Knoxville Nationals punted in 2020; return in 2021

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

Hours after the Kings Royal weekend was postponed, the Knoxville Nationals was also pushed back. Both events will now take place in the summer of 2021. 

The 60th running of the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s until August 11-14, 2021. The coronavirus pandemic caused the postponement of the event in 2020. 

Sprint Car driver David Gravel after winning the 2019 Knoxville Nationals
David Gravel after winning the 2019 Knoxville Nationals (Photo by Knoxville Raceway/Facebook)

“This is devastating for all of us on the fair board and at the track, as we know it is for all our fans, competitors, sponsors, employees and everyone in the racing community,” said Brian Bailey, president of the Marion County Fair Board. “A year without the Knoxville Nationals just feels surreal. This is not the outcome any of us wanted. We can promise everyone, that when the 60th running of the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s happens, it will be our biggest event yet. We’ll be eager and ready to welcome all 23,000-plus fans back to Knoxville.”

In place of the Knoxville Nationals, Knoxville Raceway will host the World of Outlaws from August 13-15. This will culminate in the Brownells Capitani Classic presented by Great Southern Bank. 

The winner will receive $50,000 and $3,000 to start. Only 7,000 fans will be able to watch these World of Outlaws events due to the coronavirus restrictions. 

The Knoxville Raceways have been hopeful since March that they would be able to hold the Knoxville Nationals this year. However, it just was not in the cards, as the cases in Iowa are increasing and mass gatherings has been prohibited for the foreseeable future.

“Since March, we have collaborated on several different plans with state and local officials to make the Knoxville Nationals happen,” Bailey said. “In the end, we were just up against too many obstacles to make the event happen safely and at the level expected of the Knoxville Nationals. We’re grateful for all of the time, effort and understanding we’ve received throughout the process. Collectively, everyone is disappointed with this outcome.”

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