The Knoxville Raceway hosts its season opener on Saturday night following a controversial winter that resulted in a split in the sport of sprint car racing. A number of the most successful drivers have formed the National Sprint Tour after breaking away from the sanctioning body that has dominating sprint car racing since the late 1970s.
Director of racing Ralph Capitani says he doesn’t think the group realized what they were doing as it costs a lot of money. Capitani says so far both groups are operating and he says he doesn’t know what’s going to happen.
He is not quite sure how or why the split developed. He says one of the principals was asked what he had against the other group, and Capitani says he said “nothing.” Capitani says it’s not good for the sport and they’re hoping the situation will resolve itself.
This year’s schedule has 35 nights of racing and the World of Outlaws will make a couple of stops. Capitani says the Knoxville Nationals should not be affected by the break-up because it is no longer a World of Outlaws event and both groups will have drivers take part.
In fact you won’t have to wait long to see drivers from both groups as many are expected to take part in Saturday night’s season opener. Capitani says it’ll be very unusual and will give a preview of the nationals.
Capitani hopes the split does not resemble a similar one in Indy Car racing several years ago which has received much of the blame interest in that style of racing plummeting.