 sprint car since he began racing in the late 1940’s and 1950’s in the Des Moines area. He first appeared at Knoxville Raceway in 1955 with driver Lee Pinckney. Sonner is primarily known for his run of success at Knoxville Raceway, but he has also won sprint car features in 18 different states with 15 different drivers and was at the first World of Outlaws event at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in ...
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